THE TWO -STATE SOLUTION’S SILVER BULLET

If the international community cannot come to recognize the State of Palestine before Trump takes office, the State of Palestine may ultimately be reconstituted from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

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The Two-State Solution’s Silver Bullet

By Sam Bahour

If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This single act may be the silver bullet to save the two-state solution.

Such an act would acknowledge the asymmetric balance of power on the ground and finally acknowledge in law—prior to a peace agreement—that the international community envisions the end-game ultimately being two states. This could serve as a platform for future actions to engage both parties to act in their internationally-aligned strategic interests. Anything less, or muddying the waters by including this move in a basket of other issues, would likely further delay a real Middle East Peace Process.

In Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks on Middle East Peace he took pride that “The United States recognized Israel seven minutes after its creation” in 1948. This recognition of Israel happened without Israel having a defined eastern border, a supposed prerequisite for statehood. Is it too much to ask the U.S. to support the recognition of the State of Palestine in the same fashion, without a defined western border?” This is exactly what the Palestinian’s request for full UN membership to the UN Security Council in 2011 stated, recognition with Palestine’s western border being “on the basis of the pre-1967 borders,” which is “in accordance with the relevant [UN] resolutions,” along with the need to “resume and accelerate” negotiations of our shared border with Israel.

When the U.S. threatened to veto the 2011 application for full UN membership, the Palestinians, in a strategic move, requested that it be sent to a UN Security Council committee for further deliberations pending a more opportune timing. The following year, on 29 November 2012, a General Assembly resolution was passed that “Decide[d] to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status” and “Expresse[d] the hope that the Security Council will consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations.” The majority of the world’s countries have unilaterally recognized the State of Palestine and 138 countries upgraded Palestine’s UN status when they voted in favor of Resolution 67/19.

Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s total rejection of the international community’s efforts to attempt to save the two-state solution, France is preparing to receive some 70 countries on January 15 to convene an international Middle East Peace Conference which aims to preserve the two-state paradigm. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed France’s effort, but for the average Palestinian the news of yet another conference on Middle East peace is like making a groundbreaking announcement that Starbucks sells coffee.

Those living under the daily brunt of Israeli military occupation are right to be skeptical. There is a long list of failed peace efforts all the way from UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine (November 29, 1947), Count Folke Bernadotte proposals (1947-1948), UN Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967), the Rogers Plan (1969), UN Security Council Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973), the Reagan Plan (Sept. 1, 1982), the Oslo Accords (1993), Wye River Memorandum (October 23, 1998), Camp David 2000 Summit (2000), The Clinton Parameters (December 23, 2000), the Taba summit (January 2001), the Tenet Plan (June 13, 2001), the Arab Peace Initiative (March 28, 2002), the Road Map for Peace (April 30, 2003), the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of 2005 (February 8, 2005), the Kerry Principles for Middle East Peace (December 29, 2016) to name just the main efforts and, sadly, the list seems likely to grow.

To avoid being added to the above list, the upcoming international conference should collectively take the single act of backing a UN Security Council resolution recognizing Palestine. Once Palestine and Israel are both recognized, the countries of the world could start to apply international conventions, treaties and understandings—just as they apply to all bordering states around the world—to the daily hurdles (from movement and trade to the use of airspace and electromagnetic spectrum) facing Palestinian existence under Israeli military occupation—as well as differentiating their own dealings with pre-1967 Israel and its illegal settlement enterprise.

The President of the Arab American Institute, James J. Zogby, recently wrote of Kerry’s end of year speech, “To some, especially Palestinians, this may seem like ‘too little, too late.’ But as someone who has been a part of the effort to create an American debate on Israeli policies, Kerry’s intervention is welcome, validating, and empowering. He laid down markers that should help liberals and progressives define a policy agenda on the Israel-Palestine conflict—exactly what we need as we enter the challenges of the Trump era.”

Given the upcoming “Trump era,” the recognition by the international community of the State of Palestine before it is too late could do much more than “laying down markers.” Such a move could be used to finally hold Israel accountable and levy serious costs—political, economic and otherwise—on Israel to bring it in line with international law and UN resolutions, not to mention common sense.

If the two-state paradigm fails, Palestinians and Israelis will not vanish into thin air. While Secretary Kerry’s 2014 nine-month thrust to restart negotiations was collapsing, the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna undertook a serious intellectual exercise with Palestinian, Israeli Jewish and European intellectuals, politicians and activists, to contribute to re-examining the current strategies and paradigms, proposing and exploring new perspectives, visionary discourses and alternatives to partition. A volume was produced along with the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, titled, Rethinking the Politics of Israel/Palestine – Partition and its Alternatives, which proposes out-of-the-box thinking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In politics no vacuums exist and this effort reflected just that fact.

If the upcoming January gathering of states fails, the French could just sing C’est la vie as Netanyahu laughs all the way to the next settlement in the West Bank, but yet another generation of Palestinians and Israelis on the ground will pay the ultimate price for their failure.

Originally written FOR

A version of this article was first published in French at Le Monde.fr.

HARD TO STAY HUMAN IN A SEA OF HATE

An international world order that does not see the centrality or
urgency for the Palestinian issue and is complicit in the crime.

humans_respect_humans_by_rbeloniojr-d4y9ceu

SAY HUMAN/MENSCH BLIEBEN!

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

11 homes were demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities in one day
in the village of Qalanswe (occupied in 1948). The pace of home demolitions 
accelerated recently and are expected to accelerate more as Israel 
violates human rights and international law with
international impunity. Donald Trump will follow on the heels of Obama in
giving a green light for further ethnic cleansing. The conditions for
revolution are there just like they were in 1936 and 1987:

1) Political factional leadership disconnected from the people’s needs or
thoughts and the natives who dislike the existing political factions and
want serious change.

2) Most people have given up on political structures and the so called
“peace process” (an industry of talk and profit for elites).

3) A colonizer-occupier so self-assured that they have things under
“control” they actually do things like killing unarmed demonstrators or
demoliting homes or collective punishment. Israel just decided to deport
from Jerusalem 12 family members of a Palestinians who killed four soldiers
who illegally occupy East Jerusalem (International law recognizes such acts
as legitimate forms of resistance). This cockiness can accelerate the
arrival of uprisings.

4)  An international world order that does not see the centrality or
urgency for the Palestinian issue and is complicit in the crime (even
projecting Israeli flags on state buildings in Europe last week and
instituting laws that attack freedom of speech).

These conditions were present before every one of the uprisings (1881,
1904, 1912, 1921, 1929, 1936, etc). In South Africa under apartheid there
was also 14 or 15 uprisings before apartheid ended. Let us hope that this
coming one in Palestine will be the last. Netanyahu just sent his jets
attacking Syria (a violation of International law). Obama dropped 26,000
bombs in 2016 on seven countries.  We do not expect Trump to do any better!
Local leaders also do not give us chance for optimism. Abbas believes in
talking and the King of “Saudi Arabia” believes in bombing hospitals and
schools in Yemen to serve Israeli interests and keep his throne.  And as
JFK once said: once you make a peaceful revolution impossible you make a
violent revolution inevitable. It is time to think globally and act locally.

Aِِcting locally, we at the Palestine Museum of Natural History and
Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability are working hard. 
It has been another busy and productive week for us
locally. Two manuscripts were accepted for publication. We received good
news on one grant and submitted two more grant proposals. Israel gave a
permission to Prof. Zuhair Amr from Jordan to come spend two weeks with us
in Bethlehem  working on research (on land snails, shrews, geckos and
,more). The video of my denial of entry to Jerusalem revceived 5000 views
on facebook and over 2000 views on youtube (https://youtu.be/r0IIvCaxaKo).
We attended a workshop on Palestine Future (trends to 2030) and agreed to
take some action plans. We formed a committee to prepare for a national
network of museums. We received and rejected two offers of large funding
that required us to collaborate with Israeli institutions (violating BDS
rules). Even though our financial situation is difficult, our motto in the
museum continues to be RESPECT (for one self, for others, for nature).

The coming week promises even more: we are expecting more volunteers (local
and internationals), we expect three international delegations (visitors),
we expect to make two field trips, and to finish two more research
manuscripts. Please join us because we are the people we have been waiting
for! In other words change comes from us working together.
A poem about life by Mazin Qumsiyeh in English and German

‘James Bond’ of Philanthropy gives away the last of his fortune. “His name
does not appear in gilded letters, chiseled marble or other forms of
writing anywhere on the 1,000 buildings across five continents that $2.7
billion of his money paid for”

Stay Human/ Mensch Bleiben

ZIONIST OCCUPATION TAKES ITS TOLLS

When  an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 

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Zionist Occupation and Expulsion Take Their Tolls!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, translated by Milena Rampoldi,  edited by author William Hanna
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Netanyahu and his regime reacted with customary “outrage” to the attack in Jerusalem where Netanyahu with immediate instinctiveness appeared centre stage to invent a connection between the Islamic State and the Palestinian perpetrator, Fadi al Hanbar, a 28-year-old father from Dschaba, an illegally occupied part of East Jerusalem. It is absolutely mysterious how Netanyahu arrived at this conclusion without any apparent evidence: especially since the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not due to the Islamic State, but to the decades-long illegal occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of Palestinians.
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Was this young Palestinian “attacker” not himself a victim? He had been just released from an Israeli prison, where – of course – he was detained as a “terrorist suspect” rather than a brave “resistance fighter” as was the case for those Europeans who during the Second World War fought against Nazi occupations. Currently more than 6,000 Palestinians are detained indefinitely and without trial in Israeli prisons under Administrative Detention Orders. Almost all Palestinian families at one time or another had family members who were detained or are still being detained without knowing when or if they will ever be released. Men and women, old and young, are brutally tortured and kept in unacceptable, inhumane conditions that contravene the Geneva Convention. The Apartheid regime illegally occupying Palestine does not hesitate to use its infamous secret services Shin Bet and Mossad – along with their renowned superpower ally – perpetrate murderous crimes on a global scale. Extra-judicial executions by the “Jewish Defence Forces”; barbaric attacks by illegal Jewish settlers; and targeted killings by Mossad are carried out with impunity everywhere because the “Jewish State” has granted itself the licence to kill.
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Should there be astonishment at such attacks and explicitly against soldiers who were ironically on a bus tour through Jerusalem. Furthermore, these officer cadets have been trained to go to places where they are particularly needed, and where they have to execute reprisals and operations against Palestinians. In the occupied East Jerusalem the atmosphere is tense with Palestinians fearing that after January 20 – when Trump is inaugurated as U.S. President – matters will only get worse. Will Trump for example make good on his statement that under his presidency – with help of David Friedman, the orthodox Jew, right-wing settlement supporter, and the future U.S. ambassador to the “Jewish State” – the U.S. embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem thereby violating international law? This would be a provocation of the worst kind, cemented by the illegitimate claim of Jewish Zionist-fascist hardliners and their illusion of an “eternal and undivided Jerusalem” as capital of the “Jewish State”.  
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How can the Palestinians be blamed? They have for decades been forced to live under brutal conditions and are now faced with the threat of extremist Jews with Netanyahu regime support of having a new Jewish Temple built on Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), the Islamic holy site (“the Noble Sanctuary”) where the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock have stood for over 1,300 years. Directly after the recent attack, the Netanyahu regime decided to arrest the IS followers in the “Jewish State” without due legal process under the notorious Administrative Detention Orders that had for decades been routinely used against “troublesome” Palestinians whose illegal detention without trial has been condemned by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, B`Tselem, and Human Rights Watch to no avail while the international community with its core “values” maintained a cowardly silence!
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Five family members of the attacker have already been arrested, his house scheduled for destruction, and his body due to be buried in secret without being returned to his family whose applications for reunification with the inhabitants in the Gaza Strip have been refused by the Security Cabinet.
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Ethnic detention and illegal house demolitions – injustices tolerated by Western state communities – with even Germany always insisting on responsibility for remembrance of the past as justification for a “Jewish State,” failing to meet the responsibilities of the present for universal justice and human rights.
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Rather than continually promoting the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine, Merkel and Steinmeier should instead denounce the fascist crimes against humanity and stop the colonial terrorist zeal of their “Jewish friends”. There are no protests from Germany, the U.S. or the EU, who while expressing condolences for the attack on Israel, regard justified Palestinian resistance to persecution as being acts of terrorism.
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Because of this blatant double standard injustice there will never be peace. Only when the hypocritical “community of values” under “Christian-Jewish” leadership begins to perceive the illegal occupation as the main cause of legitimate Palestinian resistance, will there be tranquillity.
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Why should this resistance against the illegal occupation of Palestine be considered as an act of terrorism as compared with resistance to Nazi Germany’s terror! The application of double standards is always inadvisable because it will only fail at a political level. While Netanyahu – who is bogged down in the quagmire of a brutal occupation – is constantly looking for any opportunity to divert responsibility away from himself, the community of states should resist participation in, and support for this denigrating game.  
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This is a Zionist regime of a country drowning in a moral swamp – where a soldier’s cold- blood murder of an injured Palestinian lying on the ground – is celebrated by the majority of the population with even Netanyahu recognising him as a hero and brave opponent of terrorism. By reacting in this manner, Israel’s Zionist regime has forfeited any right to claims of being a democracy. Incomprehensibly, the military court has just condemned the soldier to only Second Degree murder and not to assassination. A further outrageous injustice would be if this murderer-soldier Azaria, was to be pardoned!
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Despite what Netanyahu and Western politicians want us to believe, this attack had absolutely nothing to do with Paris, Nice, Berlin, or anywhere else. The fact is that in the decades-long illegally occupied Palestinian Territories the injustice of the occupation has created a fertile ground for such resistance attacks by a hapless, denigrated, and desperate people, who have absolutely nothing to lose.  
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Meanwhile Netanyahu simply pursues self-serving policies that retain his power base by directing attention towards Iran, the Hezbollah, and Hamas. Furthermore he stokes the fire in Syria by supporting the terrorists of al-Nusra and taking the opportunity to reconnect with ISIS – which does not even operate in the “Jewish State” – so as to delegitimise the Palestinians and portray himself as the hero supporting the war against terrorism.
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This infamous conduct becomes even more so when Western politicians like French Prime Minister Hollande officially authorise targeted killings with drone attacks in Africa and the Middle East since 2013. On the list containing 17 names of those to be killed, 13 are still pending! Welcome to the club of those who have the licence to kill! With such policies, conscientiously supported by Germany and other Western alliance partners who promote such bombing, the real reason behind the “War on Terror” becomes apparent.
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This is not a Clash of Civilizations between the saviour “Judaeo-Christian values” and extremist Islamic terror, as they would have us believe, but a deliberate attempt to “Zionise” Western democracies into accepting the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. To this end, the Brandenberg Gate was illuminated in the flag colours of the Star of David which is a symbol of Israel’s illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine!

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When such an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 
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Originally written FOR
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Image by Carlos Latuff
In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

A PICTURE OF HOPE CAUGHT ON CAMERA

This kind of action outweighs all acts of terror!

Photo by Ezra Landau

Hope for Jerusalem! An Orthodox Jew puts a wool cap on an old Palestinian this morning in Jerusalem.

Hope for Jerusalem!
An Orthodox Jew puts a wool cap on an old Palestinian this morning in Jerusalem.

 

ISRAELI MEDIA LIED ABOUT COLDPLAY’S CONCERTS

Yesterday I joyfully posted that Coldplay was planning two concerts in Israel and Palestine, billed as two Peace Concerts …..

It was not true according to the group.

On Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the band would play two concerts in Israel, on November 3 and 4, 2017 that would be marketed as “human rights concerts” which will be dedicated to messages of peace and unity.

On Tuesday, however, a representative for the band said the report was not true.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay denies it plans to perform in Israel

Popular British rock band denies reports it is planning two “peace concerts” in Israel.

Popular British rock band Coldplay on Tuesday denied reports that it was planning two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs this coming November, JTA reported.

On Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the band would play two concerts in Israel, on November 3 and 4, 2017 that would be marketed as “human rights concerts” which will be dedicated to messages of peace and unity.

In addition, Channel 2 said, the audience at the two concerts will be comprised of both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, with tickets for the shows to be sold in the Palestinian Authority as well as in Israel.

On Tuesday, however, a representative for the band said the report was not true.

Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, recently visited Israel and reportedly discussed the possibility of the band coming for a performance in Israel for the first time ever.

Coldplay’s refusal to come to Israel has over the years produced rumors that its members do not want to come to Israel for political reasons, but Israeli producers stressed during Martin’s visit that the band vehemently denied the rumors in private conversations.

In fact, in 2016 Coldplay collaborated with Israeli directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia who directed the award-winning video clip for the song Up&Up.

 

FROM

COLDPLAY TO PLAY BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

The British rock band Coldplay will play two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay to Play 2 Israeli-Palestinian Peace Concerts in West Bank

The British rock band Coldplay will play two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.

The concerts, set for Nov. 3 and 4, will be performed at an outdoor location north of the Dead Sea, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday.

The shows will aim to promote human rights and bring people together, The Times of Israel reported. The tickets — 50,000 for each concert — will be sold in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Coldplay, which has sold over 80 millions records worldwide, will arrive in Israel two weeks before the shows and record a song with Israeli and Palestinian artists.

Few artists have attempted similar Middle East peace-themed concerts on this scale. Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, played a concert in the Israeli Jewish-Muslim coexistence village Neve Shalom in 2006. He has since become a leading proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Leonard Cohen made a failed attempt to play a concert in the Palestinian territories in 2009 while touring in Israel.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin is currently the artistic director for the Global Citizen Festival, which is run by the Global Poverty Project, an organization devoted to ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Two of Coldplay’s recent musicvideos were directed by Israelis.

From Coldplay’s FaceBook Page

The band fronted by Chris Martin has come under fire after posting a link to a “Freedom for Palestine” video by the band OneWorld on their Facebook page.

The song, which contains the controversial lyrics: “No matter your faith or your community/ this is a crime against humanity” and “Enough illegal occupation/ violence and racial segregation,” calls for people to rally in support of Palestine. As the chorus goes, “We are the people/ this is our time/ stand up, sing out/ for Palestine.”

EXPOSING THE TRUTH IS LIFE THREATENING IN ISRAEL

So true in Israel today

So true in Israel today

The greatest threat to the extreme right in Israel is not terrorism, it is TRUTH.

After the conviction of the soldier terrorist Elor Azaria, the right launched a campaign to free him. The mouthpiece of the right, our local Psycho Gal has been the most vocal, which came as no surprise to anyone.

As stated above, the TRUTH is their greatest threat.

Not necessarily so in Israel

Not necessarily so in Israel

Here is the result of the anti-Truth campaign ….. FROM

Harassment and attacks against activist who filmed Hebron shooting continue

Israeli settlers attempted to break into the Hebron home of activist Imad Abu Shamsiyya and threw stones at the house Saturday evening, as he has continued to be the target of death threats and harassment after he filmed an Israeli soldier shoot a Palestinian to death last year.

In a rare move move, the soldier was convicted of manslaughter earlier this week, in large part due to the damning footage captured by Abu Shamsiyya, amid a backdrop of what critics have called a culture of impunity for Israeli soldiers who are not held accountable for similar cases of apparent “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.

On Wednesday, the day of conviction, Abu Shamsiyya said he “feared for his life.”

Since his footage went viral the day of the shooting back in March 2015, Abu Shamsiyya has been the target of violent settler incursions on his home and has received hundreds of death threats online.

Leading up to the announcement of the verdict, Abu Shamsiyya said that members of Elor Azarya’s family — the soldier who was ultimately convicted for the shooting — broke into his home and “asked me to go to court and change my testimony.” He said he had video footage proving the incursion took place.

Israel settlers returned to his home Saturday evening, he told Ma’an, and attempted to break into his home.

Abu Shamsiya told Ma’an that settlers gathered around his house, and when they failed to break in, they hurled stones, causing minor damages.

He highlighted that large numbers of Israeli forces were present when the settlers attacked the house and soldiers intervened and drove away the attackers.

Abu Shamsiyya added that in March he had asked the Israeli army to provide him protection from settlers, as death threats began pouring in on Facebook while others attempted to bribe him to change his witness testimony.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports of Saturday nights attack.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner last month condemned the “daily violations” of human rights and international law faced by activists and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory.

A “worrying number of complaints” have been filed by human rights activists to the UN in recent months, which have highlighted in particular the Israeli government practice of arbitrarily detaining Palestinian activists “as a direct result of their important work in their communities.”

“The right of all those who are seeking hope and participation in concrete, nonviolent action must be protected, particularly as we are seeing the deepening entrenchment of the Israeli occupation and the accompanying human rights violations,” the report said.

Amnesty International released a statement Wednesday saying that the conviction of Elor Azarya “must pave the way for justice for unlawful killings.”

“Today’s conviction of a member of the Israeli forces is a rare occurrence in a country with a long record of using excessive and unwarranted force, and where soldiers who may have committed crimes under international law very seldom face prosecution. The verdict is a small step in the right direction and offers a glimmer of hope that soldiers who commit unlawful killings may no longer go unpunished,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Sadly, this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Time and again we have witnessed cases where Israeli forces appear to have carried out unlawful killings, displaying an appalling disregard for human life. The authorities’ repeated failure to hold anyone accountable for flagrant violations has fostered a culture in which unlawful killings have become acceptable,” said Philip Luther.

Amnesty international said that they sent a memorandum to Israeli authorities in Sep. 2016, citing at least 20 cases of apparently unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, of which at least 15 of those killed were deliberately shot dead, despite posing no imminent threat to life.

The video that helped get the conviction ….

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And the man behind the camera ….

 Imad Abu Shamsiyya

Imad Abu Shamsiyya

NETANYAHU’S ART OF HIDING THE TRUTH BY TWISTING WORDS

The abuse of human beings starts with the abuse of language.

Orwell taught long ago, you don’t need fancy language when you’re speaking the truth.

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Netanyahu’s Dangerously Twisted Words Hide the Truth

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued two public statements. When the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution criticizing settlements, Netanyahu attacked it for not condemning Syria. When Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration’s decision to let the resolution pass, Netanyahu attacked him for not sufficiently condemning the Palestinians.

In both responses, the Israeli leader illustrated George Orwell’s famous insight: The abuse of human beings starts with the abuse of language.

“At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria,” Netanyahu declared after the UN vote, “it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel.”

The first clause is a non-sequitur. Yes, Syrians in Aleppo and elsewhere are suffering more than Palestinians in the West Bank. Yes, the UN should be doing more to relieve their plight. But the test of whether Israeli settlement policy deserves international condemnation is whether Israeli settlement policy is morally wrong, not whether other governments deserve condemnation more.

By Netanyahu’s logic, the UN shouldn’t condemn Bashar al Assad’s crimes either. After all, only 500,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war; ten times that many have died from violence in Congo. So unless the UN criticizes Congo’s leaders ten times as often, Assad can claim to be the victim of a double standard, too.

Netanyahu’s logic would also have ensnared the American Jewish organizations that in the 1970s protested the Soviet Union’s refusal to let Jews emigrate. After all, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and Idi Amin in Uganda were committing far worse human rights abuses at the same time. Why didn’t Jewish groups focus on those?

When it comes to Syria, there’s reason to doubt Netanyahu’s sincerity. Just days after denouncing the UN for its inaction there, he reportedly instructed Israeli diplomats to skip a vote on creating a UN commission to gather evidence of Syrian war crimes because he feared alienating Vladimir Putin. But regardless, the UN’s action or inaction on Syria doesn’t excuse Israeli settlement policy. A lesser evil is still evil.

If the first half of Netanyahu’s sentence is irrelevant, the second half is untrue.

In the West Bank, Israel is not the “one true democracy in the Middle East.” It’s not a democracy at all. It’s not a democracy because Palestinians — who comprise the vast majority of the West Bank’s inhabitants — cannot vote for the government that controls their lives: the government of Israel. (Yes, Israel subcontracts certain governing functions to the Palestinian Authority, but it still controls the entire area. Israel’s army — and the army of no other nation — can enter any square inch of the West Bank anytime it wants and arrest anybody it wants, including members of the Palestinian Authority itself). If Israel really were a democracy in the West Bank, and millions of West Bank Palestinians could vote in Israeli elections, Netanyahu wouldn’t be Israel’s prime minister.

Five days later, after Kerry gave a speech defending the Obama administration’s decision to let the UN resolution pass, Netanyahu tried a different tack. Settlements aren’t the problem, he insisted, the Palestinians are.

“This conflict is not about houses, or communities in the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, the Gaza district or anywhere else,” Netanyahu declared. “This conflict is and has always been about Israel’s very right to exist…The persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state remains the core of the conflict.”

But that’s a false dichotomy. Yes, the refusal of some Palestinians to recognize Israel stands at “the core of the conflict.” So do settlements, in part because they encourage the very Palestinian rejectionism that Netanyahu decries.

Palestinian politics is neither monolithic nor unchanging. In the early twentieth century, Palestinian leaders fought to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state. In the mid-twentieth century, they fought to undo it. Then, gradually, dissident Palestinian thinkers began arguing for a change of strategy. Although they deeply regretted Israel’s creation, they accepted that it was now irreversible. Palestinians, they argued, should recognize Israel in hopes of winning their own state alongside it in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This shift in Palestinian strategy culminated in the PLO’s declaration, at the start of the Oslo Accords in 1993, that it “recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.” (The Palestinian National Council ratified that declaration by amending the PLO’s charter in 1998.)

Hamas, and even some in the PLO itself, disagreed. And when it comes to recognizing Israel, Palestinians have been divided ever since. Observers can debate where the balance of Palestinian opinion lies. But the key point is this: settlements undermine the Palestinians most willing to accept Israel’s right to exist.

The entire strategy behind recognizing Israel, after all, was that doing so would help win Palestinians their own state. The more Palestinians see settlements eating away at that future state, the more they conclude that recognizing Israel was a mistake.

Listen to Salam Fayyad, a Palestinian leader that even Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s ambassador to the United States, has praised for his commitment to peace. Before stepping down as the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister in 2013, Fayyad told The New York Times’ Roger Cohen that, “The occupation regime is more entrenched, with no sign it is beginning to relinquish its grip on our life. There are more settlements, more settler violence, more intrusiveness into all aspects of Palestinian life.” As a result, Fayyad declared, “I represent the address for failure. Our people question whether the P.A. can deliver. Meanwhile, Hamas gains recognition and is strengthened.”

As evidence that settlements don’t matter, Netanyahu and his allies often point to Yasser Arafat’s refusal to accept Ehud Barak’s two state offer in 2000 and Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to accept Ehud Olmert’s in 2008. But the actual history of those negotiations proves exactly the opposite.

At the Camp David talks in the summer of 2000, Barak proposed annexing nine percent of the West Bank. For their part, the Palestinians proposed that Israel annex only 2.5 percent. Why the discrepancy? Because Barak wanted to incorporate 80 percent of Jewish settlers into Israel while the Palestinians felt that such a large annexation would imperil their state’s territorial contiguity.

Eight years later, the two sides disagreed again. Olmert proposed that Israel annex 6.5 percent of the West Bank; the Palestinians said they could accept an annexation of no more than 1.9 percent. As Bernard Avishai has reported, one of the biggest sticking points was Ariel, Israel’s fourth largest settlement, which the Palestinians insisted Israel dismantle because it juts deep into the northern West Bank.

Obviously, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators clashed over other issues too: Jerusalem, refugees, the Jordan Valley. But in both negotiations, the settlements clearly made reaching a deal harder. Believing that dismantling large settlements like Ariel was politically impossible, Barak and Olmert insisted on annexing sizable chunks of the West Bank. Believing those annexations would make their state non-viable, the Palestinians refused.

Today, because the settler population is larger, those gaps would be even wider. It’s academic because unlike Barak or Olmert, Netanyahu has never offered a map of the kind of Palestinian state he could accept. What he offers instead is rhetoric: cutesy Americanisms like “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”

But there are realities that public relations-lingo can’t obscure. By creating one law for Jewish settlers, who enjoy Israeli citizenship, free movement, due process and the right to vote for the government that controls their lives, and another for Palestinians, who live as non-citizens under military law, Israel in the West Bank has become a “brutal occupation force” that is “making the lives of millions unbearable.” Those words come from Avraham Shalom and Carmi Gillon, two former heads of the Shin Bet.

Their English isn’t as polished as Netanyahu’s. But as Orwell taught long ago, you don’t need fancy language when you’re speaking the truth.

THE FÜHRER’S BELL TOLLS FOR THEE

Has it not been a long time since Palestine disappeared from the agenda of the international community of states which always gives so much importance to compliance with the international law? What did Kerry achieve in the end with his embittered speech? Like all its predecessors, the Obama Administration is facing the ruins of mistaken politics towards its precious favourite ally Israel.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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When the Führer’s bell tolls!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi, edited by author William Hanna.
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The sad reality of many of my articles over the years seems to have become a definitive, sad certainty. The mantra of the two-state-solution and the slogan “two states for two peoples” now appear to be an impossibility. Following the last speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the Middle-East,  Netanyahu’s distant echo from Jerusalem could be heard: “Israel does not need instructions from outside for peace.”  And the right-wing minister of education Bennet of the Settler Party said: “On 20 January Palestine will be taken off the agenda.” Trump sent his regards to the Jewish Führer who was already wishfully waiting for them. Netanyahu was even personally invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Trump as U.S. President in Washington. Following Trump’s election, Netanyahu work towards the the final stage of the Zionist land grab, but will he pursue Bennett’s proposal and start annexation of all the occupied West Bank?
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Has it not been a long time since Palestine disappeared from the agenda of the international community of states which always gives so much importance to compliance with the international law? What did Kerry achieve in the end with his embittered speech? Like all its predecessors, the Obama Administration is facing the ruins of mistaken politics towards its precious favourite ally Israel.
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In his speech, Kerry passionately advocated the two-state solution by criticising Israel heavily, but this last appeal seems more than helpless, after years of failed attempts to stop the illegal Jewish occupation in Palestine. Neither his statement that “Israel is driven by an extremist element,” nor that Israel does not want peace, but the land, is new, because Zionism’s main aim — grabbing land for “Eretz Israel” — has been known since the foundation of the state. And who made all this possible? Among others, the billions of U.S. dollars in aid have made the “Jewish State” what it is today. Kerry’s proposals for the demarcation and separation of Jerusalem are old hat, but were never accepted by Israeli governments. So this “Kerry Ketchup” speech has come too late and will ultimately remain inconsequential.
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The “Jewish State” was fed to a right-wing fascist regime which presents itself as the “only Democracy in the Middle East” and Western stronghold against Muslim terrorists (the Arabic world), so that it can go on violating international law with its illegal occupation of Palestine. Time and and again we are faced with the deception of a “Jewish State” that is Jewish and democratic. A“Jewish State” based on Judaic Torah Laws, a “Great Israel” belonging to the “elected Jewish people” and having an indestructible pact with God until eternity. With such a “divine” argument, they feel they are without competitors and  immune to all political arguments.
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The infamous Likud (UN) culture minister Miri Regev has already proposed that Kerry divides Washington instead of Jerusalem and stressed that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and has been the capital of Israel for 3000 years, and it will remain so for the next 3000 years.” This is the minister who tries to bring Israeli artists to their senses by a quasi-ban on employment if they refuse to perform in illegal settlements, and carries out the kind of cultural censorship that is known only in dictatorships. Regev shows us precisely the way of this ominous politics that rushes a free Palestine into disaster. In the meantime, the Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked and the Minister for Public Security, Gilad Erdan, would like to introduce a new law to be able to delete “rabble-rousing” posts on Facebook, youtube and other social media to silence negative criticism. The implication being that it is not the illegal occupation of Palestine — which does not exist according to Israeli politicians — and the hopelessness and denigration of the Palestinian youth that is responsible for the resistance movement of the Palestinians, but the “murderous incitement” on the internet. And the Zionist world view is exactly that simple. In the end, Shaked is the expert for hate-based posts on Facebook with a recent claim to  not only kill the Palestinian “terrorists,” but also their mothers so as to prevent them having more small snakes!
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And despite such a horrible statement, the German Minister of Justice Maas (of the German Socialist Party) organises a conference in a cosy agreement with Shaked on the  the subject of “Democracy and Constitutional State!”
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Apart from many such racist statements, Shaked’s sentiments were shared by the settler rabbis whose spokesmen designated Kerry as the “worst” ever U.S. Secretary of State, and accused the Obama Administration of “having planted a knife into the back” of Israel, its closest ally. However, there is no need to discuss that, because it is the “Jewish dog” that bites the U.S. master’s hand. The Obama administration has again increased arms and financial support to the Jewish State!
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By its ultra-religious nationalism the “Jewish State” became a “God State”: outbraving all “enemies” in the world; being always right when it says that human rights violations and the illegal occupation of Palestine do not exist;  and justifying its crimes against humanity with beliefs in being the elected people and the holocaust, which means that all divine and earthly values are on its side.
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With decades of illegal occupation in Palestine, these Jewish fundamentalists have maintained the denial of a two-state solution which is already buried. Netanyahu and many of his predecessors were helped by the time-factor and the more than reticent critics of the “community of values” who were easy to cope with. They always knew that those critics were worthless because Germany has always repeated its solidarity with the Jewish State because of its “particular” relationship. So if the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Steinmeier, in agreement with Chancellor Merkel, had positively judged Kerry’s speech and criticised settlement policies, we could only shake our head in the face of such hypocrisy.
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How long will Netanyahu despite of all these disputes be able to pride himself in relying upon Merkel and Berlin as the most important European partner? In fact, in Germany we have experienced the replacement of anti-Semitism by a  wave of philo-Semitism  led by Merkel and politicians of virtually all parties. United in the struggle against “Islamic terrorism” which causes a racist atmosphere never experienced before, as was witnessed in the New Year’s Eve in Cologne. This new kind of precautionary attempt to avoid crimes should make us more than concerned. Today it is the term “Nafri” used by German police officers to talk about Northern-African chronic offenders, showing a “basic aggressiveness,” tomorrow it will be the enemy of the state, like for example critics of Israel. So if Merkel in her New Year speech speaks about a new German Führung (leadership) in Europe, we will have to ask ourselves where it will lead? The orations peppered with increasing racist aggressiveness of right-wing politicians from CDU/CSU to AfD should be of serious  concern for us.
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Do we want to take the leadership in military operations and in the so called war on terror and renounce our freedom to get so called security? Is this our desired result of our “Christian-Jewish guiding culture”? No, thanks! It is enough with the German reason of state for the security of Israel, it is enough with political sermons from Gauck to Merkel, among others. Yes, we will not renounce to our freedom. And it is worth fighting for this in 2017, if the bell of the Führer tolls.
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Written FOR

#InIsrael ~~ IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO (ERASING ISRAEL FROM THE MAP)

It’s OK for Israel to completely erase Palestine from the map BUT it’s a No-No if Palestinians do the same to Israel …

It takes two to tango!

ISRAEL ERASED IN UN SCHOOLS

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UN-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza use textbooks which negate the existence of Israel; teach Western Wall, Cave of the Patriarchs are exclusively Muslim holy sites which the zionists strive to occupy; stamps from the British Mandate period are doctored to remove the Hebrew.
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Picture of the countries of the Middle East in one of the textbooks. "Palestine" is superimposed on the whole of Israel

Picture of the countries of the Middle East in one of the textbooks. “Palestine” is superimposed on the whole of Israel

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British stamp from the Mandate Era. On the right, all three languages included on the original stamp. On the left, the doctored stamp used in Palestinian textbooks, completely erasing the Hebrew

British stamp from the Mandate Era. On the right, all three languages included on the original stamp. On the left, the doctored stamp used in Palestinian textbooks, completely erasing the Hebrew

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Tel al-Rabia, circled, appears in place of Tel Aviv on a "Map of Palestine" used in UN schools. No Jewish towns built after 1948 are included

Tel al-Rabia, circled, appears in place of Tel Aviv on a “Map of Palestine” used in UN schools. No Jewish towns built after 1948 are included

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The ACTUALITY …..
This is OK as far as zion is concerned .....

This is OK as far as zion is concerned …..

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Google joins in with their own eraser

Google joins in with their own eraser

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Image by Carlos Latuff

Read the related report from Mondoweiss HERE

Read the related report from Mondoweiss HERE

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SO ……. Let’s dance!
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SHORT FILM ~~ ‘IN DEFENSE OF THE ROCKET’

UK filmmaker Martin Ginestie’s short film In Defense of the Rocket can be described in a sentence: the rise and fall of the Middle East peace process in news photos, set to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

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Completed in 2015, In Defense of the Rocket has been screened at numerous film festivals in recent months, including its premier at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, at Canada’s HotDocs as well as in Sarajevo and Milan.

“Red line”

Ginestie told The Electronic Intifada that the title has been the most controversial aspect of the film.

“At festivals, I’ve definitely got people being offended by the title,” Ginestie said. “But that was the purpose.”

“The moment of inspiration for the film was the bombing of Gaza in 2014, because I was just trying to find something positive from that event,” Ginestie added. “It was very hard to find anything positive.”

“The ambition of the film was to provoke Western liberals – at the time there was a lot of sympathy for Palestinians but very little sympathy for armed resistance,” Ginestie added. “That was kind of a red line. I wanted to provoke people, not to support armed resistance – it’s not for us to decide how Palestinians resist colonization – but to get people to reframe the Western debate about the use of violence.”

“I wanted to make a film that retraced the past 20 years of Palestinian politics and give some kind of historical logic for what the Palestinian resistance was doing,” Ginestie said.

Year zero?

But even having that debate is difficult in European countries that are increasingly cracking down on free expression.

Ginestie said that the French political group Égalité et Réconciliation asked him if it could put the film on its website, but warned it could not do so using the English title, for fear of being prosecuted under French laws that prohibit “apologie du terrorisme,” or justifying terrorism.

So Ginestie agreed to change the French title to Palestine année zéro – Palestine Year Zero – which had been his working title.

“It felt like if this was to be the final nail in the coffin of the peace process, the moment where everyone can see that the process going on for 20 years was nonsense, then this could be a kind of a year zero from which new possibilities would emerge in the rubble of Gaza,” he said.

But was the 2014 Gaza war really a year zero for Palestine, when the “peace process” refuses to die, no matter how many times it is eulogized?

“I think for a lot of younger people, it definitely was,” Ginestie insists. “And for older people who were never that interested, or knew enough to take sides, as it were.”

According to Ginestie, the Gaza war was a moment “when things swung massively in favor of the Palestinians, in the real world – even in the United States – not in the fake world of politics. And in the end, that is how history is going to be written, not by John Kerry or Donald Trump.”

 FROM

TOP TEN BDS VICTORIES OF 2016

“People now realize that it doesn’t make any sense to claim that you’re a progressive or that you care about basic principles of equality and human rights if you can’t apply those principles to the question of Palestine … and a freedom struggle that has gone on for decades now.”

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What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?

2016 began with a bang: French telecommunications giant Orange announced in early January it was dumping its Israel affiliate.

This came just months after boycott activists renewed their campaign against the company over its support for Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza and its complicity in Israel’s colonization of the occupied West Bank.

The same week, a major Irish corporation yanked its cement contracts with Israel following boycott pressure.

Meanwhile, churches, student unions and local activists continued to organize strong boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns that caused panic among Israeli leaders.

Embarrassed by these significant victories, Israel spent 2016 waging “an all-out war” on the global BDS campaign, “in a desperate attempt to crush it,” according to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC).

Bullying

Israel resorted to threatening and bullying individuals, adopting policies to expel suspected boycott activists and to bar others from entering.

This followed last year’s naming by Israel’s leading financial daily of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, among 100 people most likely to influence Israel’s economy in 2016.

Israel imposed an effective travel ban on Barghouti, following threats against him and other Palestinian human rights defenders by top Israeli government ministers in March.

Amnesty International condemned the threats, which included a call by intelligence minister Yisrael Katz for “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence.

“Israel has attempted to stigmatize, demonize and in some cases delegitimize BDS from above, after failing to crush the movement at the global grassroots and civil society levels,” notes the BNC.

But throughout 2016, BDS has only grown stronger, the group adds.

“The logic of appeasing Israel’s regime of oppression has started giving way to the logic of sustained international pressure, which proved instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa,” it says.

With that spirit in mind, here are the top 10 BDS successes of 2016, as covered by The Electronic Intifada.

10. Activists rose up against Hewlett Packard. Campaigners in dozens of cities across six continentsparticipated in an international week of action against Hewlett-Packard, bringing attention to the company’s role in enabling Israel’s rights violations.

9. Irish company divested from Israel’s cement industry. One of Ireland’s largest companies, CRH, announced in January that it was chucking Israeli assets after sustained grassroots boycott pressure. CRH held 25 percent of the shares in Mashav, owner of Israel’s top cement manufacturer Nesher.

Nesher cement has been used in constructing Israel’s wall and settlements in the West Bank and in the light rail network serving Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

8. Spanish municipalities declared themselves “apartheid-free zones.” More than 50 cities across Spain now declare themselves free of Israeli products in a campaign that began in July 2014, at the height of Israel’s attack against Gaza.

With more than 120,000 residents, Cádiz, in Andalusia, is one of the largest cities to support the campaign.

7. Norwegians ditched Israeli products. Two major cities in Norway voted to boycott Israeli goods and services produced in settlements inside occupied Palestinian territory.

6. Churches continued to mobilize for Palestinian rights. Denominations voted in 2016 to boycott Israeli financial institutions, and to dump or bar investments in corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation.

A church in California vowed not to purchase supplies from Hewlett-Packard, a company that provides equipment to Israel’s military and settlements.

Presbyterians reaffirmed their previous commitments to divestment, while 24 denominations together called for “economic leverage” against businesses or governments that violate human rights.

Lutherans voted to call for an end to US aid to Israel.

5. Governments and political parties stood up to anti-BDS bullies. Sweden, followed by the Netherlands and Ireland, publicly upheld the right of citizens to work for BDS.

Meanwhile, the European Union and the US State Department admitted that boycott advocacy is a protected free speech right.

The Canadian Green Party and the Dutch government rejected pressure by right-wing Israel lobby groups.

4. Activists helped defeat anti-BDS legislation. Grassroots campaigners fought back against a growing wave of legislation promoted by US state and federal lawmakers – and encouraged by Israel lobby groups and the Israeli government – to suppress BDS activism.

In Massachusetts, an anti-boycott amendment was withdrawn in the state senate in July following a campaign by Palestine solidarity groups.

The amendment, which was tacked onto an unrelated economic bill, would have blacklisted individuals and businesses that engage with the Palestinian-led boycott of Israel. Organizers said that in order to successfully counter the imminent anti-boycott legislation there, they knew they had to engage directly with lawmakers over a sustained period.

In the UK, a test case for banning BDS campaigning failed in the high court.

And in France, a court overturned a government ban on a meeting to support individuals facing trial for their Palestine solidarity activism. The BDS campaign in France continued to flourish despite the government’s crackdown.

In May, lawmakers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, made history: theirs was the world’s first full legislature to vote down an anti-BDS law.

3. G4S was forced to buckle under BDS pressure. Under years-long pressure by grassroots campaigns, the world’s largest private security firm, G4S, ditched most of its Israeli businesses.

Four UN agencies in Jordan and one in Lebanon ended their contracts with the corporation.

The city of Berkeley, California, also voted to divest from private prison corporations, including G4S, for its role in human rights abuses against undocumented persons in the US and Palestinians under occupation.

2. Telecom giant Orange quit Israel. The French telecommunications company Orange announced it was quitting Israel in January, following sustained international boycott pressure.

The campaign calling on Orange to cut ties with Israel’s Partner Communications began in 2010 and involved unions and groups in France, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, countries where Orange or its affiliates have tens of millions of mobile phone subscribers.

The campaign received a major boost in May 2015 when BDS Egypt called for a boycott of Orange subsidiary Mobinil, which has 33 million customers. This came after The Electronic Intifada revealed the extent of Orange’s complicity in Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza.

“Orange had no choice but to realize that investing in occupation, profiteering from Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land and involvement in violations against Palestinian rights is a commercially bad investment,” said Abdulrahman Abou Salem of BDS Egypt, a coalition of trade unions, political parties and campaign groups.

Partner Communications, which operated under the Orange Israel brand, built and operated extensive mobile telephone infrastructure in Israel’s settlements built on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.

1. Students stood strong. Students in the US, Canada and the UK passed strong divestment measures in their student governments and trade unions, amidst intensifying smear campaigns by outside Israel advocacy groups and shady websites.

Students “are eventually going to be members of the public in various capacities after they graduate. And the rapidly shifting politics around Israel-Palestine on campuses is something that we should really take heart in,” Rahim Kurwa, a graduate student at UCLA, told The Electronic Intifada in August.

Since the beginning of 2016 alone, more than a dozen campuses around the US passed some form of divestment resolution or boycott measure, Kurwa, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, said.

“People now realize that it doesn’t make any sense to claim that you’re a progressive or that you care about basic principles of equality and human rights if you can’t apply those principles to the question of Palestine … and a freedom struggle that has gone on for decades now.”

ZIONIST ENDANGERS AND DANGERS

While the “Jewish State” violates international law and continues grabbing Palestinian land; destroying houses; making whole families homeless; and  imposing travel bans and sanctions, the hypocritical  community of states is unable to stand up and unanimously support a free Palestine.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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In Times of Zionist Endangers and Dangers!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English Translation by Milena Rampoldi, edited by William Hanna
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What a rebellion around the toothless UN Resolution as Zaid Jilani brought it to the point in The Intercept. (1)
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Obama had decided not to block the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestinian Land with a veto at the UN, so what? How does the reinforcement of the condemnation of the settlement building de facto help?  It will certainly change nothing about the Zionist occupation power which has been violating international law for decades.
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Furthermore, the resolution is neither binding for the Jewish occupiers‘ regime, nor does it require any basic changes to the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine or the dismantling of the settlements. It is a pathetic farce that the most powerful body of the UN, the Security Council, after eight years of silence, for the first time decided just to request a halt to settlement building. For almost 50 years the “Jewish State” has been continuously committed  to grabbing land for settlement construction — the raison d’être for a Zionist state — with an almost seamless transition from the Nakba in 1948 to the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestine up to the present time. So the Resolution 2334 is not even worth the paper its written on, if it remains without consequences. This resolution undermines Palestinian rights and in reality damages Palestine. (2) (3)
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What does halting settlement construction actually mean without one word being said about the legal right of return for Palestinians; without a world being said about the miserable strip overlooking the sea; and without a word about the blockaded concentration camp in Gaza. In the meantime, the illegally occupied Palestine is so full of settlements, that the idea of “halting the settlements” is just a sick joke. Already this week, the Netanyahu regime authorised other 300 illegal Jewish settlement units. The Fata Morgana mirage of a two-state-solution has for a long time deserved to be archived in the realm of fairy tales. What did Obama hope to achieve with this half-hearted decision of abstention from a veto? Did Obama not gift the Netanyahu regime with the biggest military aid package in history of more than $38 billion while cementing  cooperation in security matters even further?
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So it is more than derisory if diverse media outlets continuously suggest that the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is bad because  this distorts the reality of the situation. This is not a question of feelings. Here only naked facts count which  prove  unconditional US-support for the “Jewish State.” If Netanyahu is already looking forward to January  20 with Trump’s “US threat” to fulfil  all of Netanyahu’s desires — including the freedom to build more settlements and to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — then there is nothing and nobody standing in the way of the illegal Zionist Paradise in Palestine. Trump has already promised not to recognise this resolution in keeping with Netanyahu’s viewpoint, and also to question the Nuclear Deal with Iran. It seems that 2017 will be a good year for the Netanyahu regime.
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Also the nomination of the orthodox Over-Zionist David Friedman as future US-ambassador to the “Jewish State” has awakened the worst fears. David Friedman is an active supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements, an enemy of the Palestinians who like Trump and the Israeli UN-ambassador Ron Derner is pressing for the rapid realisation of the U.S. embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem. And this is an unparalleled affront not just against the Palestinians, but also against international law. (4)
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So Netanyahu has once again succeeded in creating a storm in a teacup by foaming at the mouth and introducing sanctions against UN organisations; by stopping payments, and in summoning ambassadors to protest against the “infamous Israel hostility”; and by the “betrayal of Jewish people.” Yes, this “elected” Jewish occupiers‘ regime always likes to enjoy special rules and a special status for itself. In fact, up to now Israel has just recognised one UN resolution – the one concerning its foundation!
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While the “Jewish State” violates international law and continues grabbing Palestinian land; destroying houses; making whole families homeless; and  imposing travel bans and sanctions, the hypocritical  community of states is unable to stand up and unanimously support a free Palestine.
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Consequently it is only by the active support of the U.S., the EU and in particular Germany, that the “Jewish State” is able to maintain its illegal occupation of Palestine. It is true that the German Foreign Minister and future President of Germany Steinmeier welcomed the UN decision, but his past silence for years contributed to the injustice and permitted the ongoing illegal Jewish settlements in Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
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The hypocritical “special relationship” with the “Jewish State,” also justified by the Holocaust, is a political crime. Our future as supporters of a free Palestine looks bleak, because the Zentralrat der Juden, other pro-Israeli lobby groups and the sayanim, in particular in Germany, but also all over the world, gain more and more influence and mobilise all to muzzle critics of the Israeli occupation policies among others by cancellations of conference rooms compelled by allegations of Anti-Semitism – a de facto ban on speaking – at Universities, schools, by the cancellation of bank accounts and the de-legitimation of the non-violent BDS campaign to perpetuate the occupation of Palestine.
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Next year will be particularly rancorous, not just for the Palestinian people, because it has to recollect the 50-years‘ illegal Jewish occupation, but also for German politics which because of its coward silencing gets more and more entangled in a second guilt. The “Jewish State” armed to the teeth is not a victim, but an aggressive threat to world politics because it does not stop at nothing and represents a serious danger. Israel feels surrounded by enemies and represents itself as peaceful! What a story time. Even asylum seekers in Germany have to recognise the right of existence of the “Jewish State” to get asylum. How can democratic people claim for the recognition of a “Jewish State” – without defined borders! – which has lost any moral existence and legitimation, as long as its existence is based on occupation, colonisation, land grab to build illegal settlements and the oppression of another people.
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We cannot continue to support the Jewish occupiers’s claim for all Palestine and an undivided Jerusalem for their capitol. As long as the hypocritical community of values does not stop this injustice by sanctions and by applying pressure, the Jewish State/Palestine will be a thorn and a continuous flashpoint threatening world peace. The reasons stated for the security of the “Jewish State” are violations against any democratic value.
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It is a scandalous injustice that we can only oppose with BDS measures. I invite  German citizens, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other religious people, not to keep silent anymore in 2017, despite the danger of being defamed as being Anti-Semite and instead  to bravely oppose these Zionist threats. The security for the Jewish State always means occupation and ethnic cleansing, and represents a threat against other peoples. The bellicose “Jewish State” does not serve peace and does not help as a model for a solution of the refugee problem, but is a deterrent example of a wrong politics producing terrorism. And up to now we are facing this terrorism. This becomes clear in particular in the case of the recommendation of Israeli “terror experts” and politicians who say: “Forget human rights!” In fact, human rights do not count at all for the “Jewish State”. They even do not count for all Jews, because critical Jews are also opposed to such rights.
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2017 should be the  year of conversion in the field of foreign politics. Stop with the inhuman drone and bombs politics we have applied all together with the so called Western “alliance of values”. The effects of such aggressive actions are visible in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, not to forget Syria where jihadists are strongly armed. Now we see the result of it, like in Mali and other African countries. Everywhere the hypocritical community of values will sell war and terrorism as democratic values. Terrorism will fight back, this is the horrible result of a completely wrong Western colonial and hegemonic politics which if we do not pay attention will take us into the abyss of terrorism. The refugees are not responsible for this terrorism, but the Western financing and arming of terrorists. Miss Merkel should recognise her own barbarity which cost the lives of many innocent victims. Muslim victims complain they are forgotten by the “Christian-Jewish community of values” since the West does only cries for  its own victims. The threat by the hypocrisy of Western governments, the so called alliance of values must be ended in 2017.
In this sense, Happy New Year 2017, by hoping it will be a more peaceful one!
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Originally appeared AT
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Evelyn Hecht-Galinski interviews Milena Rampoldi about her book about Ellen Rohlfs
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In this video the most important statements by Milena Rampoldi about her book about Ellen Rohlfs and her poems for the peace in Palestine.
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A SPEECH ON PALESTINE/ISRAEL AWAITING PRESIDENT OBAMA

SECRETARY KERRY: “There are other countries in the UN who believe it is our job to dictate the terms of a solution in the Security Council. Others want us to simply recognize a Palestinian state, absent an agreement. But I want to make clear today, these are not the choices that we will make.”

QUESTION: Will the U.S. allow others to make these choices?

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014.

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA
President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014.

A speech on Palestine-Israel awaiting President Obama

By Sam Bahour FOR

I hesitated before weighing in on the flurry of activity taking place around Israel and Palestine after the U.S. seems to have finally decided to act. I felt that all that needs to be said has been written and rewritten ad infinitum, including by me. That now at the eleventh hour the U.S. seems to be waking up to the reality Israel has created on the ground with unfettered U.S. support over seven decades, struck me at first as anticlimactic. But on deeper reflection and seeing the continuous flow of commentary, I notice that no one has yet mentioned one important and potentially game-changing way of framing this latest development.

During the past two years, U.S. government officials have been meeting with everyone willing to meet with them to explore what the Obama Administration can do, given the dangerous state of affairs in the Israeli militarily occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Jerusalem-based U.S. Consulate staff, Washington D.C.-based State Department staff, researchers with the Congressional Research Service, numerous Inside the Beltway think tank experts, and many more were dispatched to Palestine and Israel to gain insights on possible ways forward.

Three possible options were floated: having the Administration take UN action at the Security Council against Israeli settlement building; making a policy speech which lays outs the Administration’s understanding of the parameters for a resolution of the conflict; or recognizing the State of Palestine, as over 130 countries have already done. I repeatedly made the case for the recognition of Palestine, which I believe is the only policy action possible at this late hour that would have irrevocably binding legal ramifications, not to mention being a real step forward to preserve the two-state solution.

I want to believe—with zero expectations—that President Obama did not choose one of these options, but rather all three. What we have witnessed thus far with the unanimous passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against Israeli settlements and Secretary of State John Kerry’s policy speech about preserving the two-state scenario may be only two acts of a three-act Greek tragedy playing out on the global political theater. The only remaining act is that of recognizing the State of Palestine, something Secretary Kerry explicitly stated was not a choice that the U.S. would make. The question that begs for an answer is, will the U.S. allow the international community collectively to make such a decision, as they allowed it to unanimously stand against Israel’s settlement enterprise?

Given the uproar Secretary Kerry’s rather mundane but still bold and courageous speech has generated, I’d like to suggest that President Obama deliver the following sequel, much more concise and honest, before January 15, when France will host over 70 counties in a conference to discuss Palestine and Israel.

Ladies and Gentleman,

I stand before you today, only a few days after I instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to present my Administration’s outright disgust concerning the Palestine-Israel conflict. I had hoped that Secretary Kerry’s personal commitment, exhaustive experience, mastery of the diplomatic lexicon, and utter frustration would serve to clear the air about exactly where the U.S. stands on this issue. Evidently, we failed to achieve the desired clarity. So, please allow me to present my Administration’s outgoing message, unfettered by diplomatic jargon. Prime Minister Netanyahu, please take notes.

Secretary Kerry said we needed to engage in an “honest, clear-eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices.” He was absolutely correct, but then tactfully went on to present known truths and choices we already know Israel refuses. That was misleading. Let me explain, point by point:

“The two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy.” Of course it is! You did not need Secretary Kerry to tell you that, we have been saying it from day one of my Administration, not to mention it being said by every single prior Administration. As the U.S. has been talking the talk of two states, however, we have continued to fund, arm and diplomatically cover Israeli actions which brought us to where we are today. The U.S. is part of the problem. All the while, Israeli leaders have said over and over again that they have zero appetite for a Palestinian state to emerge between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Even the Israeli Prime Minister’s Likud party platform rejects a two-state solution. Thank God the media is not giving attention to theCNN interview by Jake Tapper with prominent settler Minister Naftali Bennett immediately following Secretary Kerry’s speech. The U.S. can no longer pretend to be deaf, dumb and blind as the region collapses into utter mayhem.

“The truth is that trends on the ground […] are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality…” Although this is totally true, what we avoided saying outright was that the Palestinians, albeit weak from the standpoint of their internal political affairs, are making tremendous strides on creating their state. The majority of the world’s countries have recognized the State of Palestine and 138 countries upgraded the Palestinians status at the UN with a UN General Assembly resolution that passed on November 29, 2012. I’ve read this UN resolution a thousand times; it is 100% aligned with long-standing U.S. policy: two states based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem being the capital of both Israel and Palestine. When the U.S. voted “No” to this resolution we found ourselves in the company of only eight other countries: Israel, Czech Republic, Canada, Panama and the tiny states of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Micronesia. For the world’s superpower to stand under the spotlight of world attention alongside these microscopic Pacific Island states is insane and cannot continue. To persist in blocking Palestine from its rightful place among the community of nations is becoming extremely embarrassing. In a local paper in D.C. over a year ago, the case for recognition was made jointly by an Israeli Jew, an American Jew and a Palestinian American. The State of Palestine has become a positive, forward-looking rallying call and I feel we are missing the boat by acquiescing to Israeli intransigence.

“No one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace.” We tried to shift all the attention to the settlements, but it’s not working. The international community is seeing right through us. Israel is a colonial project, par excellence, and no screaming about illegal settlements is going to change that. Israel, I’ve always assumed we’ve supported you for this long because our own history is just like yours, but your native Palestinian population refuses to buckle in the face of your brute force. Native Americans being regulated to impoverished reservations worked for us once upon a time, but your modern day equivalent in the form of Palestinian Bantustans, infamously called Areas A in the Oslo Accords, is clearly failing.

Israel, Secretary Kerry lied. It’s not a choice about Israel being “Jewish” or “democratic,” because you are neither and never have been. This is about your sheer existence, plain and simple. You definitely do not operate on central virtues and principles in Jewish ethics, such as “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others.” (Talmud) or what Rabbi Simeon ben Gamaliel taught: “The world rests on three things: justice, truth, and peace” (Avot 1:18) or the three passages in the Book of Genesis telling us that all people are made “B’tzelem Elohim” (in the divine image) and hence the humanity in all people—including Palestinians—must be valued equally.

Likewise, your democracy is highly flawed. One only needs to read our annual State Department Human Rights Reports to see that we have already acknowledged, on the record, your institutional and structured discrimination against your Christian, Muslim, and Druze citizens who make up nearly 20% of your population.

So what Secretary Kerry said in his speech, and our abstention to the UN Security Council resolution against settlements, are not outgoing expressions of frustration, but a last-ditch effort to save Israel from itself. I hope that Secretary Kerry’s and my words here become inputs to the upcoming French-sponsored international conference to be held in January. We had to state our opinions now, Israel, because thanks to your pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., our domestic political system has been hijacked on this issue, so in this case we can’t act in our strategic interests in the proper venues.

Lastly, Israel, we do not appreciate your ferocious attacks after we have stood by you more thoroughly and reliably than any other Administration in the history of your existence. As Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, so pointedly wrote, “If there has been a betrayal in this latest chapter of America’s relations with Israel, it is [you] Netanyahu who has betrayed [me].”

God bless the United States for Israel, oops, I mean, of America.

Back to reality. The Palestinian leadership first submitted their bid for full membership in the UN to the Security Council in 2011. When the U.S. threatened to veto the request if it came to a vote, the Palestinians strategically requested that it be sent to a UN Security Council committee for further deliberations pending a more opportune timing. This is where it currently resides. If the international conference planned for mid-January in France can acknowledge that there is nothing further to be gained by making yet another statement about the threat of losing the two-state paradigm or the risk posed by illegal Israeli settlements, the only serious political act would be to produce a second UN Security Council resolution to recognize the State of Palestine. This one is easy since it’s already in committee. The U.S. can abstain, or better yet vote in the affirmative. This is what would preserve the two-state solution; otherwise, we can fasten our seatbelts as Maestro Trump steps onto to the stage, picks up the baton, and perhaps unrolls a version of Zionism in its rawest form.

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!!!

WORSE THAN A KAPO?

In my many years of pro Palestinian activism I have personally been called an anti Semite and a self hating Jew. Considering the anti zionist implications of these labels, they are both worn proudly.

BUT

When a new label, ‘kapo‘ is added, that is truly a hit below the belt. Not being a fan of J Street, I still find this term offensive and stand with them as they are smeared in such a way.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.” 

Image by Carlos Latuff

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump's choice for US ambassador to Israel

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump’s choice for US ambassador to Israel

Trump pick for ambassador to Israel supports Israeli annexation of West Bank and calls liberal Jews ‘kapos

Donald Trump has nominated 57-year-old Long Island native David Friedman to serve as U.S ambassador to Israel. Friedman served as Trump’s Israel adviser during the election campaign and has worked as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He is a vociferous pro-settler advocate who openly advocates for the annexation of the West Bank, and serves as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, a settlement advocacy group. Friedman will join an administration that has continually promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has made clear its opposition to the two-state solution. In announcing the pick Trump called Friedman “a longtime friend and trusted adviser.”

Friedman is a writer for the Israeli settler news service Arutz Sheva, and his columns demonstrate strong right wing views concerning the occupation, U.S. politicians, and the Middle East. Friedman has called for ending “the two-state narrative”, describing it as “an illusion that serves the worst intentions of both the United States and the Palestinian Arabs.” Friedman has also referred to the recognition of Jerusalem as “the indisputable capital of the Jewish people” as a holy battle, one that will be won by those who acknowledge Jerusalem as being “the holy capital of the Jewish people—and only the Jewish people”.

In 2015, Friedman wrote an article praising the pre-war sentiment expressed by Mike Huckabee, evangelical Trump-supporter and former Governor of Arkansas, who “referred to war as “killing people and breaking things” until the loser gives up or is destroyed.” Friedman writes that the Obama administration, which is waging countless military operations around the world, has been too docile and light-headed when it comes to “terrorists”.

“The United States has the largest and most powerful military in the world. Under the Obama Doctrine, however, it is no longer in the business of fighting to win,” he argues.

In another stunning column for Arutz Sheva, Friedman accuses Obama of being an anti-Semite, and characterized the centrist Zionist organization J Street as being “worse than kapos”.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps,” he wrote.

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, tells Mondoweiss that the appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel “is but the latest suggestion of what a Trump administration’s policy toward Palestine/Israel will be and that is a full, unapologetic embrace of Israeli Apartheid. Trump has railed against political correctness throughout his campaign and in many ways he seems to be doing the same thing with shaping his policy on this issue.”

Munayyer explains that “for decades the US has done a sort of “politically correct” dance where they have consistently supported Israel as it colonizes what is left of Palestinian territory while saying they support a Palestinian state.” The nomination of Friedman signals that the U.S. will do away with this farce, and  “just own what they have done for years which is support the apartheid reality on the ground.” Munayyer contends that a Trump administration will treat Israel with light-headedness, which means that “the civil society effort to impose costs on Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions tactics [BDS] has never been more important.”

Mouin Rabbani, co-editor of Jadaliyya, was straightforward in his reaction to Friedman’s nomination, telling Mondoweiss that he “hopes the appointment of such an avowed extremist to the position of US Ambassador to Israel, selected precisely because of his extremist positions, will disabuse Palestinians of any remaining illusions the the United States has anything positive to contribute to their struggle for self-determination.”

Jewish Voice For Peace released a statement from executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson condemning Friedman’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, arguing that it “indicates that the Trump Administration has aligned itself with the farthest right elements of the Israeli government”, and warning that this signals that the incoming administration will give the Israeli government a free pass to further its abusive control of Palestinian land, and to continue infringing upon Palestinian rights.

Writing on Twitter, London Review of Books writer Adam Shatz put it succinctly: “Let’s call the Friedman appointment by its name: a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”

Both Trump and Friedman share the intention of rejecting the two-state solution and abiding by the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for recognizing Jerusalem and Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bill was passed in 1995 but left unsigned under Bill Clinton and subsequently suspended on 22 occasions—thanks to the presidential waiver authority—mostly due to alleged national security concerns. Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett was euphoric after Donald Trump’s electoral win, calling his election an “opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country”. He said, “The era of a Palestinian state is over.”

For this reason, advocates of the two-state solution are troubled by Friedman’s nomination. A press release from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) president Rabbi Rick Jacobs notes that while URJ supports Friedman’s goal of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and its designation as Israel’s capital, the organization is “greatly concerned” that Friedman is against a two-state solution. The Reform group maintains “that only a two-state solution will allow Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic while also addressing the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians.”

Americans for Peace Now also announced its opposition to Friedman saying, “Friedman opposes the very essence of APN’s values and mission.” The organization added, “Trump repeatedly declared that he would like to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, but coupled with the President-elect’s statements about his intention to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman’s nomination is a destabilizing move, which only adds fuel to the Israeli-Palestinian fire.”

Chemi Shalev, U.S. editor and correspondent for Haaretz, recently published an article arguing that due to Friedman’s right-wing inclinations, “[h]e makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist”. Shalev contends that Friedman will satisfy Evangelicals, Jewish settlers “and bring pleasure to Land of Israel zealots far and wide”. While the Obama administration may have offered Palestinians some semblance of even-handedness, Shalev writes, Friedman and the Trump administration will likely offer them no such thing.

TRUMP CONSIDERING MOVING EMBASSY TO PALESTINE

Stolen land that is ….

Relocating the embassy means endorsing the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and predetermining the fate of Jerusalem in a final status solution. This endorsement includes acceptance of Israel’s illegally built settlements and the wholesale confiscation of Palestinian refugee property. 

The Jerusalem site formerly known as the Allenby Barracks, a possible location of the US Embassy (Photo: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

The Jerusalem site formerly known as the Allenby Barracks, a possible location of the US Embassy (Photo: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Site being considered for US embassy in Jerusalem is stolen Palestinian private property

Institute for Palestine Studies

Kellyanne Conway, President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager, has stated that relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a “a big priority” for the incoming administration. She added: “It is something that our friend in Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for.”

Meanwhile, in a passage that has since been removed from the online article, the Times of Israel has reported that the Trump transition team “has begun exploring the logistics of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, and checking into sites for its intended new location,” adding that the site being considered was formerly the location of the Allenby Barracks, the site of the British army’s Jerusalem garrison during the Mandate.

However, as is revealed by Walid Khalidi’s special report on the subject, originally published in the Journal of Palestine Studies, the site being considered is Palestinian private property stolen from its owners, including the waqf property of several families. He points out that the move would recklessly violate U.S. and international law and have the following impact:

  • The law of belligerent occupation applies to Jerusalem. Neither Israeli nor American laws have a bearing on the status of Jerusalem as an occupied city. Moving the embassy will not change the fact that Israel is the occupier, would contradict the stand taken by every US administration since 1967, and would violate international law and UN resolutions. These include 1980 UN Security Council resolution 478, which declared Israel’s announcement of Jerusalem as its capital “null and void.”
  • On 18 January 1989 a Land Lease and Purchase Agreement was signed between the Israel and U.S., for land serving as a US embassy site in what was known as the Allenby Barracks. Much of the land in this area belongs to Palestinian refugees, including privately owned and Waqf land. He notes: “with all that Jerusalem connotes, it is, to say the least, unbecoming for the United States’ future embassy in that city to be built on land that is stolen property.”
  • On 21 July 1989, Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois wrote a memorandum on the legal implications of the lease agreement, arguing that the expropriation of waqf or private property in Jerusalem was illegal; that the lease agreement itself was illegal; and that Congress is legally barred from providing funds for the implementation of the agreement.
  • Relocating the embassy means endorsing the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and predetermining the fate of Jerusalem in a final status solution. This endorsement includes acceptance of Israel’s illegally built settlements and the wholesale confiscation of Palestinian refugee property.

For these reasons, moving the embassy would gravely undermine the American role in the Middle East, especially since it contradicts and repudiates the commitments and assurances of all previous U.S. administrations since 1967. The implications of such a move for the position of the United States in the Middle East will be grave, including its adverse impact on the numerous Arab regimes that turn a blind eye to all the US does in support of Israel.

The impact inside Palestine and on Palestinians elsewhere is also likely to be great, whether in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or among the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel.  Finally, given how important the issue of Jerusalem is for Muslims around the world, and especially at a time when radical Islamist groups systematically exploit the Palestine issue, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem will constitute a potentially explosive provocation.

Read the full Walid Khalidi Special Report here.

REDEFINING ANTISEMITISM IN GERMANY

It is infuriating how Jews are made victims again in Germany, and how philosemitism has substituted anti-Semitism. On the other hand, Germans who engage for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine, are  defamed and excluded. The bad conscience of the perpetrators‘ progeny is not entitled to label the victims‘ progeny with a kosher stamp for human rights and international law violations. Since Germans know what a system based on injustice was and is able of doing. 

bds-promosaik-evelyn-hecht-galinski

Do not buy from Jewish Occupiers!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

A Party Congress Resolution of the CDU has taken over the invented equalisation of the well-thought-out propaganda machinery of the Israel lobby and its sayanim (willing helpers) acting all over the world, according to which the global BDS campaign non-violently engaged for Palestinian rights and against occupation should be equivalent with the Nazi concept “Do not buy from Jews”!

However, it is a fact that the “Jewish State”, since its foundation, has been denying the occupied Palestinians their elementary rights, without no qualms, and that expulsion and land grabbing are part of the Zionist reason of state. What’s more is a system of racist laws, “streets just for Jews” for the illegal Jewish settlements, a settlement colonialism subsidised by the State with the final aim to possess whole Palestine, and the continuous ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

According to the 29th Party Congress Resolution of the CDU in Essen, Germany, the BDS movement was denigrated as anti-Semite; this way the victims of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine become perpetuators, a historical distortion of facts which cannot be accepted without protest. In addition, this Resolution takes over the fascist-racist politics of the “Jewish State” of the “good Jews” supporting this state and its politics, while the “bad Jews” criticising the politics of occupation and supporting the BDS campaign, are labelled as anti-Semite. Did the same not happen under the Nazi Regime where Reichsmarschall Göring said “I decide who is a Jew!” And today again German politicians decide who is anti-Semite and who is not, and as a consequence there is a new anti-Semitism defaming unapproved Jews.

It is not significant that the same CDU members, in the future election campaign, bring into play always more questionable subjects like the prohibition of double citizenship and the maximum limit for refugees, or submit main proposals affirming the unilateral “Christian-Jewish Community of Values” against Muslim citizens. And in the end, these proposals just support the right-wing parties and collect their votes. Based on the motto: CDU printed on packaging means that the right-wing German party AfD is inside. However, we notice exactly the same phenomenon in other right-wing populists, from Wilders to Le Pen and from Hofer to Orban, when it is the case of the “Jewish State” and the illegal occupation of Palestine. All keep silent about Palestinian oppression, or stand in solidarity with the Jewish Regime of Occupiers!

It is also anti-Semite, if German Banks like the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) cancel the account of the association „Jüdische Stimme“ (Jewish Voice) because of its support to the BDS movement. According to the statement of Jewish Voice the reason for cancellation was explicitly mentioned as being related to “political opinions and activities”.(1)

This outrageous procedure is inconsistent with ethical values, anti-Semite, and part of a sad tradition in Germany. As you can remember, German Banks and their CEO, from Dresdner Bank, today Commerzbank, to the Deutsche Bank, were in first position to cancel Jewish accounts and to actively support the Nazi Regime in its politics of aryanization. A fatal repetition of historical events! If at that time it was the Nazi ideology, which emarginated, dispossessed, expelled, and murdered Jews, today there is the ideology of philo-semitism, infected by the pro-Israel lobby, using the same methods against unaccepted Israel critics and BDS supporters. However, desperate diseases need desperate remedies. If peace organisations or people engaging for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine get their accounts cancelled, this should set alarm bells ringing. We have to react immediately. For all customers, there is only one reaction and consequence in solidarity with the emarginated Jews: they should immediately cancel their account for protest!

The aimed aggressions against the freedom of speech of organisations, universities, and private people, engaging for a free Palestine, are only possible because the Merkel Government, the UE and the USA still financially, mentally and commercially support the Jewish State by armaments sales, and cowardly silence about the injustice!

The outrageous suggestions of German politicians cooperating with the Israel lobby to pretend from refugees to recognize the existence right of Israel as a requirement for their integration, has no justification at all, as long as this State which has not even defined its own borders, continues its illegal settlement policy by violating international law and carrying out the total ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Also the reception of the empty phrase of the reason of state for the security of Israel by Chancellor Merkel, although the concentration camp in Gaza remains blocked by violating human dignity and international law, the genocide is unatoned, and the illegally occupied West Bank, the illegally annexed East-Jerusalem and the illegally occupied Golan Heights are still judaized by the aggressive land grabbing of the Netanyahu regime. A “Jewish State” basing its existence, at the expense of an illegally occupied people, on crimes against international law and human rights, has no existence right to be supported!

Just recently Prime Minister Netanyahu praised future US-president Trump for his unbreakable friendship with Israel as confirmed on several occasions by his closest consultant, his Jewish son-in-law Kushner and for the announcement of the planned transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as eternally “undivided” capital of the “Jewish State”. And now Netanyahu will try to tip the Nuclear Agreement with Iran during his announced visit to Washington for a meeting with Trump. (2) (3) (4)

There is a new, horrifying initiative: under the auspices of Andreas Casdorff, editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tagesspiegel and Bild publisher Kai Dieckmann started a cooperation, in the guise of the promotion of a Holocaust memory culture in cooperation with the Israeli Holocaust memorial place Yad Vashem in order to send young editors under 30 to targeted seminars at companies and to events, in which also the Israeli Prime Minister, the President of the State of Israel, and the international high officials will participate. So in the end, they will be „enthusiastic for Israel“ and expose all according to the people inviting them. The results are visible today, if these journalists, as requested, write for the interests of the “Jewish State” and defend them. In this context, an incredible propaganda machinery of the Israel lobby comes into roll. So we have to ask ourselves about the newspaper, supporting this initiative – Berliner Morgenpost, DPA, Handelsblatt, Hufftington Post, JDB Media, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Rheinische Post, Rhein Zeitung, Sächsische Zeitung, stern.de, Südwest- Presse and Bild am Sonntag – if we can read them without prejudice by taking their information for granted without criticising them. I would like that the answer to this question is “no”! (5)(6)(7)

However, this is exactly the problem, in particular of German media; who can take them seriously with this nepotism and the connection with politics and stakeholders! A sad and dangerous political cartel aiming at all democratic habits.

We should never forget the Holocaust, and the same applies to the Nakba, the catastrophe of the displacement and dispossession by the Jewish State, also a consequence of the Holocaust!

This is a particular incentive to engage more than ever for the liberation of the illegally occupied Palestine. And this is precisely the meaning of “Do not buy from Jewish Occupiers”!

Hanns Eisler, the famous Austrian composer born in Leipzig, also created a sensation with his political works. I think that his “Ernste Gesänge” are as great as this wonderful sentence I would like to conclude my commentary with:

“I think we have to rethink the past. Who wants to have a future, has to cope with the past. He must purify himself from the past to be able to brightly move into the future”.

 

Originally appeared AT

THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE AGAINST PALESTINE

The Palestinian Conflict has almost disappeared from the headlines with the added tragedy that it is regarded in media and political circles as being “unsolvable” and consequently something to be ignored.

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The Conspiracy of Silence must be broken!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi, edited by William Hanna

The Palestinian Conflict has almost disappeared from the headlines with the added tragedy that it is regarded in media and political circles as being “unsolvable” and consequently something to be ignored. Occasionally a not too critical article – almost apologetic – will appear with careful avoidance of anything that may offend the Jewish lobby and its friends. Meanwhile in the illegally occupied Palestinian Territories the Palestinian people’s hope for freedom and a state of their own remains an unachievable dream.

While the daily expansion of new settlements is facilitated by Apartheid legislation whose brutal oppression violates all democratic principles, the Netanyahu regime can more than ever before safely relax with its Zionist smugness.

This is because the world community is too occupied in disguising the provision of arms and participation in illegal wars as being necessary and a blessing for humanity. While the EU is fast crumbling and becoming a populist time bomb fused with differences, Merkel and her colleagues have lost all sense of reality. This Chancellor – who always holds her “values” like a shield – has made no effort, not even a token gesture, to justly solve the Palestinian conflict. Such shameful inaction is also shared by party colleagues from the German Social Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Left who routinely submit to the interests of the Israel Lobby.

While Merkel presents herself as alternative-less leader of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and chancellor, the Middle East with its debris and ash is abandoned by a German Government intent on avoiding its obligation to support Palestine in its struggle against the injustice of the occupation.

Anti-Semitism has long since been replaced by philo-Semitism which is a more than dangerous phenomenon. A recent example of this occurred in Greece where the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Steinmeier — choking with emotion — was made an Honoured Member of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki. In fact, there have been numerous “Jewish” awards and honours for German politicians. This is the way Israel buys “friends” who then remain silent as gutless and complicit observers of the Jewish state’s crimes against humanity.

Even worse, is the fact that any criticism of Israel is labelled as “anti-Semitic” so that Germany has become a paradise of philo-Semitism. There is, however, a ray of hope because Volker Beck – having a sense of mission as “main philo-Semite” – was penalised by his colleagues in the Green Party who refused to give him a place on the list for the German Parliament despite his having the support of prominent Jews including Dieter Graumann, the ex-President of the Central Council of German Jews, the current President Josef Schuster, and Andreas Nachama of the Foundation Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror). Before the “Leo Baeck” prize winner and Talmud devoted Beck discovered the usefulness of  philo-Semitism, he wrote an essay published in an anthology published in 1988 that called for the “de-criminalisation of paedophilia.” This fact, however, was of no consequence for the supporters of this VIP. The same applied to his drug story which was shelved after he paid a 7000 Euro fine. Beck is currently sitting on his morally high throne while not shrinking from defamation against my dead friend Walter Herrmann and the Kölner Klagemauer.

It is shameful how German politicians go out of their way to provide support for the Jewish state of occupation; how the German media is complicit by not reporting the occupation crimes committed daily; and how the conspiracy of silence, continuous in the face of the Jewish state’s repression which includes measures against women, children, young people, and even journalists! There is no sense in arguing about this because in Germany this grave situation will not change as has been repeatedly confirmed by my friend Ilan Pappe.

During this Advent season it should perhaps be an incentive for “Zionist Christians” such as Merkel and Co. to think about the Christians and Muslims in Palestine who are denied their religious freedom by the Jewish occupiers.

Time is running and as the “Jewish State” – which has never intended having a “Two-State-Solution” other than as an illusion – continues with the ethnic cleansing so as create conditions that will make the illegal settlements permanent. This also concerns the illegally occupied Golan Heights, conquered by the “Jewish Defence Army” in 1967 and which Israel declared a closed military zone thereby preventing some 100.000 displaced former inhabitants from returning to their native villages.

Even the Syrian Civil War has proved to be advantageous for the Jewish occupiers who feel free to indulge themselves with occasional air strikes because the perception persists that anything Israel does is acceptable, while token Palestinian resistance against an unjust and barbarous persecution is regarded as terrorism.

It is therefore understandable that they try to hide both the expulsion of more than 700.000 indigenous Palestinians during the Nakba which led to the establishment “Jewish State,” and the subsequent displacements in the Golan Heights because there is nothing that the “Jewish State” fears more than the truth. Consequently, it is of vital importance the Nakba is publicised throughout Germany as an important contemporary historical document!

Since 2011, the so-called “Palestinian Papers” have revealed that the Palestinian Leadership, the “Vichy Abbas” Authority, was ready to make extensive scandalous concessions such as for example wanting to renounce East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State and the legal right of Palestinians to return.

Those secret protocols definitively proved that Israel has never wanted a peace that would require giving back the illegally occupied territories to the indigenous population and the self-abasing the Palestinian Authority. The “Jewish State“ will not be satisfied until it has all of it which will happen as the illegal settlement is extended and made permanent with courtesy of financial support for the illegal occupation, and reduced pressure from the U.S. and the EU for an end to settlement expansion.

As a consequence, there is no reason why the “Jewish State” should start the peace process while the Abbas System can be maintained in a “Utopian State,” wooed by the world community as “moderate leadership.” There is nothing that is better suited for the Jewish occupation power. We recently witnessed the Abbas show, when 1400 representatives re-elected him without there being any democratic elections, either under the Jewish occupation power or under the Abbas Regime because both know that the “twilight of the Gods” would then come. The young people who have been for decades rebelling against the betrayal of this old guard and the lethargy of their parents, are unfortunately the main victims

Consequently the only realistic option available is resistance against the all-powerful occupation, condemnation of Israel by all responsible citizens, and support for the BDS movement.

While here in Germany and Europe everyone warns against right-wing populists, in the Jewish State right-wing fascists are left undisturbed to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in accordance with the “Christian-Jewish” values of this alliance of mendacious hypocrites. The conspiracy of silence over the illegal occupation of Palestine is a complicit violation of international law that must be broken. Have courage! Let us be indignant in the struggle against the illegal occupation and for a Free Palestine!

 

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