HIDING COMPANY NAMES SUPPORTING ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

“[Israeli] officials say they are taking the so-called ‘blacklist’ seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms,” AP reported.

HEBRON, WEST BANK – AUGUST 14: A bulldozer, belongs to Israeli authority demolishes three building of Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta neighbourhood of southern Hebron, West Bank on August 14, 2017 under the observation of Israeli forces. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Israel and US Hide Names of Companies Supporting Israeli Settlements

By Marjorie Cohn

In December 2016 the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution reaffirming that Israel’s Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal and calling on Israel to stop settlement activities in the OPT. Resolution 2334 says the settlements have “no legal validity,” calls them “a flagrant violation under international law,” and demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.”

Nine months earlier, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in Resolution 31/36, had ordered the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to “produce a database of all business enterprises” that “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements.”

The database was scheduled for release in December 2017. Meanwhile, the Israeli and US governments have been trying to prevent that list — which reportedly includes at least 150 local and international companies — from becoming public. “We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day,” Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon told The Associated Press. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “We just view that type of blacklist as counterproductive.”

The UNHRC has reportedly delayed the release of the list until “early next year.”

“[Israeli] officials say they are taking the so-called ‘blacklist’ seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms,” AP reported.

An Israeli official told The Washington Post that the companies include Israeli banks, security firms, supermarkets, restaurant chains, bus lines, and multinational corporations that provide services and equipment to build and maintain the settlements.

Resolution 31/36 also called on states to take “appropriate measures to help to ensure that businesses domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, refrain from committing or contributing to gross human rights abuses of Palestinians.”

Publication of the list of companies would make the UNHRC “the world’s biggest promoter of BDS,” Danon opined. In a statement, Danon said, “The Human Rights Council has turned into an accomplice of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and its conduct is both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.”

In fact, the BDS movement is not anti-Israeli, as it targets the policies, not the people, of Israel. And actions against Israel’s policies, including BDS, do not equate to anti-Semitism, as I explain elsewhere.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Representatives of Palestinian civil society launched the BDS movement in 2005. They called upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

The call for BDS specified that “these non-violent punitive measures” should last until Israel fully complies with international law by (1) ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab territories and removing the barrier wall; (2) affirming the human rights of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens to full equality; and (3) affirming the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as required by UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Israel seeks to suppress the identities of the companies that support the settlements because it is feeling the pinch of the BDS movement. The United States thinks publication of the list would be “counterproductive” because it would fuel BDS, thereby negatively impacting Israel, the leading US client state and biggest recipient of US foreign aid.

BDS was a major factor behind the 46 percent decrease in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014, according to a UN report. A World Bank report revealed that Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Several investors, including Bill Gates, George Soros, TIAA-CREF and the Dutch pension company PGGM, have divested from companies doing business in the illegal settlements. Venezuela and Brazil cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Companies that have pulled out of the settlements and the Israeli market include SodaStream, the French telecom Orange and the French multinational corporation Veolia. G4S — the London-based security company that assists with Israeli checkpoints, unlawful detention and torture of Palestinian prisoners — is selling its Israeli subsidiary due to millions of dollars in lost contracts as a result of the BDS campaign.

The European Union promulgated rules prohibiting funding of Israeli companies based in illegal Israeli settlements and has cautioned about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel Maintains “Apartheid Regime”

In March 2017 a UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia report concluded that Israel maintains an “apartheid regime” and recommended that national governments support BDS activities to challenge Israel’s illegal system of oppression of the Palestinians. The report was co-authored by Richard Falk, an international law expert and former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT.

Mandla Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, concurs. He said at a November 27 press conference in the West Bank, “Palestinians are being subjected to the worst form of apartheid.” Mandela noted, “The settlements I saw here reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely.”

“What we have experienced in South Africa is a fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing,” Mandela told Royal News English. “We were oppressed in order to serve the white minority. The Palestinians are being eliminated off their land and brought out of their territories, and this is a total human rights violation. I think it is a total disgrace that the world is able to sit back while such atrocities are being carried out by apartheid Israel.”

Jewish Voice for Peace and other human rights organizations have called for “increasing grassroots pressure on Israel, through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns, until full human rights of Palestinians are realized.”

Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, said the forthcoming UNHRC list of companies is an “important step” in the campaign against the illegal settlements.

FOR THE 4th ~~ PUERTO RICAN PARODY

This is meant to be funny?

The REAL Puerto Rico

 

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FROM ECUADOR ~~ ON VIDEO

As Israel begins to build its first new settlement in the West Bank for years, Latin Americans express their rejection of the treatment of Palestinians.

Ecuadoreans March in Solidarity with Palestine

 

Mother Palestine also resists the new settlements

Image by Carlos Latuff

THE SETTLEMENT EXPANSION IN TOONS

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. 

Images by Carlos Latuff

 Knesset passed bill legalizing Israeli land theft in West Bank

Knesset passed bill legalizing Israeli land theft in West Bank

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The Green Light to expand that Israel was waiting for

The Green Light to expand that Israel was waiting for

Land Grab: Israeli Knesset passes law legalizing expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law.

The unprecedented bill passed late Monday night with 60 votes in favor to 52 against, according to Palestinian government news agency Wafa. The legislation, refered to as the “Regularization Bill,” legalizes more than 4,000 settler outpost units under Israeli law, and has been dubbed the first step toward de facto annexation.

It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule.

Bayit Yehudi party MK Bezalel Smotrich, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the law was “a historic step toward the completion of a process that we plan to lead; the application of full Israeli sovereignty on all the cities and communities in Judea and Samaria,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Following the bill’s passing, Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted one word: “Revolution.”

The law is in direct contravention with international law, which deems all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal.

Following the vote, international and local human rights groups strongly condemned the new legislation.

Meanwhile, the European Union canceled a summit between Israel and the European Union scheduled for Feb, 28, according to Israeli daily Haaretz. The daily reported that France, Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands and Finland publicly “expressed their reservations regarding the summit,” and that “some countries argued that holding a meeting at this time would be akin to rewarding Israel for its bad conduct.”

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights NGO, called the bill a “slap in the face of the international community.”

“The Knesset today proved yet again that Israel has no intention of ending its control over the Palestinians or its theft of their land. Lending a semblance of legality to this ongoing act of plunder is a disgrace for the state and its legislature,” the group said in a statement.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Country Director at Human Rights Watch, said the legislation, “reflects Israel’s manifest disregard of international law.”

“The bill further entrenches the current reality in the West Bank of de facto permanent occupation where Israeli settlers and Palestinians living in the same territory are subject to ‘separate and unequal’ systems of laws, rules and services,” Shakir said. “Israeli officials driving settlement policy should know that the Trump administration cannot shield them from the scrutiny of the International Criminal Court, where the prosecutor continues to examine unlawful Israeli settlement activity.”

On Monday, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) said passing such a law would amount to a “declaration of war.”

After the vote,  PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi expressed concern for what the law could mean for future land annexation by Israel.

“Such a law signals the final annexation of the West Bank.  Not only does it attempt to retroactively legalize the settlements and outposts built on Palestinian private property, it also gives clear license to the settlers to embark on a land grab in the occupied West Bank with impunity,” she said.

“Israel is authorizing the unlawful act of land theft and its illegal settlement activities which are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and an egregious violation of international law and conventions,” she said. “ All settlements are illegal, whether on private property or on state land that belongs to the Palestinian collective as a whole.”

“This also proves beyond doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition government are deliberately breaking the law and destroying the very foundations of the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability.”

Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”

“Looting is illegal,” Abu Eid said. “All Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine are illegal and a war crime regardless of any law passed by the Israeli parliament or any decision taken by any Israeli judge.”

Peace Now, an Israeli NGO aimed at promoting a two-state solution, strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being “willing to compromise the future of both Israelis and Palestinians in order to satisfy a small group of extreme settlers for the sake of his own political survival” and called on the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn the legislation.

“By passing this law, Netanyahu makes theft an official Israeli policy and stains the Israeli law books. By giving a green light to settlers to build illegally on private Palestinian land, the legalization law is another step towards annexation and away from a two-state solution. In light of this madness, we must act as the responsible adults and turn to the Supreme Court in order to strike down this dangerous law,” the group said in a statement.

THANK YOU DONALD TRUMP! YOUR GREEN LIGHT WAS ALL WE NEEDED!!

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Controversial law recognizing building on private Palestinian land passes final Knesset votes by 60 to 52, despite warnings it could land Israel in international court

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

Here are the latest reports from today’s Israeli Press

(Click on links to see reports)

In historic first, Israel legalizes West Bank outposts with sweeping new legislation

 

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MK thanks Trump after Knesset legalizes West Bank outposts

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US keeps mum on Israeli law legalizing West Bank outposts

TRUMP IS CHOCK FULL OF SURPRISES

The administration of US President Donald Trump surprised many observers on Thursday by issuing a public warning to Israel over its accelerating construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The latest statement is another signal from the new US president that Israel will not get everything it wants – at least not right away.

The Israeli settlement of Tzofim seen behind amputated olive trees near Qalqilya, in the occupied West Bank, 15 January. Hundreds of olive trees on private Palestinian agricultural land were cut as part of an Israeli plan to build a bypass road for settlers in the area. (Keren Manor) / ActiveStills

The Israeli settlement of Tzofim seen behind amputated olive trees near Qalqilya, in the occupied West Bank, 15 January. Hundreds of olive trees on private Palestinian agricultural land were cut as part of an Israeli plan to build a bypass road for settlers in the area. (Keren Manor) / ActiveStills

 

In surprise move, Trump warns Israel against settlements

The administration of US President Donald Trump surprised many observers on Thursday by issuing a public warning to Israel over its accelerating construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years,” the White House said in a statement from press secretary Sean Spicer. “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

Spicer reiterated that Trump “hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.” He added that the “administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to be in Washington on 15 February for what will now be a closely watched meeting for any signs of tension with Trump.

Aggressive land theft

Since Trump took office, Israel has announced plans for some 6,000 new settler housing units in the occupied West Bank.

This includes more than 550 in occupied East Jerusalem, and plans for an entirely new settlement deep in the West Bank.

The new settlement is intended as “compensation” to the settler movement after Israeli police this week implemented the court-ordered removal of settlers from Amona, a colonial outpost built on privately owned Palestinian land north of Ramallah.

But Israel had already promised to move the settlers within the West Bank, replacing one land theft with another.

“Shot across the bow”

Taken on its own, the White House statement is weak – although US policy has always been very tolerant of Israeli settlements in practice, rhetorically the previous administration was tougher, dubbing them “illegitimate,” and allowing the passage of December’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that confirmed they constitute a “flagrant violation under international law.”

The Trump statement may signal a return to the policy of the George W. Bush administration which approved settlement construction as long as it did not extend beyond existing settlement boundaries.

But context is everything here. As Chemi Shalev, a commentator in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz observes, “the main importance of the statement is that it was put out at all.”

“Israelis had assumed that Trump would swallow just about anything their government would do, if only to be different from President Barack Obama,” Shalev adds. “The White House statement was a shot across the bow to Netanyahu that there’s a limit to everything.”

Netanyahu and his ministers have not concealed their glee at Trump’s rise to power, with some seeing it as an opportunity to annex most or all of the occupied West Bank outright.

And triumphant settler leaders found a warm welcome at Trump’s inauguration ceremony last month.

But the latest statement is another signal from the new US president that Israel will not get everything it wants – at least not right away.

Despite expectations that he would immediately fulfill a campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump poured cold water on the idea.

“I don’t want to talk about it, yet,” the president told a Fox News interviewer days after taking office.

The warning about settlements came after Trump met with Jordan’s King Abdullah, on the sidelines of the so-called National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday morning.

According to The Jordan Times, the pair discussed “the importance of intensifying efforts to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations” and other regional issues.

European complicity

While he has proven erratic and unpredictable, it would be foolish to expect Trump to do what none of his predecessors have done: make Israel pay a price for its settler-colonization of Palestinian land.

So in the absence of action from the US, might European leaders who have been sounding increasingly urgent warnings about the danger settlements pose to the so-called two-state solution step up?

So far there is no sign of that. On Thursday, Federica Mogherini, the EU’s top foreign policy official, put out a mild statement calling Israel’s latest settlement push “a very worrying trend, posing a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult and risks becoming impossible.”

The EU noted the UN Security Council’s recent confirmation that the settlements are “illegal under international law,” but the pro forma statement gives Israel no cause to worry that it might face any real consequences for its brazen violations.

SIGNING OFF ON THE FINAL SOLUTION FOR PALESTINE

 If the Israeli Knesset approves the legalisation of Jewish settlements on stolen Palestinian land, then the Zionist concept of a “Greater Israel” is getting closer to becoming a reality. All the more so since Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president will apparently support the Netanyahu government’s unscrupulous ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people as the “final solution” for the judaisation of all Palestine. 

final-solution-palestine

The “Final Solution” (Endlösung) of the Palestinian Question is coming closer and closer!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

170124113704-02-trump-exec-order-0124-screengrab-large-169

The Zionist concept of a “Greater Israel” can only be achieved by hijacking Judaism and exploiting Biblical narratives to legitimise claims to the “Promised Land” as a state exclusively for Jews.  Since its establishment, Israel has in its quest for the Judaisation of the Holy land left a trail of death and destruction in its barbarous wake. Announcements of new settlements are now an almost daily occurrence without there being even a token hypocritical protest from a Trump administration packed with neoconservative Zionists.

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So yet again it is the forgotten Palestinians who suffer while the hypocritical West with its Israel induced Islamophobic obsession remains focussed on the phony “War on Terror” instead of addressing Israel’s irrefutable crimes against humanity.

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It has always been the “White Race” with its racist capacity to articulate that has entrenched the premise of “White Superiority.” What right do Aryans have to wage wars against the Black, Red, and Yellow races; what makes Aryans superior to non-Aryans of different colours and ethnicity; and why should such racist perceptions be fostered and tolerated from childhood, through to adolescence and adulthood? All genocides have stemmed from racist perceptions of superiority – be it by a “master race” or a “chosen people” – that have variously resulted in the mass murder the world over including American Indians, the Herero people in Africa, the victims of the Indian caste system, and Jews during the Holocaust.

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Even if my list is incomplete, I would like stress the importance of remembering a subject that has concerned me for years — and which should not be allowed to descend into oblivion—because it involves almost 70 years of continuous barbarous displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to make way for an insidiously  illegal occupation by Zionist Jewish colonisers.

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This long history of colonisation by the “only democracy in the Middle East” – which outrageously claims to speak for all Jews in diaspora – is appalling especially when supported by the newly elected so-called President of the United States who has wasted no time in undermining all democratic principles and values. Such amoral U.S. presidential support has unleashed an unprecedented acceleration of settlement building with thousands of more apartments.

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One of the very few who people who was happy to welcome the change of occupant in the White House was Benjamin Netanyahu who was also the only Western leader to welcome Trump’s intention of constructing a wall along the border with Mexico and discriminating against Muslims and refugees. Israel’s applause for Trump’s conduct, however, is understandable considering the fact that the “Jewish State” has for many decades been embracing similar policies with equally arrogant impunity.

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When it comes to building separation walls; illegally encroaching on Palestinian land; and segregating Palestinians while expelling refugees and asylum seekers, Israel is second to none and reigns as the undisputed champion of Apartheid.

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Jews fleeing Nazi persecution were given refuge in many countries including the United States which more than any other country became the home of millions of persecuted refugees and immigrants including Donald Trump’s Scottish mother. Have Kushner, and Friedman, and their friends forgotten this fact? While seven Muslim states were included in Trump’s ban, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Pakistan, and Turkey were excluded. Saudi Arabia is an important partner for the real estate Mogul Trump; is involved in several companies and Joint Ventures; and is notorious for exporting terror – like bombing bad Houthi rebels in Yemen — with weaponry generously supplied for the “War on Terror” by Germany and the U.S. who require Saudi oil.

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In the meantime, even the “Jewish State” has initiated a “community of values” with the Saudis, all for the purpose of the war against terror. In a phone call the Saudis convinced Trump to limit a strict implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran. Trump and King Salman absolutely agreed to commonly move against the “destabilizing activities” of Iran.

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Let us see how the friend Netanyahu will react during his forthcoming visit to Washington.

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Now Trump wants to comply with the refugee agreement made with Australia. However, I am asking myself how Trump will distinguish between Christian and Muslim refugees.

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Actually the worst characteristic of Trump seems to be his dangerous unpredictability. In no time at all he has signed “Executive Orders” which do not mean anything positive for the world peace. Trump continues at the point where his predecessor Obama started: and drone flights and assassinations of civilians are the sad result. But in the end “we are the good ones” fighting for our values.

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Trump operates according to the notorious German slogan of all National-Socialists saying “I decide who is Muslim and who is not”.

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What Palestine needs, is an alliance complying with the Declaration of Human Rights. Palestine also needs a broad civil rights movement, able to struggle for new elections for a free Palestine with an undivided capital Jerusalem. Only after that the relocation of the embassies can start, not now as unilateral provocation of US-Christian-Zionist Trump hardliners, guided by Netanyahu’s regime.

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In the end, I would like to refer to an interview in DLF in which the so applauded David Grossman, who in Germany is called “peace activist” exposes more than racist ideas. Grossman stressed on the importance of a strong army to defence Israel. Does he want to defence the occupation? Grossman considers himself as more hungry for peace as the people in Europe because in his life he has not lived one day of real peace. Why does Grossman not ask about the reasons of this absence of peace? Israel could have lived in peace for a long time now, but it did all to promote illegal occupation and wars. Mr Grossman your claim for a normal life can only be achieved if you do not brutally oppress another people! For Grossmann the idea of leaving in a state which is not a “Jewish State” in which he would be part of a minority, is horrifying! He only believes in a Jewish Home and cannot imagine that in a common state they could be a Palestinian as finance minister, as minister of education, as police chief, or as chief of the national secret service Shin Bet. Yeh, what to say about it? Grossman admires Merkel for her refugees’ acceptance, and Germany should stay relaxed. Grossmann does not lose one word about the “Jewish State” and his treatment of refugees. Oh yes, Grossmann would not like to be in a minority among Palestinians.  

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This interview showed once against the racist Apartheid mentality of Jewish Israelis! They feel superior and are walled in their Apartheid life. It was a sad and scaring interview, appropriate to new US president Trump and his politics. (1)

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Yes, the “Final Solution (Endlösung)” of the Palestinian Question is coming closer and closer, and it does not mean anything good for Palestine!

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Originally written FOR

TIMELY TOON ~~ ISRAEL GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM TRUMP TO EXPAND SETTLEMENTS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes, signaling new approach under Trump.

Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes, signaling new approach under Trump.

Mum’s the word so far …..

(Click on link to see report)

Marking New Era, Trump Administration Avoids Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion

NETANYAHU SH-TS ON THE WORLD (AGAIN)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, has ordered that “working ties” be limited with 12 of the 14 countries on the Security Council that backed the resolution – the two others, Malaysia and Venezuela, have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Image By Carlos Latuff

Israel responds to UNSC Resolution2334

Israel responds to UNSC Resolution 2334

Israel punishes the world after UN vote

Resolution 2334, passed by a vote of 14-0 with the United States abstaining, reaffirmed that Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, are illegal.

While I previously expressed strong reservations about the resolution – because it does not go far enough and could undermine some key Palestinian positions – I told Al Jazeera that Israel’s panicked reaction is significant.

It is a sign that Israel interprets the UN move as a severe blow to its unrestrained colonialism on Palestinian land and as an indication that it is becoming seriously isolated.

I also argued that Israel’s attacks on President Barack Obama, and its open alignment with President-elect Donald Trump, are evidence of the fracturing of the pro-Israel bipartisan consensus in the United States.

Boosting BDS?

The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” but it imposes no specific consequences if Israel fails to do so. In that sense it is as toothless as all its predecessors.

But without the fig leaf of a peace process to hide behind, Israel clearly fears that patience is running out and that this resolution will boost Palestinian-led efforts to hold Israel accountable – particularly the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told CNN that the resolution “encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel.”

But Israel, already in a weak position internationally, seems determined to antagonize the world as much as possible.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, has ordered that “working ties” be limited with 12 of the 14 countries on the Security Council that backed the resolution – the two others, Malaysia and Venezuela, have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

This means, in effect, that Israel is imposing diplomatic sanctions on the likes of China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France.

Israel has already canceled a visit by the prime minister of Ukraine, prompting Kiev to summon the Israeli ambassador for a dressing down.

Test for new UN chief

Netanyahu also ordered the foreign ministry to “reevaluate” ties with the UN and has reportedly cut a total of about $8 million in funding to five UN institutions “that are particularly hostile towards Israel.” It is considering withholding another $48 million in membership dues.

Israel is also reportedly considering halting visas for employees of UN agencies and expelling Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

It would be an unprecedented step for Israel to expel the spokesperson of a UN agency.

“We’ve heard nothing official and therefore I have no substantive comment,” Gunness told The Electronic Intifada.

Gunness has long been a thorn in Israel’s side – he has been one of the few international officials willing to speak forthrightly about Israel’s violations of international law and to call for accountability.

If Israel expels Gunness and is met with impunity and silence by the UN and world governments, it would be the first clear sign that the resolution passed on Friday is indeed toothless.

Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the resolution, but standing up to Israel’s bullying will likely be the first major test for his successor António Guterres, who takes over the helm at UN headquarters on 1 January.

The spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not immediately return a request for comment.

Vitriolic

Israel is also threatening to punish the world by withholding its supposedly superior technologies.

“The era is over in which countries benefit from Israeli know-how in high-tech, in security and so on, and from the prestige of a visit to Israel and involvement in the Middle East without providing diplomatic repayment,” Dani Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York and a former leader in the West Bank settler movement tweeted.

Sami Peretz, a commentator for the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz ridiculed Dayan’s statement, warning that limiting exports “would be much, much worse than any harm ever caused by the BDS movement.”

Israel has been particularly vindictive toward New Zealand and Senegal, which co-sponsored the resolution along with Malaysia and Venezuela.

Haaretz reported that New Zealand acted with strong backing from the UK, and despite Netanyahu’s threats to its foreign minister Murray McCully that advancing the resolution would be tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

Netanyahu ordered the cancellation of aid projects in Senegal, including a drip-irrigation project that Israel marketed as part of the “fight against poverty in Africa” – a fight that is apparently only worth engaging in if it suits Israel’s propaganda priorities.

But the most vitriolic response has been reserved for Israel’s closest allies and benefactors.

Echoing Netanyahu himself, Ambassador Dermer has been touring television studios personally accusing President Obama of being behind the “ganging up” on Israel at the UN – something the US administration vehemently denies.

Notably, however, Israel has not shown the courage of its convictions by refusing the record-breaking $38-billion military aid package Obama recently agreed to give it.

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman likened France’s efforts to hold an international conference in coming weeks to build on the UN resolution to the Dreyfus Affair, the notorious 19th century trial and persecution of a French military officer that is seen as a seminal example of modern European anti-Semitism.

“Ridiculous”

Netanyahu is defending his measures as “a wise, aggressive and responsible reaction, a natural response that makes it clear to the nations of the world that what took place at the UN is unacceptable to us.”

But his reaction is causing disquiet even among hardline supporters of Israel’s anti-Palestinian policies.

Dov Weisglass, a former senior advisor to the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is notorious for saying a decade ago that Israel would restrict food to Gaza “to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Now Weisglass is calling Netanyahu’s reaction to the UN resolution “ridiculous.”

“The attempt to create symmetry between us and the rest of the world and to punish the 14 countries that voted against us is actually making the Palestinian dream of isolating Israel internationally into reality,” Weisglass said.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, also expressed misgivings. She argued that rather than canceling diplomatic visits, Israel would be better off trying to explain its position to the world.

“We need to get rid of this false term, the phrase ‘occupied territory.’ This is Israel’s territory — the Land of Israel,” Hotovely said in reference to the West Bank.

Hotovely may not have noticed that Israel has been trying to do that for decades, with elaborate marketing and propaganda schemes. The vote in the UN showed that all Israel’s efforts to convince the world that it has the right to steal as much Palestinian land as it pleases have come to nought.

Experience shows, however, that it is Palestinians who will feel the real brunt of Israel’s revenge: Israel is already vowing to build thousands more settler homes on Palestinian land in direct defiance of international law.

The question is whether world governments, having provoked Israel’s rage, will have the courage at last to hold it accountable.

 

JOY TO THE WORLD!

Now that the last check of the year sent by President Obama to Israel has been cashed, it’s easy for Netanyahu to mouth off against all who have supported him and his policies over the years.

Shameful indeed!

NOT the UN Resolution but the continued expansion of illegal settlements!!

Despite the outrage of the American zionist community, this resolution just might be what the civilized world has been waiting for.

Joy To The World!

Image by Carlos Latuff

So nice to watch Bibi squirm like a worm

"And then they said we have to stop stealing other people's land & obey international law. Waaaaaaaa!!!

“And then they said we have to stop stealing other people’s land & obey international law. Waaaaaaaa!!!

BREAKING THE SILENCE ON ISRAELI RACISM

Where are the outcrys against this injustice?

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village

Racism

By Amos Gvirtz

Anxiety is fierce. Israeli citizens are in their homes, demolition orders hovering that may be acted upon any day now. What will happen to them? Where will they go? Where will they live? No one offers them any alternatives. They are not, after all, settlers who settled lands that are not theirs, violating Israeli and international law. They are citizens of Israel. Their sole “crime” is to have been born Bedouins in the State of the Jews. They were evicted of their land – of which they were dispossessed – in 1949. The Israeli government transferred them twice until it finally settled them, sixty years ago, in Umm Al Hiran and Attir. Now this government claims they are invaders! Invading the localities where the government itself settled them sixty years ago…

Why is it so important for the government to remove them from the localities it had settled them in? Anyone visiting Umm Al Hiran will see a vast, empty area all around. But apparently the government of Israel has decided to create a Jewish settlement, named Hiran, right where it once settled the Bedouin inhabitants of Umm Al Hiran. And plant a forest right where the government of Israel once settled the inhabitants of Attir!

The question is why does the government of Israel do this. Unfortunately, the simple answer is because it can. Because there are not enough citizens who oppose such racist policies.

The UN General Assembly once came out with an outrageous declaration, ruling that Zionism is racism. The insult was severe. How could once accuse the State of the Jewish Peoplel – who had suffered so long from racism – of racism? Indeed, a few years later the UN General Assembly revoked its own outrageous ruling.

In the 1980s the Isrsaeli Knesset (parliament) legislated a law against racism. I fear that this law is actually against racist incitement, not against racist deeds. The law in fact protects all the racist deeds committed by the government. No one may demand to outlaw the Israeli government because of its own racist acts.

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.

BLACK FRIDAY PROTEST AT HP

Reaching out to Best Buy shoppers on Black Friday with materials and information about HP’s role in human rights violations, protesters faced the rain for several hours to spread the word about Hewlett Packard’s involvement in the oppression of Palestinians.

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NYC Black Friday protest draws dozens to protest HP involvement in oppression of Palestinians

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On the busiest shopping day of the year, protesters in New York City – hailing from Manhattan to Gaza – joined in the Black Friday kick-off of the International Week of Action against HP’s complicity with Israeli attacks on Palestinian rights, protesting outside Best Buy in Union Square.

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Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized the protest, which highlighted HP’s role in providing servers and management systems to the Israel Prison Service that imprisons over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Hewlett Packard is also involved in providing imaging equipment for Israeli checkpoints and ID cards, enabling the siege of Gaza, providing services to Israeli settlements, and supporting other occupation infrastructure. The New York City event is one of over 99 protests around the world between 25 November and 3 December demanding a boycott of HP and an end to HP’s involvement in deportations, incarceration and oppression in Palestine, the United States and around the world. These protests were organized in response to a call from the International Boycott HP Coalition and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

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Reaching out to Best Buy shoppers on Black Friday with materials and information about HP’s role in human rights violations, protesters faced the rain for several hours to spread the word about Hewlett Packard’s involvement in the oppression of Palestinians.

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Several Zionist counter-protesters, including one person dressed in an Israeli military uniform, repeatedly heckled the protesters and attempted, yet failed, to provoke confrontations. Throughout the protest, demonstrators chanted loudly against HP and its complicity in the occupation of Palestine, urging shoppers to boycott Hewlett Packard technology products. A wide range of activists, groups and writers concerned with Palestine participated in the demonstration, while a group of youth from a video training class organized by Picture the Struggle interviewed participants. Picture the Struggle works to document justice movements, including the Black movement, in New York City, through video, photography and audio recording.

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Samidoun is planning to join and encourages all to attend the protest on Monday, 28 November in New York City in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh, former Palestinian prisoner and torture survivor facing persecution in the United States. A major hearing in her case to determine the entry of evidence relating to her PTSD after torture will take place on 29 November in Detroit, which is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Rasmea Defense Committee is organizing protests and buses to Detroit to support Odeh, while protests are taking place in Tampa, Tucson, Fort Lauderdale, Salt Lake City and elsewhere to demand justice for Rasmea. In New York City, protesters will gather at Zuccotti Park at Liberty Street and Broadway at 3:30 pm on Monday.

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Photos 1, 3 by Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Photos 2, 4, 6 by Joe Catron

Photo 5 by Anne Pruden

 

WRITTEN FOR

HOW THE ‘SUPER MOON’ AFFECTED THE SUPER LUNATICS IN ISRAEL

Olive harvest time is a traditional season for pogroms in the West Bank, but this was one of the most violent.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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 Israel’s #1 Lunatic

Image by Amos Biderman

Image by Amos Biderman

A Pogrom Shakes a Palestinian Village Strangled by Israeli Settlements

A dozen masked settlers wielding knives and clubs and yelling ‘death to Arabs’ attacked five Palestinian farmers who were harvesting olives; ‘They came to kill,’ one victim says.

Gideon Levy and Alex Levac

It was a pogrom.

The survivors are five congenial Palestinian farmers who speak broken Hebrew and work in construction in Israel, with valid entry permits. On weekends they cultivate what is left of their lands, most of which were plundered for the benefit of the settlements that choke their village, Janiya, outside Ramallah. They are convinced that they survived last Saturday’s attack only by a miracle.

“Pogrom” really is the only word that describes what they endured. “We will kill you!” the assailants shouted, as they beat the men over the head and on their bodies with clubs and iron pipes, and brandished serrated knives. The only “crime” of the Palestinians, who were in the midst of harvesting their olives when the settlers swooped down on them, was that they were Palestinians who had the temerity to work their land.

Olive harvest time is a traditional season for pogroms in the West Bank, but this was one of the most violent. No Israeli official condemned the assault, no one got upset. One victim needed 20 stitches in his head, another suffered a broken arm and shoulder, a third is limping, a fourth lost his front teeth. Only one managed to get away from the attackers, but he was also hobbled, when he injured his leg on the rocky terrain as he fled.

The farmers, who days later were still in shock from the experience, were evacuated by fellow villagers; the olives remain scattered on the ground. Now they are afraid to go back to the groves. This weekend, they promised themselves, they will send young people from Janiya to collect what was harvested and to complete the work. They themselves, their bodies and spirits battered, say they are incapable of doing anything.

The assailants, about a dozen masked settlers, are seen in a video taken by a local resident, Ahmed al-Mazlim, as they – apparently flushed with the excitement of their act – made their way back to their huts, which are scattered below the settlement of Neria, also known as North Talmon, between Modi’in and Ramallah. This was their “oneg Shabbat,” their Sabbath joy: descending into the valley and beating up people who were working their land, as innocent as they were helpless – possibly even with intent to kill. A peaceful weekend.

The settlers are seen climbing slowly back up to the huts of their unauthorized outpost, which is planted on the hillside below Neria. They are not in any hurry – after all, no one is going to catch them. Finally they sit down on the porch of one of the huts to quench their thirst with a canteen.

I’ve never before seen criminals leaving the scene of the crime with such indifference. Maybe they were exhausted from their labors – thrashing Arabs – tired but happy. Yotam Berger, the Haaretz reporter who was the first to publish the video, visited the huts the day after the pogrom. It was clear to him that settlers lived there, even though the structures were empty when he arrived. No arrests have been made so far, and past experience suggests that none will be made. The police are investigating.

Janiya, a small village of 1,400 souls in the central West Bank, made a living from its lands until most of them were grabbed by the nearby settlements, beginning in the late 1980s. Few regions are as dense with settlers as this one; few villages have had as much of their land plundered as Janiya. Of the original 50,000-60,000 dunams (12,500-15,000 acres) owned by its residents, only 7,000 remain in their hands. The village is being suffocated.

From a vantage point at its edge, we can view the valley in which the assault was perpetrated, and the nearby settlements. Our guide is Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Beneath us, the homes of Talmon A abut Janiya’s remaining lands, quite close to the villagers’ houses. Just stretch out your hand and touch them; one more expansion project and they’re inside Janiya.

To the right – southeast – is the settlement of Dolev, on behalf of whose residents Israel blocked the main road to Ramallah for years. Perched on the hill opposite is Talmon B; next to it is Talmon C; and there, on the horizon, lies Talmon D. An Israel Defense Forces base stands on the top of the hill, at a distance.

Every hilltop here poses another threat to the quiet village. Neria overlooks the olive grove belonging to the Abu Fuheida family and the terraced slopes leading down to it. The dwellings of the “hilltop youths” are scattered across the whole expanse, beneath the Talmons, dozens of meters apart from each other.

It’s quiet in the valley. Some of Janiya’s olive groves now lie on property owned by the settlements; when they are harvested, it’s done in coordination with the Israel Defense Forces. For example, olives were picked in Palestinian-tended parts of Talmon A last week. But the attack by the settlers was perpetrated in a location where coordination isn’t required, because it’s not on the property of any settlement.

This is the end of the harvesting season, and this is a wadi called Natashath. It’s Saturday morning, a beautiful day, and five members of the Abu Fuheida family – Sa’il, Hassan, Sabar, Sa’ad and Mohammed – descend to their family grove, where they have about 70 olive trees. It’s about 8:30; there are no other farmers around. They carry bags (“No knives,” one of them quickly makes clear) that are spread out on the ground to catch the fallen olives, along with a bottle of Coca-Cola, tomatoes, pita and cold cuts. This is not a good year for olives – the harvest has been meager.

They work until midday, sit down to eat and go back to the ladders. Their plan is to complete the harvest by evening. But then the assailants sweep down out of nowhere; the harvesters, up on ladders, heads amid the branches, don’t see them. Only Sa’il, at 57 the eldest of the group and the only one not on a ladder, is able to get away, only to be injured in the course of his panicky flight.

According to Sa’il and to his wounded brother Hassan, there were 10, perhaps 15 attackers. They looked young and robust. One of the four who assaulted Hassan wore glasses; Hassan saw only his eyes. He was the one who gave him the worst pummeling, adds Hassan. All were holding pipes, clubs, sticks or knives. There was also one who seemed to be a lookout: He stood atop the hill next to Neria, armed with a rifle, apparently observing the goings-on. “Kill the Arabs! Kill the Arabs!” the attackers shouted. “We will kill you, you sluts.”

Sa’il: “They were aggressive, violent, I’ve never seen an attack like it. They came to kill.”

The villagers scampered down from the ladders, straight into the hands of the attackers, who grabbed Sabar first, then Hassan, surrounding them – a few settlers for every Palestinian – and walloping them. Sabar was the first to lose consciousness, Hassan says he also passed out. The pogromists tried to hit them on the head, but Hassan protected his with his hands. His right hand is now bandaged, stitched up and in a sling, four of his teeth were knocked out and his lip was cut, too. He is barely functioning and his speech is slurred.

The attack went on for between five and 10 minutes. One of the cousins, Mohammed, managed to flee at one stage, after being slightly wounded, and he summoned help from the village. When the assailants left, the wounded were taken in ambulances and private cars to the Ramallah Government Hospital. Hassan relates that he regained consciousness in his brother’s house, where he had been taken by villagers before being evacuated to the hospital. He gets dizzy when he stands up. He was certain he was going to die, says Hassan, a construction worker in Rishon Letzion (“with a proper permit”).

Only Hassan and Sa’il were in the village when we visited this week (the other three victims had gone to Binyamin Region headquarters, to give testimony to the police.) Their home was packed with visitors offering words of comfort to the victims. The assailants are insane, their cousin Sahar tells us: “They hate the Arabs, they hate the smell of Arabs, they see an Arab and want to trample him underfoot. They want to kill us. They don’t want Arabs here. And they do whatever they feel like.”

We sat in the shade of the bougainvillea in the yard of the family house. I asked Hassan what he thought about what happened. A faint smile crossed his wounded lips, as he replied, “I don’t know what to think. This happens every year.”

Source and photos AT

70 AMERICAN INTELLECTUALS THAT ARE ACTUALLY INTELLECTUAL

More than 70 American intellectuals called for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from Israeli West Bank settlements.

This picture taken on June 5, 2015 shows people walking past a sign painted on a wall in the town of Bethlehem in the south of the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank on June 5, 2015, calling for a boycott of Israeli products coming from illegal settlements. (Photo by AFP)

This picture taken on June 5, 2015 shows people walking past a sign painted on a wall in the town of Bethlehem in the south of the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank on June 5, 2015, calling for a boycott of Israeli products coming from illegal settlements. (Photo by AFP)

70 American Intellectuals Call for Boycott of Israeli Settlements

More than 70 American intellectuals called for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from Israeli West Bank settlements.

The boycott call, an open letter, was published in the most recent issue of the New York Review of Books, which is dated Oct. 13.

Among the signers are Bernard Avishai, Peter Brooks, Peter Beinhart, Todd Gitlin and Martin Sherwin.

The letter said the signatories “oppose an economic, political, or cultural boycott of Israel itself as defined by its June 4, 1967, borders,” which they refer to as the “so-called Green Line.” This boundary, according to the letter writers, “should be the starting point for negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian parties on future boundaries between two states. To promote such negotiations, we call for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, and any investments that promote the Occupation, until such time as a peace settlement is negotiated between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.”

The letter also calls on the U.S. government to remove Internal Revenue Service tax exemptions from West Bank entities and to exclude the settlements from Israeli trade benefits.

SEE HOW PRIVATE DONATIONS TO ISRAEL HELP DESTROY PALESTINE

 U.S. Donors Gave Settlements More Than $220 Million in Tax-exempt Funds Over Five Years

U.S. Donors Gave Settlements More Than $220 Million in Tax-exempt Funds Over Five Years

T’ruah’s new campaign asks the Jewish National Fund to be fully transparent about where American Jewish donations are being spent, and to stop using these donations on projects in the settlements.

“People who are putting their dollar bills in a JNF (box), or writing a check to buy a tree, might want to know that instead of buying a tree in Israel … that their money might be going to developments in the settlements which block peace,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, T’ruah’s executive director.

Jewish National Fund Gives $530K From American Donors to West Bank Settlement

The Jewish National Fund’s American fundraising arm gave $530,000 to a visitor’s center in a West Bank settlement, according to a new disclosure by the JNF, which has been under pressure from the left-wing rabbis’ group T’ruah to list its donations to the West Bank.

The $530,000 grant to a museum and visitor’s center in Kfar Etzion is the only West Bank project listed in the new disclosures. While JNF’s American arm has long acknowledged funding the center, the size of the grant has not before been publicly available.

T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights group, has for years campaigned to demand details from the JNF on funds it sends to the West Bank, creating a a series of web videos and a write-in campaign demanding a full accounting of JNF spending.

“People who are putting their dollar bills in a JNF (box), or writing a check to buy a tree, might want to know that instead of buying a tree in Israel … that their money might be going to developments in the settlements which block peace,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, T’ruah’s executive director.

JNF has said in the past that it makes grants to the occupied West Bank. But since 2008, American charities have not been required to reveal the recipients of their overseas grants, and in recent years the JNF’s public tax returns have not spelled out how its money is spent in Israel.

The charity behind the iconic blue donation boxes that litter Hebrew schools and synagogues across the United States, the JNF in Israel played a key role in the creation of the Jewish state, and still owns a large share of all Israeli land. The American fundraising arm’s reputation as a centrist Israel development charity, however, has taken a hit in recent years, amid attention to the Israeli organization’s role in the displacement of unrecognized Bedioun villages, and questions about its involvement with the West Bank settlement project.

T’ruah’s campaign has sought to quantify how much of the American fundraising arm’s money has gone to West Bank settlements.

Now, in recently-released tax returns for the fiscal year ending last September, the American group has listed the recipients of nearly all of the $29.7 million in grants that group sent to Israel that year.

Nothing in the new documents appears to directly contradict the JNF’s earlier accounting of its West Bank activities. Aside from the grant to the visitor’s center, called the Gush Etzion Foundation, no other projects listed explicitly and directly benefit West Bank settlements.

In a press statement, T’ruah raised questions about $290,000 attributed in JNF’s the tax documents to “general afforestation,” noting that the group doesn’t say whether those trees were planted in Israel or in the West Bank.

T’ruah also pointed to $250,000 that went to a group called Face of Israel, which doesn’t have a functioning website. And T’ruah noted that JNF reported giving $33,000 to a U.S.-based group called Friends of Ir David, which funds the Israeli organization Elad, which is engaged in settlement activity in East Jerusalem.

A spokesman for JNF did not respond to a request for comment. In a statement to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a JNF spokesman said that the organization “will not be intimidated by those who claim to have a higher moral authority while dismissing and belittling the good work that U.S. Jewry performs for the land and people of Israel.”

ISRAEL FINDS A WAY TO END THE OCCUPATION

Even worse than it was before ….

78% of Israeli Jews favor extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim. Land of Israel Lobby to propose annexation bill this summer.

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Israel to annex Maale Adumim?

A whopping 78% of Israeli Jews say they support the annexation of Maale Adumim even without a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, along the same lines as Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

The vast majority of respondents favored annexation even if Israel would be pay a steep political cost for the move, with 70% of Israeli Jews saying sovereignty should be applied to Maale Adumim regardless of the consequences.

The poll also found that 88% of Israeli Jews believe that residents of Maale Adumim deserve the same rights and benefits enjoyed by other citizens of the State of Israel, and therefore Israeli law should be fully applied to the area.

The Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, which includes 20 MKs from various right-wing and religious parties, has pledged to draw up a bill for the annexation of Maale Adumim during the upcoming summer session.

“The consensus view in the public is that Maale Adumim is an inseparable part of Israel,” a statement by the Land of Israel Lobby said, “and it has even become part of the political consensus from right to left, and it is clear that Maale Adumim will remain under Israeli control in any future status arrangement. The Land of Israel Lobby will work within the new coalition framework to advance legislation extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim.”

Lobby chairman Yoav Kish (Likud) said there were precedents for the move, citing Israel’s 1967 annexation of eastern Jerusalem and 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

“Just as the State of Israel did in the past in Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights, we must do so also today – the idea of applying sovereignty over Maale Adumim enjoys overwhelming support among the Israeli public that crosses party lines. We will work to realize the public’s will.”

 

From

THURSDAY’S TOON ~~ GOLDMAN SACHS FUNDS HEBRON SETTLERS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a "clear pattern" of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn't criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn’t criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Goldman Sachs is funding Hebron settlers

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins FOR

For years American taxpayers have been bankrolling Jewish-only illegal settlements in the West Bank with hundreds of millions of dollars funneled through tax-exempt non-profit organizations (we’ve covered the issue on Mondoweiss since 2009). One of the organizations which is a frequent recipient of these donations is the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund which supports Hebron’s settler community.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund, including the notorious Jewish zealots in Hebron. 

From the article “Why Is Goldman Sachs Funding the Violent, Racist Jewish Settlers of Hebron?“:

So why did Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund, a foundation connected to the world’s most powerful investment bank and run by Goldman Sachs’ top executives, donate $18,000 to the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund that bankrolls this humanitarian nightmare?

On their IRS tax records, Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund declared the purpose of the gift was “International Humanitarian Program” to needy Hebron families. With revenues of $2,250,000 the Hebron Fund can deliver from hunger quite a few of the 700 Jewish settlers of the city.

Grants to the Hebron Fund are not an isolated occurrence. There is a clear pattern in the Fund’s giving to Israel rightwing groups or their American fronts. In 2012-2013 they gave $708,000 to the American-Israel Education Foundation, AIPAC’s educational arm; $15,000 to the American Jewish International Relations Institute, a right wing organization which “monitors, tracks, and combats anti-Israel voting patterns at the United Nations”; and $6,100 to the American Friends of the Likud Party.

Though the case of granting money to the Jewish community of Hebron is particularly striking, we should see the funding of the Hebron settlement as only one example in the context of hundreds of millions of dollars backing the full range of West Bank settlements.

Of course, Hebron settlers aren’t the only ones experiencing Goldman largesse. Bernie Sanders has made an issue of the $675,000 Clinton received in speaking fees from the investment house just in 2013. And no wonder. Simon Head writes at the New York Review of Books that the connection raises important questions about potential corruption:

These long-running ties with Goldman have paid off for the Clintons. According to a July 2014 analysis in the Wall Street Journal, from 1992 to the present Goldman has been the Clintons’ number one Wall Street contributor, based on speaking fees, charitable donations, and campaign contributions, the three pillars of what I’ve called the Clinton System. As early as 2000, Goldman was the second most generous funder—after Citigroup—of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, with a contribution of $711,000. In the early 2000s, Bill Clinton was also a Goldman beneficiary, receiving $650,000 from Goldman for four speeches delivered between December 2004 and June 2005. (The transcripts of these speeches do not appear to be currently available.)

By the winter of 2006–2007, however, Goldman and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein were becoming deeply involved in the collapsing housing bubble—and engaging in the practices that have since resulted in years of investigations and lawsuits….

As long as Clinton refuses to reveal the content of her Goldman speeches, the suspicion will remain that she has cast a blind eye on Goldman’s dark years and that her campaign pledge to “rein in Wall Street” cannot be taken seriously.

ISRAEL ‘FEELING HEAT’ OVER SETTLEMENT BUSINESSES

The consequences of Israeli occupation and anti-Palestinian discrimination for Israel’s economy are now coming faster than ever.

In this Nov. 22, 2010, photo, Palestinian women collect scrap timber in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Palestinian advocates contend that multinational companies will need to face "clear legal and moral liabilities" for operating in Israeli settlements. (Associated Press)

In this Nov. 22, 2010, photo, Palestinian women collect scrap timber in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Palestinian advocates contend that multinational companies will need to face “clear legal and moral liabilities” for operating in Israeli settlements. (Associated Press)

Israel ‘feeling heat’ over settlement businesses: Sam Bahour and Edward E. Thompson (Opinion)

The consequences of Israeli occupation and anti-Palestinian discrimination for Israel’s economy are now coming faster than ever. Like so many previous military occupations, Israel is starting to feel the heat of the international community. However, this heat is not of the political kind that Israel has become accustomed to deflecting, but rather the economic kind that has a mystical way of invoking action from the political echelon. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope the message is arriving loud and clear: It’s time for Israel to end its nearly 50-year occupation and allow Palestinians to live in freedom in an independent state.

The latest thoughtful criticism of Israel’s actions is a 162-page report titled “Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights.” Issued by the reputable, international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), the report documents how settlement businesses facilitate the growth and operations of Israel’s settlement enterprise, an enterprise deemed illegal by every country in the world, except Israel. These settlement businesses depend on and contribute to the Israeli authorities’ unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources.

Human Rights Watch’s director of the Business and Human Rights Division, Arvind Ganesan, noted that “Settlement businesses unavoidably contribute to Israeli policies that dispossess and harshly discriminate against Palestinians, while profiting from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and other resources. The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements.”
Speaking of the stone and marble industry, Ganesan said, “Every dollar of stone that settlement businesses extract and sell from the West Bank is a dollar taken from Palestinians. The bottom line is no settlement business should be operating and profiting from land and resources illegally taken from the Palestinian people.”

In light of the clear illegality of doing business with Israeli settlements, multinational companies will need to face clear legal and moral liabilities in continuing to do business as usual. However, for those firms that have been operating in the settlements, there is another option they can pursue to compensate for their past wrongdoings; they can redirect their business investments to the Palestinian economy and become a constructive element in helping Palestinians recover from the real economic damage caused by nearly half a century of military occupation.

Making such investment and business options materialize is exactly why we co-founded Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (AVPE) as a tax-deductible organization based in Chicago, Illinois. As two Americans, one a retired Chicagoan and the other a Palestinian American from Youngstown, Ohio now based in Ramallah, we have witnessed firsthand the damage on the ground caused by Israel’s deliberate battering of Palestine’s economy. But we also have visited Palestinians’ firms, those keeping their businesses’ doors open despite all odds, and want to connect them to the U.S. market. After a year of operations, AVPE documented serious interest from Palestinian businesspersons interested in linking to American business partners.

Large-scale projects that global firms can surely relate to are taking shape. The first planned Palestinian city, Rawabi, is now witnessing its first tenants taking up residence and offers international high-tech firms the opportunity to locate their operations in the new Rawabi Tech Hub. From Dead Sea products that compete head on with similar products produced in illegal Israeli settlements to olive oil soap and Bethlehem greeting cards, Palestinians have products and services worthy of note.

This new HRW report is actually the second vital criticism that calls into question business as usual for Israel. The first was issued by the European Council on Foreign Relations and titled EU Differentiation and Israeli settlements (July 22, 2015). In this past report, Israeli banks, among other businesses, were a main target, given most have branches in settlements. The Israeli business community took note. With this new HRW report, they will take note again, and all indications are that the reports and actions against illegal business practices will continue until occupation comes to an end.

The World Bank estimated in 2013 that Israeli restrictions in Area C (the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control) cost the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion annually, approximately equal to 33 percent of Palestine’s GDP. Settlement businesses contribute to and benefit from unlawful and discriminatory policies that leave many Palestinians with no alternative but to work in Israel or settlements. As multinationals divest from illegal settlements, redirected economic activity can be a key component to further advance the Palestinian economy, while putting more Palestinians in jobs and giving them hope for a day when they will live in freedom and occupation-free.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American businessman originally from Youngstown now living in Ramallah, where he is managing partner at Applied Information Management. He is a policy adviser at Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. Edward E. Thompson, a retired consulting psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, is the co-founder and president of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy.

 

Originally found AT

WHO PROFITS FROM ISRAEL’S ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS?

 

For the finest in settlement living try Airbnb Judea and Samaria

Image by Katie Miranda

 

 

Airbnb told to cease profiting from Israel’s war crimes

Airbnb, the popular travel website, is the target of a new campaign against its listings of accommodation in the settlements built by Israel in the occupied West Bank.

Five organizations launched a campaign called Stolen Homes on Wednesday calling on Airbnb “to immediately stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements, all of which were built on stolen Palestinian land and deemed illegal under international law.”

A petition notes that “through earning fees from settlement vacation rentals, Airbnb is directly profiting from the continuing occupation and dispossession of Palestinians.”

The petition is supported by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, American Muslims for Palestine,Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Palestinian Community Network and Codepink.

Earlier this month, +972 Magazine reported that not only does Airbnb list accommodation in Israeli settlements, but that without exception the listings do no mention that they are located on occupied land.

Settlement profiteering

The issue has since been covered in the Israeli and international media.

The California-based Airbnb has declined to comment, apart from releasing a short statement which read: “We follow laws and regulations on where we can do business and investigate concerns raised about specific listings.”

The Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) has denounced Airbnb. Omar Barghouti, a founder of the BNC, said recently that “Airbnb can and should immediately exclude all Israeli settlements from its offerings as a significant first step towards complying with its human rights obligations under international law.”

Also this week, Human Rights Watch released a report calling on international businesses to cease all cooperation with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Airbnb earns a 3 percent fee from its hosts and a further fee — usually 6-12 percent — from guests. So the company profits every time someone makes a reservation using its settlement listings.

Human Rights Watch this week argued that companies cannot mitigate their contribution to Israel’s human rights violations so long as they operate in settlements. It stated that companies must cease working with the settlements in order to honor their human rights obligations.

Sensitive to bad publicity?

As it promotes the concept of “community-driven hospitality,” Airbnb may be sensitive to publicity that harms the company’s reputation.

The company depicts itself as environmentally friendly and has claimed to care about people in need bylaunching a “disaster response initiative.”

The wider campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions has persuaded a number of firms to cease their activities in Israel and the occupied West Bank lately.

As Barghouti told Al Jazeera, “much larger corporations — of the caliber of Orange, Veolia and CRH — have been eventually compelled by BDS campaigning to end their complicity in Israel’s human rights violations after losing massive contracts.”

Airbnb is likely to come under a great deal of pressure until it ceases trying to profit from Israel’s illegal activities.

*Ryan Rodrick Beiler is a freelance photojournalist and member of the ActiveStills collective who lives in Oslo, Norway.

The Stolen Homes campaign is calling on Airbnb to stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler /ActiveStills)

The Stolen Homes campaign is calling on Airbnb to stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler /ActiveStills)

TOON FOR THE WEEK’S END ~~ DEFENDING THE OCCUPATION

Image by Carlos Latuff

 Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon’s criticism of the Israeli occupation

Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon’s criticism of the Israeli occupation

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Update: UN’s Ban Rejects Netanyahu’s Criticism: Count on Me to Speak Up

The United Nations says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands by every word of his criticism of Israeli settlement-building this week and rejects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment that the remarks justify terrorism….

Ban spoke out again Wednesday, telling a General Assembly committee that the Palestinians “watch as Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, expand and expand.”

The UN chief, who is in the final year of his term, also said that “you can count on me to speak up” to help achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Original:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t like U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech to the Security Council criticizing the Israeli occupation on Tuesday.

From the Times of Israel article “Furious Netanyahu slams Ban Ki-moon for ‘stoking’ Palestinian terrorism“:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused the United Nations chief of “stoking terror” after Ban Ki-moon said, in connection with the wave of Palestinian deadly terror attacks, that it was “human nature to react to occupation.”

“There is no justification for terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “The Palestinian terrorists don’t want to build a state; they want to destroy a state, and they say that proudly. They want to murder Jews everywhere and they state that proudly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.”

The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the Secretary-General do nothing to improve its situation,” Netanyahu said in a furious video statement. Ban’s remarks, said Netanyahu, “stoke terror.”

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