BREAKING THE FAST FOR PEACE

“When God created us He didn’t say ‘You’re a Muslim, you’re a Christian, you’re a Jew’.”  “We are all humans and I wanted to share the good precious holy moments of Ramadan with other people. Everyone has a different view and perspective we need to share it together to remove the anger and the sadness in the area.”

Jews and Muslims sit together for an iftar meal in Jerusalem (Photo: Linda Gradstein/The Media Line)

Jews and Muslims sit together for an iftar meal in Jerusalem (Photo: Linda Gradstein/The Media Line)

Muslims, Jews hold joint iftar meals for Ramadan fast

Jewish families hosted by Palestinian families for post-fast meal; ‘I wanted to share the good precious holy moments of Ramadan with other people,’ says Arab woman hosting Jews for iftar.

As the call to prayer marking the end of the day-long Ramadan fast echoed from a nearby mosque, the two dozen people sat down and began eating. There were many traditional Arab foods, and conversation flowed easily. It looked like any post-fasting dinner table in the Arab world.

What was unique here is that most of the guests had never met the hosts, Bronka and Aref Tahboub, before this night. The Tahboubs had opened their home to a group of Israeli Jews who wanted to experience the iftar meal.

“There are so many things here that we don’t control,” Aref told The Media Line in fluent Hebrew. “But Arabs and Jews have to live together. I’ve worked with Jews all my life and I want my children to get to know Jews.”

The meeting was organized by Kids4Peace, a grassroots organization that brings Muslim, Christian and Jewish children in Jerusalem together. About 25 Jewish families signed up to be hosted by Palestinian families, along with their children.

The Tahboubs have three children, two boys, age 14 and 11, and a daughter who is 9, and all three children are fasting. While it is only compulsory to fast from puberty, many children choose to start earlier.

“They see all of their neighbors fasting, and they want to do it too,” Bronka, an English teacher told The Media Line. “Ramadan is a special time for us. We believe that the gates of hell are closed, and the sky opens the doors to our prayers.”

Ramadan also marks the time that Muslims believe Allah revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed, who was illiterate. As it based on the solar calendar, rather than the lunar calendar, it rotates through the seasons. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Mohammed used to break his fast with a date, and Muslims today do the same.

At the Tahboubs in the upscale East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, the Jewish guests quickly feel at home.

“It starts with me being a citizen of Jerusalem,” Duel Peli, a lawyer whose daughter attends Kids4Peace told The Media Line. “Jerusalem is a mixed city with people from different ethnic origins and different nationalities. I live in this city I want to be friendly with as many of the different populations as I can.”

He says that being part of Kids4Peace, which divides the children into groups of one-third Jewish, one-third Christian and one-third Muslim, has been an eye-opening experience for him. The parents have parallel workshops to the children, who go to summer camp together in the US.

“I find myself in the minority which is an important feeling for me to have,” he said. “It makes me understand what it is like to be a minority in Jerusalem and in Israel.”

The population in Jerusalem is two-thirds Jewish and one-third Arab, divided between Muslims and Christians. The meetings have continued despite more than a year of tensions in Jerusalem, which began last June when Hamas terrorists kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Jewish extremists then kidnapped a Palestinian boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, from Shuafat, a neighborhood less than a mile from Beit Hanina. Bronka Tahboub says she knows Mohammed’s father well, and visited him after his son was killed.

His death, and the fighting between Israel and Hamas last summer in Gaza, during which several rockets were fired toward Jerusalem, has negatively affected her nine-year-old daughter Leen, who for the past year has refused to sleep in her own bed.

Yet Bronka says the tensions have only strengthened her resolve to reach out to her Jewish neighbors.

“When God created us He didn’t say ‘You’re a Muslim, you’re a Christian, you’re a Jew’,” she said. “We are all humans and I wanted to share the good precious holy moments of Ramadan with other people. Everyone has a different view and perspective we need to share it together to remove the anger and the sadness in the area.”

After dinner, as the kids played soccer outside, Bronka took out a water pipe and began puffing on melon and mint scented tobacco. As the water pipe made its rounds, the tensions in Jerusalem between Arabs and Jews seemed far away.

 

 

FROM

BEX ALERT ~~ ISRAELI ‘NON-VIOLENCE’ DOCUMENTED ON VIDEO

The video Israel doesn’t want you to see ….

Image by Latuff

Image by Latuff

Israelis use electric stun guns on Gaza flotilla passengers

*

Ali Abunimah

Contrary to Israeli claims that the Marianne was taken peacefully, this video shows that armed commandos used brutal violence against unarmed passengers aboard the Gaza-bound boat early on Monday.

According to the organizers of the flotilla, 14 of the 18 civilian passengers and crew remain in Israeli custody more than two days after they were violently abducted in international waters to prevent them breaking the Israeli-imposed siege on Gaza.

Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of the Israeli parliament Basel Ghattas, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Spanish European Parliament member Ana Miranda and Israeli journalist Ohad Hemo have been released.

The other passengers remain in detention at Givon prison in present-day Israel.

Violent attack

The video shows Ghattas addressing officers on an Israeli naval ship through a megaphone.

Ghattas says that he is not in command of the Marianne but is speaking with the captain’s permission. He offers the Israelis that they send one unarmed person onto the Marianne to talk to the captain.

The Israeli officer asks, “You’re suggesting that one of us come aboard unarmed?”

Ghattas responds: “Unarmed, he boards the ship and we talk to him.”

The offer appears to have been rejected as the video – first released by Israeli media – then shows the Israeli commandos announcing their intention to forcibly seize the boat.

The Israeli officer also lectures the passengers that they are on their way to “support a regime that has the same ideology as those who committed act of terror on your coast” – an apparent reference to the massacre of tourists on a Tunisian beach which has no connection whatsoever to Gaza or the people or groups in it.

Not only that, but Islamic State, the group that claimed the Tunisia attack, recently threatened all-out waragainst the Palestinian resistance group Hamas which runs the interior of Gaza.

One of the passengers then replies, “Why this bullshit? We are not supporting any regime.”

The video then apparently shows Israeli commandos attacking a screaming passenger with a Taser – an electrical stun gun. Someone is heard to shout, “Stop, stop what you’re doing!”

The video then also shows the invaders speaking again with Ghattas, addressing him as a member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Ghattas tells them: “you are now attacking a ship on international waters.”

An Israeli continues to make violent threats, saying “we don’t want to hurt you.”

The faces of the Israeli attackers are obscured, something likely done to protect them from possible prosecution over what flotilla organizers have previously termed an act of piracy.

ANOTHER LOONEY TOON

The video, just 28 seconds long, was published on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media pages Tuesday and argued that allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons would be even worse than giving nukes to the jihadist IS group — also known as ISIS — that has rampaged across Iraq and Syria brutally murdering opponents in its path.

Once again treating us all as if we were children….

Thats-all-falks

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ISRAEL MARRED BY RACISM

Vandals attacked a dual Hebrew and Arabic language school in southern Jerusalem Monday night, the second incident in eight months, spray-painting swastikas and anti-Arab graffiti on the school’s walls just in time for the last day of school.

Graffiti reading, 'Arabs to the slaughter,' appears on the wall of a bilingual, Jewish-Arab elementary school in Jerusalem on June 30, 2015. (Courtesy Hand in Hand)

Graffiti reading, ‘Arabs to the slaughter,’ appears on the wall of a bilingual, Jewish-Arab elementary school in Jerusalem on June 30, 2015. (Courtesy Hand in Hand)

Racist vandals again strike Jerusalem Jewish-Arab school

Students returning for the last day of studies encounter swastikas and anti-Arab slogans on building’s walls

Vandals attacked a dual Hebrew and Arabic language school in southern Jerusalem Monday night, the second incident in eight months, spray-painting swastikas and anti-Arab graffiti on the school’s walls just in time for the last day of school.

The Max Rayne Hand-to-Hand school was set ablaze in November by Yitzhak Gabai and brothers Nahman and Shlomo Twitto, members of Lehava, a group that works to prevent intermarriage and coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

The Twitto brothers pled guilty to starting a fire and spray-painting on the school’s walls racist messages such as “There is no coexistence with cancer”; “Death to the Arabs”; and “Kahane was right,” a reference to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a mentor of the Jewish ultra-nationalist movement.

There was no fire in Monday night’s attack, but the racist slogans returned, including “Arabs to slaughter,” “Arab blood is cheap,” and “Arab — the son of a whore.” In a somewhat bizarre twist, swastikas were also spray-painted on the school’s walls.

The students, who arrived for the last day of the school year Tuesday, began working to removing the graffiti and prepared signs to hang in response, the school wrote on its Facebook page.

Students and teachers create signs on June 30, 2015, to cover the racist graffiti spray painted on their school’s walls the night before. (Courtesy: Hand in Hand)

Students and teachers create signs on June 30, 2015, to cover the racist graffiti spray painted on their school’s walls the night before. (Courtesy: Hand in Hand)

“They made signs that said, ‘Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies’ and put it up over where the graffiti had been,” the Hand in Hand organization wrote.

A spokesperson for the Hand in Hand organization, which oversees several Jewish-Arab schools, said that despite a rising tide of anti-coexistence sentiment, such schools have been gaining in popularity.

“Despite the racist attacks, the various schools and kindergartens of Hand in Hand — in Jerusalem, Wadi Ara, Haifa, the Galil, Tel Aviv and the Triangle,” the group’s spokesperon said, referring to an area with a large concentration of Arab towns along the Green Line, “are marking an increase of 18 percent in registration for the next year’s studies.”

The five Hand in Hand schools across the country educate over 1,000 students and aim to “create a strong, inclusive, shared society in Israel” through bilingual education in Hebrew and Arabic, and integrated classes.

 

Source

 

 

ISRAEL APPLAUDS THE WORLD’S SILENCE

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

martin-luther-king-silent

Israel seizes Gaza-bound boat in “act of piracy”

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Israeli forces boarded and commandeered the Marianne on Monday, one of four boats that were bound for Gaza in the latest attempt to break the tight Israeli siege of the occupied territory.

At around 2 am Gaza time Marianne was surrounded by three Israeli navy boats while in international waters more than 100 miles off the coast of Gaza, organizers Freedom Flotilla III said in a press release.

“After that we lost contact with the Marianne and at 05:11 am (Gaza time) the IDF [Israeli army] announced that they had ‘visited and searched’ Marianne,” the press release states. “They had captured the boat and detained all on board ‘in international waters’ as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite the Netanyahu government’s recent denial that one exists.”

Organizers called the seizure of the boat and its passengers an “act of piracy.”

Israel’s Haaretzreports that the boat is being towed to Usdud (Ashdod), a port in present-day Israel, where the passengers “will be interrogated before being escorted to Ben Gurion Airport and flown out of Israel.”

The 18 passengers aboard the Marianne include Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of the Israeli parliament, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzuki, Spanish member of the European Parliament Ana Miranda and Professor Robert Lovelace, retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation in Canada.

Many Palestinians in had eagerly awaited the flotilla, hoping that it would call international attention to the siege which Israel imposed eight years ago.

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Three other boats – Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II – that also made up the flotilla have headed back to their ports of origin.

In total, 47 passengers from 17 countries were aboard the boats, which carried medicines, solar panels and above all a strong message of solidarity for the 1.8 million Palestinians still besieged in Gaza one year after Israel began its 51-day destructive assault that killed more than 2,200 people.

An independent UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the attack, published last week, found extensive evidence of war crimes approved by Israel’s leaders at the “highest level.”

Violence incitement

Ghattas joined the flotilla despite violent threats and incitement from fellow lawmakers in Israel to lift his parliamentary immunity so that he could be prosecuted.

Yair Lapid, head of Israel’s purportedly centrist Yesh Atid party, for instance denounced the flotilla as a “provocation against the state of Israel.”

“This is a flotilla of a group of terror supporters a heinous flotilla that needs to be stopped,” Lapid added. “We need to act against the flotilla the same way we do when dispersing a violent protest and these guys need to all be arrested.”

In a Huffington Post column on Sunday, Ghattas defended his right to take part in the flotilla.

Bigots in “a discriminatory Jewish state as a white Southern extremist in a Confederate state, seek to diminish the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and their representatives in the parliament,” Ghattas writes.

“More than anything, it is obvious that the situation of Palestinians in Gaza will inevitably lead to another round of bloody war, perhaps even more horrifying than the one we had less than one year ago,” Ghattas adds. “Still, my very outspoken colleagues in the Knesset would not even consider lifting the blockade as a means to avoid future war.”

“No siege on Gaza”

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

The fact that 18 civilians aboard a yacht cannot sail to Gaza, and that there has been virtually no reconstruction in Gaza since Israel’s attack last year would tend to undermine Netanyahu’s contention.

According to Haaretz, after boarding the boat, Israeli army gunmen were “to hand out a letter issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, welcoming [the captives] to Israel and wondering why they sailed to Gaza and not Syria.”

“Perhaps you meant to sail somewhere else nearby – Syria, where Assad’s regime is massacring his people every day, with the support of the murderous Iranian regime,” the letter would reportedly state.

Netanyahu’s statement did not specify which UN “committee” he was talking about, but this was a likely reference to the 2011 “Palmer report” commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into Israel’s attack the previous year on the Mavi Marmara.

Turkey rejected the report into the assault that killed 10 of its citizens on the Mavi Marmara in international waters and imposed sanctions on Israel.

The inquiry was heavily criticized for bias. The four-member committee that wrote the Palmer report was chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and vice-chaired by former president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, a notorious human rights abuser close to Israel.

The inquiry commissioned by Ban was in addition to an official UN Human Rights Council fact-finding missionwhich found that Israel’s attack on the 2010 flotilla was illegal.

Determined

“It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of ‘no tolerance,’ meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza,” flotilla organizers said in their statement.

“Israel’s repeated acts of state piracy in international waters are worrying signs that the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean.”

They also urged governments”to ensure that all passengers and crew from the Marianne are safe, and to strongly protest against the violation of international maritime law by the Israeli state.”

“We call on all civil society organizations to condemn the actions of Israel,” the statement concludes. “People all over the world will continue to respond and react to this injustice, as will we, until the port of Gaza is open and the siege and occupation is ended.”

This video, published on 20 June, shows Marianne calling at the Italian port of Messina for a solidarity visit.

Complicity kills!

Complicity kills!

SPOOF ON ISRAELI PIRACY

 

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

Israel seizes activist flotilla headed to Gaza

Naval special forces take control of ship, which carried 20 activists including MK Basel Ghattas, without violence.

 

Full report HERE

PIRACY AT SEA ~~ LIVE ON VIDEO

‘If you see this video IDF pirates have taken us prisoner’

NETANYAHU PREPARES TO ‘WELCOME’ FLOTILLA lll TO GAZA

Four boats carrying 47 pro-Palestinian activists will be welcomed with letter from PM: ‘It looks like you took a wrong turn. Perhaps you meant to sail to a place not far from here – Syria’.

The flotilla on its way to Gaza.

The flotilla on its way to Gaza.

Israeli Navy preparing to take over Gaza-bound flotilla

The Navy has been preparing to meet on Monday a flotilla carrying 47 pro-Palestinian activists to the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade.

The Navy commandos are expected to meet the four boats at an undetermined time – sometimes between the early morning hours and evening time, some dozens of kilometers from the coasts of Israel.

There are 18 passengers aboard the main boat, Swedish vessel “Marianne av Göteborg,” including Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki and activist Dror Feiler.

The “Marianne” is accompanied by three smaller boats: “Rachel,” with eight passengers on board; “Vittorio” with nine passengers on board; and “Juliano II” with 12 passengers.

The commandos will try to take over the boats using non-violent measures and lead them to the Navy base in Ashdod.

After the takeover, the activists will be taken for questioning upon their arrival to Israel and then expelled out of the country through Ben-Gurion Airport.

The Prime Minister’s Office decided to take an unusual approach to the flotilla’s arrival.

The letter goes on to say that “If you were truly interested in human rights, you would not be sailing in solidarity with a terror regime that executes Gaza residents without trial, and uses the children of Gaza as a human shield.”

“Here in Israel we are dealing with a reality in which terror organizations like Hamas are trying to harm innocent civilians. We are protecting the citizens of Israel against these attempts in accordance with international law,” the letter continues.

“Despite this, Israel is aiding in the transfer of goods and humanitarian aid to Gaza – some 800 trucks a day, which transported over 1.6 million tons of goods over the past year … Israel is aiding hundreds of humanitarian projects using international organizations, including building clinics and hospitals.

The activists on board the four boats will receive a letter when they arrive in Israel welcoming them to the country and adding, “It looks like you took a wrong turn. Perhaps you meant to sail to a place not far from here – Syria. Where Assad’s regime is slaughtering its people on a daily basis, and this is done with the support of Iran’s murderous regime.”

“However, we will not allow the transfer of weapons to terror organizations in Gaza, as has been done before through the sea. Only a year ago we thwarted an attempt to smuggle via the sea hundreds of arms meant to hurt innocent civilians.”

The PMO stresses that “there is no siege of the Gaza Strip, and you are welcomed to transfer any humanitarian equipment through Israel,” adding that “preventing entrance (to Gaza) through the sea is done in accordance with international law, and even has the backing of a UN committee.”

The IDF, meanwhile, said the flotilla was an attempt at provocation and that its troops will not fall into any traps. The commandos taking over the boats will offer the activists food and drinks, the army said.

As a lesson learned from the takeover of the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010, the commandos will document the takeover and the IDF Spokesman’s Office will work to quickly distribute the footage to world media before the activists could post a “victory picture” of their own.

Source

UPDATE …

Israel seizes activist flotilla headed to Gaza

Naval special forces take control of ship, which carried 20 activists including MK Basel Ghattas, without violence.

Click HERE to see report

WHO SAID THE WAR IN GAZA WAS OVER?

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israel shoots four boys enjoying evening walk in Gaza

On Monday, 22 June, Israeli soldiers fired on a group of four boys aged 16 to 17 in the southern Gaza Stripvillage of Khuzaa. Two of the boys were hit in the legs and one was critically injured.

The four friends had walked out to the edge of the village to spend the final hour of their fast for Ramadan.

“We were there to waste time before iftar [the meal that breaks the fast],” Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, told The Electronic Intifada. Muhammad was one of the two boys who escaped injury on Monday.

“It’s a very nice area. You can see the fields and farms, and we go there because it used to be closed off but now they told us we can go there,” he explained.

Severe injuries

Last month, the Hamas-led government in Gaza announced the opening of a road that runs alongside the “buffer zone,” the no-go area imposed by Israel which covers a wide swath of land on the Gaza side of the boundary with Israel, in the east and north.

The “buffer zone” was supposed to be reduced in size under the terms of last August’s ceasefire between Hamas and Israel following Israel’s 51-day attack. However, it remains unclear just where Palestinians can safely walk, drive or farm.

In the month of May alone, Israeli soldiers fired on 14 people who were close to the boundary, leaving six Palestinians injured, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda, 16, is one of the boys shot on Monday. Lying on his hospital bed, he told The Electronic Intifada that “everyone went to the road since it was announced on the news that it had been opened.”

Islam’s calf was struck by a bullet. While his wound required more than a dozen stitches, he is healing well.

But the other youth, Ibrahim Abu Reda, remains in intensive care. The outcome of his far more severe injuries is uncertain. Two bullets entered his right leg, one near the ankle and another below the knee, shattering his shinbone and severing veins and arteries.

The night he was shot, Ibrahim was treated by Dr. Qasim Kamel in a six-hour surgery at the European Hospital near Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. Kamel told The Electronic Intifada he hopes that he will not need to amputate the teenager’s leg.

In Ibrahim’s home, his parents showed this reporter photographs of the boy lifting weights and playing sports. His father, Jamal Ahmad Abu Reda, said Ibrahim was in Khuzaa’s soccer club and loved to go to the gym. He struggled not to cry as he described his son.

With tears streaming down her face, Safaa Abu Reda, Ibrahim’s mother, said “It’s my right to see my son walking.”

She is desperately worried that her son will not be able to receive adequate treatment in Gaza and wants him to be transferred to Israel. Doctors have told her that the likelihood that Ibrahim will be able to walk again is a slim 15 percent. She believes the odds would be higher if he could get treatment in Israel.

“Why are they doing this to my son? He had no weapons,” she said. “He just went there to walk and have fun, like everyone.”

Ibrahim is the younger brother of Ahmed Abu Reda, 18, who was used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers for five days during last summer’s war, as documented by the recent UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza as well as by other independent observers.

Ahmed was detained by Israeli soldiers on 23 July while attempting to flee Khuzaa with the rest of his family during Israel’s 11-day ground invasion of the small village.

“Buffer zone”

Before one reaches Khuzaa’s boundary with Israel, one must drive through cultivated farmland and greenhouses where farmers grow tomatoes, melons, peppers and zucchini on plots of land demarcated with thickets of crawling cactus.

As one approaches Israel, an inconspicuous fence appears. An Israeli watchtower stands behind. This is the boundary.

Since 2005, Israel has guarded the so-called “buffer zone” here, preventing farmers from safely accessing their lands that lie within it.

While initially the zone stretched 150 meters wide into tiny Gaza, Israel has expanded it over time. In 2010 the buffer zone grew to a 300-meter-wide area that runs alongside the boundary wall.

While the area was supposed to be reduced to 100 meters following the ceasefire, Hamdi Shaqqura, deputy director of PCHR, told The Electronic Intifada that people are fired on as far away as 500 meters from the border. “There is no guarantee from Israel or the international community that Palestinians will have access to their land,” he said.

At the beginning of this year, Gisha, an Israeli organization that monitors Palestinians’ ability to move freely in and out of Gaza, sent an information request to the Israeli military regarding its policy toward the buffer zone following the ceasefire.

Like PCHR, their data also shows that the ban was enforced on a larger area than was officially declared. They have yet to receive a response from the military.

“Silent gunshots”

At the hospital, The Electronic Intifada met the two other boys who were with Ibrahim and Islam when they were shot. Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, said there was no sign that any Israeli soldiers were around. The boys had just paused for a moment while taking their walk when Islam suddenly fell to the ground. Then Ibrahim. Muhammad said the gunshots were silent.

“There were no warning shots,” Muhammad explained.

Muhammad and the other youth, Hisham Abu Mutliq, 17, tried to pick their friends up off the ground, but more shots were fired toward them.

“We ran behind a sand hill to take cover, but the Israelis kept shooting,” Hisham said.

The boys were able to use their mobile phones to call an ambulance, but help did not arrive for 15 minutes. The injured boys lay bleeding on the ground.

Kamel is hopeful that Ibrahim’s leg will heal after the surgery. When The Electronic Intifada visited him at the hospital, Ibrahim was in a deep sleep, but Kamel said he has been lucid and talking in between resting.

There has been a partial clearing of the rubble in Khuzaa, restoring a semblance of normalcy. The ruins of many of the demolished homes, of which nearly 400 were completely destroyed, have been swept into neat mounds, though some remain standing with their roofs sunken through to the ground.

The least destroyed of homes still show walls riddled with bullet holes. The molding on the minaret of a mosque in the center of the village is nearly entirely blown off.

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

#SailingToGaza ~~ THE BASTARDS TRY TO STOP US AGAIN

The Israeli military is preparing to stop the pro-Palestinian flotilla from reaching Gaza.

The Israeli military is preparing to stop the pro-Palestinian flotilla from reaching Gaza.

‘Juliano’ attacked on its way to break the siege on Gaza

Statement by The Freedom Theatre
June 27th, 2015

Passengers of the Freedom Flotilla III bound for Gaza have announced that one of the boats, named Juliano after the co-founder and director of The Freedom Theatre, Juliano Mer Khamis who was assassinated in 2011, has been sabotaged. Divers damaged the boat’s propellers, causing it to take in water and the boat barely made it into port in Greece before it sank. On Saturday June 27th, passengers reported that the flotilla was followed by an unidentified patrol boat and a military aircraft.

Israel has engaged in a massive campaign to prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza, threatening the participants in a similar fashion as during earlier attempts to break the illegal siege on Gaza. In 2010, Israeli troops attacked a similar flotilla in international waters, killing ten of the activists onboard and detaining many others.

Juliano Mer Khamis oftentimes declared that he was 100% Jewish and 100% Palestinian. He spoke of the necessity of a bi-national state where true democracy and justice may rule. Juliano’s work and vision inspired many people worldwide to act for justice in Palestine. The Freedom Flotilla does the same.

The sabotage of a boat named after a freedom fighter that believed in art as the most righteous form of resistance, proves to what length Israel is willing to go to silence criticism and activism against the occupation and apartheid system.

The boat Juliano is part of an international Freedom Flotilla Coalition calling for an end to the inhuman siege on Gaza, which violates the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people. The Flotilla comes less than a year after Israel’s brutal war against the Gaza strip in which more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed.

The Freedom Theatre welcomes the Freedom Flotilla initiative just like we welcome any other form of legitimate resistance against the Israeli oppression. No single person, organisation or movement can overcome the Israeli occupation and apartheid, but by considering us all part of a joint movement, supporting and complementing each other, we can and will succeed in bringing justice and peace to Palestine.

In just a few days the Freedom Flotilla will reach international waters outside the coast of Gaza, carrying more than 50 people from over 20 countries. The boats are also carrying urgently needed supplies and most importantly a message of solidarity to the besieged population of Gaza.

The Freedom Theatre wishes the flottilla a safe and successful journey to Gaza! Long live the Freedom Flottilla, long live Gaza and Palestine!

Website: https://freedomflotilla.org and https://ff3.freedomflotilla.org
Twitter: @GazaFFlottilla, @ShiptogazaSE

*

More from USTOGAZA …

Freedom Flotilla III is Sailing to Open the Port of Gaza

Boats, with more than 50 crew and passengers from 20 countries are prepared to reach the port of Gaza and call on the international community to open it

Delegates from left: Mohammed El Bakkali, Al Jazeera journalist; Dr. Moncel Marzuki, former president of Tunisia; Dr. Basel Ghattas, Knesset MP; Claudio Tamaglini; Charlie Andreasson; Ann Wright

Delegates from left: Mohammed El Bakkali, Al Jazeera journalist; Dr. Moncel Marzuki, former president of Tunisia; Dr. Basel Ghattas, Knesset MP; Claudio Tamaglini; Charlie Andreasson; Ann Wright

This year’s mission, organized by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition against the naval blockade and the siege of Gaza, is about to sail to highlight the violation of the rights of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the world’s largest open-air prison.

The Israeli government claims that there are ‘unauthorized boats trying to illegally enter Israeli territorial waters’. There are no ‘unauthorized boats’, only an illegal and inhumane blockade; the UN has recently called to end it and Freedom Flotilla III sails to challenge it, without any need or desire to enter Israeli territorial waters. This fact is highlighted by the practices of Israeli naval forces against previous sea missions, which have intercepted all boats since 2009 in international waters, headed towards Palestinian waters off Gaza, never towards Israel or Israeli waters.

Freedom Flotilla III is invited by Palestinians in Gaza through various organizations that work for a relief of the thousands that were left heavily wounded, homeless, jobless, and displaced after recent Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip. We also have among our passengers Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of the Israeli Knesset, who called in an open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu to allow our mission to reach the port of Gaza.

Israel’s right-wing is now moving to penalize MK Ghattas for his participation in a legitimate political action of people from all around the world, while Deputy MFA Hotovely has announced international diplomatic action against the Freedom Flotilla III. Lawyers around the world are making legal moves against the mission, just as they did in 2011. We regret that “the only democracy in Middle-East” thinks this is the best course of action, instead of addressing the real problems of occupation, blockade and division of Palestine, as well as the openly legal discriminations against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

We remain undeterred, because our purpose is not to act against Israel, but against occupation. Our actions would not be needed, if governments worldwide and international bodies like the EU and the UN would take steps to ensure accountability of Israeli governments for war crimes and collective punishment against the 1.8 million Palestinian population in Gaza Strip. We welcome voices from Israel who publicly state that the State of Israel is not threatened by the action against the blockade.

The international community should stop turning a blind eye on the blockade and occupation and take steps urgently towards the direction of ensuring the opening of the port in Gaza, the only port of Palestine to the rest of the world.

DESPITE THE ODDS, BDS IS WORKING!

Foreign investment in Israel plummeted almost 50 percent in 2014, a fact attributed to last summer’s assault on Gaza and the growing impact of boycotts.

How zion sees us

How zion sees us

Foreign investment in Israel plummets by half since Gaza massacre

Foreign investment in Israel plummeted almost 50 percent in 2014, a fact attributed to last summer’s assault on Gaza and the growing impact of boycotts.

This week the UN’s trade and development agency UNCTAD released its annual World Investment Report on foreign direct investment (FDI) – a measure of money that investors from overseas put into a country to invest in businesses, build factories or start other economic projects.

According to the report, FDI into Israel in 2014 plummeted to just $6.4 billion from almost $12 billion in 2013.

The 2014 figure appears to be the lowest in more than a decade. Foreign direct investment into Israel averaged around $9 billion per year from 2005 to 2012.

“We believe that what led to the drop in investment in Israel are Operation Protective Edge and the boycotts Israel is facing,” Roni Manos, an Israeli economist who co-authored the report, told Israel’s Ynet.

“Operation Protective Edge” is the name Israel gave its 51-day assault last summer that devastated much of Gaza and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 chidren.

In line with global trends, FDI fell in other regional countries, but nowhere near as sharply as in Israel. FDI fell 1.7 percent in Turkey, 6.8 percent in Iraq, 4 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 9.6 percent in Saudi Arabia. But it actually rose by 6.6 percent in Lebanon.

Iran, which has been under brutal international sanctions, saw inward investment decline by about a third to just over $2 billion.

“The tourists have stopped coming”

The news that investors are fleeing is only the latest economic blow to Israel as a result of its attack on Gaza.

In May, Ynet revealed a dramatic plunge in visits to the country in an article headlined “Tourists have stopped coming to Israel.”

During the Gaza assault, Palestinian resistance organizations considered it a significant strategic achievement that they managed to force a shutdown of Israel’s main international airport for several days, dealing Israel a severe economic and reputational blow.

But it appears the damage may have lasted far longer than the airport shutdown.

“Despite the hopes for a recovery two or three months after last summer’s operation in Gaza, it seems the crisis is only getting worse,” Ynet reported, “the number of tourists is dropping, the number of hotel stays is declining and the number of organized tours has been significantly cut.”

Ynet cited figures from the Israel Hotel Association for the first quarter of this year pointing to a 28 percent drop in tourist stays, with some areas including the Red Sea resort of Eilat – heavily marketed as a seaside destination for Europeans – seeing a 51 percent decline.

The report quoted one tour operator saying he didn’t expect matters to improve next year. “We are only left with the pilgrims and Jewish tourists,” the tour operator complained, adding that Christian religious tourists spent most of their time in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Economic damage

This week, the UN Human Rights Council issued its independent report into the Gaza assault, and on Israel’s simultaneous violent crackdown in the occupied West Bank, finding evidence of numerous war crimes likely authorized at the “highest level” of the Israeli government.

The UN inquiry, citing Bank of Israel figures, also noted that “Operation Protective Edge caused a contraction of output in the tourism and manufacturing sectors” in Israel of about $900 million and caused “indirect damage” of another $440 million.

The economic damage Israel is doing to itself by continuing its regime of occupation, apartheid, siege and massacres of Palestinians may be mounting faster than previously thought.

This might also help explain why Israel is dramatically escalating its efforts to try to halt the momentum of the growing BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement.

THIS BLOG IS NOW ILLEGAL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POND

150622-blog-prison

This week the US Congress gave a big boost to the International anti BDS Campaign.

On Wednesday, Congress passed another piece of anti-boycott legislation, potentially even more important in its impact, as part of a trade deal with the European Union’s Trade Promotion Authority. 

Essentially, the amendment states that if EU countries want free trade with the US, they can’t engage in politically motivated boycotts against Israel, including areas that came under Israel’s control in the Six Day War.

Needles to say, zion reacted favourably to this move as is reflected in their ‘battle’ as it moves from headlines in their press to the Editorial Pages. Below is how the English language mouthpiece of the Israeli Government, The Jerusalem Post views the situation in today’s Editorial.

BDS battle

BDS logo. (photo credit:BDS)

BDS logo. (photo credit:BDS)

The US has a long history off working to dismantle economic boycotts against Israel. In response to the Arab League Boycott starting in 1948, Congress enacted legislation in 1976 and 1979 banning US companies from participating. The US Commerce Department still maintains an office to ensure that American companies live up to the law.

In the mid-2000s, when the US negotiated trade agreements with Bahrain and Oman, both Arab countries acquiesced to the American demand to drop their boycotts against Israel.

On Wednesday, Congress passed another piece of anti-boycott legislation, potentially even more important in its impact, as part of a trade deal with the European Union’s Trade Promotion Authority.

US President Barack Obama’s call to swiftly negotiate a trade deal with the EU’s TPA presented a unique opportunity to US lawmakers interested in fighting sanctions directed at Israel.

An amendment introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) and co-authored with Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), and Sen.

Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was attached to this year’s Trade Promotion Authority bill with the EU.

Essentially, the amendment states that if EU countries want free trade with the US, they can’t engage in politically motivated boycotts against Israel, including areas that came under Israel’s control in the Six Day War.

From an American perspective, the amendment is good because it promotes free trade. American companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel that are heavily invested in Israel out of purely economic considerations could find themselves in legal battles with the EU. The American economic growth and the American jobs generated thanks to ties with Israel would be put at risk. US firms should not be forced to choose between Israel and Europe.

Fighting boycotts against Israel does not only make good economic sense for the US, it is also the right thing to do.

Using bigoted tactics – economic sanctions, diplomatic gestures, rejection of research, and development cooperation – to pressure Israel to cave in to Palestinians’ demands is wrong.

Firstly, it places the blame for the ongoing conflict solely on Israel, while the Palestinians are portrayed as the victims of circumstances completely out of their control. The reality is much more complicated, which is precisely why the two sides must ultimately reach an agreement through mutual compromises and dialogue.

Secondly, sanctions that single out Israel create an atmosphere of prejudice and animosity. It should come as no surprise that in EU countries today the lines between blatant anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing are blurred beyond recognition. The distance between indicting Israel for purposely perpetuating the “occupation” and outright delegitimization of the State of Israel is not great. After all, since 1967, consecutive Israeli governments, both on the Left and on the Right, have supported maintaining settlement blocs such as Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion. Were they all illegitimate? EU sanctions and the BDS movement have created a noxious atmosphere in which support for Israel is considered a crime. Even The Jerusalem Post, a newspaper that strives to report fairly and evenhandedly on the most contentious issues and provides a platform for a wide range of opinions – including those on the Right – has been accused of inciting to violence.

Our only “crime” is that we are avowedly Zionist in our outlook.

Because of this “crime” reporters have faced vicious attacks on Tweeter and other social networks by cowards who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.

Just recently, an anti-Israel tweeter distributed a photoshopped picture of one of our reporters in a Waffen SS uniform.

That’s why the US’s consistent stand against boycotts, reaffirmed this week in the amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority bill, is so important. This sort of legislation counters prevailing anti-Israel trends and combats the tendency to conflate the State of Israel and all who support it with evil. The reality is that Israel has much to contribute to the world, if it is given the chance. Removing the threat of sanctions will do precisely that.

 

THE EQUALITY THAT PALESTINIANS ‘ENJOY’

Listen to (read) these words carefully ….

       Now read about the equality that Palestinians enjoy in Israel (click on links)

Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in southern Gaza

*

Israeli settlers chop down 70 olive trees in Salfit, Nablus

*

MK Ghattas: The Flotilla is peaceful, let them remove my immunity

*

‘No other choice': For Palestinians, full-scale BDS remains a wish

*

Deputy interior minister to Arab MK: Israel is doing you a favor by giving you citizenship

*

Just a few examples … but they should give you a pretty good idea of what a zio BEX Alert is

funny_mouse_pads_bull_crap_meter-re055cc35d14a428b9cbe5d8316296960_x74vi_8byvr_1024

MORE ZIOLIES TO HIDE THE TRUTH ABOUT BDS

The path never taken by zion

The path never taken by zion

SO AFRAID OF THE TRUTH!

Only to combat it with more lies !!

“The BDS is a group of celebrities and academics, pro-Palestinian anti-Semites who want to destroy Israel. We must not be timid in our approach to BDS, and we must fight it with all our might, just as if it were an army against Israel.”

Roger Waters  Reuters

Roger Waters Reuters

New York Councilor Petitions to Ban Roger Waters from US

Long Island councilman Bruce Blakeman says notorious anti-Israel musician’s actions would be a hate crime in the US.

“The UN can simply not be taken seriously.” So says Republican councilor Bruce Blakeman of Long Island, in the wake of the UN’s report condemning Israel’s activities during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature and ex-head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday night at a dinner in honor of the Ateret Cohanim association of Jerusalem.

Asked about the latest UN report, he said, “The UN condemnations of Israel generally [stem from] some despots, who come from countries where women may not drive, where people are stoned, and where there are no free elections or freedom of the press. So it’s actually quite laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic… Israel is a democracy, with freedom of the press, religion and expression, and where women have full rights. This is basically an anti-Semitic [phenomenon]; they are quick to condemn anything that Israel does, even though Israel is always on the right side of the issues.”

Blakeman is also a strong supporter of Israeli rights in Judea and Samaria. In a visit last year, he stated, “As one who headed one of the largest aviation networks in the world, I feel that the U.S., after the events of 9-11, must understand Israel’s security needs regarding aviation. Having toured Samaria, it is clear to me that strategically, the State of Israel cannot cede this area.”

Blakeman has strong words against the BDS boycott-Israel campaign, which he feels must be treated like a military battle: “As a councilman in the largest township in America, I am writing to the Secretary of State to ask that Roger Waters not be allowed to enter the U.S.” Blakeman explained that Waters, one of the leaders of the BDS movement, commitsin Europe what the U.S. considers to be hate crimes against Jews.

“The BDS is a group of celebrities and academics, pro-Palestinian anti-Semites,” Blakeman affirmed, “who want to destroy Israel. We must not be timid in our approach to BDS, and we must fight it with all our might, just as if it were an army against Israel.”

Source

THE UN’s BLURRED VISION

They seem to see a double holocaust in Gaza last summer

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

blurred-vision

 

“Balance” in UN Gaza report can’t hide massive Israeli war crimes

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

There can be no surprise that the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of massive and systematic war crimes.

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the chair of the investigation commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis told media, adding that “there is also ongoing fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”

Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

Israel systematically targeted Palestinian residential buildings and infrastructure without any apparent military justification. The horror of what Israel did, detailed in the 183-page report, cannot be adequately summarized here.

In total, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, among them 551 children, the report states. More than 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured with almost 10 percent suffering permanent disabilities.

Six civilians died in Israel and more than 60 Israeli soldiers died in fighting with the Palestinian resistance.

But a key finding is that the mass destruction and killing inflicted by Israel, often amounting to war crimes, “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.”

This finding provides an important basis for Palestinians to pursue Israeli leaders, not just their uniformed subordinates, and bring them to justice in international courts.

The report also confirms that Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza as far as international law is concerned, because it continues to exercise “effective control” over the territory. Israel is therefore subject to all the legal obligations of an occupying power to protect civilians there.

It also found a massive escalation of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in the weeks preceding and during the Gaza assault that was “overshadowed by the tragic events in Gaza.”

Israeli obstruction

The commission was made up of two independent experts: former New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, who chaired it, and Senegal’s Doudou Diène, a former UN special rapporteur on racism.

The previous chair, Canadian international law expert William Schabas, resigned from the commission in February under relentless Israeli criticism and pressure.

Israel’s concern about the make up of the committee was not matched by a willingness to cooperate with its work. Israel refused to respond to any requests for information and barred the investigators from traveling to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or to present-day Israel.

The Egyptian military regime also colluded with Israel by blocking investigators entering Gaza through theRafah crossing.

Nonetheless, the investigators and their staff conducted hundreds of interviews with victims and witnesses, received hundreds of written submissions and obtained large amounts of data from other UN bodies. They also consulted satellite imagery, independent military experts, government documents and statements and evidence gathered by independent organizations.

Deliberate attacks on civilians

Israel carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza last summer, the report states, including “targeted attacks on residential and other buildings.”

As a result of these attacks, 142 Palestinians families “had three or more members killed in the same incident owing to the destruction of residential buildings,” for a total of at least 742 deaths, according to UN figures.

The report examines in detail 15 attacks on residential buildings in which a total of 216 people were killed, including 115 children and 50 women. Israel refused to provide any information on what made these buildings alleged military targets.

Killed while they slept

In one of the incidents, at 2 am on 10 July, Israel attacked the house of Mahmoud al-Haj in Khan Younis. All eight members of the family were killed, including two children and three women. The bomb completely destroyed the house and damaged surrounding homes injuring 20 more people, mostly women and children.

In another attack, on the afternoon of 21 July, Israeli forces fired two missiles at the five-story building of the al-Qassas family, killing nine people, including six children and three women, one of them pregnant. Another 10, mostly children and one a baby, were injured.

The investigators could find no information to suggest “that there was a military target in the al-Qassas building.”

This was frequently the case. “In many of the cases examined by the commission, as well as in incidents reported by local and international organizations,” the report states, “there is little or no information as to how residential buildings, which are prima facie civilian objects immune from attack, came to be regarded as legitimate military objectives.”

Israeli justification debunked

The report does find that “indications of possible military objectives emerged in nine of the 15 cases” of attacks on residential buildings that it examines.

But it says that “the potential targets of the attack seem to have been mostly individuals who were or who could have been present in the building that was struck, indicating that one or several individuals were the likely target and not the building itself.”

Here, the report refutes one of the major Israeli justifications for attacking homes: that someone associated with an armed group lives in one. However, the report “underlines that the mere fact of being a member of the political wing of Hamas or any other organization in Gaza, or working for the authorities … is not sufficient in and of itself to render a person a legitimate military target.”

It adds that “under international humanitarian law, a member of an armed group has to have a continuous combat function to constitute a legitimate military target.”

Even if the person were a “legitimate military target,” Israel’s method of attacking homes is disrproportionate, indiscriminate and illegal.

The investigators also consulted military experts who found that the types of US-supplied bombs Israel dropped – such as the GBU-32/MK-82 1,000 lb bomb or the GBU-31/MK-84 2,000 lb bomb – have such a wide impact that their use amounted to indiscriminate attacks.

During the attack, Israel often boasted about its use of a smaller “warning missile” or “knock on the roof” to tell residents to get out of a building minutes before a much bigger explosion. But the report concludes “that the ‘roof-knocking’ technique is not effective” and there were many instances in which civilians were killed despite such warnings.

Destruction of Shujaiya

On 19 and 20 July, Israel carried out a massive artillery bombardment of the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women.

As The Electronic Intifada reported last year, the type of weapons used – predominantly heavy artillery and mortars – means the attack could not but have been indiscriminate.

Israel also used over 100 one-ton bombs in the attack which destroyed 670 buildings and damaged another 1,200.

The UN report now confirms that “these methods and means employed by the [Israeli army] could not, in such a small and densely populated area, be directed at a specific military target and could not adequately distinguish between civilians and civilian objects and military objectives as required by [international humanitarian law].”

“Therefore,” the report concludes, “there are strong indications that the IDF’s [Israeli army] Shujaiya operation on 19 and 20 July was conducted in violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and may amount to a war crime.”

Human shields

Similarly, the report examines and finds evidence of war crimes during Israel’s siege and shelling of the village ofKhuzaa between 20 July and 1 August and its massive bombardment of the southern city of Rafah after one of its soldiers was reported captured on 1 August.

Israel also used human shields in Khuzaa, a farming village in east central Gaza. On 23 July, for instance, 17-year-old Ahmed Abu Reda was abducted by Israeli soldiers from his family as they tried to flee the area.

He was kept hostage for five days during which he was interrogated and, according to his father, forced to undertake “risky tasks such as opening doors, inspecting rooms, switching the lights on and off to test whether secret explosives were being connected to the light switches, open fridges and other devices that may have detonated explosions.”

It concludes that “there are strong indications that elements of the IDF operation in Khuzaa may qualify as direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects and may thus amount to a war crime.”

In Rafah, Israel implemented the “Hannibal Directive,” a procedure which calls for massive fire to prevent a soldier being captured even if it kills the soldier.

The report cites Israel’s “military culture” resulting from this and other policies as “a contributing factor for the unleashing of massive firepower on Rafah, in total disregard for its impact on the civilian population.”

It also finds that Israeli commanders continued the attack for hours even when they must have known about the catastrophic death and injury they were causing to civilians – in itself a potential war crime.

Accusations against Palestinians

Any Israeli claim that the investigation is biased is refuted by the accusations the report levels against Palestinian resistance groups.

It says the investigators have “serious concerns with regard to the inherently indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel by these groups and to the targeting of Israeli civilians, which violate international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”

It also condemns the extrajudicial executions by Hamas of two dozen Palestinians accused of collaborating with the enemy as a war crime. These executions had already been condemned by Palestinian and international human rights organizations.

Yet in many of the specific instances examined by the committee, especially those involving mortar fire at Israeli targets near the Gaza boundary, the investigators found that Palestinians were aiming at Israeli military targets that were often deliberately placed close to civilian communities.

Military bases near civilians

The report notes “a number of military objectives are located in various parts of Israel, in some cases in the immediate vicinity of built up areas such as the Hatzor airbase, or in the case of the IDF Headquarters, in the midst of a densely populated area.”

It adds that during the attack on Gaza, “the number of IDF positions in the south of Israel around Gaza, sometimes close to civilian communities, was higher than usual.”

“Mortar fire by the Palestinian armed groups appears to have often been aimed at specific targets and is more precise than the rockets in the armed groups’ arsenal,” the report states.

On 22 August 2014, 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, the only Israeli child fatality in the conflict, was killed by a mortar shell in his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, 2 kilometers from the Gaza boundary.

The report notes that this too was an area of intense military activity.

“Based on the information available,” the report states, “the commission cannot exclude that the intended target of the tragic attack of 22 August on Kibbutz Nahal Oz was the IDF Chief of Staff.”

Israeli claims hard to verify

The report acknowledges that in many cases, Palestinian armed groups warned Israeli civilians, especially in the areas near Gaza, and when they fired rockets towards Ben Gurion Airport, of impending attacks.

The investigators say they asked Israel for “detailed information” on “where the rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza actually landed so as to make a more detailed assessment of the proportion of cases in which they were directed at densely populated areas in Israel.”

But Israel – which is always eager to tell global media about how its civilians are the main targets of Palestinian groups – refused, making it “difficult for the commission to determine the extent to which attacks [were] directed at the civilian population in Israel.”

Legitimate military targets

As for tunnels dug from Gaza into present-day Israel, the report is blunt: “during the period under examination, the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

The report concedes, however, that “in the vast majority of individual rocket and mortar attacks, the commission does not have information on the intended targets, but notes that Palestinian armed groups announced that they intended to attack population centers in Israel and declared responsibility for launches directed at different places in Israel.”

It also notes that the “majority of projectiles fired by Palestinian armed groups consisted of rockets that at best were equipped with only rudimentary guidance systems and in the vast majority of cases had none at all.”

It acknowledges that the “limitations of the military arsenals of Palestinian armed groups was advanced as a reason for their failure to attack precisely military targets.”

“Security experts have noted that while the al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas] may have targeted civilians in the past as part of its military strategy, in 2014 its declared official policy was ‘to focus on military or semi-military targets and to avoid other targets, especially civilians,’” the report observes.

But it notes that under the relevant international law, the “military capacity of the parties to a conflict is irrelevant to their obligation to respect the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.”

While this may be the case, what it indicates is that if Palestinians exercising a legitimate right to resistance and self-defense were allowed access to more precise weapons, most of the activities designated as possible war crimes in the report would probably not have occurred.

This is not true, however, in the case of Israel, which boasts about its very precise weapons and yet inflicted massive amounts of death, injury and destruction on civilians as a result of its policy of targeting them.

Instead, Palestinian resistance groups are designated as “terrorists” and barred from obtaining more accurate weapons, while the United States, European Union and other governments continue to supply Israel’s massive arsenal.

The report, if anything, displays a distinct anti-Palestinian bias, using the word “resistance” only between quotation marks as if the right to resist belligerent military occupation is not a well-recognized right in international law.

Analysis

The report looks at the events in Palestine through the strict lens of international humanitarian and human rights law. In doing so it finds evidence that both Palestinians and Israelis committed war crimes and other violations.

But the crimes allegedly committed by Israel are massive compared to anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

There can also be no moral equivalence between the legitimate self-defense and resistance of a people under occupation and the aggression of an occupier whose aim is to subject millions of people to its unopposed military tyranny.

It is also apparent that most, though not all, of the transgressions alleged against Palestinians are an artifact of the inferior and unguided weapons, often locally made in Gaza, that are available to resistance groups.

But the approach of the so-called “international community” has been to deny Palestinians the means to resist against Israeli occupation forces and then to condemn them for using what they have.

Despite this, the fact remains that while Israel mostly killed civilians, Palestinians mostly killed Israeli soldiers. Indeed, 65 percent of those killed by Israel were civilians, while 90 percent of those killed by Palestinians werearmed combatant soldiers.

Nothing is more legitimate than Palestinian resistance and nothing is more illegitimate than Israeli occupation. And yet it is to Israel that weapons of massive destruction continue to flow, often from the countries that preach loudest about human rights and international law.

Means of resistance

It is clear that many governments and international organizations tacitly reject the Palestinian right to resist militarily even if they do not say so openly. Many supporters of Palestinian rights and many Palestinians prefer nonviolence, believing that in the long run it will make a just peace more feasible.

If that is the case, then everyone must be proactive in offering support for nonviolent alternatives that can help redress the balance of power between a tenacious belligerent occupier and its victims.

Boycott, divestment and sanctions, for instance, must be recognized and promoted by the so-called international community as a legitimate means of resistance supplementing other forms of legitimate resistance to colonial occupation.

As for Israel, its strategy with this investigation as in others, was to try to obstruct it and then to whine that it is unfair and biased. If Israel is so certain that its actions were legal and correct, it should have nothing to hide.

Given the consequences if the report’s call for accountability were to be implemented, it is no surprise that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its staunch ally, the US administration of President Barack Obama, have attacked and delegitimized the UN investigation from the very start.

It remains to be seen if others will have the courage to demand accountability and ensure this report is not buried like the Goldstone report into Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza.

Without such accountability, another Israeli massacre in Gaza is only a matter of time.

de1cfa990469eaf53ce69631e9c95284

SILENCE OF THE SHEEPLE

Israeli Christians arrive en masse at Church of the Loaves and Fishes days after possibly deliberate blaze; ‘We will replace the terrible fire with the fire of God’s love and forgiveness,’ says priest.

Where were the Jews?

Where were the Jews of Galilee?

Thousands protest Galilee church ‘arson’

Thousands of Christians from the Galilee and around Israel gathered at the Church of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha on Sunday afternoon to protest the apparent arson that heavily damaged the house of worship days earlier.

The demonstration began at around 4 PM and drew an estimated crowd of more than 3,000, many holding the flag of the Vatican and crosses. At one point, around 100 youths blocked an adjacent road.

Abbot Gregory Collins, head of the Order of Saint Benedict in Israel, urged the Christian community to respond to the incident according to their faith.

Protestors at the church on Sunday afternoon (Photo: Ahiya Raved)

Protestors at the church on Sunday afternoon (Photo: Ahiya Raved)

“A few nights ago we suffered a severe attack here,” he said. “A fire that endangered human lives. All residents of the area – Christians, Druze, Muslims, and Jews should protest against this deed. But we are Christian and must react like Christians.

“We are in the place where Christ performed his miracles, and we the monks have hosted invalids here for years. We will replace the terrible fire with the fire of God’s love and forgiveness.”

Protestors called on police and the government to do all in their power to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The fire is only the latest in a series of acts of vandalism at Christian sites in the past few years.

A mass prayer followed, with the participation of dozens of local priests.

Firefighters stopped the blaze mere meters away from the nave, whose roof is wooden. Swallows that had been nesting in the wood beams had fallen on the floor, dead. Graffiti denouncing the worship of idols was found on a limestone wall in red spray paint.

The area is host to a number of churches, and Christians believe Jesus performed some of his miracles there before going to Jerusalem.

 

Source

YET ANOTHER NOBEL PRIZE RECIPIENT DEFENDS ISRAELI APARTHEID

The anti BDS campaign is grasping at straws if they find it necessary to dig up support offered them over a year ago

During a visit to Israel last year, De Klerk said that categorizing Israel as an apartheid state was “unfair.”

In an interview with Channel 2, the former president said that in contrast to the racial segregation in South Africa, “you have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights,” and “you don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state.”

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Price in 1993. (Photo: AFP)

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Price in 1993. (Photo: AFP)

De Klerk: ‘Odious’ to compare Israel to apartheid South Africa

The former South African president who helped end apartheid says sanctions against Israel would be “counterproductive.”

F.W. De Klerk told Israel Radio Sunday that comparisons between apartheid South Africa and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians are “odious,” and that he prefers “dialogue and negotiation as a way to get governments to change their attitudes.”

Those who support boycotting Israeli goods or goods made in West Bank settlements often point to a similar campaign credited with having undermined white rule in South Africa. Israel rejects the comparison, and says the boycotts are aimed at delegitimizing its very existence.

De Klerk was the last president under apartheid and, along with Nelson Mandela, ended its systematic racial discrimination.

He says the sanctions against South Africa “hurt the people they were intended to help.”

Many in South Africa compare Israel’s presence in the West Bank to apartheid-era South Africa, a charge Israel rejects, resulting in an increasingly strained relationship between the two countries.

During a visit to Israel last year, De Klerk said that categorizing Israel as an apartheid state was “unfair.”

In an interview with Channel 2, the former president said that in contrast to the racial segregation in South Africa, “you have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights,” and “you don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state.”

The former president has also been an advocate of the two-state solution, and in an interview with the Oxford University newspaper in 2014, he said that both Israelis and Palestinians “need to take certain initiatives,” including the recognition of Israel and the establishment of viable borders for a future Palestinian state.

“I’m not saying it’s the right solution for Israel, but there will come in Israel a turning point where if the main obstacles of the moment which exist for a successful two-state solution are not removed, the two-state solution will become impossible,” he said.

“So, as an outsider I would say, believing that a two-state solution might be the best one, you’ll have to move fast, see the window of opportunity, jump through it — it might close.”

Relations between Jerusalem and Pretoria have been frosty for years and further deteriorated after last year’s Operation Protective Edge, when the African National Congress issued a statement comparing Israel’s actions to those of Nazi Germany and accusing Jerusalem of turning the Palestinian territories into “permanent death camps.”

Source

This is what should have been said!

This is what should have been said!

OBAMA COFFEE ‘JOKE’

25-Barack-Obama-Coffee-Art

As posted on Twitter ….

Q. Do you know what Obama coffee is?

A. Black and weak.

That’s supposed to be funny?

Well it’s NOT!

Nothing more, nothing less

Nothing more, nothing less

After removing the ‘joke’ the poster said in an apology to the President, “I like people no matter about their race and religion.”

Brings to mind the classic anti Semitic comeback of  “Some of my best friends are Jewish”.

Israeli Minister’s Wife Tweets Offensive ‘Obama Coffee’ Joke

The wife of Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom apologized after tweeting a tasteless joke about U.S. President Barack Obama.

Judy Shalom Nir Mozes posted the joke Sunday and removed it shortly after, but not before unleashing a storm of criticism.

“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak,” read the offensive tweet.

After deleting the tweet, Mozes apologized in a second tweet, which said: “I apologize, that was a stupid joke somebody told me.”

A second apology posted a half hour later was directed at the U.S. President: President Obama I shouldnt have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter about their race and religion.

A third apology read: “Sorry if I caused any offence to anyone. I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did.”

Mozes, an Israeli talk-show host, has nearly 75,000 Twitter followers.

Shalom, of the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also is a vice prime minister.

IRKS THAT MOVED THE JERKS

The latest attempt of Israeli ‘diplomacy’

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon explained the decision to remove the short by saying that it was meant to “illustrate Hamas’ crimes in Gaza, but when it was interpreted differently, it was decided to remove it.

Foreign Ministry removes animated clip on Gaza that irked foreign press

Yet another lie …. the video was removed, but here it is ;)

 The Foreign Ministry on Sunday removed a satirical animated short on how Gaza is presented abroad following withering criticism from the foreign press that it was mocking them.

The 50-second short was placed on the ministry’s website last Sunday, along with Israel’s 277-page report on the events in Gaza last summer, in an apparent effort to preempt against what is expected to be a harsh, one-sided censure of Israel by the UN Human Rights Council’s committee investigating last summer’s activities.

The short featured a foreign correspondent painting a rosy picture of life in Gaza, with the terror tunnels portrayed as a “fascinating attempt by Hamas to build a subway system,” and people in Gaza just trying to “live quiet lives” in a Palestinian society that is “liberal and pluralistic.”

The reporter is blind to terrorists carrying and firing missiles. The short ends with the statement, “Open you eyes, terror rules Gaza.”

The Foreign Press Association protested the video, issuing a statement that it was “surprised and alarmed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s decision to produce a cartoon mocking the foreign media’s coverage of last year’s war in Gaza.”

“At a time when Israel has serious issues to deal with in Iran and Syria, it is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed,” the statement said. “Israel’s diplomatic corps wants to be taken seriously in the world. Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon explained the decision to remove the short by saying that it was meant to “illustrate Hamas’ crimes in Gaza, but when it was interpreted differently, it was decided to remove it.”

Another lie FROM

NETANYAHU REALLY THINKS WE ARE ALL STUPID

No commentary necessary …..

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,216 other followers