ISRAEL FINDS A WAY TO END THE OCCUPATION

Even worse than it was before ….

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

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Israel to annex Maale Adumim?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

From

WEEK’S END TOON ~~ ISRAEL’S NEW TWO STATE SOLUTION

Image by Carlos Latuff

 ‘The Final Solution’

Two State "Solution" of Netanyahu & Lieberman

Two State “Solution” of Netanyahu & Lieberman

WATCH AS ISRAEL SELF DESTRUCTS

“The citizens of Israel should be worried about a rightist coalition that will bring Israel to very dangerous places,” said opposition leader Isaac Herzog at an event Wednesday hosted by the Israel Democracy Institute, according to  The Times of Israel.

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Israel Opposition Issues Dire Warnings on ‘Dangerous’ Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as Israel’s defense minister was quickly condemned by opposition lawmakers, who warned of a severe fallout at home and abroad.

“The citizens of Israel should be worried about a rightist coalition that will bring Israel to very dangerous places,” said opposition leader Isaac Herzog at an event Wednesday hosted by the Israel Democracy Institute, according to  The Times of Israel.

Herzog, head of the center-left Zionist Union party, had been in talks to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government until the last-minute agreement with Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party Tuesday night scuttled that possibility.

The addition of Yisrael Beiteinu to the government boosts Netanyahu’s majority from a narrow 61-seats to a comfortable 66 in the 120-seat Knesset.

“This government shares a worldview that will prevent us from moving forward,” said Knesset member Tzipi Livni, also of the Zionist Union, at a conference at Ariel University, as reported by The Jerusalem Post. “A worldview that will isolate us in the world, and embolden BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel].”

Opposition leaders warned that Liberman’s ascension to defense chief threatened progress on peace negotiations with the Palestinians, citing past statements in which he called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a terrorist. Netanyahu insisted he was still committed to pursuing peace.

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, who once collaborated with Liberman to combat the influence of the ultra-Orthodox parties, slammed him for now joining them in the coalition and dropping demands for education reform and national service requirements.

“Signing the agreement and the entry of Yisrael Beiteinu into the coalition is not an achievement,” Lapid said. “It is an embarrassing surrender, a betrayal of the public trust, and an abandonment of the pubic.”

Meanwhile, Zionist Union Knesset member Amir Peretz said the coalition agreement was “an alliance between the most extreme elements of the Knesset.” And the head of the left-wing Meretz party, Zehava Gal-On, reminded Israelis of past controversies surrounding Lieberman.

“Do you recall that this man got out of affairs for which he was interrogated only when the witnesses died mysteriously? Do you recall that every public role this man has held mysteriously led to his family getting rich?” she said, according to Channel 10.

An ocean away, New York Times columnist Thomas Friendman bemoaned Netanyahu’s choice to partner with Liberman in an article that pointed to hand-wringing from a number of Israeli officials and publications. On Monday, The New York Times editorial board anticipated the move, warning:”Avigdor Lieberman’s previous stints as Israel’s foreign minister under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were a disaster for Israeli-American relations.”

Netanyahu and Liberman’s parties ran as a joint list in the 2013 election.

Also see THIS report

Avigdor Lieberman Quake Rocks Israel — Barely a Tremor in the U.S.

ISRAEL WILL REAP WHAT IT SOWS ….

 Is Sharp Turn to Right Planting ‘Seeds of Fascism’ in Israel?

Israel has been “infected by the seeds of fascism,”  it should be “a red light for all of us regarding what’s going on in the government.”

FascismChecklist

By Luke Baker

A military affairs commentator interrupts his broadcast to deliver a monolog: I’m alarmed by what’s happening in Israel, he says, I think my children should leave.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak warns of “the seeds of fascism.” Moshe Arens, who served as defense minister three times, sees it as a turning point in Israeli politics and expects it to cause a “political earthquake.”

The past five days have produced tumult in Israeli politics, since conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly turned his back on a deal to bring the center-left into his coalition and instead joined hands with far-right nationalist Avigdor Lieberman, one of his most virulent critics.

Lieberman, a West Bank settler, wants to be defense minister. So on Friday, Netanyahu’s former ally and confidant, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, resigned and quit Netanyahu’s Likud party in disgust.

After a weekend to digest the developments, which are expected to be finalized in an agreement between Netanyahu and Lieberman on Monday to form the most right-wing government in Israel’s 68-year-old history, commentators have tried to put it in perspective and found themselves alarmed.

Arens, who has served as defense minister, foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, and is one of Netanyahu’s early political mentors, said the machinations would have far-reaching repercussions.

“Yaalon’s ouster is likely to be a turning point in Israel’s political history,” he wrote in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. “A political earthquake is in the offing. It may take a little time, but it is coming. The law of unforeseen consequences is at work.”

The decision to jettison Yaalon in favor of Lieberman was all too much for Roni Daniel, a veteran military affairs commentator on Channel 2.

“I cannot urge my children to stay here, because it is a place that is not nice to be in,” he said in his monolog, going on to name a number of far-right politicians.

“HOSTILE TAKEOVER”

By bringing the Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) party into the fold, Netanyahu strengthens his coalition from 61 to 67 seats in the 120-member parliament.

Lieberman’s brand of politics — pro-settlement, wary of peace negotiations, tough on the Palestinians — sits far more comfortably with Netanyahu and his right-wing partners than the center-left does.

But it means there is no countervailing voice in the government, and the person in charge of defense — the most important portfolio in Israel after the prime minister — is a civilian with little military experience.

At a time when the command of the Israel Defense Forces is already at odds with the government over policies it feels are too hard-line, Lieberman’s appointment risks creating more tension between the political leadership and the military. Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are on edge too.

“What has happened is a hostile takeover of the Israeli government by dangerous elements,” Ehud Barak, Israel’s most decorated soldier and a former defense minister following his spell as head of government, told Channel 10 TV.

Israel has been “infected by the seeds of fascism,” he said, adding that it should be “a red light for all of us regarding what’s going on in the government.”

Netanyahu sought to quell the rising criticism at a new conference on Sunday, describing himself as in charge and as having the nation’s interests at heart.

“I’m looking out for the country’s future. I have proved that as prime minister. I hear a lot of voices; many things are said in politics,” he said.

“Ultimately, it’s the prime minister who directs everything together with the defense minister, with the chief of staff, and apparently I haven’t done such a bad job during my years as prime minister — that’s the way it is going to be now.”

Some allies leapt to Netanyahu’s defense, saying the appointment of Lieberman was a sound decision and that he would offer “fresh thinking” as defense minister, but the focus of commentary was on the broader direction that Israel is taking.

A DECADE IN POWER

Netanyahu has held power for more than 10 years, spread over four terms. In that time, politics has moved steadily to the right, with his coalition now hinging on support from Orthodox religious and ultra-nationalist parties.

There has been no progress in efforts to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, with Netanyahu saying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is not the right partner because he rejects Israel’s demand to recognize it as a Jewish state.

At the same time, the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek for their own state together with Gaza, continues apace.

Ties between Israel and the United States, its closest ally, have become strained, with Vice President Joe Biden saying last month that the U.S. administration felt “overwhelming frustration” with the Israeli government.

For Daniel, who is regarded as a stalwart of the right, something has changed fundamentally.

“It’s over. I will not persuade my children. They will decide where they want to live. But if that once looked like a terrible tragedy to me, today it doesn’t,” he said.—Reuters

*

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PHOTO OF THE DAY … A REAL NAZI SALUTE FROM A REAL NAZI

A NAZI STAR ON ISRAEL’S HORIZON

Avigdor Liberman speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Avigdor Liberman speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

See yesterday’s related post HERE

#InIsrael ~~ UPGRADING APARTHEID

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

WHY NOT TODAY ???

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

Israel Announces $77M Plan to Improve Palestinian Checkpoint Conditions

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

Moshe Kahlon and Moshe Yaalon, who is expected to be replaced as defense chief by Avigdor Liberman as part of a shakeup in the governing coalition, said the plan would make checkpoints, which tens of thousands of Palestinians go through in order to reach jobs in Israel, more efficient and secure, the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

The program is expected to cost $77 million.

Yaalon said in a statement that the program will decrease the wait times for Palestinians at crossings between “30 to 50 percent” and increase the amount of goods that can be transferred by “approximately 30 percent.”

Last month Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party who in 2012 was named by a settler group as the second-most right-wing member of the Knesset, surprised many when he criticized the “shameful” conditions at the checkpoints.

Ariel, a former leader of the Yesha Council settlers advocacy group and longtime supporter of settlement construction, noted that West Bank Palestinians are often forced to wait at checkpoints for hours without shade, water or other shelter from harsh weather conditions.

Ariel also called for a new port in Gaza, which has been subject to an Israeli naval blockade since 2006, when Hamas won control of Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel, Yaalon is said to be under current consideration for the post of foreign minister.

A NAZI STAR ON ISRAEL’S HORIZON

A final word to the Israeli Jewish society… 

Don’t you ever think that a Nazi or Nazi-like War Minister will benefit you or bring about more security, stability and peace to you. I strongly believe the opposite would happen. 

Many Germans thought the same with regard to the Third Reich. We know the rest of the story. 

And don’t you ever think that Jewish morality wouldn’t allow the emergence of a Jewish Hitler. 

Germany was probably the most cultured society under the sun in the years leading up to the Holocaust. 

Just think about it!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu and his new partner AvigdorLiberman respond to Paris peace talks

Netanyahu and his new partner AvigdorLiberman respond to Paris peace talks

Heil Lieberman! 

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Today a real Nazi star is rising in Israel’s sky as Former extremist Minister Avigdor Lieberman is being groomed for becoming Israel’s new War Minister. 

Lieberman, an ex-club bouncer, reportedly with pedophile tendencies, has been promised the defense portfolio by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following the dismissal of erstwhile Defense minister Moshe Yaalon. 

The appointment of Lieberman at the helm of the Defense Ministry, many observers agree, marks an unprecedented Nadir in Israeli politics. 

Some Jewish writers have already compared the dramatic ascendance of Lieberman to the country’s top security post with the rise in Germany of the Nazi party in the late 1920s. 

The man is seen as encapsulating a genocidal combination of both German Nazism and Soviet Stalinism. Stalin is reportedly Lieberman’s ultimate role model. Moreover, It is widely thought that had millions of Jews not been exterminated by Nazism, Hitler, too would have become Lieberman’s hero. 

In 2006, this writer wrote the following, after Lieberman was elected to the Knesset: 

“Lieberman is more than just “controversial” as the Zionist and Zionist-controlled media would portray him, mainly in order to evade facing the reality of his fascist-mindset. He is actually a dangerous demagogic politician and warmonger who advocates ethnic cleansing, genocide and a nuclear Armageddon. In fact, the man can be viewed as a Hitler-in-the-making with very little exaggeration. Lieberman’s thuggish behavior is very well known even among Jews in Israel. In 1999, the former Moldovan immigrant attacked and savagely beat, some say bit, a neighbor’s child for allegedly beating his own son. 

The affair was publicized in Israel but eventually died down when Lieberman’s star rose, first as a lawmaker representing Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union and second as cabinet minister in Ariel Sharon’s government 2001-2003. 

As a cabinet minister Lieberman espoused Nazi-like ideas so brazenly that then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had to warn him that he might be summoned to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity if he decided to effect his racist ideology. 

On 8 March, 2002, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot quoted him as saying the following during a cabinet meeting: 

At eight o’clock, we bomb all commercial centers (in the occupied territories), at 12 o’clock we bomb all fuel stations, and at two o’clock in the afternoon, we bomb all the banks, and we keep the border crossings open ( to allow Palestinians to flee).” 

Today, Lieberman remains unchanged, unreformed and unrepentant to put it very mildly. His bloodthirstiness, criminal-mindedness, and genocidal savagery are as affronting as ever. 

That is why we may well be about to witness a new turning point in the annals of the Arab-Israel conflict, a turning point characterized by pornographic   genocidal violence, probably unseen since 1948. 

The genocidal thug is already threatening to murder Palestinian leaders, including Ismael Haniyya, the former elected Palestinian Prime Minister. He is also threatening,   rather brashly, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, telling him “you either heed our orders or will meet Yasser Arafat’s and Ahmed Yasin’s fate.’ (Yasin was assassinated by Israel in Gaza on 22 March, 2004, and Arafat, who died on 11 November the same year, is widely believed to have been poisoned by Israeli agents.) 

A final word to the Israeli Jewish society. 

Don’t you ever think that a Nazi or Nazi-like War Minister will benefit you or bring about more security, stability and peace to you. I strongly believe the opposite would happen. 

Many Germans thought the same with regard to the Third Reich. We know the rest of the story. 

And don’t you ever think that Jewish morality wouldn’t allow the emergence of a Jewish Hitler. 

Germany was probably the most cultured society under the sun in the years leading up to the Holocaust. 

Just think about it!

#InPalestine ~~ ECHOS FROM THE GENERAL’S SON

… that  both Palestinians and Israelis must be allowed to live free and in peace in a state that represents them both, governed by the same laws … only after a democratic state is established and a government that represents all the people is in place, will we be able to resolve the crisis in Gaza, welcome the refugees’ return, calculate reparations, solve issues of water and citizenship, dismantle the wall and checkpoints, and live and function as people should.

Cover art: The General’s Son – 2nd Edition – Just World Books

Cover art: The General’s Son – 2nd Edition – Just World Books

Why Miko Peled’s story resonates for Palestinians

Little Ghada has the largest and most alert black eyes of any four-year old in my hometown in Galilee. One morning last week as I sat in their front yard sipping Arabic coffee with her grandfather she stopped on the way to pre-school for her morning kiss. Out of the clear blue she turned to me and asked if I thought Israeli soldiers were human beings. Why the question, I asked and she explained that they shoot children. Before I could say anything she started skipping hopscotch style with her schoolbag bouncing on her back as she mumbled rhythmically: ”Two here … two here …  and those … shot those … bang, bang, bang … and those two … went to sleep.” Then the mother grabbed the kid’s hand and hurried her to the car.

I had forgotten the passing incident till I read the pages in Miko Peled’s The General’s Son describing the ‘Palestinian Bar Mitzva,’ the initiation rite for Palestinian children into the inescapable violent encounters with the Israeli occupying forces. Miko’s autobiographical account of his lifelong voyage, so far, from a Zionist youth and the scion of Zionist leaders to an avowed anti-Zionist peace activist makes for a fascinating read. Especially for a Palestinian, it is quite memorable with trigger points that bring back memories of violence, discrimination and oppression at every turn of his account. At least for me Miko’s authentic narrative evoked many a personal memory, that of little Ghada being the freshest.

At the start and for near half of his book, Miko narrates his memories from the familiar perspective of the liberal Israeli Zionist straddling the ethical divide of freedom fighter and, at the same time, oppressive settler colonialist. Most of the narrative here is dedicated to setting up the indisputable Zionist credentials of Miko’s lineage: His mother the descendant of recognized leaders in the early settlement movement and his father, Matti Peled a towering Israeli General of both 1948 and 1967 wars. As a pacifist, I have a gut-level aversion to the military and to generals; the brighter their medals shine, the greater my repugnance. Miko Peled spends a good deal of the first chapters of his account glorifying the military image of his father as a fighter, perhaps in an attempt to preempt accusations of treason by fellow Israelis. Only towards the end and especially in the epilogue to the second edition Miko renounces Zionism completely and assumes the full ethical stand on the side of its Palestinian victims. This development is historically gradual and must have evolved with a greater personal struggle than the author lets on in the book. He speculates that had he survived, the retired general “would call for a single democracy with equal rights.” I read that as altered Zionism. I doubt that General Matti would have abandoned Zionism altogether. Zika, his wife, never does openly. Still, she comes across as a most sympathetic figure that gets short-scripted in favor of The General. Her refusal to move into the home of an exiled Palestinian family, a down-to-earth gesture of basic humanity, shines through as a glaring exception to all the usual self-congratulatory accounts of Zionist victories.

Like several other outspoken liberal Zionist leaders of the time (Uri Avnery and Dov Yaremeya are two acquaintances that come to mind) Matti Peled opts to draw a line under the 1948 war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and focuses his liberal views on the need to end the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The sincerity and success of his attempts to build bridges with Palestinian leaders and other Arab figures is quite striking, witness links he makes with Issam Sartawi, Arafat and Naguib Mahfouz. In the meanwhile Miko finds alternative heroes to worship in the intense relationship he has with his Karate masters. As I grasp this peaceful solution to the young man’s psychic dilemma I breathe easy. Till then I had held my breath as I read Miko’s admiring remarks about the military career of Ariel Sharon. I feared he would become Sharon’s protégé and fall under the Machiavellian spell of the Sabra and Shatilla criminal mastermind.

The tension in my mind is allayed by Miko’s career choice of teaching Karate in the USA. His business succeeds. Then the tragic loss of his teenage niece, Smadar, another random victim of the violence that Israel’s occupation fuels, shakes Miko to his core. It forces him closer to the cause of peace with Palestinians and we see him lose his innocence and Israeli inborn misconceptions and prejudices layer after layer. “Her death pushed me into a bold examination of my Zionist beliefs, my country’s history, and the political situation that fueled the suicide bombers who killed her.” Peace is the only solution, he concludes. But how does one act on such convictions? Initially he dabbles in delaying tactics of attending and hosting Arab-Jewish peace and reconciliation groups. He sidesteps the real issues by engaging in charitable relief work, supplying wheelchairs to Palestinian and Israeli paraplegics. His partner in this form of pattern-holding in terms of political activism is the Palestinian Nader Elbanna, another California rotarian who introduces him to a wide circle of fellow Palestinians back home. Thus the urge to confront challenges directly returns our Miko to the real arena of current events, the powder keg of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. He plies his marketable skill as a Karate master to youth in refugee camps, attends the weekly anti-Apartheid Wall marches in Bili’in and similar aggrieved villages, crosses into Gaza through a tunnel and meets with the steadfast leaders of the Palestinian peaceful resistance movement across the seething arena.

Here, a towering leader, Abu-Ali Shaheen, provides another pinnacle of heroism as the Palestinian warrior and, for over two decades, the leader of the Palestinian political prisoners who is credited with setting the rules for their conduct and political education while incarcerated. Such is the character of this Palestinian legendary sumoud – perseverance — leader that Miko seems to build up the image of his own father through the man’s testimony to his character. Abu-Ali recounts to Miko in his prison-learned Hebrew the details of the massacre the Israeli forces committed in his home village of Beshshit before adding:

“Everyone in Rafah talked about the fact that Matti Peled, one of the greatest officers of the Israeli army, a general that was highly respected, straight like an arrow, the man who was military governor of Gaza, came in person, he even drove himself, and visited the homes of the victims. Your father visited my family’s home, he spoke to the adults and he consoled the children. People commented how disturbed he was when they took him to the spot where the massacre took place. Your father also wrote a report to Yitzhak Rabin and Haim Bar-Lev, but they did nothing.”

The glare of the father’s heroic stand on the issue of principle is such that the reader is blinded to the base act of the massacre’s Israeli perpetrators. Here, finally, Miko reaches the climactic closing of the circle that justifies his entire narrative of peace and reconciliation, looping back to his foremost heroic idol, Matti Peled. Abu-Ali continues:

“It became known that this changed [Matti] from a militant man to a man dedicated to peace. I felt your father was with us and that washed away the anger in my heart completely. Completely!”

What more intense encounter can the reader expect after this but the ultimate breaking down of racial boundaries illustrated by Miko’s falling in love and partnering with Fadwa Natour, a Palestinian that we meet only in the epilogue to the new edition of the book. The question of whether it was the egg or the chicken bursts out of the pages begging to be answered. Speculation aside, Mikos conversion is complete:

What I do now, is speak, write and actively participate in the resistance to the Zionist regime in Palestine. Peace for Israelis and Palestinians is possible if we look outside the Paradigm of the Zionist state, a state wrongly called the “Jewish State.” Though Israelis outside the West Bank do not like to see themselves as settlers, we Israelis are like the whites in South Africa—colonizers and settlers—and, whether or not we choose to call it by that name, the country in which we live is Palestine.

Avigail Abarbanel, a psychologist, collected and edited 25 essays in a book entitled Beyond Tribal Loyalties –Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 2012.) Her hidden agenda was to discover a common factor among all the participants in the project. Here is her conclusion:

I realized that there is in fact something that all the activists in this book have in common: they all have the capacity to tolerate difficult emotions. I call this “emotional resilience.”

Reading his account, one can’t but credit Miko Peled with an ample share of “emotional resilience.” But reading Abarbanel’s book I had my own agenda: to discover the critical point at which such peace activists switch sides from Zionists to true peace activists. I dwelled on the subject in a review on my blog. Out of the sample of 25 such ‘switchers’ I constructed an average persona who, as it turns out, was a female:

The figure that emerged is akin to the proverbial horse designed by a committee: She is usually a woman who grew up in a liberal Jewish family. Her parents were mostly of the PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine) variety with solid WIZO and JNF credentials, accepting and propounding their dominant communal mythology and undisputed gospel, both that of the Old Testament and of the Zionist doctrines with all its required founding ‘truths.’ … Then our woman … is exposed to the wider world. Somewhere along the way she is exposed to a different point of view about the Israel-Palestine conflict: She meets Palestinians and is surprised to find that they are human. She reads a book by the likes of Edward Said or Avi Shlaim or is otherwise exposed to an alternative source of information with ‘subversive content.’ That blows the cover of her former solid Hasbara world. The cognitive dissonance within her cries for resolution and she commits to finding the truth for her self. From there the descent into pro-Palestinian activism is inevitable … Punishment for such a sin is not long in coming in the form of exclusion from the tribal fold and the loss of former friendships.

Except for the gender of the composite character I drew, I could have predicted Miko’s life cycle to a T. And Miko himself attests openly to the implied contradiction and mutual exclusivity of the two sides: Zionist Hasbara and pro-Palestinian peace activism. The only escape, Miko posits and all sane concerned people agree, is:

… that  both Palestinians and Israelis must be allowed to live free and in peace in a state that represents them both, governed by the same laws … only after a democratic state is established and a government that represents all the people is in place, will we be able to resolve the crisis in Gaza, welcome the refugees’ return, calculate reparations, solve issues of water and citizenship, dismantle the wall and checkpoints, and live and function as people should.

Amen!

Written FOR Mondoweiss

#PanamaPapers ~~ SAUDI KING FINANCED NETANYAHU’S ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Isaac Herzog, member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Israeli Labor party, revealed that Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz financed the election campaign of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Let’s see if Bibi can wiggle his way out of this one ….

New Panama Papers Data Leak has revealed that the king of Saudi Arabia Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz gave  eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign

New Panama Papers Data Leak has revealed that the king of Saudi Arabia Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz gave eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign

Panama Papers: Saudi Arabia King Sponsored Netanyahu’s Campaign

“In March 2015, King Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali. The money was deposited to a company’s account in British Virgin Islands owned by Teddy Sagi, an Israeli billionaire and businessman, who has allocated the money to fund the campaign Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, Herzog cited a leaked Panama Paper.

Around eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca as it worked for 40 years without suspicion. The leaked documents showed how Mossack Fonseca firm has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.

The documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca have been delivered to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Later, around 107 media organisations in 78 countries have been analysing the documents. Among the media agencies are the BBC, Panorama and UK newspaper the Guardian. The BBC said that it does not know the identity of the source.

However, the director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Gérard Ryle said the documents covered the day-to-day business at Mossack Fonseca over the past 40 years. He said it will be one of the biggest blows offshore,”I think the leak will prove to be probably the biggest blow the offshore world has ever taken because of the extent of the documents.” The blow will extend offshore the world,even middle east leaders were linked to this company.

The documents show 12 current or former heads of state with at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data. It also contains secret offshore companies linked to the families and associates of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Arabia’s king Salman.

Moreover, the documents include the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugson, who had a hidden interest related to his wife’s wealth and is now facing calls for his resignation. The files also unveiled suspected money laundering ring with billion dollars involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The documents also show how the company offered financial assistances and services how it helped business clients hide their wealth or to do illegal many transactions.

 

Source

 

#InIsrael ~~ A DAY OF SELECTIVE MOURNING

At 8 P.M. tomorrow evening sirens will sound throughout Israel. Traffic will come to a complete halt as Israelis stand in silence for one minute to honour and remember their fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. This will be followed by ceremonies at military cemeteries and government institutions all evening and all of the next day until sundown.

Animated_Candle

Who will stand with me to honour and remember the hundreds of Palestinian children and women killed by Israeli soldiers and zioterrorists?

Who will stand with me to honour the memory of Democracy itself in Israel??

Hopefully I will not be standing alone.

Here I present a recent post from the archives dealing with some recent killings …

A TIME FOR ALL JEWS TO MOURN

According to both Jewish and Muslim rituals, a dead person must be buried as soon as possible. Notifications are usually posted in Jewish neighbourhoods in Israel to announce the time of the funeral. Announcements are made via loudspeakers from local mosques announcing the same.

BUT ….

This week was different as death notices for a murdered Palestinian child appeared in Jewish areas …

As well as one for a young girl stabbed to death at Jerusalem’s Pride Parade

Death notices, in the style of the public mourning notices that are commonplace across Israel, have appeared — posted in public areas and online, in Hebrew and English — mourning the two lost children and noting the climate of hatred that spurred on these Jewish extremist attacks. Controversial for their inventive remixing of a “classic” Israeli cultural phenomenon, the mourning notices easily attract attention. They were created by Ilana Sichel and Romy Achituv, writers and artist-activists who sought to commemorate what they called the victims of “our society’s ills: our intolerance, our hatred, our prejudice.”
(More HERE)

Image: Facebook

 

Rabbis visit Palestinian family targeted in firebomb attack Tzohar

Rabbis visit Palestinian family targeted in firebomb attack Tzohar

Whatever the reasons are for this show of solidarity, they are positive moves. Perhaps it is in preparation for the demise of the Jewish State itself, if these senseless murders continue.

The following is a MUST READ

All Israelis Are Guilty of Setting a Palestinian Family on Fire
It’s simply not possible to cheer for the brigade commander who shoots a Palestinian teenager, and then be shocked by settlers who throw a firebomb at an inhabited house.

Gideon Levy

Israelis stab gay people and burn children. There isn’t a shred of slander, the slightest degree of exaggeration, in this dry description. True, these are the actions of a few. True, too, that their numbers are increasing. It’s true that all of them – all the murderers, everyone who torches, who stabs, who uproots trees – are from the same political camp. But the opposing camp also shares the blame.

All those who thought that it would possible to sustain islands of liberalism in the sea of Israeli fascism were shown up this weekend, once and for all. It’s simply not possible to cheer for the brigade commander who shoots a teenager, and then be shocked by the settlers who set a family on fire; to support gay rights, and hold a founding conference in Ariel; to be enlightened, and then pander to the right and seek to partner with it. Evil knows no bounds; it begins in one place and quickly spreads in every direction.

The first breeding ground of those who torched the Dawabsheh family was the Israel Defense Forces, even if the offenders didn’t serve in it. When the killing of 500 children in the Gaza Strip is legitimate, and doesn’t even compel a debate, a moral reckoning, then what’s so terrible about setting a house on fire, together with its inhabitants? After all, what’s the difference between lobbing a fire bomb and dropping a bomb? In terms of the intention, or the intent, there is no difference.

When the shooting of Palestinians becomes an almost daily occurrence – two more have already been killed since the family was burned: one in the West Bank, another on the border of the Gaza Strip – who are we to complain about the fire throwers in Duma? When the lives of Palestinians are officially the army’s for the taking, their blood cheap in the eyes of Israeli society, then settler militias are also permitted to kill them. When the IDF’s ethic in the Gaza Strip is that it is permitted to do anything in order to save one soldier, who are we to complain about right-wingers like Baruch Marzel, who told me this weekend it was permissible to kill thousands of Palestinians in order to protect a single hair from the head of a Jew. Such is the atmosphere, such is the result. Original responsibility for it goes to the IDF.

No less to blame, of course, are the governments and politicians who vie with each other over who can suck up the most to the settlers. Whoever gives them 300 new homes in exchange for their violence at the flagship settlement of Beit El is telling them not only that violence is permissible, but also that it pays. It is already hard to draw the line between throwing bags of urine at police officers and fire bombs into people’s homes.

Also to blame, of course, are the law enforcement authorities, starting with the Judea and Samaria District Police – the most ridiculous and scandalous of all police districts, and not by chance. Nine Palestinian homes were torched in the past three years, according to B’Tselem. How many people have been prosecuted? None. So what happened in Duma on Friday? The fire was simply better, in the eyes of the arsonists and their minions.

Their minions also include the silent, the forgiving and all those who think the evil will remain forever within the confines of the West Bank. Their minions also include the Israelis who are convinced that the People of Israel is the chosen people, and as a result is permitted to do anything – including torching the homes of non-Jews, with their inhabitants inside.

So, too, many of those who were shocked by the act, including figures who have visited the victims in Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv – the president, the prime minister, the opposition leader and their aides – imbibed the racist, infuriating “You have chosen us from all the peoples” with their mothers’ milk.

At the end of a terrible day, it is this that leads to the burning of families whom God did not choose. No principle in Israeli society is more destructive, or more dangerous, than this principle. Nor, unfortunately, more common. If you were to examine closely what is concealed beneath the skin of most Israelis, you would find: the chosen people. When that is a fundamental principle, the next torching is only a matter of time.

Their minions are everywhere, and most of them are now tsk-tsking and expressing dismay at what happened. But what occurred couldn’t have not happened; what happened was dictated by the needs of reality, the reality of Israel and its value system. What happened will happen again, and no one will be spared. We all torched the Dawabsheh family.

SOURCE

IN TOONS ~~ DOGGY STYLE DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Images by Carlos Latuff

F… the people!

Israel Lobby and US Policy

Israel Lobby and US Policy

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Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

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Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

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Put a boot on his head!

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

BEX ALERT ~~ HOW GREAT THE OCCUPATION IS FOR GAZA’S CHILDREN

“A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel,” the Tuesday post stated.

COGAT said the children “went for a walk through the #‎naturereserve Gan HaShlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country,” and wished them “a day full of fun and adventure.”

mage of Gaza children taken for a day out at a nature reserve by Israel’s COGAT occupation authority. COGAT posted the image on its Facebook page.

Image of Gaza children taken for a day out at a nature reserve by Israel’s COGAT occupation authority. COGAT posted the image on its Facebook page.

Israeli propaganda stunt exploits Gaza children

During the most brutal days of apartheid in South Africa, the racist regime produced reams of propaganda, including glossy magazines that “featured images of wonderful wild animals, sunsets and happy Black people on the beach.”

As South African author Ron Nixon documents in two books, Operation Blackwash and Selling Apartheid, such propaganda was often generated under the guidance of the regime’s intelligence agencies, with the aim of counteracting growing international criticism and pressure.

“Operation Heartbreak”

One scheme, part of a campaign backed by the racist government in the late 1980s, was cynically dubbed “Operation Heartbreak.” It involved a Black US pastor bringing a group of American children to deliver dolls to members of Congress.

“Each doll represented a child who would be harmed by the sanctions Congress had imposed on South Africa,”Nixon writes. “Organizers of the event also said the dolls represented children harmed by the tactics of the African National Congress and its all-out war against the apartheid government.”

These propaganda messages failed to stop the growing momentum for boycott, divestment and sanctions on South Africa – pressure that eventually helped bring down the white supremacist regime and usher in a non-racial democracy.

But similar tactics are now being revived by the apartheid government of Israel, as part of its all-out assault against the BDS movement.

Nowadays, the same type of bogus grassroots campaigns make the same type of claims that BDS hurts Palestinians more than it helps them.

These claims aim to distract from the devastating economic impact and human rights abuses directly caused by Israel’s occupation and illegal colonization of the West Bank.

Israel’s propaganda

The manipulative South African propaganda came to mind when I saw a Facebook post by COGAT, the Israeli military authority that rules the lives of millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel,” the Tuesday post stated.

COGAT said the children “went for a walk through the #‎naturereserve Gan HaShlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country,” and wished them “a day full of fun and adventure.”

LIVE: A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from #Gaza crossed #Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in #Israel pic.twitter.com/KsYncAERE0

— COGAT (@cogat_israel) April 26, 2016

The occupation authority posted photos of the children, including the one at the top of this article, with their faces blurred, on Facebook and Twitter.

“Cool,” commented Gaza writer Refaat Alareer sarcastically, “Now we Palestinians feel OK about the thousands of kids Israel has murdered and the seven decades of occupation, oppression and humiliation.”

It should be noted that this is the same COGAT that routinely blocks patients from Gaza, including children, from leaving the besieged territory for lifesaving treatment.

In the first 10 months of 2015, COGAT denied 1,035 Palestinians in Gaza exit permits to receive necessary treatment in the occupied West Bank, present-day Israel or Jordan. That represents almost twice as many denials as were issued the entire previous year.

And yet when it is helpful to Israeli propaganda, COGAT allows a few children out of Gaza for a single day.

Destroying children’s lives

Israel has tried to pull off a propaganda stunt with Gaza children for a while – an effort to use orphans from Gaza in a similar manner was foiled in 2014 when Hamas put a stop to it.

Palestinian media, citing Israeli media, reported that this time the trip was given the go-ahead by Hamas after the intervention of Qatar.

The defenders of such cynical gimmicks will undoubtedly claim that critics like myself, or Alareer, are against Palestinian children having fun; of course we are not.

I am against Israel imposing conditions that historian Ilan Pappe has termed “incremental genocide” against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, about half of whom are aged 18 or under.

I am against Israel massacring 551 children as part of its most recent war in Gaza and then claiming this as “self-defense.”

I am against Israel destroying vast swathes of Gaza then blocking reconstruction by maintaining a siege, which although devastating to Palestinians is very lucrative for Israeli companies.

According to a recent survey by the UN monitoring group OCHA, 44,000 Gaza children whose homes were destroyed in the 2014 Israeli attack are still displaced.

“Around 225,000 children in Gaza require psychosocial support and child protection services,” the report adds.

Will Israel allow them all to visit a nature reserve?

I am against Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including routine killings with no accountability and the fact that Israel is the only country in the world to annually prosecute hundreds of children (Palestinians only) in military courts.

I am against all this and I am also against Israel then using a very tiny number of children from Gaza in a photo-op to falsely portray itself as benevolent and caring.

Ironically, the propaganda – or hasbara – appears to have backfired, at least with many of the Israelis who reacted with outrage to COGAT’s post.

“Shame on you,” wrote Leat Bodenheimer in a typical comment, “There are lots of Jewish children who would have liked this and instead you went and took a murderous enemy in the hope that they will love you.”

Such pervasive attitudes toward Palestinians underscore that the children of Gaza are not victims of a natural disaster who just need a nice day out to forget their woes.

They are victims of Israel, its brutal wars, racism, occupation, settler-colonialism and siege. They need an end to Israel’s oppression and they need justice for what Israel has done and is doing to them.

Israel’s cynical exploitation of these children should cut no more ice with anyone who cares about Palestinian rights than the crude South African propaganda did with those committed to ending apartheid.

Update

Shortly after this article was published, COGAT appears to have deleted the Facebook post. Perhaps even they figured out that this propaganda would not fly.

#InIsrael ~~ APARTHEID SANCTIONED BY THE COURT

Dozens of Arab families who were planning to build homes in the Jewish city of Afula have lost their leases to the land after an Israeli judge said that they illegally coordinated their bids.

“It’s so unjust,”  “If this is not racism, so what is?”

telavivap

Israeli Judge Says No to Arabs Building in Jewish Town — Cites Bidding Woes

Dozens of Arab families who were planning to build homes in the Jewish city of Afula have lost their leases to the land after an Israeli judge said that they illegally coordinated their bids.

Last November, hundreds of Jewish residents of Afula protested the prospect of Arab neighbors after Arab families won tenders to build 47 houses in the northern Israeli city. Demonstrators demanded Afula mayor Yitzhak Meron revoke the tenders, calling him a “traitor” and a “terrorist.”

A group of Jewish families who bid and lost tenders for the land first complained to the Israel Land Authority, contending that the Arab bidders had been in coordination with one another. The ILA rejected the complaint saying that it was natural for bidders with personal connections to exchange information, said Haaretz.

The Jewish families then took their petition to a Nazareth court.

On Sunday April 24, a Nazareth judge ruled in favor of the Jewish families. He said that the Arab families had organized their bids so they weren’t competing against each other and coordinated prices in a manner that “upset the market’s natural balance,” according to Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper.

Their coordination “seriously harmed the principle of equality, a principle that is at the foundation of tender law,” the judge said.

Itai Cohen, a representative of the Jewish families told Maariv: “This is a day of celebration for Afula, and particularly for those who were concerned about the the fate of the city’s Jewish makeup.”

According to Abdullah Zoabi, a lawyer representing four Arab families, the judge did not rule that the Arab families were disqualified from trying to bid on the land again. Abdullah said he was waiting to learn whether the state would intervene and limit the bidding to Afula’s Jewish residents.

Arab lawmakers are calling foul on the Nazareth court, saying the decision was driven by racism. Knesset Member Basel Ghattas told Maariv that the court’s decision reflected the “spirit of racism that has been sweeping the country. These state institutions have always used planning and construction laws to deprive Arabs of their lands and rights, and the Nazareth District Court’s decision gave a seal of approval to a petition that was lodged exclusively out of racist motives.”

The Nazareth judge invalidated the entire group of tenders, saying that the entire bidding process was “defective” and there was no way to exempt those who did not coordinate. Zoabi’s four clients were found not to have coordinated, but they lost their right to build anyway. He said he that the four families will appeal the decision to the Israeli High Court.

Iman Sharary told the Forward she was extremely disappointed to learn that the Nazareth judge disqualified her family building in Afula. She wanted to lease the land in Afula for her sons and their families, since land is at a premium in Yafia, the village where they grew up. She believes that the judge’s decision was racially motivated.

“It’s so unjust,” she said. “If this is not racism, so what is?”

She said that she and her husband, Riad Sharary, did not coordinate their bid and that she had no idea who the other Arab bidders were. Now, she is looking for a new place for her sons to settle down.

“I’ll find other places. It’s not Afula or nothing,” she said. “There are other places that are much less aggressive and much less humiliating and much less threatening.”

TOOSDAY’S TOONS ~~ A LOOK AT ISRAEL TODAY

Images by Carlos Latuff

Who’s REALLY inciting hatred?

As right-wing incitement spreads in israel, Bibi looks to extinguish fire he stoked for years

As right-wing incitement spreads in Israel, Bibi looks to extinguish fire he stoked for years

“Justice” Denied Access to Records on Arms Sales to Rwanda During Genocide

Cg5cQV1XEAAnR6z

IT’S A MAD, MAD WORLD

It's a Mad, Mad World … and Getting Madder

It’s a Mad, Mad World … and Getting Madder


We have a choice of trains: greed and self-interest train
taking us over the cliff OR the train of collective work towards a
sustainable future.

               TRAINS AND MADNESS
               By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

When we watch the way the world currently works, we can get extremely
depressed. Just the last few days we saw Israelis in their thousands
celebrate the release of a murdering occupation soldier who was videotaped
executing a wounded Palestinian. While 12-year old Dima Al-Wawi was
just released from 3 months of Israeli gulags, hundreds of Palestinian
children are still imprisoned unjustly by an occupation that has gone on
far too long. We noted the vote rigging and rigged “election process” that
will ensure Americans have a choice between apartheid-supporting,
war-mongering and corporate-backed liar (Hillary Clinton) and an
apartheid-supporting, war-mongering, women-bashing, racist cheater (Donald
Trump). Both of those very wealthy individuals would tighten the noose on
Americans and Palestinians as they lick the boots of the Israel lobby. Both
would continue the wrecking process of the US economy that ensures the
elimination of the Middle Class and making the rich richer and the poor
poorer.

As I am in Italy now, I noted many people speaking out about the murder of
Giolio Regeni and the hypocritical western backing of genocidal governments
of Egypt, “Saudi Arabia”, and “Israel”. But the train of oppression
continues thanks in part to “mental occupation” of many people’s minds who
refuse to see the reality. Thousands are still drowning as they try to flee
the conflicts that are generated by Western Governments (it turn in
compliance with their Zionist lobbies). The American-Israeli- Wahhabi/Saudi
alliance is still hoping to “win” against local resistance in places like
Yemen and Syria. A whole generation of young people are lost and even if
peace would come soon (unlikely considering the array of greedy
billionaires getting enriched and the pervasive apathy of millions), it
will take many decades to recover from the devastation. Seven million of us
Palestinians are still refugees or displaced people and the number rises
weekly as Israel commits more ethnic cleansing. Our history of the past
seven decades is a history of accumulating atrocities by a racist genocidal
entity relentlessly focusing on transforming Palestine from a
multi-religious and multicultural society to a “Jewish state of Israel”.

As those elites divert energy of people towards fear of the other, endless
“manageable conflicts”, and basically begging for jobs that are essentially
slavery, the rich get richer while the earth is being pillaged at an
accelerated pace. I am reminded of the latter on earth day (April 22). On
April 22, 1970 over 20 million demonstrated in the US for a healthy,
sustainable environment. For 46 years, the people held events marking
“earth day”. However, greenhouse gas emissions have increased
uncontrollably and the Paris summit on Climate Change recently acted as a
feel good for governments that wanted to relieve the pressure via PR
efforts.  Occasionally lazy politicians utter words. Mahmoud Abbas for
example said that settlements damage the Palestinian environment. He was
challenged on it and his office seems reluctant to find environmentalists
and ask their opinions. His is actually an understatement of colonial
settlement impact on our environment.

Madness could come to any who contemplate this Orwellian world we came to
live in. Madness did come to many people we know and others decided to take
action. Some decided to take their own lives in striking back at the system
(in the 1960s it used to be “sticking it to the man”). Others took more
modest symbolic actions. Nearly five years ago, we were arrested as we
engaged in riding the bus: Palestine freedom riders. Push back is
coming in many shapes and forms against the neo-liberal, no-colonial world
order. Literary stars learned what is going on and are now writing more on
the occupation. Truth is coming out as more and more books are written
that expose Israeli crimes against humanity (even by Israeli authors)[8].
The BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) movement is picking up steam even
as Israeli apologists and lobbyists try to stifle it in Western Countries 
British Doctors Demand Israel’s Expulsion From World Medical
Association.  Truth is coming out even in unexpected corners like
Israel’s use of LGBT communities to pink-wash the occupation/colonization.

I guess one can summarize many things by saying that there is some pushback
from humans against the unfeeling and powerful machine that is grinding
humans and bringing humanity to the brink of collapse. Yes this struggle
(between greed and humanity, war and peace etc) has existed since the dawn
of human civilization. But never in our history were the stakes so high:
our own continued existence on this planet. That is why the pressure is
building and it stretches our resources and our abilities. Yet, humanity
must rise to this existential challenge. Indeed “you can’t be neutral on a
moving train” (Zinn). Many people are joining the struggle, millions more
are needed. The sane action we can do is to join the larger struggle. The
insane thing to do would be to be so focused on our own immediate needs
that we become like “consumerist robot slaves” while the elites lead us
like lemmings to the edge of the cliff.

BTW, my trip to Siena was very productive developing new partnerships for
peace and justice. As I prepare to go back to Palestine (last talk I give
is Tuesday), I am more determined than ever to pursue the course of
speaking truth to power and thinking globally while acting locally. While
we occasionally have pressures, occasionally see the betrayal of
individuals who decide to go over to that dark side (greed, selfish
interest etc), we are sustained by those who stay the course and the many
who join it. I see this even in the small scale projects that we do like
the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Botanical garden. Rare
people come and go thinking they need to watch their own interests
(actually damaging their long term interests) but more and more people
commit to join a bigger cause that actually helps all have a sustainable
future. Thus we have a choice of trains: greed and self-interest train
taking us over the cliff OR the train of collective work towards a
sustainable future. The choice has never been clearer and never been more
consequential. Please email us if you would like to switch trains. All
aboard!

				

ISRAEL NEEDS A GOOD CLEANSING

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

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

GOING BEYOND CHUTZPAH

 chutzpah_1

Does Israel want the Palestinians to thank her for not exterminating them once and for all? 

Needless to say, this is a classical example of “going beyond Chutzpah” 

By Khalid Amayreh in Jerusalem

Khalid Amayreh challenges Jews to abide by the tenets of their religion:

 

Like apartheid South Africa did to Justify its repulsive approach toward its majority black citizens, Israel is making all sorts of similarly despicable arguments to justify its decades-old evil occupation  and systematic persecution of Palestinians. 

As some of us remember, the apartheid South African regime had argued that black South Africans ought to be grateful to the White regime for giving them employment and enabling them to have a semblance of decent life. 

The White regime’s PR machine would shamelessly argue that “Our black citizens have a higher standard of living than other fellow black people anywhere in the continent.” 

When I was studying in the states in the 1980s, I remember a visiting high ranking official from the apartheid regime boasting about the high living conditions enjoyed by blacks in South Africa in comparison to the rest of the continent. 

“Ask them (South African black majority): would they prefer to live in South Africa or in Zimbabwe,” the official said. 

What is wrong with this argument is that it doesn’t really distinguish between humans and animals. In the final analysis, humans, unlike animals, don’t live by bread alone. They are also entitled to freedom and dignity. This is the crux of the matter which fascist and racist regimes love to ignore. 

Today, apartheid Israel is making virtually the same arguments to justify and defend its manifestly criminal treatment of the Palestinians. 

Thus, whenever Israel’s sinister occupation is criticized, we see that big-mouthed Israeli officials and professional hasbara liars try to make black look white and the white look black by claiming that Palestinians are better off than most other Arabs. 

Now, as the BDS movement is gaining momentum to the chagrin of the Israeli establishment, Israeli officials and other hasbara mouthpieces are becoming more brazen in their defensive but mendacious discourse. 

And, yes, as usual, lying is their modus operandi. 

They are saying the Palestinians ought to be thankful to Israel for not treating them like Bashar Assad or Abdul Fattah Sissi are treating their own peoples. 

One Zionist pundit wrote recently that were Israel to follow Arab rules, all Palestinians would have been expelled from “the Land of Israel along time ago.” 

Needless to say, this is a classical example of “going beyond Chutzpah” 

After all, since when the Hitler of Damascus, who murdered half a million of his own people, and the virulent tyrant of Cairo, who usurped power from the only truly democratically elected regime in Egypt’s history, were role models for the world to be followed or emulated? 

So, Israel, “the purported light upon humanity” wants the Palestinians to thank Israel for murdering their children on the spot in the West Bank, and not burning them alive by way of dropping barrel bombs on their homes and schools as Assad is doing in Syria. 

Yes, Israel would like to see the Palestinians “thank” her for conducting slow-motion genocide whereas “human-rights unfriendly states” would pursue fast-motion genocide” and get rid of the problem once and for all. 

But it is only sick and depraved minds that are capable of making such nefarious   arguments. 

Otherwise, we should thank the Iberians Catholics for not playing by the rules of Old Testament and exterminating every Jewish man, woman and child during the inquisition!! (Israelis are embarrassed when explaining the Tsfarad Geroush” (the Spanish inquisition” because it reminds them of something they don’t like to remember, namely the golden age Jews had undergone in Islamic Spain!!! 

According to the morbid logic we hear from some Israeli officials, we should also thank the Nazis for building the concentration camps relatively later in the course of the Second World War, because had these death camps been established earlier, a greater number of Jews would have perished. 

Yes, sickening arguments are only the product of sick minds. 

Today, in its rabid reaction to the non-violent BDS movement, Israel and its hasbara shipyard dogs, from Sydney to California, are arguing that it is the BDS campaign, not the malignant occupation, that is hurting the Palestinians. That it is the BDS movement that is impeding the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, not the ubiquitous proliferation of settlements, inhabited by fanatic cutthroats who believe spilling more innocent blood would expedite and accelerate redemption and salvation!! 

I don’t what sort of Torah are those people reading and following: The Torah of Moses or the Torah of Satan? 

Well, in the Torah of Moses, Jeremiah 7:6, the God of Israel equated oppressing strangers living amongst Israelites with the greatest sin ever in Judaism, namely the unforgivable sin associating gods with God. 

And in Exodus 22:21: The Almighty commands the Israelites, telling them in straightforward manner” Do not mistreat or oppress a stranger, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” 

Don’t tell me I am being selective or quoting things out of context. For even the Talmud, who Orthodox Jews consider the verbal Torah, states that true Jews are not supposed to oppress non-Jews living in their midst: 

Let us consider the following Talmudic story which sums up the point I am trying to make: A heathen came to Shammai with the request to be accepted as a convert to Judaism on condition that he would be taught the whole of the Torah while he stood on one foot. The Rabbi drove him away with a yard-stick he was holding. The heathen then went to Hillel with the same request. Hillel said to the man what is hateful to yourself, don’t do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. “Go, learn it.” 

VIDEO ~~ SANDERS A NO GO IN ISRAEL

Israelis are not feeling the Bern in Jerusalem

By Dan Cohen For Mondoweiss

On Monday, April 11, 2016, I went to Jerusalem’s Zion Square to ask Israelis for their thoughts on Bernie Sanders, the Jewish-American presidential candidate.

No anti-Zionist himself, Sanders said this week that he would take a “more balanced position” while guaranteeing Israel’s security. Last week, he called Israel’s use of force in the 2014 assault on Gaza “disproportionate” and said that “a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed.”

Last week, Sanders confused the number of Palestinians injured with those killed in Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, saying, “I happen to believe … anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?”

Despite qualifying his estimate, which was quickly corrected by his interviewer, Sanders was attacked by prominent Israel supporters and Hillary Clinton. Israeli Member of Knesset and former American accused Sanders Michael Oren of advancing a “blood libel,” and by MK Yair Lapid said he is promoting Hamas “propaganda and deception.” The Anti-Defamation League demanded that Sanders correct his misstatement.

Nearly all of the Israelis I spoke to had strong dislike for Sanders, and many disparaged him, even disqualifying him as a Jew.

Interestingly, that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had less support than Sanders, despite her pandering to American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) where she pledged to take the US-Israel relationship to the “next level.” Still polls show that Israelis prefer Clinton to Sanders and that Clinton and Donald Trump are tied in the race for president.

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Yet they they feel the love for Trump …

On Monday, April 11, 2016, Dan Cohen went to Jerusalem’s Zion Square to ask Israelis for their thoughts on the US presidential race and most Israelis he spoke to spoke fondly of Donald Trump. Trump’s brash speaking style resonated with them, and few seemed phased by his statements that he would be neutral on Israel/Palestine. Those who did preferred Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who has promised to be more pro-Israel than any other candidate.

FRIDAY’S TOON ~~ ISRAELI ARMS SALES DURING RWANDAN GENOCIDE TO REMAIN SEALED

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israeli "Justice" Denied Access to Records on Arms Sales to Rwanda During Genocide

Israeli “Justice” Denied Access to Records on Arms Sales to Rwanda During Genocide

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Records of Israeli arms sales during Rwandan genocide to remain sealed

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UPDATED POST ~~ VIDEO ~~ A JEW AND AN ARAB WALK INTO A BAR … AND THE REALITY IN ISRAEL TODAY

(See report below for today’s update)

From yesterday …..

We went out dressed in an Arab/Muslim and Jewish traditional outfit, walked hand to hand in public to see how people react.

The results are telling.

a_t_up05

Four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society

The two communities have separate societies, attending different schools, living in different cities and espousing different political ideals

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Bezalel Smotrich, perhaps the most right-wing member of the current Knesset, caused a storm when he endorsed the idea that Arabs and Jew should be segregated in Israel’s maternity rooms.
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Smotrich was responding to a report on the Israel Broadcast Authority that several hospitals practice de facto segregation of maternity rooms — placing Jews with Jews and Arabs with Arabs. Such segregation is prohibited by law.

“There are mental gaps, and it’s more comfortable for both sides to be with themselves,” Smotrich, a member of the religious Zionist Jewish Home party, tweeted on April 5. “It’s really not racism.”

In a subsequent tweet he wrote that it’s “natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie next to someone who just gave birth to a baby, who may want to kill her baby 20 years from now.”

Smotrich’s remarks were panned by lawmakers from left and right, including Naftali Bennett, the leader of Jewish Home. Responding to Smotrich, Bennett tweeted a rabbinic passage about man being created in God’s image, adding, “Every man. Jew or Arab.”

Jews and Arabs are afforded equal rights under Israeli law. But in many ways, the two sectors live in separate societies — attending different schools, living in different cities, reading different newspapers and espousing different political ideals.

Unlike the prescribed, top-down segregation supported by Smotrich, much of this separation stems from longstanding structural factors like language, culture and religion.

“In most places, there’s no problem. The Arab population lives in totally Arab villages,” said Nachum Blass, a senior researcher at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies.

But the divisions between Israeli Jews and Arabs, who represent 20 percent of the population, have also contributed to economic disparities between them. And despite laws meant to prevent discrimination, Arabs point to studies showing persistent disparities in education, social services, income and political participation.

“There’s definitely discrimination in every aspect” of Israel’s education system, Taub said.

Nongovernmental organizations and government bodies have worked to promote a “shared society” in economic development, higher education and the labor market.

Here are four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society.

Jews and Arabs attend separate schools.

Israel’s schools are separated by both religion and race. Jewish students attend either secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox schools, while the Arabs attend separate Muslim, Christian and Druze systems taught in Arabic. Of the 1.6 million total students in grades 1 through 12 last year, fewer than 2,000 attended the handful of joint Jewish-Arab schools.

The split education system, where students are taught in their own language and according to their own cultural norms, according to Blass, “answers the [Arab] community’s needs.” But it has also led to lower educational achievement among Arab Israelis.

In 2012, two-thirds of non ultra-Orthodox Jews qualified for university, as opposed to less than half of Arab students. Israel’s universities are more integrated, but Arabs make up a low proportion of students. In 2012, Arabs made up only 12 percent of bachelor’s degree students, and 4 percent of doctoral students, according to Sikkuy, an organization that aims to foster Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Jews and Arabs live in separate towns.

In addition to studying separately, Israeli Jews and Arabs mostly live in separate cities. Two of the country’s largest cities, Jerusalem and Haifa, have substantial Arab populations, but even those cities are often separated by neighborhood. Nearly all of Jerusalem’s Arab residents live in the eastern half of the city.

Aside from a handful of other mixed Israeli towns, most of the country’s cities are more than 90 percent Jewish or Arab. Though Arabs make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry, the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, Israel’s largest, is nearly 95 percent Jewish.

The Jewish-Arab division is also marked by economic gaps. Arab cities have higher poverty rates and, in general, worse municipal services than their Jewish counterparts. Eight of Israel’s 10 poorest towns are Arab. The richest 30 are Jewish.

“It’s not a problem in principle to live in different places,” said Rawnak Natour, co-director of Sikkuy. “There needs to be a possibility to live together, that there will be [cultural] symbols and the ability to encompass the different cultures.”

Their political leaders rarely work together.

Israel often points to its Arab-Israeli lawmakers as proof of the country’s democratic chops. Arabs hold 16 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, and the body’s third-largest party, the Joint List, is Arab. Arabs have also risen to the top of other branches of government, including sitting on Israel’s Supreme Court.

But Israeli Arabs’ political leadership perpetually sits in the Knesset’s opposition, and few politicians in the government are Arab, such that the two communities’ agendas rarely align. The only Arab in Israel’s political leadership is the deputy minister of regional cooperation, Ayoub Kara, who is part of the Druze minority.

Arabs are barely present in Israel’s mainstream media.

Lucy Aharish, the young Arab co-host of a morning show on a leading Israeli TV station, speaks accent-less Hebrew, has gained admirers for her forthrightness and was even honored with a role at the country’s official torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day.

But she’s one of the few Arab faces and voices Israelis will see and hear on their TVs and radios. Israeli Arabs have their own active press, but they are vastly underrepresented in mainstream Israeli media, comprising fewer than 3 percent of total interviews on leading Israel stations in January and February, according to a study by Sikkuy and the Seventh Eye, a media watchdog.

The number drops even lower when it comes to news segments not directly related to Israeli Arabs. Aharish’s Channel 2, for example, spoke to only 11 Arabs out of more than 5,500 total such interviews in January.

“You have low representation, and the moment you have it, it’s about specific topics and a very specific framing, which is crime and the conflict,” Natour said. “The way they’re interviewed is a negative framework that perpetuates the stigmas about the Arab population in the state.”

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