TRUMP STANDS ALONE IN HIS RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL

Despite Trump’s declaration, State Dep not recognizing Jerusalem

The State Department has long refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on their government documents and they are still refusing to do so even after President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement on Wednesday.

Premature rejoicing?

State Department Continues to Not Recognize Jerusalem As Capital of Israel On Government Documents

The State Department has long refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on their government documents and they are still refusing to do so even after President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that the State Department will continue its policy of not listing Jerusalem-born American citizens as being born in Israel on passports. However, the policy does recognize Palestine as the birthplace of those who were born in Jerusalem before the establishment of Israel in 1948.

“At this time, there are no changes to our current practices regarding place of birth on Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and U.S. Passports,” the State Department told the AP.

Additionally, the department won’t redraw their maps, but they will use some sort of marker to demarcate the city as Israel’s capital.

“The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations,” the State Department told the AP. “The United States is not taking a position on boundaries or borders.”

The State Department also has yet to be specify if other documents will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The AP report does highlight how the State Department could be a potential roadblock toward Trump establishing an embassy in Jerusalem. The department is already stating that it could take at least “three to four years” to make the move, even though the mayor of Jerusalem has stated it could theoretically only take a couple of minutes by turning the U.S. consulate into an embassy.

Additionally, the State Department under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has repeatedly pointed the finger at Israel as the culprit for Palestinian terrorism and has previously denied that Israel has any claim on the city.

There have been prior reports of tension between Trump and Tillerson, although Tillerson has denied such reports and Trump hasn’t publicly stated that Tillerson’s job is in danger.

Another report below ….. click on link

Despite Trump’s declaration, State Dep not recognizing Jerusalem

POLL SHOWS NETANYAHU AS LEAST POPULAR MIDDLE EAST LEADER

Netanyahu’s lack of popularity is likely a reflection of general regional opposition to Israel, though his right-wing government and what many in the Arab world see as the prime minister’s hard line refusal to enter into peace talks with the Palestinians have made him particularly reviled.

Netanyahu’s office declined to comment but the prime minister himself has often played up his successes in expanding Israel’s diplomatic portfolio and cache in the world.

A Kuwaiti demonstrator burns a poster of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Kuwait City on December 9, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s recongition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat)r

Netanyahu beats Assad as least popular Middle East leader …. INCLUDING IN ISRAEL

People across the Middle East view Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a more negative light than any other Middle Eastern leader, including Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has presided over a nearly seven-year civil war that has seen hundreds of thousands killed, created millions of refugees and thrown the region into turmoil.

 

More HERE

TRUMP’S DECISION WILL ONLY LEAD TO MORE DEATHS

And of course, most of the dead will be Palestinians. Most Israelis don’t know any and hence can’t think of them as anything but a stereotype, as one of those human-shaped targets in IDF gun ranges.

Dead Palestinians Don’t Matter to Mainstream Media

 

The only certainty regarding Trump’s Jerusalem declaration is that people will die

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“Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic point of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”

–W. H. Auden, September 1, 1939

I think, first and foremost, of Najmi. I haven’t seen her in months, We used to work for Yesh Din. She’s shy, soft-spoken, with a keen, sharp mind. She lives in East Jerusalem. Will she be alive in two days? How about Muhaned, fierce and unbowed?

Dammit, will I? I already dodged two suicide attacks. And for all the jokes about the Petah Tikva being the equivalent of Nebraska in its non-existence, several attacks took place here. Are we back to 2001-2002?

As these words are written, I have no idea just what sort of proclamation Trump will issue today regarding Jerusalem. But the signs are not good. He is likely to proclaim Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, making no distinction between the West and East cities, not knowing that you can easily discern them: the streets without pavements are those where the Palestinians live.

But I do know the State Department issued warning to its embassies in the Middle East, and I know the IDF is on high alert. And I know the police confidently said there are no reports of planned violence. And I remember that the 30th anniversary of the First Intifada is in three days.

There was no warning then, either. Nor was there one when the Second Intifada broke out. Our secret police prides itself on its penetration and fragmentation of Palestinian society; but while it may be good at identifying any formimg Palestinian attack squads (one reason we see so many solitary attackers – it is simply too dangerous to form a cell), it has a particularly lousy record when it comes to predicting events.

So, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow and the day after that. But, frankly, I’m afraid. Perhaps it’s the traumatic legacy of the Second Intifada: of the years of endless terror, when you went to work silently calculating the odds that this bus ride will be it, that it may be time for you ticket to be punched; when you prayed in the morning for the sun to set, and at night for it to rise again. (And yes, I know: Palestinians had it much, much worse; but while I can know and understand it, even relate to it, I didn’t feel it.)

We can do the whole megillah of the tormented history of modern Jerusalem, of the 1947 resolution which is still in force which sees the city as corpus separatum. We can mention the mystic numbers 181 and 242 and mumble them as an incantation; when all is said and done, whatever Trump says tonight, there will be blood. Innocent people will die. Some are walking among us, still not knowing that there’s already a bullet (or a bomb fragment, or an artillery round) with their names on it. And oh, our gunmen are so much better at killing people when given an excuse.

My government is about to be given a surprise gift by Trump, and it does not care that dozens are likely to die. One does not conquer the mountain, goes the old Irgun song, unless there’s a grave dug downhill. They think those stones and a presidential proclamation is worth it. There’s actually no discussion. The myth of the “united Jerusalem” is so strong, even the opposition supports Trump’s move. Precious few dare to say that between ancient stones and human lives, you should choose life.

And of course, most of the dead will be Palestinians. Most Israelis don’t know any and hence can’t think of them as anything but a stereotype, as one of those human-shaped targets in IDF gun ranges. I do know. I think of Najmi and I am afraid.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ GRAFFITI FROM JESUS’ BIRTHPLACE …. UNWELCOMING TRUMP

Palestinian children look at graffiti depicting US President Donald Trump and slogans against US Vice President Mike Pence painted on Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint on December 7, 2017. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

Mary and Joseph couldn’t cross into Bethlehem today …..

 

A merry little Christmas: separating the holy family from Bethlehem in a Christmas card (art work by http://www.banksy.co.uk/)

FOREIGN BODIES WITHIN OUR BORDERS

Foreign Body

by Milena Rampoldi

He went to the land of the greedy hordes

He became fat and rich

And he became fatter and heavier

He went to the land of the addicted fighters

He attacked and won

He expanded and continued to be the winner

The winning, foreign body

His victory was foreign –

Since he was a foreign body

However, his narration continued to repeat

You are the winner

You are addicted of victories

You are thirsty of aggressions

Since you – the technological foreign body

Are the winner

The narration does not stop

To repeat this

He shot and looked around

In the solitude of his illusory victory

In the solitude of his illusory truth

The others were crouched on the ground

He repeated the monologue of his narration

He believed in this lie

It was his truth 

He adored it

You have won

You are the winner

This poem is published in the following book.

Anti-Zionist Fragments is a loud cry that echoes the deep pain felt by the collective soul of a Palestinian people who for almost seventy years have been subject to a barbaric ethnic cleansing that denies them their heritage, history, and human rights. It is a cry that begs recognition of the Palestinian people who as members of the human family are entitled to an inherent dignity with the equal and inalienable rights that form the foundation for freedom, justice, and peace in the world; a cry that for too long has been ignored by hypocritical, double standard political and religious leaders; and an agonized cry that should be heard by all of us and touch the hearts of real human beings.

Milena Rampoldi’s Fragments are succinct and cover a range of pertinent topics that defiantly express the unbreakable spirit of a people — who despite all the odds against them including an unconscionable betrayal by the rest of the world — are nonetheless determined to survive and to hold on to what is left of their culture which the Zionist invaders have not already destroyed or stolen while citing scriptures written by Jews claiming to have been chosen by God who gave them Palestine.

TIME TO FINALLY ERASE ALL TRACES OF PALESTINE

 “Now’s the time to put one hundred kilos of explosives in the Mosque of Omar [the Dome of the Rock], and that’s it, once and for all we’ll be done with it.”
The army’s chief rabbi, Shlomo Goren, later Israel’s chief rabbi, immediately after Temple Mount was captured by Israeli paratroopers on June 7, 1967.
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Might as well just blow Palestine off the map completely

It Is Time For Everyone To Face Up To The Reality Of Israel’s Ultimate Objective

By William Hanna
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Following the announcement by U.S. President Trump — a generally acknowledged egocentric, mentally disturbed, racist, and illiterate psychopath — that the U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem which it will recognise as Israel’s capital, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmk6oC2CuT0the international community and the Palestinian leadership which has always placed its own enrichment above the interests of the people it is supposed to represent, expressed outrage at the decision claiming it would destroy the chances for both “peace” and a “two-state solution” which realistically have never actually existed, and never will. Furthermore, It should be remembered that Israel has failed to honour any of the existing accords or resolutions relating to Palestine including the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine and the 1993 Oslo Accord.
(https://history.state.gov/milestones/1993-2000/oslo)
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In the meantime Israel has for almost 70 years continued to stage manage an international theatrical charade of “peace talks” and a “two-state solution” while having no intention whatsoever of committing to either concept which were regarded merely as a means of playing for time to facilitate the gradual larcenous plunder of Palestinian land and the building of more illegal Jewish settlements, thereby ruthlessly pursuing Apartheid policies that are still ongoing to this day. It is hard to conceive how any intelligent, soul-searching individual could possibly believe otherwise, especially given Israel’s irrefutable ethnic cleansing as defined by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.
(http://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/crimes-against-humanity.html)
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Apart from Israel’s deliberate Judaisation of Palestine in general and East Jerusalem in particular,  there is an even more sinister and internationally ignored Israeli objective which is its fanatical fixation with building a Third Jewish Temple on Temple Mount, otherwise known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif and where the Islamic Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque have stood for over 1,300 years.
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“The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a house for G-d’s presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The range of the Institute’s involvement with this concept includes education, research, activism, and actual preparation. Our goal is firstly, to restore Temple consciousness and reactivate these “forgotten” commandments. We hope that by doing our part, we can participate in the process that will lead to the Holy Temple becoming a reality once more.” 
The Temple Institute’s statement of principles. (https://www.templeinstitute.org)
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Apart from having a team of rabbis, scholars, scientists and other experts in various fields being occupied with research that forms the basis for the creation of the sacred vessels and priestly garments that are fashioned according to the exact biblical requirements, specifically for use in the future Holy Temple, the Institute’s international director believes that a pure red heifer could be used as part of a ritual to bring about the Biblical prophecy of a new Jewish temple on the Mount.
(https://promosaik.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/the-temple-institutes-red-heifer-is.html)
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Such organised dedication to the building of the Third Temple in accordance with contentious biblical prophecies is not restricted to just a few organisations, but is also part of a national mindset specifically geared for the exclusion of Arabs and anything Arabic(https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.815624). That mindset ensures encouragement and support not only from religious leaders (http://www.hiramicbrotherhood.com/single-post/2015/09/21/The-Sanhedrin-Is-Back-With-A-Vengeancebut also from leading politicians(https://www.globalresearch.ca/israelis-scheming-to-replace-aqsa-mosque-with-third-temple-report/5541388).
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During a panel discussion in February 2016 organised by the group Students For The Temple Mount, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Oren Hazan said the following:
“If the day comes and I have the opportunity to lead the country, not to mention become the prime minister, I will build the temple on the Temple Mount,”
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When asked how he would demolish Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock in order to make way for a temple, Hazan replied that . . .
“It would not be responsible at this point in time to tell you how we would do it, but I will say it clear and loud: When I have the opportunity to do it, I will.”
(http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/when-i-have-the-opportunity-to-do-it-i-will-likud-lawmaker-vows-to-demolish-al-aqsa-mosque/)
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Understandably, Trump’s controversial decision — which has reversed seven decades of U.S. policy — has also been met by Palestinian protests that Israel always welcomes because it provides it with an excuse to respond with its usual use of excessive military force. At some stage in the future, while Israel is responding to such Palestinian protests, the Islamic monuments on Temple Mount will end up becoming “unintentional collateral damage,” thereby conveniently clearing the way for the building of a Jewish Temple. In the meantime the State of Israel and President Donald Trump will continue to share a common characteristic: they are both undeniably psychopathic as explained in the must read following article by Laurent Guyenot.
(https://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/02/03/psycho-israel/)
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Originally posted AT

‘THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED’

The music I refer to …

The Jewish-Arab Peace Song

How the music died …

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How Latuff views the situation …

Mother Palestine teaching a lesson to Trump about Jerusalem

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IMAGE OF THE MOMENT ~~ WHAT PALESTINIANS THINK OF TRUMP’S LATEST DECISION

No commentary necessary

IN PHOTOS ~~ SAYING NO TO BIRTHRIGHT

On Sunday, Jewish Voice for Peace held a demo at the office of the Israeli Birthright Program …. in protest of that program ….

 

In case you don’t know what Birthright is ….. HERE’S a description

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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TOOSDAY’S TOON …. US EMBASSY MOVING TO JERUSALEM

Image by Latuff

Might as well just blow Palestine off the map completely

HIDING COMPANY NAMES SUPPORTING ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

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

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

Israel and US Hide Names of Companies Supporting Israeli Settlements

By Marjorie Cohn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Maintains “Apartheid Regime”

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

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

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

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

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

NETANYAHU CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK

“The pot calling the kettle black.”

War rumblings continue, as Netanhayu says Iran is another Nazi Germany

Ironic or not?

WHEN RESISTANCE BECOMES A DUTY

The occupying “Jewish State’s” politics of discrimination is something you are not allowed to talk about in the German media, in public, or in political events.

Resistance becomes a duty, if freedom of opinion is threatened!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

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The occupying “Jewish State’s” politics of discrimination is something you are not allowed to talk about in the German media, in public, or in political events. Thanks to the Israel lobby the term “occupation” has become a non-existent bad word not to be mentioned. What we experience at the moment and is particularly present here in Germany is the fact that the term “occupation,” when it is about the “Jewish State,” is substituted by “anti-Semitism.” This creates an oppressive fearful mood which is intended to stop our engagement for the liberation of Palestine from the illegal Jewish-Zionist occupation. The Israel lobby and its numerous sayanim use all means to get the prerogative of interpretation in the media and in official politics; they determine what has to be said and pillory alleged anti-Semites.
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That goes so far that Jewish and Jewish-Israeli lectors and activists of obscure Israel supporters are labelled as anti-Semites and “State enemies.” This new German anti-Semitism against Jewish citizens should be a horrifying déjà-vu for everyone. A couple of days ago, a “Young Forum” of the German-Israeli Society in Heidelberg forced the cancellation of an invitation to the known Israeli peace activist and founder of the Israeli Committee against Home destructions (ICAHD), Prof. Jeff Halper, with infamous defamations and scurrilous accusations of anti-Semitism, to the “Forum of International Security” at the University of Heidelberg. We have to hope that the adult evening classes will not also bow to these occupation lobbyists. https://icahd.org/
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This is just one of many similar cases here in Germany. The whole thing seems to be epidemic. Self-proclaimed hunters of anti-Semites act in a targeted manner and try to attack Jewish activists in particular. And this is more than logical, because Jewish activists from the “Jewish State” like Jeff Halper, Gideon Levy, Moshe Zuckermann or Palestinian activists like Ahmed Schokry know perfectly what they are talking about.
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Even if the “Jewish State” and its international lobby would like to avoid it, we have to speak the truth about the internationally shunned crimes against international law and human rights, committed by the Zionist occupiers‘ regime, and this without being defamed as anti-Semites. And who, if not Jewish and Jewish-Israeli activists are obliged to do this? We have to keep in mind that Zionists do not fear anything but the truth.
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Therefore they avoid discussions between Israel critics and Israel supporters. While Israel lobbyists find their voice in the press and in the public media, even known and famous critics of Israeli occupation prefer not to speak because they are afraid of being called anti-Semites.
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This makes me think about the President of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster. Last Sunday, 27 November, he called the general manager of Axel Springer SE, Mathias Döpfner, to support “non-Jewish Zionists.” This “highest” decision-making committee of the Central Council is so unified to try to lump anti-Zionism, “anti-Israeli,” and anti-Semitism together.
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Döpfner distracted from the right anti-Semitism and fantasized a left-wing anti-Semitism, often camouflaged as “anti-Zionism.” With this declaration he accused critics of Israel and Zionism of having basic anti-Semitic emotions and resentments. Of course, according to him, even the BDS movement and the product boycott is nothing else than “pure anti-Semitism!” Clearly, he did not spend one word about the decade-long illegal occupation, the daily land grab, and the deprivation of rights of the Palestinian people.
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It is really touching how sensitive his reaction is when it is about the occupiers‘ state, while his “Armada” is on the front side when it is about his favorite enemies Russia or Iran to implement boycott calls and measures.
So there is nothing to wonder about if the general manager then talks about the “phenomenon” of Muslim anti-Semitism as an alleged development having reached a totally new dimension after the immigration from Muslim countries. He talks about it by calling it an alleged political taboo subject almost never discussed in Germany. Of course, this is totally wrong, because the Springer media synchronically defame Muslim immigrants as anti-Semites. However, refugees coming from Muslim countries exactly know how their brothers and sisters are treated by Israel. This is not anti-Semitism, but a totally legitimate anti-Zionism, and an opposition to occupation! Your reminder, Mr. Döpfner, that Germany has to deal with this reality and that there is no tolerance towards intolerance, is an insult!
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At the moment in Germany I just know one TABOO SUBJECT; and it is the “Jewish State” and its illegal occupation politics and the international Israel lobby pretending to talk for all Jews. In the meantime, the  particularly contagious and dangerous  virus of the “accusation of anti-Semitism” has also involved politicians and parties just repeating without any reasoning what is told to them. In the meantime, it is not just the right-wing party AfD diffusing this right-wing ideology together with other spiritual arsonists like Beck, Broder, Weinthal, Sarrazin, Pirinci, Hamed Abdel-Samad, IM-Victoria=Anetta Kahane and many others. And more and more supporters come from media and politics so that we should ALL worry about this situation.
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The right-wing party AfD strongly supports Israel and the Jews. The liberal party FDP is getting closer to the AfD. The President of the Central Council of the Jews in Germany was one of the first to warn about refugees and Muslim anti-Semitism. So this Republic has become a country of moral cowards. Mr. Döpfner, if you call for a hard line of the constitutional state and a strong political leadership within society which do not show any spirit of compromise concerning this matter, then your attitude is more than hypocritical.
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However, your media try to intimidate and stigmatize people with moral courage. Brave and moral citizens struggling for freedom of opinion are defamed and denigrated when it is about the “Jewish State.” And also your love for Jews has its limits because you distinguish between good and bad Jews. Newspapers like Bild, Welt and Co. have always been dangerous propaganda papers in Germany. This philo-Semite brain washing has already caused enough trouble. It is true that Germany has developed into a tolerant and multi-cultural country where also Jews can live again . . .
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Just think about Berlin . . . However, this tolerance is in danger because of your attitude! This uncritical closeness to the “Jewish occupiers’ state” and to the Israel lobby is dangerous and easily comprehensible. Let us hope that readers will think and not fall into this propaganda trap as they can get their information elsewhere. There are many serious sources.
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After your performance in the Jewish council board the “big chief” of the Central Council Schuster repeated that the media are also responsible for the “increasing” hatred of Israel, and that Germany has to comply with its “historic responsibility” towards the “Jewish State.” In addition, he said that the double standard of many media and the “Israel-related anti-Semitism” are insufficiently perceived and that hatred of Israel is not sufficiently dealt with.
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Mr. Schuster is seriously concerned about it. It is a fact that actually there is a concerted action of media defamation against Israel critics, BDS supporters and events dealing with this matter. Let us just think about the Karlspreis award to journalist Ken Jebsen in Berlin the left-wing politician Lederer, a strong supporter of the Israel lobby, is trying to avoid with all means by opposing to freedom of opinion!
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For decades now, the representatives of the “Jewish State” and their diaspora supporters, who were always involved into background discussions in editorial departments, have been swearing media to the “love of Israel.” And this situation has enhanced so much that in the meantime no public channel dares to oppose this lobby. So the director of the channel feels more obliged towards the lobbyists than towards the paying public. Just let us think about the WDR director Tom Buhrow who felt obliged to cancel the broadcast of a Roger Waters (a wonderful musician and a very famous BDS and Palestine activist) concert because the Israel lobby had called for it. Tom Buhrow bowed to the Israel lobbyist Malca Goldstein-Wolf who normally moves under obscure blogs like Buurman’s blog “Tapfer im nirgendwo,” the infamous “Broder Achse,” and cancelled the presentation of Roger Waters. In Germany, we have already sunk so deep that only because of malicious suspicions of a lobbyist a music event is cancelled. Buhrow’s “clear attitude” should really give us all food for thought: Instead of researching about Roger Waters and his political ideas and then drawing his own conclusions, he just cowardly backed away because of malicious suspicions of a lobbyist. This is the situation of our public television citizens pay for to get one poor opinion instead of a variety of opinions! In the meantime, various ARD sections have become part of this boycott initiative. Here clear positions for the Israel lobby are taken. And this is scandalous. Roger Water’s actions are an important sign and not anti-Semitic at all, but the artistic and political engagement for freedom in Palestine and for the end of the illegal occupation. It would be a dream if we had similar initiatives and artists in Germany! (1) https://www.express.de/koeln/antisemitismus-vorwuerfe-koelnerin-ueberzeugt-buhrow–wdr-stoppt-support-fuer-roger-waters-28960396(2a)http://www.zeit.de/kultur/musik/2017-11/ard-pink-floyd-roger-waters-boykott
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We see the effects of this strong pressure by the Central Council and its many motivated supporters. When Schuster expressly thanks Döpfner for his constant solidarity with Israel and his continuous engagement against anti-Semitism, he is insurmountable in his hypocrisy. In fact, the Springer group is a typical German example about how people try to compensate the old anti-Semitism with a philo-Semitism which is nothing else than a new anti-Semitism!
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Exactly, President Schuster, we have a historical responsibility including the Palestinian people who were not responsible for the Holocaust and despite of this have been living for decades under a merciless Israeli occupation.
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We have had enough of your calumny campaigns against critical Jews. We also do not need any person in charge for “anti-Semitism” or a strange definition of anti-Semitism, criminalizing any Israel critic defined as hater of Jews. We do not need any new ban on speaking against Jewish speakers, no withdrawal of public spaces, by the successors of the perpetrator generation, as we had all that in the past of our German cities already.
We have to put an end to the reason of state to support Netanyahu’s state terror regime driving the “Jewish State” and Palestine to a murderous edge to save its own corrupt hegemonic power.
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Resistance is an obligation if freedom of opinion is threatened, and if Islam hatred, anti-Muslim racism and philo-Semitism becomes German reason of state and the media.
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Originally posted AT

THE ISRAELI ‘REFUZNIKS’ …. WHO ARE THEY?

By Milena Rampoldi. In the following my interview with the pro-Palestinian activist Olivia Zemor of Europalestine about Israeli Refuzniks. In my opinion, this tiny group can change the militarist and colonialist system in the State of Israel from inside. 

The Refuzniks – a tiny hope for peace in the Middle East?

Who are the Refuzniks and from where does this term come from?

Today, the term Refuznik is used to define the young Israelis who refuse to serve in the occupation army of their country and declare this in public (while many others try to avoid the military service by leaving the country and without proclaiming their refusal in public).

The term comes from Russian (Otkaznik: “отказник” which derives from the substantive “отказ” meaning refusal, opposition). In the past, Refuzniks were the people who were denied their visa by Soviet authorities. In this case, the term refers to Soviet Jews in particular (even if not all Soviet Refuzniks were Jews).

Why are the Refuzniks important to promote a change within Israeli society?

The Israeli Refuzniks are very few, and they know that their number does not suffice to empower a real change in Israeli society. However, they have to be recognised as brave opponents who prefer remaining in custody for a couple of weeks or months instead of going against their conscience.

There are such a few Refuzniks because only very few Israelis who have been indoctrinated since their childhood by patriotic and victimhood propaganda (“we or them”) are able to distance from it and from the hatred and rubble-rousing against Arabs.

Which are the typical steps in a Refuznik’s life?

At the date of her/his calling up to the Israeli military service, the Refuznik declares that she/he does not want to serve in the Israeli occupation army and declares this in public. She/he asks for recognition as conscientious objector in Israel where this status does not exist.

First, the Refuzniks are condemned to a first time in prison of normally three weeks. Then they are brought to senior military officers who ask them to justify themselves. In general, their justifications and motivations are not accepted, and the Refuzniks go back to prison for another couple of weeks. This period in prison can be repeated several times.

How many Refuzniks are there, and who supports them?

The Refuzniks are between 1 and 3 per year being imprisoned at the same time. We know a couple of dozens of them.

They are supported by the Israeli association Masarvot.

Since a couple of years, the majority of the Refuzniks have been women. Why?  

Perhaps men – more than women – worry about being defamed as weak and as traitors to their country. Probably women are also more sensitive to any form of violence in Israeli society, perceived by them as the consequence of illegal occupation, its brutality, and its dehumanizing characteristics.

How can we support the Refuznik movement from abroad?

It is essential to support the Refuzniks to show that all Jews and all Israeli do not automatically support Israeli politics.

We have to talk about them, publish their photos, write to them, compliment and encourage them. We can also help them financially because they make important, financial sacrifices by renouncing to all the advantages related to military service (study grants, student housing…)

Many Refuzniks call for the boycott against Israel. So, if we support them, we will automatically extend the international BDS campaign.

 

Originally posted AT

TENS OF THOUSANDS IN MARCH OF SHAME IN TEL AVIV

THERE IS HOPE YET!

Tens of thousands rally in Tel Aviv against government corruption
Masses march from Independence Hall on Rothschild Boulevard to Habima Square, protesting ‘attempts to pass laws that enable corruption,’ according to demonstration organizers, who added, ‘The sane MKs won’t vote for the mob laws borne out of the need to silence the police and save Bibi.’

Tens of thousands of people participated in the “March of Shame” Saturday night in Tel Aviv in protest of government corruption and what demonstrators said was foot-dragging in the investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The march, which made its way from Independence Hall on Rothschild Boulevard to Habima Square, was organized by the same people who hold the weekly protest outside the Petah Tikva home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Protesters in Tel Aviv; top sign: ‘There will be nothing, because we’ll make sure the public knows nothing!!!’; right sign: ‘INS Corrupted’ (Photos: Motti Kimchi)

IT’S OFFICIAL ~~ ‘ISRAEL IS THE WORST APARTHEID REGIME EVER’

“The settlements I saw here [in the West Bank] reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely.

Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.”

Image by Latuff

SOURCE

ETHNIC CLEANSING / GENOCIDE … ONE IN THE SAME

Recently declassified cabinet meeting transcripts show that top Israeli officials discussed ethnic cleansing tactics to deal with Six-Day War fallout.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Declassified Israeli Transcripts Discuss Ethnic Cleansing

eclassified cabinet meeting minutes show that top Israeli cabinet officials contemplated an ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip and Galilee, rewriting history textbooks in favor of a pro-Zionist version of history, and censoring political speech in newspapers to deal with the fallout of the Six-Day War in 1967.

The material posted to the Israeli archives website shows hundreds of pages of previously classified cabinet meeting minutes, including those between August and December of 1967, which followed closely after the Six-Day War in June. From this archive, Israeli officials demonstrated a lack of direction following the war in which the Israeli military conquered and illegally occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials initially contemplated the difficulties of administering the illegally occupied lands.

“At some point we will have to decide. There are 600,000 Arabs in these territories now. What will be the status of these 600,000 Arabs?” Prime Minister Levi Eshkol asked.

“I suggest that we don’t come to a vote or a decision today; there’s time to deal with this joy, or better put, there’s time to deal with this trouble,” he said. “But for the record I’m prepared to say this: There’s no reason for the government to determine its position on the future of the West Bank right now. We’ve been through three wars in 20 years; we can go another 20 years without a decision.”

Later documents show that Eshkol felt the pressure of ethnic diversity in the occupied lands which were under the illegal administration of the ethnocentric occupying forces.

“The strip of this country is like a miserable, threatening neck for us, literally stretched out for slaughter,” he said. “I cannot imagine it — how we will organize life in this country when we have 1.4 million Arabs and we are 2.4 million, with 400,000 Arabs already in the country?”

Eshkol and his cabinet later floated a covert ethnic cleansing policy by “working on the establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab emigration.” The prime minister added, “We should deal with this issue quietly, calmly and covertly, and we should work on finding a way from them to emigrate to other countries and not just over the Jordan [River].”

Eventually the cabinet discussed more extreme plans.

“Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither,” Eshkol said in one meeting. The prime minister also discussed the idea of initiating a war of aggression against Palestinians to force them to leave their ancestral lands.

“Perhaps we can expect another war and then this problem will be solved. But that’s a type of ‘luxury,’ an unexpected solution.”

Realizing the optics of the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing, Education Minister Zalman Aranne remarked:

“I do not for one minute accept the idea that the world outside will look at the fact that we’re taking everything for ourselves and will say, ‘Bon Appetit,’” he said. “After all in another year or half a year the world will wake up; there’s a world out there and it will ask questions.”

After 50 years, Israel has instituted a “apartheid regime” in Palestine, according to a landmark United Nations report that has since been retracted following political backlash.

Rima Khalaf, the former UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary, affirmed the report’s findings by saying that the report “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people”.

 

SOURCE OF REPORT

YET ANOTHER PALESTINIAN VILLAGE TO BE ERASED BY ZION

And Abbas remains silent ….

Image by Latuff

Historical village perched in Jerusalem’s hills may soon vanish

Lifta residents protest government plans to build villas, hotels, in historical village.

A small but picturesque village on Jerusalem’s hillside may soon be transformed forever.

Lifta, an historic village in a bucolic spot at the entrance to Jerusalem, is at the center of a preservation fight over an Israeli plan to build villas there.

The village, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is on a tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the World Monuments Fund organization has put it on its list of sites under threat.

Lifta (Flash 90)

ARAB COMPLICITY IN THE LIQUIDATION OF PALESTINE

If you do not want to read and consider difficult political issues, please
ignore this post (it is merely an opinion which you may not share).
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Will Palestine be liquidated with Arab complicity?

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Zionism is a colonial movement invented in the 19th century to transform a multi-religious Palestine to the apartheid “Jewish state of Israel”. It was to be “a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism” (Herzl in the Jews’ State). This colonial racist idea remained unchanged since founding of the “Jewish Colonization Association” in 1891 and the World Zionist Congress in 1897. Like all colonial movements, it focuses on the dual task of destroying native life and creating new exclusivist racist regimes and it gets support from empires and from complicity.

Britain put the Al-Saud family in charge of the area of Hijaz (which was to become the kleptocracy of “Saudi Arabia”). Abdul Aziz Al-Saud responded in 1915 to British requests by writing in his own hand: “I the Sultan Abdel Aziz Bin Abdel Alrahman Al-Faysal Al-Saud decide and acknowledge a thousand times to Sir Percy Cox the representative of Great Britain that I have no objection to give Palestine to the poor Jews or to others as seen [fit] by Britain that I would not go outside [disobey] its opinion until the hour of calling [end of the world].” The good relations at the expense of Palestinians by the Saud ruling family remained to this day with a brief period when Arab nationalism was strong and the Royal family suspended oil shipments to the US in the October 1973 war.

The PLO began its long process of “compromise” with colonizers in 1974. Israel then signed a “peace treaty” with Egypt in and had good working relations including cooperation in crimes against humanity in isolating and besieging the Gaza strip. There was a brief period when Morsi was elected President of Egypt when there was the potential of relieving the blockade but that soon ended when the military retook power in Egypt. Egypt is however trying to play a role in mediation between Hamas and Fatah now which could help end the blockade and may help reclaim a liberation struggle.

Israel has maintained efforts to break-up the (already fragmented) Arab world for example in developing proxy militias and aligning with extremist right wing Christian leaders in Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s. Working through proxies or directly, Israel and its Arab stooges committed massacres such as at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. “Israel” maintained good relations with separatist movements in Northern Iraq and in South Sudan and helped arm the South Sudanese army. Israel’s relationship to Barazani and attempts to break-up Iraq is now well known. In the 1990s at the behest of the Israel lobby, Iraq was subjected to sanctions led by the US and Arab regimes that resulted in the death of one million Iraqis half of them children. At the same behest, the US attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen (see http://qumsiyeh.org/connectingthedotsiraqpalestine/).

In 1986, King Hassan II of Morocco invited the Israeli Prime Minister for talks and following the Oslo disastrous accords, Morocco accelerated its economic ties and political contacts with Israel opening of bilateral liaison offices in 1994. As the late Edward Said showed eloquently that the Oslo Accords were a second Nakba for the Palestinian creating a Palestinian authority whose task was designated as protecting the occupiers from resistance and normalizing the occupation. After Arafat and Abbas signed these surrender treaties, Israel’s economy and its foreign recognition grew rapidly. The agreements also gave the occupying power the green light to grow its illegal activities in the occupied areas not turned over to the Palestinian authority (area C is the majority of the land).

Economic relations existed between Qatar and “Israel” between 1996 and 2000. In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services. Diplomatic and other ties between Tunisia and Israel fluctuated between strong ones in the 1990s to weaker ones during 2000-2005 to pick up again until the Tunisian revolution. In 1919 King Faisal Al-Hussain (Hashemite leader) signed an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann but one of his sons was later removed (by France) from power in Syria because of his opposition to Zionism. Israel signed a “peace treaty” with Jordan in 1994. However public sentiment in Jordan (among Jordanians of Palestinian or of Trans-Jordan heritage) remains strongly opposed to normalization efforts including in saddling Jordan with huge debts that serve Israeli interests (e.g. of the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal).

The CIA and the British intelligence services toppled the elected Mosaddaq government in Iran in 1953 to bring a more Israel friendly regime. This lasted until the Iranian revolution ended the Pahlavi criminal regime in 1979. Israel had good working and cooperation with Turkey from 1949 to 2011 when Israeli leaders engaged in a series of affronts and blunders including murdering Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara ship in International waters.

In 2015 Israel opened a diplomatic mission with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has helped Saudi Arabia and the UAE launch the war on Yemen in order to control the strategic Bab Al Mandeb strait (Red Sea to Indian Ocean). Egypt has also agreed to give two of its Islands in the Strait of Tiran to Saudi Arabia on Israel’s behest.

The above is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Zionist collusion with Arab leaders to destroy Palestine. Much remains hidden. Yet, understanding this history helps understand why rulers of “Saudi Arabia” and the UAE and others are colluding with Israel and the USA in a feverish attack on resistance forces in the Arab and Islamic world. While such collusion with colonialism is common in all parts of the world, the collaborators fail to read history to understand the fate of all tools of colonialism. They will face the same fate as other collaborators. As tools of colonialism, they are discarded as soon as they fulfil their designated roles.

Much of the developments after 1973 would not have happened had the PLO remained true to its principles. This is indeed a historic moment in our part of the world. Zionists feel emboldened like never before and intend on ending the Palestine question once and for all with collusion especially the key issue of refugees (would be forced to settle outside of Palestine). Developments in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and the rest of our region need to be watched in the context of this struggle and with the centrality of the issue of Palestine since it is the reason for all this. It is a struggle between those who think they can guarantee their thrones and positions by dong Zionist bidding and those who challenge colonialism. The choice is between mayhem that will spare no one (including those who collaborate) or rejection of division and then unity to fight imperialism, colonialism, and Zionism. Palestine remains the litmus test, the Achille’s heel of imperialism, and the key to peace. Each of us should take a clear stand. I am optimistic because 12.7 million Palestinians and hundreds of millions of others who follow their conscience will not let Zionism (and its complicit Arab and American rulers) liquidate the most just cause in human history. It is wise of complicity leaders to rethink their positions if for nothing else than for their own interests since colonial powers use tools and discard them and are never true to their words to those that do not belong to their “tribe”. This is amply illustrated with history of Israel itself and its collaborators (e.g. in Lebanon in the 1980s). Now we need to all work together towards a peace with justice, the inevitable outcome.

 

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS FOR ZION ~~ WORKING 24/7 TO DEFEAT BDS

Two-and-a-half years ago the initials BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) meant little to the wider general public. But then the BDS coalition that was established in 2005 and called for the imposition of economic, academic and cultural boycotts on Israel intensified its struggle especially by exerting heavy pressure on music artists not to perform in Israel.

These new reinvigorated efforts caused the Israeli government to declare the BDS a strategic threat, prompting the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to launch a campaign against the coordinated boycotts.

Interesting to see how zionists employ the nazi’s star symbol

 

Who’s afraid of the BDS? Meet the people on the frontline

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When the BDS movement intensified its efforts to ostracize Israel in all spheres of private and public life, a number of organizations, comprising academics and IDF veterans, made it their mission to tackle the phenomenon head on and deploy new forces, adopt fresh strategies, and exploit untapped advantages to counter the international smear campaign.
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Two-and-a-half years ago the initials BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) meant little to the wider general public. But then the BDS coalition that was established in 2005 and called for the imposition of economic, academic and cultural boycotts on Israel intensified its struggle especially by exerting heavy pressure on music artists not to perform in Israel.

These new reinvigorated efforts caused the Israeli government to declare the BDS a strategic threat, prompting the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to launch a campaign against the coordinated boycotts.

Today, dozens of organizations are engaged in the local and international battles to eliminate the erroneous and pernicious perceptions that the BDS movement seeks to instill within its supporters, among them IFOR (International Freedom of Research) ISRAELis, and the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS) that are leading the struggle against the boycotts on three fronts.

“The academic boycott threatens to silence liberal voices”

IFOR is the initiative by Dr. Sharona Aharoni-Goldenberg, a senior legal lecturer at the Netanya Academic College, who banded together with academic colleagues such as like Dr. Roy Gilbar in order to fight against the academic boycotts in Europe and the US.

The initiative was born two-and-a-half years ago after Dr. Goldenberg witnessed the gloomy reality taking place regarding Israel’s integration in the international academic word.

Their articles were rejected by magazines and periodicals, they were not invited to professional conferences and in may cases they were simply ignored or protested against during lectures and academic meetings.

Have such cases of academic boycotts occurred in history?

“Yes. It’s a disgrace. There is a picture from the year 1933 in which soldiers can be seen placed at the entrances of universities and not allowing Jewish researchers to enter,” she says.

Members of IFOR battle against the academic boycotts by utilizing tools they are most familiar with. They lecture in Israel and around the world, establish research groups an and write opinion pieces in the international press.

“We are trying to change the perception and communicate the message that academic boycotts are an oxymoron and that they are an assault on human rights,” says Dr. Goldenberg.

“Recently, for instance, there were calls to boycott a conference in Israel for cancer research. This harms the pursuit of truth, the advancement science and promotion of society. Another example is the Dublin Conference on the academic boycotts. Two Israeli research groups sent abstracts but were not allowed to enter the conference,” she recalled.

According to Dr. Goldenberg, many of the Israeli researchers are afraid of the boycotts and conceal their academic affiliation. Israeli students studying abroad also witness the anti-Israel climate permeating college campuses.

“It seeped not only to Israeli lecturers and students but also to Jewish students. In the US there are students who are scared to study in certain universities—universities that the Telegraph newspaper dubbed ‘no go zone’ universities, because they were bought by Islamic organizations,” Dr. Goldenberg explains.

“We see the effect which I call the ‘ripple effect.’ It started with silencing Israeli lecturers and continued into intimidating Israeli students and made its way to Jewish lecturers and students on campus. In my opinion, the next stage—and it has already begun—is the silencing of different liberal voices,” Dr. Goldenberg predicts.

Using post-military travels as a PR tool

ISRAELis is an organization that was established by three IDF officers, Eyal Biram, Barak Deri and Jonathan Sabrui, who after recently being discharged from their military service began to grasp the huge and untapped power held by young Israelis when it comes to portraying Israel’s image.

Every year, some 400,000 Israeli youngsters aged 20-24 travel abroad, the majority of whom are freshly discharged from the army. During their trip they get to know, on average, five fellow travelers of their age group, a meeting that has the potential to totally transform Israel’s image.

“The idea is to build a community of discharged soldiers who are involved in improving Israel’s public image,” says 25-year-old Biram, recounting his own experiences during his post-military travels which led to the creation of his organization.

“I met two French people and in a simple conversation over a beer in the hostel I managed to convey a simple message: What you have heard about Israel is simply not true. I told them that I served in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. They had never heard of the tunnels or about the soldiers who were killed. It’s possible that those same French people went home and came across the issues of the BDS and remembered that they met with Eyal from Israel and described the situation differently,” Biram says.

Today, the three young entrepreneurs hold training workshops in three stages in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and the Institute of Public Diplomacy.

The first stage includes basic training as part of a preparation course for freshly discharged IDF soldiers, who are given the tools to communicate messages designed to enhance Israel’s image.

The second phase consists of training a patrol team of activists comprising ambassadors aptly nicknamed “the tourists” who possess stronger public relations tools. The third stage, which is currently in its development stage, is a digital platform designed to assist and support tourists during their travels after the army.

“Nothing exists to help the population of discharged soldiers and we have here the ability to create a significant change. We have 1,500 graduates and we predict that by the end of 2017 we’ll have 40,000. At this rate, in another ten years half a million Israelis will be Israeli ambassadors,” Biram predicted.

The change begins from inside

Unlike ISRAELis, which concentrates most of its efforts on public relations outside Israel, the Institute for Zionist Strategies focuses all its energy inside Israel’s borders.

The institute was born 12 years ago, and five years ago, as part of its framework, the “Blue & White Human Rights” offshoot movement was created, an apolitical group managed by Noah Dromi which deals predominantly with rights of Palestinians.

“We don’t say that everything is wonderful and nothing is happening here,” explains the CEO of the IZS, Miri Shalem.

“We also don’t show a negative reality. IDF soldiers are not evil demons and even if the Palestinians don’t have a state, not everything is bad. Some of them work inside Israel and receive a high salary compared to what they would receive in the PA. They also receive medical treatment,” she points out.

The activities of the IZS against the BDS movement focus on three central areas. The first one is volunteer work at checkpoints in the West Bank (most of the volunteers are residents of Gush Etzion), which includes monitoring the operations of workers at the checkpoints, solving specific problems and giving medical assistance.

“All this is in cooperation with the authorities and without the involvement of the media,” Shalem stresses.

The second main area of focus is patrols at the checkpoints, which receives particular scrutiny from organizations abroad.

The third area is the training of geopolitical tour guides, a particularly popular area in the West Bank and less in Israel.

“We don’t present a rosy picture, but rather the complex reality that will cause people to question anchored perceptions in their minds.

“Sometimes when delegations arrive to Israel, like Taglit, they are given tours that ignore the reality—they are shown the startup nation and the beaches of Tel Aviv. Our activities are designed to create a change in the Israeli domestic discourse which also spreads abroad too. It allows for a different perspective on the conflict.”

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