OUR DREAMS ARE DEMOLISHED WITH OUR HOMES ~~ VIDEO

“To finish building this house and get married – these are my dreams, that’s it, but apparently they don’t want it.”

Related Post (Click on link)

Demolished dreams

 

“NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU!”

Here is what happened  in video and why even this short encounter reveals at least six violations of International law.

NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

January 7th is Christmas for my family (Eastern Christian traditions). After we had our large gathering of a few hundred members of the Qumsiyeh clan, and paying visits to my sisters and the older people in my family, I tried unsuccessfully to visit Jerusalem (both with my US passport and with my Palestinian ID). The idea was to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and have dinner in Jerusalem.

I used to be a high school teacher in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is only 4 miles away and is a suburb of Jerusalem. The economies were/are inter-dependent and for five thousand years were inseparable. That is until Israel decided to separate us after they signed the Oslo agreements in 1994 (one of many reasons why these sell-out agreements entrenched apartheid and colonization). I am not allowed to enter Jerusalem on my American passport because I am a Palestinian who does not get a visitor visa on my US passport (I hold green card resident ID in my own country). Most Palestinians are not allowed to their own city of Jerusalem except with special permits. On occasions (like Muslim and Christian holidays, Palestinians above a certain age (males over 55) are allowed. In this case they claimed that Shabak (Israel Internal Security) said that even if I was above 55 I am not allowed and that if I try to come through again I would be jailed (lack of due process not withstanding). While I was questioned, the bus from Bethlehem had left and we were forced to then walk back in the cold weather.

The Israeli policies of separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem and denying us entry are violations of International law and many are considered war crimes. Here are the violations that these soldiers and the Israeli government are guilty of based on International law:

1) Israel’s changes to borders of the municipality of Jerusalem to include parts of Bethlehem (illegal for occupiers, several UN resolutions),

2) Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem (both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem are not Israeli per the UN resolutions that Israel itself agreed to implement when they became members of the UN),

3) Israel’s establishment of 23 Jewish only settlements/colonies in Bethlehem is a war crime and the fact that such Jewish settlers cross over without requiring tasrih (permit) is racist,

4) Israel cannot prevent freedom of movement between one occupied town (Bethlehem) and another occupied town (Jerusalem),

5) Building walls and fences inside the 1967 occupied areas is also illegal (International Criminal Court Ruling 2004),

6) That the “shabak” can give direction to prevent people like me from crossing simply because we advocate non-violent resistance (I wrote a book on the subject) is contrary to both local law (supposed freedom of speech, due process) and International law (e.g. violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

These colonization tactics are nothing short of state terrorism. This indignity was a disappointment in Christmas but we have the peace of Christmas in our hearts and the silver lining is that this provides another motivation for us to redouble our efforts to end the ongoing crimes against humanity. Others suffer and even get injured, jailed or tortured so we are still grateful. May 2017 bring us closer to ending this nightmare of apartheid, close to return of Palestinian refugees, closer to justice, and closer to peace.

Stay Human!

original

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ HUNGER IN GAZA

A ‘meal’ you definitely wouldn’t want to be invited to …

Because of extreme poverty Palestinian family in Gaza cooks chicken feet & toes 💔

Because of extreme poverty a Palestinian family in Gaza cooks chicken feet & toes 💔

MAKE SURE THE CAMERAS ARE TURNED OFF WHEN YOU PULL THE TRIGGER

breaking-news-blink

Extrajudicial killing in broad daylight, Hebron, March 2016

On 24 March ‘16, B’Tselem volunteer ‘Imad Abu Shamsiyeh documented a soldier shooting and killing ‘Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif, a Palestinian who had carried out a knife attack and was lying wounded on the road after soldiers had shot him. The footage garnered sharp domestic and international criticism, leading to an investigation and indictment of the soldier. The act was a direct consequence of the public view, fueled by vitriolic politicians, that shooting to kill is legitimate whenever a Palestinian attacks or attempts to attack an Israeli.

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Finally, the verdict ….

Israeli soldier filmed shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker is convicted of manslaughter

Israeli soldier filmed shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker is convicted of manslaughter

Before the trial ….

Image by Latuff

Hail, Elor Azaria! A murderer turned hero in Israel

Hail, Elor Azaria! A murderer turned hero in Israel

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Related report (Click on link)

‘The shooting by Azaria was unjustified,’ judges find, in stinging, unanimous verdict

IDF soldier who killed wounded stabber convicted of manslaughter

O HORRIBLE, ILLEGAL OCCUPATION TIME

To all Christian friends and readers I would like to wish a peaceful and contemplative Christmas, also thinking about the freedom of Palestine. Merry Christmas!

I also would like to encourage all Jewish friends engaging in the struggle for a Free Palestine by wishing them a Happy Hanukkah!

Image by Carlos Latuff

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O horrible, illegal Jewish occupation time!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,English Translation by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik.

Last year, I wrote down my thoughts on Jesus in illegally occupied Palestine. (1) However, today I will formulate my sentence about the Palestinian Jesus in a different way by saying that today as a Palestinian under occupation he would certainly resist the illegal Jewish occupiers, and his apostles would probably have not established a new religion but a Palestinian resistance movement as a consequence of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine.

Palestinian Christians have a daily first-hand experience of what occupation means with the Jewish settlements that surround them making life intolerable. Yes, the misery and injustice of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine doesn’t stop even in front of Christians! The Christian and Muslim Palestinians have been sitting together in an occupation boat since decades now, with the only change being that conditions are getting worse from year to year. Together they endure endless humiliation,  countless checkpoints and other forms of illegal settlers’ subterfuge designed to expel the indigenous people from their homeland. Of some million Palestinian Christians only 20% remain in the illegally occupied Palestine and in the “Jewish State”. Desperate conditions and the unemployment force many young people to emigrate with the consequence that both Christians and Muslims are victims of Palestine’s ethnic cleansing. (2)

Despite that, neither the Pope nor German politicians – especially the ones starting with a big C, as for example the President of the CDU/CSU fraction Kauder who is in the frontline when “persecutions of Christians” in Arab countries occur – have condemned this screaming injustice being perpetrated against their Palestinian brethren in faith. When Palestinians are concerned, Mr Kauder keeps silent! Also the pastor’s daughter and Christian Zionist Merkel expresses her solidarity with the Jewish occupiers and land predators rather than with the Christian Palestinians and the Christians in Palestine/Israel suffering from the occupation. Why did Kauder, Merkel and Co. and all the Christian dignitaries up to now only speak at pro-Israeli rallies but never at rallies organized by Palestinians against the illegal occupation of Palestine? Is this a Christian attitude? (3) (4)

Nonetheless, there are still many Christians who do not close their eyes towards the injustice of Palestine’s occupation, like Christoph Reuhs who wrote a very informative field report from Palestine. (5)

What did change this year for the illegally occupied Palestine? A lot, but nothing positive, only that there are more right-wing Jews ruling the “Jewish State” and more and more settlements threatening the existence of Palestine. The strategic Israeli land grabbing of Palestinian land, the occupation of the hills is used by the “Jewish Defence Army” to guarantee its military predominance, and the settlers apply this way of thinking. It is a farce, when Amona, a so called illegal external outpost founded 20 years ago, now should be evacuated according to the court decision of 25 December because it was built on “private” Palestinian property. This is just to show to the world that the “Jewish State” is a functioning democracy.

However, is not the whole illegally occupied Palestine a Palestinian property? Why does the international world community not act if all Israeli settlements are illegal according to international law? Why does this community of hypocrites accept this violation of international law of the worst kind, without imposing sanctions and without stopping any financial support to the Jewish occupiers?

Amona is one of the most untruthful symbols of the legalization of illegal settlements by all Jewish governments to date. Were these accommodation containers not always supplied by the near settlement of Ofra deep in the illegally occupied West Bank? Exactly Ofra was one of the first illegal settlements, built in 1975 on conquered land. Only by the intervention of President Peres, who died some time ago, and was eulogised all over the world as the “Angle of Peace”, this settlement could be built. In 1977 the ex Likud Prime Minister Begin recognised the settlement as legal. So the uninhibited settling on stolen Palestinian land goes on. Sharon, the slaughterer of Lebanon, Construction Minister in the 90ies, and then Prime Minister, allowed the building of asphalt roads, of the installation of sewage systems, and electricity and encouraged the settler of Ofra during a visit to build outposts. And those right-wing Jewish settlers accepted such encouragement with pleasure. Today Ofra is a small city of 3.500 inhabitants, with embellished houses with red roofs, kindergartens, a school, a petrol station, and a perfect infrastructure the illegally occupied Palestinians can just dream about. These Jewish settlers feel strong thanks to politicians and rabbis, they are paid court to by the Netanyahu regime, like the right-wing rabbi Shmuel Elijahu, who had encouraged Israeli citizens not to sell any land to Palestinians and had claimed to totally destroy the Gaza Strip by an area bombing and had called for the execution of Palestinians to guarantee the security of the “Jewish State”. And these are just a couple of samples of this “Judaic Humanism”. (6)

So this Judaic thought, on which the whole jurisprudence of the “Jewish State” and the Zionist ideology are based, became all-day reality before the beginning of the Six-Day War in 1967 with the notorious questions made by the right-wing rabbi Zwi Yehuda Kook, a spiritual and religious mentor of the settlers‘ movement Gus Emunim. He said: “Where is our Nablus? Where is out Jericho? Where is our Kingdom of Israel? Where is the House of God?” It took only one month for the “Jewish Defence Forces” to conquer and occupy the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. Zwi Yehuda’s father, Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook, had already been one of the main enablers of religious Zionism in Palestine giving rise to the future crimes of the settlers movement Gush Emunim. He had affirmed: “First we will bring the salvation of the country, then the salvation of the people, and in the end the salvation of the world!” (7)

Such horrifying examples of right-wing rabbis would fill pages: from the infamous sheriff of Hebron, Moshe Levinger, to the racist Dov Lior and the rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the infamous Kach Party, and of the murderous Jewish Defence League. The Biblical Racism has become a mass movement in the “Jewish State” and also struggles against Christians in the “Holy Land”. (8)

In fact, by this illegal biblical-Zionist occupation politics, up to now there are more than 120 legalized settlements (which are de facto illegal!) and approximately 100 non-legalised outposts in the illegally occupied West Bank, where in the meantime, with a rising trend, more than 400.000 Jewish settlers live among approximately 2,5 million Palestinians, the legal owner of the stolen Palestine. This condition has only become possible because the hypocrite international community does not really act, apart from showing its reluctant disapproval. So occupation is perpetuated. This illegal and unique Jewish occupation would have been ended a long time ago, if we had wanted. Since, as a German proverb pointedly says: When there is a will, there is a way!

After the unspeakable Trump election as the future US president the forecast or Palestine and the Middle East are significantly bleaker when compared to Israel, the State where the sun rises. With Trump the illegal Jewish occupiers  have found their champion and they sing in harmony: “We are the Champions!” (10)

This Judaic zealotry is overwhelmingly financially supported by Trump, the Jewish fundamentalist US-citizens, and Christian Zionists. This becomes particularly evident if you consider the financial support of this clan to settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank, and in particular to the settlement Bet El. A fund of the future US ambassador David Friedman and of Trump’s daughter’s Ivanka parents-in-law (Ivanka converted to Judaism and is married to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and political whispering advisor). If we look at this Trump team, the worst nightmares become true. One among many other affronts from Trump towards the Palestinians and all people who engage for freedom and the end of the illegal occupation, is the appointment of such a right-wing orthodox Jews and settlers‘ supporter like Friedman. Friedman is the one always opposed to the two-state-solution and authorising Jews in Israel to settle wherever. Friedman is the one who claims for Jerusalem as the eternally unseparated capital of the “Jewish State”. And Friedman is the one who wants to move the US-embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in cooperation with Trump. According to Netanyahu’s will, Trump is also the one boycotting the nuclear deal with Iran which I hope will not be cancelled. In 2011, Trump was the one who wanted to take the whole Iraqi oil, according to his actual credo “US First”! Let us beware of this “great America”! (11) (12)

This year too Palestine will live again a colonized Christmas under the illegal Jewish occupation. About it I would like to recommend a wonderful text of my friend and highly respected peace struggler Ellen Rohlfs. Her new book is something I would like to recommend warmly to all my readers. It should not be missed under any Christmas tree or as Christmas present. In addition this book is for all people who engage for the end of occupation in Palestine and for the freedom and justice, a wonderful proof of a strong woman always engaging for human rights and for true humanism combatively and poetically! (13)

I do not know if we will ever see the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine. The Palestinian poet and writer Mahmoud Darwish, the lover from Palestine was not allowed to see this longed-for dream become reality. With his impressing poem I would like to say hello to all Palestinians suffering from the illegal Jewish occupation.

PASSPORT

They did not recognize me in the shadows
That suck away my colour in this Passport
And to them my wound was an exhibit
For a tourist Who loves to collect photographs
They did not recognize me,
Ah… Don’t leave
The palm of my hand without the sun
Because the trees recognize me
Don’t leave me pale like the moon!

All the birds that followed my palm
To the door of the distant airport
All the wheat fields
All the prisons
All the white tombstones
All the barbed Boundaries
All the waving handkerchiefs
All the eyes
were with me,
But they dropped them from my passport

Stripped of my name and identity?
On soil I nourished with my own hands?
Today Job cried out
Filling the sky:
Don’t make an example of me again!
Oh, gentlemen, Prophets,
Don’t ask the trees for their names
Don’t ask the valleys who their mother is
From my forehead bursts the sward of light
And from my hand springs the water of the river
All the hearts of the people are my identity
So take away my passport!

To all Christian friends and readers I would like to wish a peaceful and contemplative Christmas, also thinking about the freedom of Palestine. Merry Christmas!

I also would like to encourage all Jewish friends engaging in the struggle for a Free Palestine by wishing them a Happy Hanukkah!

#InIsrael ~~ DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION APARTHEID

Israel jails Palestinian journalists and threatens to revoke permits of international journalists, including Australia’s Antony Loewenstein, pictured in 2014, over unfavorable coverage. (Claudio Accheri)

antony-loewenstein

Israel threatens to expel reporter who asked apartheid question

Israel is threatening to expel an Australian journalist in Jerusalem, accusing him of being a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The threat against Antony Loewenstein comes after the freelance journalist asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference given by former government minister Yair Lapid, and after a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group HonestReporting.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office, told The Jerusalem Post. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.”

Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, who has won recognition for his reporting from South Sudan and Afghanistan, dismissed any suggestion he had misrepresented himself.

“I am an accredited freelance journalist which is how I presented my work to the Israeli government in March, which they accepted,” Loewenstein said. “I’m not here associated with any organization. I’m here as a freelancer, officially, so there’s been no misrepresentation by me, ever.”

Loewenstein has written about the region for more than a decade, including the bestselling book My Israel Question.

Growing crackdown

The effective threat to expel Loewenstein comes a week after the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed that this year Israel remained among the world’s worst jailers of reporters – all of those in its cells are Palestinians.

And earlier this month, Israel detained and expelled Isabel Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches, claiming she too supports BDS.

Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet secret police barred entry to two leaders of a British Muslim humanitarian aid group, citing “security reasons.” The two officials from Muslim Hands were invited to the country by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, which the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz describes as “a nonprofit group that promotes coexistence, cooperation and equality between Jews and Muslims.”

In August, Israel’s public security and interior ministries set up a joint task force to deny entry to or expel foreign activists allegedly affiliated with organizations that support BDS.

This is part of a broader crackdown, whose primary targets are Palestinians.

On Friday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it has been receiving a “worryingly high number of complaints” about Israel violating basic rights of Palestinian human rights activists.

It said that human rights defenders living under Israeli occupation “face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

The UN said peaceful protest and opposition to the occupation is effectively outlawed.

Anatomy of a smear

Loewenstein became a target after he asked a challenging question at a press conference last week to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party that was formerly part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

“You talked before about the idea that since Oslo, Israel has done little or nothing wrong, but the truth is that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the occupation,” Loewenstein began, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Pointing to the large number of Israeli settlers now in the occupied West Bank, Loewenstein continued: “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during apartheid?”

In response, Lapid attacked The Guardian, claiming that it and other publications are encouraging Palestinians to be intransigent.

From there, HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group whose managing editor once worked in the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit, launched a campaign against Loewenstein.

It called him “an anti-Israel activist” and implied he had obtained his official Israeli press card and membership in the Foreign Press Association under false pretenses.

“Loewenstein is clearly incapable of reporting on Israel in a fair and objective manner,” HonestReporting asserted.

“Did Loewenstein gain his official press card by claiming to be a Guardian writer?” the group asked, effectively making an allegation without any basis.

HonestReporting took its campaign to The Guardian directly, complaining to the newspaper that “hiring Loewenstein was the equivalent of hiring a corporate lobbyist to be the newspaper’s business correspondent.”

This apparently elicited the desired response: The Guardian threw Loewenstein under the bus – presumably without speaking to him first.

According to The Jerusalem Post, The Guardian’s head of international news, Jamie Wilson, said that Loewenstein was contracted to write comment pieces for Guardian Australia and remains an occasional comment contributor but he “is not a news correspondent for The Guardian in Israel.”

And The Guardian’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Peter Beaumont, emailed HonestReporting that he had never heard of Loewenstein.

The Guardian’s distancing itself from Loewenstein is a welcome development,” HonestReporting’s managing editor Simon Plosker said, adding that the Foreign Press Association should revoke Loewenstein’s membership and the Israeli Government Press Office should cancel his accreditation.

Loewenstein told The Electronic Intifada that he identifies himself accurately as a freelancer and author of several books, who contributes to many publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times and Newsweek Middle East.

Loewenstein noted that in the tight-knit world of foreign correspondents in Israel, it would be impossible to get away with misrepresentation: “It’s a pretty small place.”

But the smear did its job and now Loewenstein is a target for government expulsion for asking a challenging question of an Israeli leader.

In February, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israel’s intimidation of the international media, including threats to revoke the credentials of reporters who published headlines it didn’t like.

“It is virtually impossible to work as a reporter in Israel and the occupied territories without a press card,” the group’s executive director Robert Mahoney said. “The threat of withdrawing accreditation is a heavy handed approach at stifling unwelcome coverage.”

KOSHER RAPE

“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?”

“Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”

A protest against violence against women in Tel Aviv, March 2014. (Yotam Ronen/ ActiveStills)

A protest against violence against women in Tel Aviv, March 2014. (Yotam Ronen/ ActiveStills)

Israeli leadership’s sex crime problem

David Sheen

The Israeli army officially inaugurated its new chief rabbi at the beginning of this month – but not before he issued a sworn statement apologizing for past religious rulings that have been roundly criticized as sexist.

Eyal Krim, who has served as the army’s second-highest-ranking religious official for the last four years, was elevated to the rank of brigadier general after Israel’s high court ruled that the appointment could be allowed.

Krim was to have taken up his post a week previous, but his inauguration was delayed by the court. The order to delay was made after parliamentarians from Meretz, a left-leaning Zionist party, petitioned the high court against his appointment. The petition focused on how Krim had sanctioned the rape of non-Jewish women by Jewish soldiers in 2002.

“Every rabbi, educator or public figure is required to have the ability to retract and to admit a mistake. I do not hesitate to say I erred,” Krim wrote in his affidavit.

Krim made the controversial religious rulings when he was a civilian, publishing them on Kipa.co.il, a Hebrew-language web forum popular with Orthodox Jews.

Yair Ettinger, religion reporter for Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, wrote recently that although he was not in active service at the time, “Krim became in civilian clothes the leading address to turn to for religious soldiers, especially ones in combat units, with questions and dilemmas regarding halakha, or Jewish religious law. His popularity among religious soldiers overshadowed that of the rabbis of the military rabbinate and annoyed them very much.”

“Evil urge”

Krim’s most misogynistic ruling was in response to the following question by an anonymous man: “Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?”

In response, Krim ruled: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”

In the days that followed the November court decision to delay Krim’s appointment, many of Israel’s political and religious leaders issued statements of support for Krim, urging him not to retract his earlier religious rulings. Hundreds of rabbis on the government payroll publicly expressed their support for Krim, including more than 150 military rabbis and Israel’s national chief rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

Even Tzohar, a group of ostensibly liberal Orthodox rabbis, spoke out in Krim’s defense, as did several ministers, including justice minister Ayelet Shaked and religious services minister David Azoulay.

Last month, Haaretz reported that sexual harassment complaints in the military nearly doubled between 2010 and 2015.

Ironically, the army official to sound the alarm over the steady increase in sex crime complaints, its head of human resources, Major General Hagai Topolanski, is also the very official to have approved Krim for the position of chief rabbi, despite his previously reported comments about raping non-Jewish women.

In recent days, it has emerged that a retired Israeli army brigadier general charged with 16 sex crimes, including three counts of rape, would likely receive a suspended sentence and avoid any prison time. The officer, Ofek Buchris, is expected to draw his entire pension, since he resigned from the army immediately after the rape indictments and before his guilt was established.

Light sentencing

Israel’s aversion to aggressively prosecuting soldiers for rape also extends to crimes committed before they are inducted into the army.

In August, the news website Walla reported that a 24-year-old man who had just been charged with rape, had also been charged with attempted rape four years earlier.

In that 2012 incident, however, the presiding judge chose not to jail him for the crime, instead putting him on probation and only fining him the equivalent of $1,300, so that his police record would not be tarred by a felony conviction, as this could have torpedoed his then-impending army enlistment.

Many more disturbing cases of sex crimes, and institutional efforts to downplay them, have come to the fore in Israel over the past few months.

On 4 December, a retired Israeli judge confessed to sexually harassing a female employee. Yitzhak Cohen, who served as the president of a Nazareth district court, is likely to duck a criminal conviction, and receive only a light sentence of community service and a $650 fine.

In September, Nissim Mor was convicted on charges of sexual harassment, committed while he was Israel’s deputy police chief. Although the former top cop has confessed to the crimes, his punishment may amount to only a few months of community service, and the presiding judge may yet decide to annul the guilty conviction altogether, according to Haaretz.

Mor’s abuse of his police powers to commit sex attacks on a woman who had come to him asking for aid would seem to be symptomatic of a wider phenomenon. In August, Walla reported on a perceptible pattern of women approaching the Israeli police to complain about crimes, including sexual harassment, and being in turn sexually harassed by those very policemen.

Since he was sworn in as Israel’s police chief a year ago, Roni Alsheikh has done little to assuage concerns that the force does not take sex crimes seriously. A report released last month revealed that 87 percent of alleged sex crimes are not prosecuted by the police.

At an event marking International Women’s Day in March, Alsheikh announced that the police would no longer investigate anonymous allegations of sex crimes.

The announcement was made even though Israeli law compels all employers to investigate any suspicion of sex crimes, even if the allegations are made anonymously. Alsheikh had previously said that he regarded allegations made anonymously to be as bad as sexual harassment itself.

In August, Haaretz reported that Alsheikh and his direct boss, public security minister Gilad Erdan, had ordered police spokespersons to refrain from speaking to the media about rape and other sex crimes in order to improve the public image of the force. Instead, they were instructed to focus media attention on crimes allegedly committed by Palestinians – both those who have, and those who do not have, Israeli citizenship.

The following month, Haaretz reported that Alsheikh formed a committee to consider setting up a legal aid fundfor police officers accused of sex crimes and other infractions.

Plague

Outside of the army, rape culture continues to plague Israeli society.

Last month, it emerged that Israel’s biggest bank, Bank Hapoalim, paid $1.6 million to an employee who accused the bank’s CEO, Zion Kenan, of sexually assaulting her. Hapoalim is currently under investigation by the Bank of Israel for not reporting the incident.

Also last month, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev decided not to suspend or levy any fine against David Newman, dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences, for sexually harassing a female student in his department. The university tried to prevent news of the decision from reaching the public.

In the past few days, a court convicted David Yosef of 11 sex crimes, including indecent acts, sexual harassment and sexual assault, all committed while he served as mayor of the Tel Aviv suburb of Or Yehuda. During Israel’s large-scale attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, the Or Yehuda municipality hung a large banner in public urging Israeli soldiers to strike Palestinians forcefully, using a Hebrew-language double entendre that alluded to raping Palestinian mothers. Yosef was mayor at the time.

A popular religious leader accused of raping and sexually assaulting women and minors was convicted of lesser crimes recently. Eliezer Berland, the rabbi in question, was sentenced to just a year and a half in jail and a $6,500 fine. When Berland was first arraigned in July, after evading arrest for three years, a thousand of his followers protested outside the Israeli court, holding signs bearing the slogan: “The people are with the saint.”

Of late, there has been a string of sex crime allegations against lawmakers from Israel’s national religious camp and its political party, the far-right Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home).

In September, it emerged that Davidi Perl, the regional council chair of a cluster of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, agreed to pay a large sum of money (reportedly more than $50,000) to a young woman who accused him of sexual assault. The council voted to retain Perl as its chair. Perl resigned two week later for, in his words, the “good of my family.”

An unnamed elected representative with Habayit Hayehudi has been accused by a party member of numerous sex attacks.

Meanwhile, Yinon Magal, a former Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker who resigned from Israel’s parliament a year ago after numerous women accused him of sex crimes, was hired by Israel Channel 10 last month to co-host a popular late-night television show.

Natasha Roth, a blogger with +972 Magazine, observed that Magal’s fate contrasted with that of Billy Bush.

Bush, a cousin of George W. Bush, the former US president, was ousted in October from his job as host of the NBC television show Today after a video of him entertaining Donald Trump’s boasts about sexually assaulting women was made public during the US presidential election campaign.

While Trump’s misogynistic comments were widely condemned, Tzvika Brot, his election campaign manager in Israel, tried to whitewash his violent sexism. Brot noted – somewhat ironically in light of the controversy surrounding Krim’s appointment – that Trump “isn’t running for chief rabbi.”

Prime minister’s office

Israel’s highest political office also appears to be no safe space for women.

In April, David Keyes, spokesperson to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2013.

In a separate case, last month, after a woman working in the prime minister’s office complained to her direct boss that another office employee had sexually harassed her, the boss fired her on the spot.

Netanyahu’s close friend and former chief of staff, diplomat Gil Sheffer, was this month placed under house arrest after a woman accused him of confining and sexually assaulting her. Sheffer has faced similar accusations from other women in the recent past.

Another previous chief of staff to Netanyahu, Natan Eshel, also quit his post after a colleague accused him of sex crimes.

In September, Netanyahu’s former chauffeur, Ilan Shmuel, was convicted of raping six girls between the ages of nine and 16 over the course of a decade.

When the head of Israel’s government fails to adequately protect women from sex criminals even in his own inner circle, it is sad but not surprising when Israeli children, even pre-pubescent ones, fall victim to sexual predators, such as in the Shmuel case.

That liberal Zionist lawmakers successfully forced the army’s chief rabbi to express contrition for his past sanctioning of rape can be counted as a narrow victory for feminist activists. But Krim’s elevation to such a powerful post to begin with, and the strong support he continues to receive from Israeli leaders, are testaments to the power of patriarchy in Israeli society.

MOTHER PALESTINE ~~ THE INSPIRATION

More often than not, Latuff’s cartoons feature a women called Mother Palestine.

Here she is in 1948 …

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And yet again in 1948 leading her Nation to the wilderness …

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And here, the real Mother …. The Inspiration

Mrs. Zarefa the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine. Expelled from Zakaria village by Israel in 1948 and after 1967 to Jordan

Mrs. Zarefa the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine. Expelled from Zakaria village by Israel in 1948 and after 1967 to Jordan

Today she is leading her Nation back to their rightful Homeland!

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#RacismInIsrael~~ FIRST THEY SILENCED THE MOSQUES, THEN THEY SILENCED THE BUSES

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation ordered that an Israeli bus company stop broadcasting announcements in Arabic in the city of Beersheba.

'They never announced my stop so I fell asleep :( )

They never announced my stop so I fell asleep 😦 

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation ordered that an Israeli bus company stop broadcasting announcements in Arabic in the city of Beersheba, a spokesperson for Dan Bus Company told Ma’an on Thursday.

The spokesperson said to Ma’an that the company had been asked by the Israeli Ministry of Transportation to cease broadcasting announcements in Arabic on Tuesday, only four days after opening its new bus line in Beersheba.

They said that “many, many people complained to the municipality,” which in turn took the matter to the Ministry of Transportation.

The Dan spokesman stated that the company was “not comfortable” with the request to stop the Arabic announcements, adding that “40 percent of our drivers are Muslim,” but that it would comply with directives from the Ministry.

They went on to add that this was the first time that the company was broadcasting these announcements in both Arabic and Hebrew, but that signs remained written in both languages.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Ma’an on the legality of the decision given Arabic’s status as one of Israel’s official languages.

The director of the Coalition Against Racism in Israel, Nidal Othman, said that the ban was symbolic of Israeli authorities submitting to racism which it should stop at every level, adding that the bus company’s response was unacceptable and showed an agreement on racism between governmental and public institutions.

Othman went on to call the decision a “very dangerous escalation” which could prove to become a slippery slope from racist political statements to racist actions.

“A minority of society refuses coexistence (between Israeli Jews and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship), but they have loud voices, while the majority is silent,” Othman said.

He added that the continued presence of the Arabic language in Israel was the product of efforts conducted by human right organizations, and must be protected from the “racist minority” in Beersheba which seeks to make Arabic disappear from the public sphere.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship constitute 20 percent of the population of Israel, and have long been targeted by discriminatory Israeli policies, whether through fewer resources allocated to Palestinian-majority communities in Israel, “divide and conquer” tactics, attempts at forcibly displacing Bedouin communities, and what have been denounced as policies of “Judaization” at the expense of other religious communities.

The bus announcement ban also comes right as the Israeli Knesset is discussing a bill which would ban the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) from mosques in Israel.

Despite the bill not yet being voted into law, a mosque in the town of al-Ludd was fined in late November for broadcasting the adhan, sparking uproar.

 

 

FROM

#InPalestine ~~ ALARM CLOCKS AND PHONE APPS CAN REPLACE THE CALL TO PRAYER

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps. 

Image by Carlos Latuff

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The link between Israel’s forest fires and the ‘muezzin bill’

Jonathan Cook

Israeli legislation ostensibly intended to tackle noise pollution from Muslim houses of worship has, paradoxically, served chiefly to provoke a cacophony of indignation across much of the Middle East.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps.

But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. The bill’s environmental rationale is bogus, they note. Moti Yogev, a settler leader who drafted the bill, originally wanted the loudspeaker ban to curb the broadcasting of sermons supposedly full of “incitement” against Israel.

And last week, after the Jewish ultra-Orthodox lobby began to fear the bill might also apply to sirens welcoming in the Sabbath, the government hurriedly introduced an exemption for synagogues.

The “muezzin bill” does not arrive in a politically neutral context. The extremist wing of the settler movement championing it has been vandalizing and torching mosques in Israel and the occupied territories for years.

The new bill follows hot on the heels of a government-sponsored expulsion law that allows Jewish legislators to oust from the parliament the Palestinian minority’s representatives if they voice unpopular views.

Palestinian leaders in Israel are rarely invited on TV, unless it is to defend themselves against accusations of treasonous behavior.

And this month a branch of a major restaurant chain in the northern city of Haifa, where many Palestinian citizens live, banned staff from speaking Arabic to avoid Jewish customers’ suspicions that they were being covertly derided.

Incrementally, Israel’s Palestinian minority has found itself squeezed out of the public sphere. The “muezzin bill” is just the latest step in making them inaudible as well as invisible.

Notably, Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian Christian legislator from the Galilee, denounced the bill too. Churches in Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Haifa, he vowed, would broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer if mosques were muzzled.

For Ghattas and others, the bill is as much an assault on the community’s beleaguered Palestinian identity as it is on its Muslim character. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has dismissed criticism by comparing the proposed restrictions to measures adopted in countries like France and Switzerland. What is good for Europe, he argues, is good for Israel.

Except Israel, it hardly needs pointing out, is not in Europe. And its Palestinians are the native population, not immigrants.

Haneen Zoabi, another lawmaker, observed that the legislation was not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.

That point was illustrated inadvertently over the weekend by dozens of fires that ravaged pine forests and neighboring homes across Israel, fuelled by high winds and months of drought.

Some posting on social media relished the fires as God’s punishment for the “muezzin bill”.

With almost as little evidence, Netanyahu accused Palestinians of setting “terrorist” fires to burn down the Israeli state. The Israeli prime minister needs to distract attention from his failure to heed warnings six years ago, when similar blazes struck, that Israel’s densely packed forests pose a fire hazard.

If it turns out that some of the fires were set on purpose, Netanyahu will have no interest in explaining why.

Many of the forests were planted decades ago by Israel to conceal the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, after 80 percent of the Palestinian population – some 750,000 – were expelled outside Israel’s new borders in 1948. Today they live in refugee camps, including in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to Israeli scholars, the country’s European founders turned the pine tree into a “weapon of war”, using it to erase any trace of the Palestinians. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls this policy “memoricide”.

Olive trees and other native species like carob, pomegranate and citrus were also uprooted in favor of the pine. Importing the landscape of Europe was a way to ensure Jewish immigrants would not feel homesick.

Today, for many Israeli Jews, only the muezzin threatens this contrived idyll. His intermittent call to prayer emanates from the dozens of Palestinian communities that survived 1948’s mass expulsions and were not replaced with pine trees.

Like an unwelcome ghost, the sound now haunts neighboring Jewish towns.

The “muezzin bill” aims to eradicate the aural remnants of Palestine as completely as Israel’s forests obliterated its visible parts – and reassure Israelis that they live in Europe rather than the Middle East.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

BREAKING THE SILENCE ON ISRAELI RACISM

Where are the outcrys against this injustice?

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

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

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

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

Racism

By Amos Gvirtz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISLAMIC ‘NOISE’ WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT ISRAEL!

Read about the proposed ‘Law’ HERE

“I call on all my people to disobey this law until it reaches the third reading and is approved”, said the Arab MK. We are also disturbed by the Friday and Saturday sirens (announcing the Shabbat), we too cannot travel on Yom Kippur and festivals because of you, but we don’t speak about it, we don’t protest.”

If it upsets Netanyahu it must be something good!

If it upsets Netanyahu it must be something good!

MK Tibi calls on Arabs to disobey ‘muezzin law’

MK Ahmed Tibi of the Arab Joint List calls on Arabs to disobey ‘muezzin law’ preventing loud amplifying systems in mosques.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Joint List) was interviewed by the Al-Miadin news network and referred to the “muezzin law” which would put an end to the incessant loud noise from muezzins around the country.

“I would tell Palestinians to rebel against this law and the one behind it- Prime Minister Netanyahu. The goal is Jerusalem”, said Tibi, adding that “from here, Al-Miadin, I once again say that there will be insubordination and rebellion against this law, nobody will obey it.”

“I call on all my people to disobey this law until it reaches the third reading and is approved”, said the Arab MK. We are also disturbed by the Friday and Saturday sirens (announcing the Shabbat), we too cannot travel on Yom Kippur and festivals because of you, but we don’t speak about it, we don’t protest.”

Tibi’s office said after the interview that “MK Tibi called on the public not to obey the law, to rebel against it even if it entails a prison sentence. The reference was only to this particular law.”

Source

Ultra Orthodox in Knesset save the day ….. Click on link

Ultra-Orthodox block bill to muffle Muslim prayer call, fearing Shabbat siren is next

Controversial legislation to ban mosque loudspeakers goes back to the drawing board

SILENCING OF THE LAMBS IN JERUSALEM

The latest attempt to erase Palestine from the map was to silence the call for morning prayers in Jerusalem ….

This is what some Israelis found offensive …. simply meaning that God is great.

Islamic Call to Prayer at Dawn

Israeli authorities ban Muslim call for dawn prayer from 3 mosques in Jerusalem town

Israeli authorities reportedly banned the Muslim call to dawn prayer from being projected over loudspeakers in three different mosques in the Jerusalem district town of Abu Dis on Friday, according to local sources.

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Lawyer Bassam Bahr, head of a local committee in Abu Dis, told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the town just before the dawn prayer on Friday.

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According to Bahr, Israeli forces raided the al-Rahman, al-Taybeh and al-Jamia mosques in the town, and informed the muezzins, the men responsible for the call to prayer that the call for dawn prayer through the loudspeakers was banned.
Bahr added that the forces did not provide any reason for the ban, and also prevented locals living in the eastern part of the town from reaching the Salah al-Din mosque for dawn prayers.
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Bahr condemned the “unjustified ban,” saying that “Israel attacks Palestinians in all aspects of their lives,” in the form of limiting free movement through the use of checkpoints, and through the disruption of daily life in the form of nightly detention raids.
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The events in Abu Dis came a day after a number of Israeli settlers from illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev protested in front of the house of Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat over the ‘noise pollution’ caused by the Muslim call to prayer.
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A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality told Ma’an that Barkat, “in collaboration with the Jerusalem District police chief and local Muslim leadership, has developed a plan to protect the religious freedom of Muslim muezzin to announce the call to prayer, while ensuring reasonable quiet in Jerusalem’s residential areas.”
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The spokesperson went on to add that the municipality guidelines would include “increased instructions for muezzin operators regarding technical guidelines for optimal playback and sound amplification, increased mapping of city mosques, and continuous dialogue with local Muslim leadership.”
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Adnan al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority (PA)-appointed governor of Jerusalem, told Ma’an at the time that the call to prayer — also known as the adhan, which is broadcast five times a day from mosques — was one of the main Muslim religious rituals and an integral part of Jerusalem’s identity. He said that Israeli demands to lower the sound of the adhan was a threat which had been issued several times before in Jerusalem.
Al-Husseini said that the sound of the adhan doesn’t rise above an agreed-upon decibel level, adding that Israeli settlers were not annoyed by the noise, but by the call to prayer as a reminder of Palestinian presence in Jerusalem.
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Meanwhile, Hatem Abd Al-Qader, a Fatah official in Charge of Jerusalem affairs, told Ma’an that Israel aimed to provoke Muslims by attempting to ban the call to prayer.
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Abd al-Qader said that the Israeli settlers’ protest against the adhan came amid constant violations and raids of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem’s Old City, and demolition of Muslim graves in Jerusalem, which he said were part of a broader Israeli plan to destroy the Palestinian Muslim and Christian identities of Jerusalem and replace them with a Jewish one, turning the Israeli-Palestinian political conflict into a religious one.
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Palestinian communities in occupied East Jerusalem — within the municipal boundaries and also beyond the wall in the occupied West Bank — and the larger Jerusalem district, have long been targeted by Israeli authorities in what has been denounced as a policy of “Judaization” of the holy city at the expense of other religious communities.
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This “Judaization” has been characterized by the continuous expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements and a large-scale policy of demolition of Palestinian homes.
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The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound has also been the stage of numerous tensions over the years, with Israeli forces imposing tight restrictions on Palestinian worshipers at the site.
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Many Palestinians fear that right-wing Israelis are attempting to reclaim the holy site, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.
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SOURCE

60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF PALESTINE

Sixty years is a long time to mourn a death, even a cold-blooded murder. It is even longer when you must live among those, and under the system of those, who murdered your loved ones. Had this been merely an isolated incident of the Israeli military machine killing Palestinians, one may have already regulated it to the history books. But it was and is not.

Photographs of the victims are displayed at the Kafr Qassem Massacre Museum. (Photo credit: Dylan Collins)

Photographs of the victims are displayed at the Kafr Qassem Massacre Museum. (Photo credit: Dylan Collins)

The Almighty Military Order

Forty-eight civilians, 1 fetus and 10 pennies

By Sam Bahour

If your Palestinian neighbors and friends seem slightly on edge today, please excuse them. October 29th brings back horrific memories to Palestinians everywhere, young and old. It was 60 years ago today that a scene of cold-blooded murder fell upon the hill-top Palestinian village of Kafr Qassem (also written Kfar Kassim), located in Israel about 20 km east of Tel Aviv, near the Green Line (1949 Armistice Agreement’s demarcation line) separating Israel and the West Bank. It was in Kafr Qassem on this day in 1956 where the Israeli military literally mowed down in cold blood 48 innocent civilians, one being a pregnant woman whose fetus is counted as the 49th victim. It was said that all of this was done in the service of the almighty Israeli “military order,” which no one dared to challenge.

Sixty years is a long time to mourn a death, even a cold-blooded murder. It is even longer when you must live among those, and under the system of those, who murdered your loved ones. Had this been merely an isolated incident of the Israeli military machine killing Palestinians, one may have already regulated it to the history books. But it was and is not.

There were other massacres prior to Kafr Qasssem, such as the case of Deir Yassin in 1948. Since that dark day in Kafr Qassem there have been numerous other incidents, too many to list. One that comes to mind is 13-year old Iman al-Homs who, in October 2004, was walking home from school in Gaza when an Israeli soldier emptied his magazine into her after she was wounded and lay on the ground. The soldier was caught on radio communications saying he was “confirming the kill.” The most recent example that comes to mind is the Israeli soldier caught on camera in Hebron this past March as he executed a wounded and immobilized Palestinian man lying on the ground by firing a bullet into his head as his fellow soldiers casually watched on.

Unlike today, decades ago Israel did undertake more serious investigations of actions of its military. This is not to say that justice was ever served—it rarely is. Such a landmark investigation was the Israeli Kahan Commission, established by the Israeli government on September 28, 1982, to investigate the Sabra and Shatila massacre (September 16–18, 1982) where 1,000-3,000 (exact number is disputed) Palestinians were slaughtered over three days.

The Kahan Commission was chaired by the Israeli President of the Supreme Court, Yitzhak Kahan. Its other two members were Israeli Supreme Court Judge Aharon Barak and Major general (res.) Yona Efrat. The Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was found to bear personal responsibility. Sharon’s negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control, resulted in a recommendation that Sharon be dismissed as Defense Minister. Although Sharon grudgingly resigned as Defense Minister, he remained in the Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio. Years later, Sharon would be elected Israel’s Prime Minister.

Back to Kafr Qassem.

The Israeli English newspaper, Haaretz, reported in a story by correspondent Ofer Aderet (60 years after massacre, Kafr Qasem doesn’t want an apology from the Israeli government, October 28, 2016) that, “In the 60 years since the [Kafr Qasem] carnage Israel’s attitude has been complicated. Those involved in it were court martialed, convicted and some sentenced at first to long prison terms [these “long terms” were less than what the law stipulated for premeditated murder]. [Israeli] Judge Benjamin Halevy coined the phrase “a blatantly illegal order” in his verdict. The instruction to Israel Defense Forces soldiers that they are obliged to refuse an order “that has a black flag flying over it” has become part of the Kafr Qasem legacy.”

The Haaretz story goes on, “But the convicted parties’ sentence was soon commuted by the chief of staff, they were pardoned by the president and released from jail. The most senior defendant, Col. Issachar Shadmi, commander of the brigade in charge of the area, was sentenced to a symbolic fine of 10 pennies for exceeding authority. Major Shmuel Malinki, commander of the Border Patrol battalion, testified at the trial that Shadmi had ordered him to enforce the curfew with gunshots. Asked what would happen to those who return to the village after the curfew, Kedmi said Shadmi had said “may God have mercy on their soul.””

And maybe most shocking of all coming from an Israeli newspaper is that, “The comparison between the Kafr Qasem massacre and the Holocaust was first made at the trial, when the [Israeli] judge asked one of the defendants if he would have justified a Nazi soldier who was obeying orders.” The Haaretz correspondent continues, “In 1986, 30 years after the massacre, Shalom Ofer, one of the convicted soldiers, said in an interview to Ha’ir: “We were like the Germans. They stopped trucks, took the Jews off and shot them. What we did is the same. We were obeying orders like a German soldier during the war, when he was ordered to slaughter Jews.””

Many, especially those in the Jewish community in Israel and abroad, will rightfully find the above words hard to swallow. I don’t blame them. This horrendous act was revolting and when undertaken in “your” name it makes one sick to their stomach.

Aderet’s article offers but a glimpse into the legal proceedings surrounding Kafr Qassem. One of the first people to document those proceedings wasattorney Sabri Jiryis in his landmark book, The Arabs in Israel, published in Haifa in Hebrew in 1966. A fuller account of the testimonies recorded by the Israeli commanders and soldiers who took part in this killing spree can be found printed here [with the author’s permission] in English. Warning: it’s a disturbing read.

And this, my friends, is the buried past and not so buried present, of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), “the most moral army in the world.” It is imperative that we all redouble our efforts to not make it its future as well, military order or not.

 

Originally posted AT

Related Post (Click on link)

Commemorating Kafr Qasim Massacre at its 60th Anniversary

IN PHOTOS ~~ CONCRETE APARTHEID

TIMES SQ. NYC: PROTEST ISRAELI HYJACK OF WOMAN'S PEACE BOAT TO GAZA IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS (PIRACY) Photo © by Bud Korotzer

TIMES SQ. NYC: PROTEST ISRAELI HIJACK OF WOMAN’S PEACE BOAT TO GAZA IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS (PIRACY)
Photo © by Bud Korotzer

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Instead, this is what we get …
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Construction on the Gaza border barrier

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Construction underway on the IDF’s largest ever project ever—a subterranean concrete barrier.
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The barrier project is comprised of three components: the construction of a concrete barrier reaching several stories underground, the construction of a barrier several stories tall along the length of the border, and equipping both with a wide range of defensive technologies.
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Building the border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Building the border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Construction on the border with Gaza (Photo: Roee Idan)

Construction on the border with Gaza (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Construction workers building the Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Construction workers building the Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Cement being poured into the underground Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Cement being poured into the underground Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Full report and video HERE

SOS VIDEO MESSAGES FROM THE WOMEN’S BOAT TO GAZA

SOS video messages were released by the Freedom Flotilla group after the all women crew members were reportedly intercepted and taken by Israeli forces en route to the shores of Gaza. Shortly before the release of the videos, Al Jazeera reported that the activists were expected to be detained and taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, then deported.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Womens BoatTo Gaza intercepted by the Occupation Navy. Piracy on the open waters! Israel is the enemy of all mankind.

Womens BoatTo Gaza intercepted by the Occupation Navy. Piracy on the open waters! Israel is the enemy of all mankind.

SOS video messages from Zaytouna-Oliva

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Contact President Barack Obama    (202) 456-1111
Contact Secretary John Kerry           kerryj@state.gov or
                                                          (202) 647-4000

Unlike other nations that have women on the boat, we Americans provide military equipment to Israel that may very well have been used against Ann and our international friends.  Please ask Secretary Kerry and President Obama to demand Israel immediately release the women and that they do an investigation on the incident as there are a number of troubling circumstances that are against US and international law. And don’t forget to say that the blockade on Gaza must end.

More contact info here ….

UN: His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General
E-mail: sgcentral@un.org
Twitter: @UN_Spokesperson

EU: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Email: federica.mogherini@ec.europa.eu
Twitter: @FedericaMog

AUSTRALIA

Julie BishopMinistro de Asuntos Exteriores
E-mail: Julie.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au
Teléfono: +61 8 9388 0288
Twitter: @JulieBishopMP
Facebook: Julie Bishop MP

CANADA

Justin Trudeau, Primer Ministro
Casa de los Comunes
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
(No necesita franqueo!)
Teléfono: +1 613 995 0253
Teléfono: +1 514 277 6020
E-mail: j+ustin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca
Twitter: @JustinTrudeau

Stephane DionMinistro de Asuntos Exteriores
Casa de los Comunes
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Información de contacto
mailto:stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca

Para más contactos en Canadá: http://canadaboatgaza.org

FRANCE

Monsieur le Président, protégez la Flottille des Femmes pour Gaza
http://www.plateforme-palestine.org/Monsieur-le-President-protegez-la-Flottille-des-Femmes-pour-Gaza

NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Please contact: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/demand-israel-allows-womens-boat-to-gaza-safe-passage/

NORWAY

Børge Brende
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
N-0032 OSLO
E-mail: utenriksminister@mfa.no
Twitter: @borgebrende
www.shiptogaza.no

SOUTH AFRICA

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Womensboattogazasouthafrica/?fref=ts

SPAIN

  • Please check the following link for detailshttp://www.rumboagaza.org/convocatorias-asalto-zaytouna/
  • Rumbo a Gaza calls on civil society and organizations to gather at 7pm in front of Spanish government offices the same day of the possible interception.
  • Rumbo a Gaza calls on the Spanish Government and Spanish MPs and MEPs to protect the Women’s Boat to Gaza mission and their participants, including the Spaniard Sandra Barrilaro.

UK

Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary
Tel: +44 20 7219 4682
E-mail: boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk
Twitter: @borisjohnson
Facebook: facebook.com/foreignoffice
Twitter: @foreignoffice

UPDATE ~~~~~ ISRAELI PIRATES PREPARING TO STOP WOMEN’S BOAT TO GAZA

Israeli Navy takes control of Zaytouna-Oliva flotilla
After repeated offers to dock at the port of Ashdod were rejected by activists, Israel’s navy board the flotilla 35 miles off the Israeli coast; IDF spokesman: ‘The process took place without resistance and resulted in no injuries.’   Full report HERE
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Message from Ann Wright
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Ann deserves our support
Ann has traveled thousands of miles and made a great sacrifice for human rights.  We can help her with a few small efforts:

Contact President Barack Obama    (202) 456-1111

Contact Secretary John Kerry           kerryj@state.gov or
                                                          (202) 647-4000

Unlike other nations that have women on the boat, we Americans provide military equipment to Israel that may very well have been used against Ann and our international friends.  Please ask Secretary Kerry and President Obama to demand Israel immediately release the women and that they do an investigation on the incident as there are a number of troubling circumstances that are against US and international law. And don’t forget to say that the blockade on Gaza must end

As if this wasn’t expected …..

Image by Carlos Latuff

Sources indicate that the Israeli navy has been given orders to intercept the Gaza Flotilla.

Sources indicate that the Israeli navy has been given orders to intercept the Gaza Flotilla.

A message from the passengers ….

The Zaytouna-Oliva has departed Messina and is now halfway to Gaza. She should arrive on the shores later this week.
We have a landing page where you follow the mission by twitter, facebook and GPS tracking.
The women on the boat represent 13 countries spanning 5 continents. The participants include a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, journalists and a physician. The US representative is former State Department diplomat (and beloved peace activist) Ann Wright.  Bios of all the women can be found here.
Letter to Secretary John Kerry

Dear Secretary Kerry,

In September 2016, several boats with the Women’s Boats to Gaza will sail in a nonviolent effort to break the illegal and immoral Israeli blockade of Gaza. Comprised entirely of women, passengers will include international parliamentarians, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and several American citizens. The Captains and crew of the boats are women. One passenger, former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq, is the recipient of the U.S. State Department’s Award for Heroism.

The women on the boats to Gaza are responding to an invitation by Palestinian civil society. They have committed themselves to nonviolence and in no way pose a violent threat to Israel. They will be sailing in international waters, not within Israeli territorial waters .

As you are aware, earlier this year, Senator Patrick Leahy, along with ten other members of Congress, wrote to you with specific concerns about “disturbing reports” regarding Israel’s “gross violations” against civilians. As Israel is a direct recipient of U.S. military assistance, these human rights abuses violate the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and the Leahy Law. These same laws protect the women on these boats.

In your role as U.S. Secretary of State, you are in the unique position of ensuring that military aid to Israel is not used against civilians, including fellow Americans. Simply put, you not only have the leverage to prevent a potential tragedy and clear violation of international and human rights laws from occurring if the Israeli defense forces use violence against the women on these boats, you have an obligation to do so. Given that Israel has taken violent measures in the past, we ask that our concerns be taken with the utmost seriousness.

Throughout history, non-violent peace activists and human rights advocates have relied on third parties of goodwill for protection and security to violent attacks against their efforts. While many organizations and individuals have already committed to providing such support to the Women’s boats, you are in a position of having one of the most tangible impacts on the safety of these passengers. We remain hopeful that you will take to heart your role in this and will do everything in your power to ensure their safety.

Sincerely,

Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Women’s Boat to Gaza

Alice Walker, Author

Marie Dennis, Executive Director, Pax Christi International

Rachel Kushner, Author

Sr. Mary Wendeln, C. PP.S., Original member, Nuns on the Bus

Sr. Patricia Chappell, Executive Director, Pax Christi, USA

Linda Sarsour,  Executive Director Arab American Association of New York

Look at our Greeting Party in Gaza

Aren't they the absolute cutest!!!

Aren’t they the absolute cutest!!!

And here is Israel’s response …. 

15 women to try to break Gaza blockade
The Zaytouna-Oliva, which set sail from Barcelona earlier this month, will try to reach the strip, as the Israeli Navy prepares to stop it and escort it to the Ashdod Port; Northern Ireland activist and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire is among those on board.

The Israeli Navy is preparing to stop a group of women who will try to reach the Gaza Strip on board a boat on Wednesday in a bid to break a decade-long blockade by Israel.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006 but it was tightened in 2007 after the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas seized control in the tiny enclave.

Israel’s maritime, land and sea blockade of Gaza is aimed at preventing Hamas from receiving supplies which could be used for military purposes.

Fifteen women will try to breach the blockade aboard the Zaytouna-Oliva boat early on Wednesday, said spokeswoman Claude Leotic.”But we fear there will be an Israeli attack” to prevent the boat from reaching Gaza’s shores, she told AFP Tuesday in a telephone interview.

Much like other similar instances since the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, the Navy will not allow the boat to arrive in Gaza and it will likely be escorted to the port of Ashdod.

The Zaytouna-Oliva is one of two vessels that set sail from Barcelona in September.

The flotilla dubbed “Women’s Boat to Gaza,” is part of the wider Freedom Flotilla Coalition that consists of pro-Palestinian boats that regularly go to Gaza from all over the world to try to break the blockade.

None have yet managed to get through, and Israeli authorities have made several arrests.

One such operation turned to tragedy in 2010 when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists in a raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla. The incident strained ties between Turkey and Israel, with the crisis only resolved earlier this year with the signing of a reconciliation agreement.

Among the women of different nationalities on board the Zaytouna-Oliva is Northern Ireland activist and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire.

A South African passenger, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, told AFP she expected the boat to be 100 nautical miles off the shores of Gaza by 3am GMT.

“Our goal is to reach Gaza. We are not worried about what Israel plans on doing,” she added.

In early July, a week after Israel and Turkey signed their reconciliation agreement, a Turkish aid ship arrived at the Ashdod Port with food, medicine and toys that were checked and then transported into the Gaza Strip. On board were 22 crewmen, journalists and Red Crescent personnel. All were approved entry to Israel by the Interior Ministry.

Source and video HERE

REMEMBERING THE ‘MEN OF PEACE’ WHO OPPRESSED PALESTINIANS

Wiesel and Peres dedicated their lives to a project that deflects Jewish culpability in the oppression of the Palestinian people. Though world leaders will gather for Peres’s funeral in the coming days, Jews need to mourn aspects of the violence Wiesel and Peres enabled. The idea of Jews simply finishing the job that Wiesel and Peres began, viewing their legacy as simply unfinished, won’t do either.

Israel has embarked wholesale on the displacement and ghettoization of the Palestinian people. The trajectory Wiesel’s and Peres’s life is a dead-end for Palestinians and Jewish history, if one believes that without an ethical center, Jewish life is truncated, if not voided altogether.

Shimon Peres never expressed regret over Qana operation that killed over 100 civilians, “[I'm] at peace with it.”

Shimon Peres never expressed regret over Qana operation that killed over 100 civilians, “[I’m] at peace with it.”

Shimon Peres, Israel’s greatest ambassador, will be remembered for enabling oppression of the Palestinians

The world is awakening to the news of the death of Shimon Peres, the last liberal lion of the founders of the state of Israel. He was 93 years old. Yet the real meaning of Peres’s life will be decided in the future. That future is troubling. It has already arrived.

As a military and political person, Peres did it all from the beginning of the state of Israel. Peres fought for the new born state of Israel, held many and varied political offices during the course of Israel’s history, including Prime Minister and President, played a key role in Israel’s development of nuclear weapons and encouraged and augmented Israel’s settlement project in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

As important was Peres’s role in portraying Israel as a Jewish and democratic state around the world. In this latter project, so important to Israel and Jews in the Diaspora, Peres succeeded magnificently during most of his long life. Yet, it is exactly here that Peres faltered in his later years, partly as his age increased but more importantly because the tide of history turned. Today, portraying Israel as a refuge for Jews, as innocent, under siege and as a beacon of light, is unacceptable. It is impossible.

From the beginning, Palestinians knew a different Israel and, with time, more and more Jews do, too. Though Peres will be widely celebrated in the upper echelons of American and European power in the coming days, like Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust sage, who died some months ago, Peres will be remembered for enabling a narrative of Jewish innocence and redemption that was, also, something much more sinister from the beginning.

With Peres’s death, the issue of the future of Israel and Jewish life becomes more urgent. Though, again like Wiesel with the Holocaust, Peres sought to create a lasting legacy enshrined in Jewish history, now their legacy and Jewish history itself are in doubt. Building on the legacy of the Holocaust and Israel seems dubious. The ground beneath our feet is uncertain.

Entering the Jewish High Holiday season, a time of reflection and confession, what are Jews to do? Wiesel and Peres dedicated their lives to a project that deflects Jewish culpability in the oppression of the Palestinian people. Though world leaders will gather for Peres’s funeral in the coming days, Jews need to mourn aspects of the violence Wiesel and Peres enabled. The idea of Jews simply finishing the job that Wiesel and Peres began, viewing their legacy as simply unfinished, won’t do either.

Israel has embarked wholesale on the displacement and ghettoization of the Palestinian people. The trajectory Wiesel’s and Peres’s life is a dead-end for Palestinians and Jewish history, if one believes that without an ethical center, Jewish life is truncated, if not voided altogether.

Was Shimon Peres’s life wasted, culpable, to be derided in Jewish history and the history of peoples around the world, including and especially the Palestinian people? In the coming days, we will hear more about Peres’s accomplishments than explore the content of these dissident thoughts. To speak about the end of Jewish innocence will be seen as a betrayal.

Perhaps a rabbi or two will parse Peres’s life during the upcoming Days of Awe. More likely, however, most rabbis, like our political leaders, will laud Peres’ life and further postpone the confession so central to the Jewish future.

TIMELY TOONS ~~GAZA REMEMBERS SHIMON PERES ~~ NOBEL ‘PEACE’ LAUREATE

For those of you with the gall to call Shimon Peres a ‘peace maker’ You all have no idea what peace is – clearly.

Images by Carlos Latuff

The way Shimon Peres will be remembered

The way Shimon Peres will be remembered

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Shimon Peres, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Gaza, 2009

Shimon Peres, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Gaza, 2009

The Three Faces of Eve Evil

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Related article FROM

He was seen abroad as an urbane diplomat but at home often as an ego-driven manipulator in domestic politics who eroded his party’s identity out of a thirst for cabinet posts after election losses to Likud.

Shimon Peres Won Plaudits and Nobel Prize — but Goal of Peace Eluded Him

Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93, never realized his vision of a new Middle East built upon a 1993 interim peace deal he helped shape with the Palestinians.

But Israel’s elder statesman won world acclaim and a Nobel prize as a symbol of hope in a region long plagued by war fueled by deep religious and political divisions.

Peres was hospitalized following a stroke two weeks ago and his condition had improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday, doctors said. In announcing his passing, family members said that he did not suffer pain, and as a last act after death, he donated his corneas for transplant.

“Don’t forget to be daring and curious and to dream big,” Peres urged first-graders at the start of the school year in a posting on his Facebook page earlier this month. The comment seemed to sum up his own credo.

In a career spanning nearly seven decades, Peres, once a shepherd on a kibbutz, or communal farm, served in a dozen cabinets and twice as Labour Party prime minister, but he never won a general election outright in five tries from 1977 to 1996.

“I am a loser. I lost elections. But I am a winner — I served my people,” Peres, who held the largely ceremonial post of president from 2007-2014, once said in a speech.

He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Israel’s late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for a 1993 accord that they and their successors failed to turn into a durable treaty.

When a far-right Jewish Israeli opposed to the peace deal assassinated Rabin in November 1995, the torch passed to Peres.

But Palestinian suicide bombings that killed dozens of Israelis and an aggressive campaign by Likud battered Peres’s rating and he lost the 1996 election to Benjamin Netanyahu by less than 30,000 votes.

In 2000, the failure of final-status peace talks with the Palestinians and the eruption of a Palestinian uprising rife with suicide bombings further damaged Israel’s left and Peres’s leadership prospects.

In 2005, Peres left the Labour Party to join then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s new party, Kadima, which had spearheaded Israel’s unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip earlier that year. Following Kadima’s 2006 election victory, Peres served as vice prime minister.

FOUNDING FATHERS

Born in 1923 in what is now Belarus, Peres immigrated to British-ruled Palestine with his family a decade later.

Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion groomed him for leadership. He oversaw arms purchases and manpower in the Hagana, the Zionist fighting force, before Israel’s establishment.

Peres is widely seen as having gained nuclear capabilities for Israel by procuring the secret Dimona reactor from France while defense ministry director-general in the 1950s.

As defense minister he oversaw the dramatic 1976 Israeli rescue of hijacked Israelis at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Peres was popular in his first term as prime minister in 1984-86 as part of a power-sharing pact with Likud. He pulled troops back from Lebanon, normalized relations with Egypt and cut inflation from 445 percent a year to below 20 percent.

Despite his key role in building Israel’s defenses, Peres never gained broad popular trust in his security credentials as Rabin, his Labour rival and former army chief, or Sharon enjoyed.

Most Israelis, hardened by frequent conflict, dismissed his vision that a new age for the Middle East was dawning hand-in-hand with peace deals.

He was seen abroad as an urbane diplomat but at home often as an ego-driven manipulator in domestic politics who eroded his party’s identity out of a thirst for cabinet posts after election losses to Likud.

Nevertheless, during his last years, the last of Israel’s founding fathers saw a rise in his popularity among Israelis. He used the presidency as a pulpit for advocating peace and maintained an active public schedule, encouraging Middle East diplomacy and technological innovation.

He is also known for his stewardship of the Peres Center for Peace, a non-governmental organization focused on building closer ties with the Palestinians, improving healthcare and developing local economies.

Earlier this month, after a series of health scares including a mild heart attack, Peres received an artificial pacemaker.

“I feel great. When can I get back to work already? I’m bored!” he told reporters at the time.

Peres wrote several books including “Entebbe Diary,” “The New Middle East” and “Battling for Peace.” His wife, Sonia, died in 2011. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.—Reuters

#JeSuisPalestinian!

“Palestinian citizens of Israel are its Achilles’ heel; they refuse to become Zionists, refuse to leave Israel, and refuse to vanish into thin air. And, increasingly, they are refusing to remain silent.”

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Don’t Call Us ‘Israeli Arabs’: Palestinians in Israel Speak Out
By Sam Bahour

When Israel’s founding fathers removed by force the native Palestinian Arab population living where they intended to establish their state, they murdered or displaced more than 80% of that population.

This act of ethnic cleansing — to borrow one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly found phrases — was given a name in Arabic: the Nakba, or catastrophe. The Palestinian Muslims, Druze and Christians who remained in what became Israel have been, and are today, approximately 20% of the population. These are indigenous Palestinians and their descendants, who have had Israeli citizenship imposed upon them.

’48ers, Palestinian Arabs, ‘insiders’ – just not ‘Israeli Arabs’

For over half a century, Israel has preferred the designation Israeli Arabs, focusing on their Israeliness and attempting to obliterate any trace of Palestinian from their identity. Among Palestinians in exile or the West Bank, they’re referred to as ‘48ers, referring to the year of the Nakba, or as those living “on the inside,” meaning inside the 1949 armistice line, better known as the Green Line. Now, a new cohort of Palestinian thinkers inside Israel writing 68 years after the Nakba reaffirm that they are not just Arabs, but Palestinian Arabs, and that while they may be “in Israel,” they are not Israel’s: they are their own masters.

These Palestinian citizens of Israel are its Achilles’ heel; they refuse to become Zionists, refuse to leave Israel, and refuse to vanish into thin air. And, increasingly, they are refusing to remain a silent, or passive, player.

This increasingly assertive minority in Israel spoke out in a new think tank report published this month by The Palestinian Arab Citizens in Israel hosted by the Oxford Research Group and supported by the I’LAM Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research in Nazareth and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Full disclosure: While completely independent, this project is also a sister project of the Palestine Strategy Group, of which I’m a secretariat member.]

Four futures for Palestinians in Israel, from chaos to a binational state

The report is unequivocal about the need for the state of Israel to wholly accept these Palestinian citizens as full and equal citizens. Israeli Jewish citizens who think they have quashed any impetus for collective action by their Palestinian neighbors in Israel would be well advised to read, not just this report in its entirety, but also the biographies of those responsible for its production. Some of the sharpest political and academic minds in Israel are exposing the historical misjudgments and internal contradictions in the Israeli state and offering a way out, if anyone is interested in pursuing it.

The report highlights three possible scenarios – four futures for the Palestinian citizens of Israel and their relationship with the State of Israel.

Scenario 1 assumes the continuation of the status quo
, which could proceed along two different paths: Israel could embark on attempting to better the quality of life of its Palestinian citizens, as individuals, without addressing the core political or collective issues, or could simply attempt to perpetuate the status quo, without the emergence of a Palestinian state, a combination that would inevitably become less status quo and more a continuous downward spiral.

Scenario 2 envisions chaos on Israel’s borders as regional Islamic fundamentalism in bordering states spills over into Israel, provoking redeployment of the Israeli military and greater potential instability.

Scenario 3 assumes the creation of an independent Palestinian state(as defined by the UN General Assembly Resolution passed on November 29, 2012) living side by side with Israel.

And scenario 4 projects Israel’s transition into a binational state, in effect a one-state solution, but with a very different social contract with Jewish Israelis: one that ensures constitutional equality between Jews and Arabs and re-envisions all of the state’s trappings, such as the flag, national anthem, etc.

Recognizing the collective rights of Palestinians in Israel

But in parallel to these high-level strategic scenarios, Palestinian citizens in Israel need tangible goals.

In the short-medium term (five- to ten-years) framing the aspirations of the collective, building and upgrading the institutional infrastructure of the legitimate minority status of Palestinians in Israel based on pluralism, democracy and equality. Specifically, the umbrella representative organizations – the Higher Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and the National Committee of the Heads of Arab Localities – should be reformed and new associations should be considered.

A ten- to twenty-year horizon focuses on individual rights and equal opportunities in addition to the attainment of recognition as a collective. This includes efforts to revitalize existing representative bodies and create new ones to work toward achieving formal recognition at all levels of government with the aim of securing first-class citizenship rights and economic and development rights, as well as addressing the various state planning bodies.

And finally looking forward twenty to forty years: the achievement of a historic reconciliation between the two peoples in historical Palestine as part of reconciliation between the Jewish community and the Palestinians alone, or also with the peoples and countries of the wider region.

Palestinians: Accept pluralism. Israelis: Right historical injustice

Such charting of a joint future is difficult to envision today because of the vast ideological diversity with the Palestinian community, with some calling for no separation between religion and state and others calling for total separation. This major disparity in ideologies is a clear potential weakness: the report calls for the universal acceptance of pluralism as the necessary foundation on which to build, with all stakeholders accepted as part of a shared future. The report notes likewise that the need for the state to be a state for all its citizens must be a given in any future scenario.

It is true that ending the nearly 50-year-old Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, although imperative, will not bring total peace to Israel. What could finally accord Israel a normal place among nations, for the first time ever, is for it to come to terms with its history of injustice.

That means acknowledging its role in the creation of the Palestinian refugee community, taking restorative efforts to right that wrong, and finally accepting its Palestinian citizens as full and equal civic partners in theory and in practice.

Written for HaAretz

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