ASSORTMENT OF TOONS ~~ FROM A HUNGRY PALESTINE

Collection is FROM

Organizations and individuals which side with Palestine are welcome to reproduce the following cartoons on hunger strikers!

1500 of our freedom fighters are on their 7th day of Hunger Strike inside Israeli occupation jails.

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For the 7th day, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue their open hunger strike.

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Good morning from Palestine .. !

From Latuff

Why we strike ….

Statics you SHOULD know about the miserable conditions at the Israeli jails..

INTERVIEW ~~ SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKERS CONTINUES TO GROW

A couple of days ago, the leader of al Fatah, Marwan Barghouti, published his shocking article on New York Times. He had just started a legendary protest, called the “struggle of the empty stomachs”. Marwan has been able to start an extended non-violent struggle of at least 1.300 prisoners in Israeli prisons, a hunger strike. The objective is to show their reality to the rest of the world, and to make people understand what is going on in this land of denied rights. In his article published by New York Times Marwan attacks the Israeli military forces by using very hard words. The Zionist regime is responsible for the total absence and/or the daily violation of human rights, for daily physical and psychological torture, and also for bad food. 

Image by Carlos Latuff

Day 5 of 1,500 Palestinian detainees’ hunger strike in Israeli occupation jails!

Interview with Khaled, during a rally to support Palestinian prisoners

by Antonietta Chiodo, ProMosaik, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

In these hours, the population wants the competent authorities to take their responsibility to sanction a state whose law is based on the exercise of violence and power against a helpless population. However, as we can see today, this population has not stopped resisting. The President of the Palestinian Authority Abu Mazen declared his unconditioned solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners. The groups next to Hamas and the Islamic Party have not made a clear decision about whether they will participate to the hunger strike by involving their own members in Israeli prisons or not.

The day after the publication of Barghouti’s article and the extended participation to the hunger strike by prisoners, the Knesset put the leader Marwan Barghouti and other three main organizers of the protest in solitary confinement in the high-security prison in the Northern West Bank next to the city of Jenin. Since the beginning of the protests, the clashes and arrests are increasing, in particular around Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem.

Today I went into the streets and talked to a group of people during a solidarity rally for the Palestinian prisoners in hunger strike. Among them there was also an about eight years old handicapped child. Some of them wore gas masks. An ambulance was ready to intervene in case of clashes.

Everywhere the shapes of Israeli soldiers. In sight the separation wall. There are upset garbage containers which make me think about a day full of tensions. During the rally, I talked to Khaled, one of the guys participating to the protests, to ask him a couple of questions about them.

Have there been news from the prisons during these last hours?

No, since the beginning of the hunger strike, Israel has not been giving any information… we have only heard that the leaders of the protest were put into solitary confinement and that many prisoners are not even allowed to talk to their own lawyer.

Do you feel supported by the Palestinian Authority these days?

I cannot answer to this question… I cannot say anything about it… I am just a man who decided to take to the streets these days… as many women and children did… we would like to tell the world what has been happening in this land since seventy years now….  However, politics are the heart of Palestine… the whole world turns around politics, we do not want to know if one is on our part or not… since this is our life, and our freedom, and we will continue our resistance against the occupation, day after day… If you want to know if we trust Abu Mazen …. Then I can answer you: No, Palestine has stopped trusting him since a long time now.

Were there many clashes during these rallies? Do you think others will follow today?

We protest the whole day, also in the evening. They usually attack us in the afternoon or after sunset. As you can see, we have no arms. We just have flags… but we resist. Because resisting is the thing we can do best…. And it is not a coincidence that the majority of people participating to these rallies comes from the refugee camps, in particular from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp.

Do you think that Marwan Barghouti’s initiative will be really helpful?

Yes, I am absolutely convinced that it is a light, an open window so that the world can look into here… so that all can see how strong we the Palestinians are… we prefer dying than continuing to be oppressed and tortured. Our situation has been unchanged for seventy years now… So our fellows have started this struggle, and we have to support them because they are brave men and true examples for us.

 

Written FOR

MUCH ADO ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKE

Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons

Carlos Latuff shows his solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who launched a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails, yesterday.

Palestinians in Israeli prisons begin hunger strike!

Israel, the mother of terrorism has called this article an act of terror. Please read and distribute as far and wide as possible.

Op-Ed in the New York Times

By

Photos of prisoners during a demonstration demanding the release of the Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, in Ramallah, West Bank, this month. Credit Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

HADARIM PRISON, Israel — Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.

Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have decided to take part in this hunger strike, which begins today, the day we observe here as Prisoners’ Day. Hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.

Decades of experience have proved that Israel’s inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation. In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it.

Israel, the occupying power, has violated international law in multiple ways for nearly 70 years, and yet has been granted impunity for its actions. It has committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions against the Palestinian people; the prisoners, including men, women and children, are no exception.

I was only 15 when I was first imprisoned. I was barely 18 when an Israeli interrogator forced me to spread my legs while I stood naked in the interrogation room, before hitting my genitals. I passed out from the pain, and the resulting fall left an everlasting scar on my forehead. The interrogator mocked me afterward, saying that I would never procreate because people like me give birth only to terrorists and murderers.

A few years later, I was again in an Israeli prison, leading a hunger strike, when my first son was born. Instead of the sweets we usually distribute to celebrate such news, I handed out salt to the other prisoners. When he was barely 18, he in turn was arrested and spent four years in Israeli prisons.

The eldest of my four children is now a man of 31. Yet here I still am, pursuing this struggle for freedom along with thousands of prisoners, millions of Palestinians and the support of so many around the world. What is it with the arrogance of the occupier and the oppressor and their backers that makes them deaf to this simple truth: Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.

Israel has built nearly all of its prisons inside Israel rather than in the occupied territory. In doing so, it has unlawfully and forcibly transferred Palestinian civilians into captivity, and has used this situation to restrict family visits and to inflict suffering on prisoners through long transports under cruel conditions. It turned basic rights that should be guaranteed under international law — including some painfully secured through previous hunger strikes — into privileges its prison service decides to grant us or deprive us of.

Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence. Some have been killed while in detention. According to the latest count from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, about 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967 because of such actions. Palestinian prisoners and their families also remain a primary target of Israel’s policy of imposing collective punishments.

Through our hunger strike, we seek an end to these abuses.

Over the past five decades, according to the human rights group Addameer, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel — equivalent to about 40 percent of the Palestinian territory’s male population. Today, about 6,500 are still imprisoned, among them some who have the dismal distinction of holding world records for the longest periods in detention of political prisoners. There is hardly a single family in Palestine that has not endured the suffering caused by the imprisonment of one or several of its members.

How to account for this unbelievable state of affairs?

Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance. Israel’s courts are a charade of justice, clearly instruments of colonial, military occupation. According to the State Department, the conviction rate for Palestinians in the military courts is nearly 90 percent.

Among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians whom Israel has taken captive are children, women, parliamentarians, activists, journalists, human rights defenders, academics, political figures, militants, bystanders, family members of prisoners. And all with one aim: to bury the legitimate aspirations of an entire nation.

Instead, though, Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom.

Israel has tried to brand us all as terrorists to legitimize its violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, torture, punitive measures and severe restrictions. As part of Israel’s effort to undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers.

Israel is not the first occupying or colonial power to resort to such expedients. Every national liberation movement in history can recall similar practices. This is why so many people who have fought against oppression, colonialism and apartheid stand with us. The International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Prisoners that the anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada and my wife, Fadwa, inaugurated in 2013 from Nelson Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island has enjoyed the support of eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates, 120 governments and hundreds of leaders, parliamentarians, artists and academics around the world.

Their solidarity exposes Israel’s moral and political failure. Rights are not bestowed by an oppressor. Freedom and dignity are universal rights that are inherent in humanity, to be enjoyed by every nation and all human beings. Palestinians will not be an exception. Only ending occupation will end this injustice and mark the birth of peace.

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES ~~ 1500 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. 

Image by Carlos Latufff

 

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. This includes family visits, stopping abuse,
availability of medical treatment, knowing their sentence (administrative
detainees held for months and sometimes years without charge or trial),
etc.  There were many activities to honor them and show solidarity. For
example we in Al-Rowwad Culture and Art Society held the festival of return
(3aidoun) in their honor, there were demonstrations at the wall (inhaled
much tear gas) and we have a candle-light vigil later tonight in
Bethlehem’s manger square. Please keep prisoners issues alive so that they
stay alive and are treated with dignity they deserve. These events happen
in between our usual work at the museum (research, education,
conservation). 15 elementary school children visited as did several local
people. Our team of international volunteers (seven today) continue and are
working hard. Look for us on facebook under Palestine Museum of Natural
History.

Why we are on hunger strike in Israel's prisons (more)


U.S. Drops Its Biggest Non-Nuclear Bomb on Afghans, Already Traumatized by
Decades of War. In Afghanistan on Thursday, the United States military
dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever—the Massive Ordnance Air
Blast, or MOAB, nicknamed "The Mother of All Bombs." The 21,600-pound bomb
reportedly unleashed an explosion equivalent to 11 tons of TNT with a
mile-wide blast radius…..

[They keep telling us it is “non-nuclear” (why not non-biological,
non-chemical?). It was described the Afhani officials as devastating to
people and the environment. This came after Trump refused independent
investigations and claimed he knows Syrian government used chemical weapons
and bombed Syria. He is now the typical neocon….]

American police are now regularly getting training from Israeli apartheid
officers. Is it any wonder then they drag people out of airplanes and shoot
blacks in the street? Here is an interesting opinion piece in the
Washington Post. Crucified man had prior run in with authorities:

I guess this is how we are writing up the victims of crimes now. I did not
realize that when you boarded a plane you gave away the right to have your
past remain your past, but a theme of life these days is that only people
who have never done anything wrong, or are in some way related to Donald
Trump, deserve to go through their lives unmolested. In accordance with
this new house style I am writing up an incident whose anniversary some
people are celebrating this week.  The gentleman arrested Thursday and
tried before Pontius Pilate had a troubled background.


Open Secrets: The UAE’s Deals With Israel

 

A CRITICAL LOOK AT PASSOVER

How can you celebrate a festival if you look at the occupation, the continuous land grabbing and oppression in Palestine by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Egypt?

Before the “Salvation of Zion”, the “Geulat Zion”, there is the “Salvation of Palestine” from illegal Zionist Occupation!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

In times of Islam hatred and of a philosemite Anti-Semitism, the beloved “Matzo Balls,” a wonderful Jewish traditional dish, gets stuck in my throat. How can you celebrate a festival if you look at the occupation, the continuous land grabbing and oppression in Palestine by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Egypt? Who can you say “Next year in Jerusalem” at the end of the supplications?

What does this mean? In which Jerusalem? In the Jerusalem under continuous Jewish occupation and Judaisation? No, I cannot and do not want to accept this! Without any doubt, it is important to transmit traditions, but a tradition denying the occupation, land grabbing, and humiliation at the expense of an occupied people, is a crime.

This well-known supplication about Jerusalem is the beginning of a religious, Zionist “tradition.” And from the beginning, already before the Holocaust, without taking the losses into consideration, this Zionist tradition pursued the goal to conquer a “Jewish State” for a “people without land, and a land without people”. This Zionist idea of Herzl will be celebrated in autumn with Netanyahu being invited to Basle. Yes, exactly to Basle! I am asking myself how this “Occupiers’ King Bibi” can be invited to Basle. Has he emigrated to Switzerland? Imagine the scenario of “Erdogan being invited to Germany.” How much greater would the agitation be than about the Turkish election campaign appearances?

Next Monday evening, Jewish citizens all over the world will sit on one table to celebrate the first Seder Evening of the Pessach festival, by commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. And at this moment, hundred thousands of illegally occupied Palestinians, trapped in their reservations, will involuntarily think about their exodus. Four years ago I wrote a comment about the Pessach festival in Palestine.

In 2013 I wrote “we were refugees in Egypt”; and at that time, Netanyahu praised the “success” of the almost concluded barrier construction to Egypt, by roaring: “There is no other Western country which was able to stop the mass immigration of illegal migrants. And we have ensured that no ‘infiltrant’ can reach the Israeli cities.” Infiltrant!

What about it in 2017? The “Jewish State” drove forward in the ethnical cleansing and judaisation on such a massive scale that it is just a matter of time before all Palestine will be “Muslim-free.” In the meantime, there are other walls to Gaza and prisons for black refugees, and there is US-president Trump planning a giant wall construction to keep out Mexican refugees. And it was him who ordered a “Muslim travel ban,” which has no equal. He falls seamlessly into the ranks of the Zionist racist wall and separation politics against Muslims, refugees, and foreigners. This “Christian-Jewish” alliance will put the fear of God into us!

The “Jewish State” upheld as model for the integration of refugees, and whose security and oppression measures are considered exemplary, surpasses anything you have seen before. In the end, the alleged “unique democracy” in the Middle East signed the International Convention of Refugees, obliging it to comply with international legal standards. However, where there is no claimant against this manifest racism, there is no judge. All this is just a paper waste, a ridiculous paper tiger for the Jewish Apartheid State, this ethnocracy only for Jews!

These Western value hypocrites do not only support this Jewish occupier and Apartheid State, but they even think about imitating its internationally criticized actions. No, this israelization of Germany must be stopped!

It is not enough that the Israel lobby prevents us from our freedom of speech and opinion because we critically talk about Israel’s unjust policies. The German authorities even deny the German constitution because they kowtow to the dictates of the Israel lobby. The reason of state for the safety of Israel is opposed to all democratic traditions. How can you stand up for the safety of an Apartheid and occupier state and be guilty of such a perversion of justice? How can this be, if we have a German Merkel government coalition always speaking about values and human rights, showing them to other governments, while spurning them.

If Chancellor Merkel and other politicians continuously speak about the “Two State Solution” we have to ask ourselves: Do you really believe in what you are saying, or has this well-worn phrase become a battle cry, just showing the indifferent helplessness of a mistaken and cowardly politics toward the “Jewish State” because of the “special” relationship the Netanyahu regime brutally profits from to play the eternal victim, surrounded by terror? How long will this game go on? What must happen to change the minds of people? The Holocaust justifies all means to create an “unholy” home for Jews at the expense of Palestinians, the native population. Zionism knows only one final goal: a judaistic ethnocracy, just for Jews. Nobody cares about the refugees convention or the nakba, the catastrophe of Palestinians. In this Zionist world view, there is definitively no place for “native people” or “infiltrants.”

This idea fatally fits in with the efforts of the agitators of the Christian Democratic Party, from Jens Spahn to the “Burka delegate” Julia Klöckner, to engage for an Islam Law which would not be compatible with our constitution! Should we ask for another delegate in the CDU, engaging for “homosexuals?”

Since 2013, in the country of the Holocaust victims the arbitrariness against Palestinians and unwelcome refugees /“infiltrants” has been so strengthened that all human rights violations and crimes against international law are justified in the context of war against terror and in the “anti-terror” alliance.

Some days ago, for the first time, more than two decades after the negotiations of Oslo and their signature in 1993, the Netanyahu regime announced the construction of a new settlement, and the increased extension of existing ones. This Chutzpah dimension of a new, unlimited indifference is possible knowing that the hypocrite Western community of values will just critizise a bit, and then be silent for ever. And so the myth of the helpless and threatened state will be maintained.

After this announcement, Netanyahu confirmed his “desire for peace” and affirmed that he will prevent the construction of “unauthorised” settlements. In the meantime, in the illegally occupied West Bank, more than two thousand new settlers‘ residential units were authorised, and ninety hectares of Palestinian land were declared as “public” Israeli land. However, all this was completely ignored, like the dispossession of Bedouins, the murder, and the air strikes.

The fact that all settlements are illegal, is ignored thanks to the Hasbara propaganda and all the lies of the Israel lobby. Even US-President Obama had passed a UN resolution without the usual veto confirming according to international right that all settlements are illegal. After all the “pro-Israel” gifts, it was like an farewell present. As expected, his successor Trump opposed to this definition. His deputy Mike Pence has announced that Trump is already working on the future relocation of the US ambassador Friedman from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to officially work from there.

And it goes into the same direction, that the UN report written by the two experts Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley which clearly proves why Israel is an Apartheid State and a regime deliberately backing the division (hafrada) of Palestinian groups. With these intrigues, the Zionist regime always gains the advantage of unlimited power.

It is an abject and shameful tragedy that ironically the new UN general secretary and former leader of the Portuguese socialists, Antonio Guterres, folded to the massive pressure of the Israel lobby and was forced to take distance from the report and also insisted on the cancellation of the report from the list of documents of the UN commission. This blackmailing caused the withdrawal of the UN secretary member, the executive secretary, and former Jordan minister Rima Khalaf, a brave woman refusing this arbitrariness. When Guterres hypocritically opposes to the settlement construction, he has to ask himself, if he is not co-responsible, and he should think about resigning!

For this reason, my past desire is more actual than ever before for the coming Pessach celebration. It does not suffice to do Holocaust politics, to polemicize with the Torah in the hand, to pray the Haggadah, and at the same time to continue to occupy Palestine, to grab land, to dispossess people, and to deny own wars and crimes. The Apartheid Wall must fall. And the illegal occupation must be ended immediately. I call for all diaspora Jews to face the truth and to stop this injustice, instead of blindly supporting the “Jewish State” which just feels strengthened and confirmed to go on with this terrible politics.

My after-dinner speech for the future Seder evening will be: “Next year, in a free, democratic State of Palestine”, since before the “salvation of Zion,” the “Geulat Zion,” there is the “salvation of Palestine” from the illegal Zionist occupation! Since only this is the real “Geulat Zion,” the “salvation of Zion” for a Free Palestine.

 

 

Originally posted AT

REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN ANGEL, RACHEL CORRIE

March 16th marked the anniversary of the Israeli killing of Rachel Corrie in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, 14 years ago.

14 years ago today, Israeli bulldozers killed ISM activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza

On March 16, 2003, Rachel was killed by an Israel Occupation Force (IOF) armored bulldozer in Rafah during the second Palestinian intifada.

Rachel had come to Gaza to try and establish a sister city project between her hometown Olympia, Washington and Rafah, Gaza. She was a peace activist connected to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who tried to prevent the demolition of Palestinian houses which were being carried out by the Israeli army.

After a three hour long confrontation between ISM activists and the Israeli army’s demolition forces, she was killed, less than two months after arriving in Gaza.

Israel claims that the driver of the bulldozer could not see Rachel because of the limited field of view from within the bulldozer. Humans rights groups claim that the driver had seen her and deliberately continued driving, disregarding her fellow activists who were shouting and waving their arms, which resulted in Rachel’s death.

The Israeli army’s investigation of the incident concluded that the death was an accident because the driver of the bulldozer had limited visibility and therefore couldn’t see Rachel. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations criticized the military investigation, claiming that it was not transparent, credible or thorough enough.

In 2006 Bradley Burston, Haaretz columnist said “We should have saved Rachel Corrie’s life that day… Right now, somewhere in the West Bank, there’s an eight-year-old whose life could be saved next week, if we’ve managed to learn the lesson are resourceful enough to know how to apply it.”

In 2005 a one-woman drama called ”My Name Is Rachel Corrie” ran at London’s Royal Court Theater, and received a warm reception. In April 2015, the drama was staged Off Broadway in the East Village in New York.

Two years ago a symbolic gravestone with her name was installed in Tehran cemetary in Iran, alongside twelve other symbolic gravestones.

There is a street named after Rachel Corrie in Ramallah, West Bank.

 

Source

 

Italian activist Nicola Arboscelli stands in front of graffiti memorializing American peace activist Rachel Corrie who was killed 14 years ago today, on March 16, 2003, Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Abid Katib/ Getty Images)

 

ANTI APARTHEID VIDEO GONE VIRAL

Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid in Palestine

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‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act

The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago.

“Ever since the right-wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages,” Harel said.

More HERE

BANKSY WELCOMES YOU TO THE WALL IN BETHLEHEM

‘The Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem, with a view of the separation barrier, will officially open March 11th and comes complete with dozens of pieces of art work by British artist Banksy; artist is known for politically-charged work and has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in the past.

FROM

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Welcome To The ‘Wall,’ Banksy Style

Under an army watchtower and across the street from the concrete wall Israel has built in parts of the occupied West Bank, street artist Banksy has opened a guesthouse in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

In the revered birth town of Jesus, the Walled Off hotel stands three storeys high. Its bedroom walls and hallways are decorated with the mysterious artist’s stencil graffiti work — one shows an Israeli soldier and masked Palestinian youth having a pillow fight, and a statue of a chimpanzee bell-boy stands at the entrance, clothes falling out of the suitcase he holds.

The hotel, converted from a pottery workshop, has been styled to resemble “an English gentlemen’s club from colonial times,” a statement from the artist said, in acknowledgement of the historical role Britain played in the Middle East.

But the decor has been spiced up with statues choking on tear gas, cherubs hanging from the ceiling, their faces covered by oxygen masks and oil paintings of refugee life jackets washed ashore.

The hotel was set up in secrecy over the last 14 months — Israeli military authorities in the West Bank did not immediately respond when asked if they had been aware in advance.

Banksy, whose real name is not known, described his guesthouse as having the worst view of any hotel in the world: Every room overlooks the barrier which is a symbol of oppression for the Palestinians.

Israel began building it in 2002 at the height of a Palestinian uprising in which Israeli cities were rocked by frequent Palestinian suicide bombings.

Palestinians dub it an “apartheid wall” and an Israeli attempt to grab land in the West Bank, which they want along with Gaza and East Jerusalem, for a future state.

The Banksy statement said the hotel “offers a warm welcome to people from all sides of the conflict and across the world” and was financed by the artist.

Gentle music from a self-playing pianola fills the candle-lit dining room where a framed painting of Jesus looks up at three warplanes, stenciled on the wallpaper above.

The hotel also has its own art gallery and an exhibition dedicated solely to the wall, which features contributions from Palestinians and Israelis.

The Walled Off is Banksy’s biggest project since the 2015 “Dismaland” theme park at the English seaside, where staff carried balloons proclaiming “I’m an imbecile” and model boats full of refugees floated in a pond.

—Reuters

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Dominic Evans)

AMERICAN MUSLIMS ONCE AGAIN HELP JEWS REST IN PEACE

‘Whatever extremists try to destroy, we’ll rebuild,’ Muslim American activist says after Philadelphia cemetery vandalized, vowing to try to divert funds raised for St. Louis to help.

Muslim Activists Vow to Help After Second Act of Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery

Muslim American activist Tarek El-Messidi teamed up with fellow activist Linda Sarsour last week to raise funds to rebuild the Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, where hundreds of headstones were desecrated. On Sunday, the attack hit much closer to home, as a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, his home town, became the target of a similar attack, with up to 500 tombstones being hit.

Speaking to Haaretz on his way to the Mt. Carmel Jewish cemetery, El-Messidi, 36, says he wants to see how some of the funds raised last week can be diverted to help rebuild the Mt. Carmel cemetery in Philadelphia.

Full report and video HERE
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Meanwhile …..

The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, in Israel …..

Israel accused of destroying Muslim graves in East Jerusalem to make way for park

‘The Israeli Nature Authority – backed by large numbers of Israeli forces – stormed the historical cemetery and knocked down eight graves,’ says Islamic preservation committee head

Click HERE to see video

Israeli authorities have demolished several graves in occupied east Jerusalem’s historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery next to a long fought-over mosque, a Palestinian official has said.

Parts of the ancient cemetery were confiscated in September 2015 by Israeli authorities to make way for a national park according to local sources.

More HERE

Do you remember reading about zionist activists trying to stop this? I don’t!

ISRAELI JUDICIAL SYSTEM ~~ JOKE OR JUSTICE?

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter.

Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron.

Image by Latuff

Elor Azaria verdict, or, how Israel court system whitewash war crimes

Elor Azaria verdict, or, how Israel court system whitewash war crimes

Palestinian who filmed shooting says Azaria sentence ‘is a joke, not justice’

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter.

Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron.

Following the court’s sentencing, Azaria’s defense vowed to appeal the ruling, while several high-ranking Israeli politicians called for a pardon in his case.

The main evidence in the case was footage caught on camera by Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian resident of Hebron who had been provided a camera by Human Rights Defenders specifically to document instances such as the shooting and other human rights violations in Hebron.

Abu Shamsiya told Mondoweiss he is grateful he was around to film the incident, because without the camera footage he feels certain Azaria would never have been taken to court, let alone serve time in prison.

“If there was no one filming that day then this crime, just like other crimes like it that happen against Palestinians on a daily basis, would go unnoticed,” Abu Shamsiya said. “I am so grateful for the camera, and so grateful I was in the right place at the right time.”

While Shamsiya is happy the world got to see what happened on that day in March, he does not feel like justice was served.

“There is no justice for the family,” Abu Shamsiya said. “They lost a member of their family in a very brutal way, this 18-month sentence is not justice for the family, for the Palestinian people or our nation — no one got justice from this.”

Sahar Francis, the director of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO, criticized the sentencing, telling Mondoweiss that an 18-month sentence for an “extrajudicial execution” of a Palestinian “brings to light the policy of impunity and lack of accountability in a system of protracted Israeli military occupation.”

“The period of sentencing is similar to sentencing routinely given to Palestinians for ‘membership in an illegal organization’ – with all Palestinian political parties deemed illegal through various military orders,” Francis said. “The message this sends to other soldiers and police officers who extrajudicially execute Palestinians is that their actions will not be seriously accounted for and that impunity will persist.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli right has lauded Azaria as a hero who killed a Palestinian terrorist, attacking the Israeli military and the Israeli justice system for allowing the case to go forward, while calling for Azaria’s pardon.According to Israeli daily Haaretz, judges said Azaria acted with the intent to kill, outside of Israeli military protocol, which requires a threat to life before live fire can be used. The judge also said the severity of the shooting and backlash it caused to the Israeli military was mitigated since the shooting happened during an active combat situation.

After Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter January, Ido Zelkovitz, head of the Middle East studies department at Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel and senior researcher at the University of Haifa told Mondoweiss that both sides of the Israeli political spectrum agreed on one thing — Azaria shot a terrorists in their eyes — which in the end, he said would indeed lead to a pardon after Azaria serves a small part of his sentence.

“Even if he was unarmed and he couldn’t put anyone in danger, the common idea among all the Israeli camps is that Azaria shot a terrorist and there is no debate about that question — it is a mutual understanding. That is why in the future the pardon will be accepted,” Zelkovitz said.

Abu Shamsiya agreed, telling Mondoweiss that he would be shocked if Azaria was actually made to serve his full sentence.

“Of course he won’t be made to serve his full sentence — the sentence is a joke, not justice, it’s 18 months in prison for murder,” Abu Shamsiya said. “Not only do I doubt he will even serve a full prison sentence, I doubt he will be put on any kind of probation or be demoted in the military.”

“This case shows us the injustice of the Israeli government,” he added. “This was just a show for the world to see because this execution was filmed, so the government felt it had to do something.”

ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION AS A TOOL OF REPRESSION

Administrative Detention is widely used by the Israeli occupation regime to suppress political activity and social organizations in the West Bank. It is less known that the same (or a similar) anti-democratic law holds also inside those territories that Israel occupied and ethnically cleaned in 1948 and is used against Palestinian there, which are formally citizens of “democratic” Israel.

In a new post in Free Haifa I bring in detail the case of Muhammad Ibrahim, a 20 year old computer technician from Kabul in the Galilee, whose administrative detention was prolonged on December 2016 for a second 6 months period. The original post was published in Hebrew in January.

Israeli occupation keeps 540 Palestinians under administrative detention

Israeli occupation keeps 540 Palestinians under administrative detention

Free Muhammad Ibrahim – Administrative Detainee from Kabul in the Galilee!

Posted @ Free Haifa

When the news about the administrative detention of Muhammad Ibrahim were first published in December 2016, after he was already more than half a year in prison, it was written in some papers that this is the first case of such detention against Palestinians inside the 1948 occupied territories, who are formally citizens of Israel. But it was less than a year since Asmaa Hamdan, a woman from Nazareth, spent 3 months in administrative detention which started at the turmoil of “the third intifada” of October 2015. At the heights of the first intifada, in 1988, some ten leading members of Abna Al-Balad and related Palestinian movements were held in the same way. Several Palestinian activists inside ’48 spent times in administrative detention before and after these days…muhammad-ibrahim-with-al-aqsa

In the 1967 occupied West Bank (and previously also in Gaza) Israel is using administrative detention en-mass as a tool for political oppression. The use of administrative detention also against Palestinian in ’48 is another proof that it is basically the same occupation and the same oppressive system that is used all over occupied Palestine.

The Administrative Detention of Muhammad Ibrahim

[The following article was published in Hebrew on 23/01/2017 in “Local Call” and Haifa Hahofshit]

They say that if the police would look hard enough at the past of any person they would find a legal reason to arrest and put him or her on trial. It turns out that this rule has exceptions. One of them is the case of Muhammad Ibrahim, a 20-year-old computer technician from the Western Galilee town of Kabul. Not only the police, the Shin Bet (Israel’s notoriously harsh “internal security services”) also made every effort to bring him to trial, but they didn’t find any legal reason for this. So he was subjected to administrative detention, without indictment and without trial.

Muhammad gets into troubles

Muhammad’s troubles probably stems from his love to the Al-Aqsa mosque… He was not a political activist but used to travel frequently to Jerusalem to pray at this mosque. This mosque is the third holiest site for Islam, but some of Israel’s leaders seek to destroy it in order to build “The Third Temple” in its place.

Muhammad’s first encounter with the law was when Israeli police wanted to arrest a woman in the mosque’s yard and he threw himself before her and was arrested instead. He spent the night in custody in the “Moskubiya” (a Russian Church’s compound in the middle of Jerusalem used as a detention center). On the following day he was released by the judge in the absence of any offense.

After the first detention cops already knew Muhammad and when they saw him in the mosque’s yard they used to arrest him. He was arrested five times, and was released five times, without being accused of any offence. Occasionally he was required to sign a pledge to stay away from Jerusalem for a while as a condition for his release.

On May 11, 2016, at 3 o’clock in the morning, a police force from Nazareth, including riot squad, accompanied by a Shin Bet operative, surrounded Muhammad’s house and awakened his family. The Sin Bet agent in charge of the region did not even know the young Muhammad whom he came to arrest. He turned to Muhammad’s father and asked him “who is Muhammad?”… This is just another piece of evidence proving that the reason for the arrest belongs to a different place – to Jerusalem.

Harsh Interrogation

After searching Muhammad’s room and some other rooms in the house, the police took with them Muhammad himself and also all the computers that they found, including computers of customers who brought them for repair.muhammad-ibrahim-sitting

The terrified family spent the next day running around between police stations and detention centers to find their son. Finally, they were informed that he was detained by the Shin Bet in a special interrogation center in Petah Tikva.

During the interrogation Muhammad was not allowed to see a lawyer. He was questioned in difficult conditions and was subjected to the harsh “special interrogation methods” of the Shin Bet, including sleep prevention. Later he told how he was interrogated for 22 hours non-stop while tethered to a chair.

25 days of intensive interrogation did not produce anything; the mountain did not give birth even to a mouse. Finally came the court session in which Muhammad was supposed to be released. But then the Shin Bet people informed the judge that they are going to put Muhammad under administrative detention. The judge delayed his release for a day until the defence minister will sign the decree, which was signed by Avigdor Lieberman on June 5, 2016, for a period of six months.

The other likely reason for issuing the administrative detention order is revenge of the Shin Bet’s failure to extort a confession from Muhammad and prosecute him. It constitutes a threatening message to all detainees: if you do not confess you can be arrested anyway, so you should better confess even if you never violated any law.

Significantly, although the investigation was concluded long time ago, and although no indictment was filed, the confiscated computers, including those of Muhammad’s customers, were not returned until this day.

Administrative Detention as a tool of the Military Regime

“Judicial supervision” on the procedure of administrative detention against Muhammad Ibrahim is being held at the Haifa District Court. At the first hearings in this procedure he was represented by the “Adalah” legal center. In fact this is not a proper judicial proceeding that allows any viable legal defence but a meaningless formal procedure. The contents of the “charges” or “suspicions” were not disclosed to Muhammad until this day, neither to his lawyer. All the Shin Bet’s claims are “secret material” submitted to the judge without the presence of the suspect or his representative. Once, when Aram Mahameed, Adalah’s lawyer, was order to leave the courtroom when confidential materials were submitted, he left behind his briefcase. State officials rushed to distance the briefcase also.

Not only that Muhammad’s lawyers are not present when secret materials are submitted, family members are not allowed at all to be in the courtroom, not even to hear the arguments of the defence. At the same time a blanket GAG order was issued to prevent the press from covering the case. Only on January 2017, following an appeal by journalist Jacky Khoury (from Radio Al-Shams and Haaretz), the military censorship confirmed that there is no reason to prevent reporting. In any case, there is nothing to report except the fact that there is nothing as there was nothing, and that this nothingness is a state secret.

On December 5, Muhammad’s six months detention was due to expire, but then the family was informed that the detention order was renewed for another six months period. This time he was represented by lawyer Omar Khamaisi from “Mizan”. The judge himself found it difficult to understand the justification for the continued detention without indictment and asked the Shin Bet representative whether, in their view, administrative detention is life imprisonment… But eventually the usual ritual was repeated: The detainee and his lawyer were ordered to leave the courtroom and the Shin Bet operatives stayed alone with the judge who finally reaffirmed the detention. The next hearing of this judicial farce, which takes place every three months, of “legally supervising” this unlawful detention, is set for March 15.

I sat with lawyer Khamaisi who explained to me the legal basis for administrative detention. The practice of detention without trial was inherited from the colonialist laws used by the British Mandate (see Wikipedia: Defence Emergency Regulations 1945). When Zionist leaders were subject to these laws they severely criticized them as draconian, but later Israel continued to use the same draconian British laws against its Palestinian Arab citizens.

Now Israel has a wholly “Blue and White” Made in Israel detention without trial, under the “state of emergency laws” from 1979, in full accordance to the Jewish and “democratic” character of the state. (The law is so new, only 38 years, that it still doesn’t have an entry in Wikipedia). The authority to issue administrative detention order is given by the Minister of Defence, stressing the fact that this is basically a military act against the “enemies of the state”. It should remind us that beneath the thin camouflage of democracy we are all subject to a regime of military occupation.

Abusive Conditions at the Families’ Visits

Although not indicted for anything, Muhammad is held in harsh conditions with “security prisoners” in the desert Ketziot prison in Nizzana sands, near the Egyptian border.

Khaled Ibrahim, Muhammad’s father, told me in detail about his harsh experiences while visiting his son in this remote prison.

khaled-ibrahim-abu-muhammad

Khaled Ibrahim, Abu Muhammad

The Israeli prisons’ authority requires that the family will register in advance for visiting, but Ketziot prison guards are not answering the telephone number designed for coordination. He only learns about the dates of the visits from families of prisoners from the West Bank which are coming in pre-arranged transportation.

Travelling from Kabul to Ketziot, almost 300 kilometers, can take three and a half hours in each direction when the road is free, so it is by itself a torture for the body and the soul. When he arrived at Ketziot he was imprisoned with his car in the parking lot of the prison and had to wait about an hour and a half to the arrival of the buses from the West Bank. The guards forbade him to extricate himself by walking in the parking lot and ordered him to stay in the car. When the buses arrived all visitors were guided to an internal courtyard and had to wait there another two hours until visits actually began. At the time of the visit, which lasted three-quarter of an hour, they were separated from their beloved ones by a glass wall and could talk only through a phone.  Later they had to wait closed in the yard until the second round of visits finished and they were allowed to return to the parking lot… Why should the guards make an extra effort and open the door twice?

The three-quarters of an hour visit lasted in total over fourteen and a half hours, from six in the morning until eight thirty at night. This systematic abuse against the families of prisoners and detainees causes many of them to reduce their visits.

Popular Struggle

The family expected that the six-month administrative detention will pass just as the 25 days of the interrogations and that Muhammad will be released… After all, he was not accused of anything. The secrecy of the hearings and prevention of media reports created an atmosphere of fear and they did not know what to do or who to contact. This secrecy has allowed the authorities to keep the entire subject far from the public awareness. The oppressive apparatus like to abuse their victims in the darkness under the cover of media blackout. However, one of the most difficult problems with administrative detention is that it has no time limit.

The extension of Muhammad’s detention for another six months resulted in breaking the isolation and silence. Over the last several years, a “popular committee” was formed and is operating in Kabul, as part of the policy of “the follow-up committee” of the Arab population inside the 48 occupied territories for the construction of the organs of popular struggle in every community. The popular committee undertook to publicize the case of Muhammad’s administrative detention and to coordinate the struggle for his release.

The activists of the “popular committee” organized protest, invited the Follow-Up Committee and Arab Knesset Members from “The Joint List” and turned to the media. They opened a special Facebook page called “Free the administrative detainee Mohammed Ibrahim from Kabul” (in Arabic). At the last hearing in the Haifa District Court there were already about 30 people who were not allowed in… My visit to Muhammad’s family in Kabul and this article are my modest contribution to this campaign.

Now the family’s sole hope is that the public struggle will expose the severe unjustified abuse caused to Muhammad by the administrative detention and will embarrass the authorities and bring about his release. At the end of our conversation the representative of the Popular Committee expressed his hope that until the next hearing, on March 15, the protest will expands, and maybe there will be a demonstration in front of the court. I expressed my wish that, even before, due to the exposure of the case, the public pressure will bring to Muhammad’s release and we’ll come to congratulate him for that. We never lose hope, but in the current public atmosphere to speak of “a danger to democracy” rings like a hollow mockery while we face a regime which prides itself for abusing democratic rights.

 

IF THE CANCER DOESN’T KILL YOU ZIONISM WILL

A Palestinian man was on his way to a chemotherapy session when he was shot by Israeli soldiers last November, his family told an Israeli journalist this week.

Muhammad Amer Jallad (via Quds)

Muhammad Amer Jallad (via Quds)

Palestinian was on way to chemotherapy when shot by soldiers

Muhammad Amar Jallad was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family told Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy. Jallad was reported to have died in an Israeli hospital where he was being treated for his injuries last week.

The Israeli army claimed that Jallad was attempting to attack soldiers with a screwdriver when he was shot in the northern West Bank village of Huwwara on 9 November.

A witness told the Ma’an News Agency that he saw Jallad “attempting to cross the road in Huwwara before being shot at by an Israeli soldier who then took out a knife and threw it next to the youth.”

Shot while running across road

Jallad’s father told Haaretz that his son had set out from their home in Tulkarem that morning for the nearby city of Nablus, where he was being treated at the An-Najah National University Hospital.

When Jallad realized he had mistakenly boarded a shared taxi heading to Ramallah, rather than Nablus, Levy reported, “The driver suggested that he get off at Huwwara junction, next to the checkpoint of that name, where he would be able to pick up the taxi to Nablus.”

Jallad exited the vehicle and began to cross the road.

“He did so on the run,” according to Levy. “On the other side was an [Israeli army] jeep and a few soldiers, who were guarding the busy junction. The soldiers apparently thought that he was out to attack them.”

Jallad was shot with one bullet to the stomach as he reached the middle of the road, Haaretz recounted. A Palestinian ambulance crew happened to drive by and attempted to evacuate Jallad, but Israeli forces prevented them from doing so.

He was eventually evacuated in an Israeli ambulance and taken to a hospital.

During the months of hospitalization before his death, Jallad was put under the custody of an Israeli military court. His family were kept in the dark about his condition and were prevented from seeing him.

Jallad’s father was denied a permit to enter Israel and though his mother was issued a permit on four occasions, only once was she allowed to enter her son’s hospital room.

The family looked up one of his doctors online and called him last Friday. It was only then that Jallad’s family learned that he had died, they told Haaretz. They still have not been informed of the date and cause of his death.

Israel transferred Jallad’s body to his family on 17 February. The Ma’an News Agency reported that his body will be examined in the presence of Palestinian legal officials before being buried on Saturday.

Israel has withheld the remains of dozens of Palestinians slain during alleged and actual attacks since late 2015.

Earlier this month, Israel transferred the body of Muhammad Zeidan, a 16-year-old who was shot and killed by a private security guard at a Jerusalem-area checkpoint in late November.

Medical neglect of child prisoner

The health of a Palestinian child with leukemia who is being held in an Israeli military detention center has “seriously deteriorated,” a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority committee on prisoners’ affairs stated this week.

Ahmad al-Khadour, 15, has “suffered from a stroke, feet problems, intense dizziness, and muscle contractions in his fingers,” Luay Ukka told media.

The boy has been detained since 2 January, when he was assaulted by Israeli forces who beat him with the butts of their rifles, Ukka said.

The Jerusalem Committee for the Families of Prisoners also reported that the Israel Prison Service had transferred Azmi al-Daqaq, 28, to a hospital after his health deteriorated.

Al-Daqaq is being held without charge or trial under military detention order after he was detained on 20 January “over an alleged stabbing attempt,” the Ma’an News Agency reported.

Palestinians have frequently accused Israel of medical neglect of prisoners. Last September, a prisoner died from a heart condition after reportedly receiving inadequate treatment in prison.

In December, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies released a report claiming that 32 Palestinian prisoners are not receiving adequate medical care for their different conditions.

Some 6,500 Palestinians were imprisoned by Israel as of January.

Teen posed no danger when killed

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem stated this month that a Palestinian teenager who was shot by Israeli forces last December posed no danger to soldiers when he was killed.

Ahmad al-Kharroubi, 19, was slain in the Jerusalem-area town of Kufr Aqab when soldiers raided in the middle of the night to seal the home of a Palestinian killed during a shooting attack.

Ahmad al-Kharroubi (via B’Tselem)

Ahmad al-Kharroubi (via B’Tselem)

Al-Kharroubi was hiding behind a low wall and “apparently attempted to throw stones at Border Police officers and soldiers” at a roadblock some 80 to 100 meters away from him when he was hit with a live bullet, according to B’Tselem.

Al-Kharroubi, who was shot in the neck, was evacuated to a hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

B’Tselem stated that “no incendiary device” was thrown at soldiers from the area where al-Kharroubi was positioned. Given the distance the unarmed youths were from the soldiers, “they could not pose any danger,” the group added.

B’Tselem also stated that the punitive sealing of the home was an illegal act of collective punishment that “that led to the pointless death of this young man.”

URGENT APPEAL FROM THE WIFE, FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF A PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

To: Human rights activists all over the world.

To: peace and justice-loving people around the world

To: Freedom lovers all over the globe

To: ordinary conscientious people every where.

To: Journalists and media professionals around the globe.

Image by Latuff

new-image

Urgent appeal from the wife, family and friends of Palestinian human rights activist and veteran prisoner Muhammad Elqiq

We  appeal to you once again (for the second time in less than a year) to do your utmost to save Muhammad Elqiq from what seems to be another vindictive  Israeli effort to kill Muhammad Elqiq  through the slow-death tactic.

Last year, Muhammad survived rather miraculously the macabre 100-day open-ended hunger strike, protesting the callous and inherently inhuman Israeli tactic of the so-called “Administrative detention.” AD  is only a mere  euphemism for open-ended incarceration without charge or trial for the purpose of humiliating suspected Palestinian activists and breaking their will to resist apartheid and oppression even through totally peaceful and non-violent means.  As it is well known, Israeli intelligence was forced last  year to release Muhammad, fearing that his death would further destabilize chronically volatile conditions in the Occupied Territories.

Steadfastness and ostensible triumph in the face of might and vindictiveness.

About two weeks ago, SS agents rearrested Muhammad, who is still recuperating from last year’s ordeal, vandalized the home and terrorized the family.

The Israeli court, which is a virtual rubber stamp in the hands of the security service, sentenced Muhammad to six months of administrative detention but without producing any shred of incriminating evidence aside from the vindictive and vengeful desire to punish, torment and kill Muhammad.

In response to this mindless vengeance and hatefulness, Muhammad decided to go on a new hunger strike. Muhammad is not a publicity hound or anything of this sort. He says he simply has no other means of protesting this form of injustice.  As this press release is being written down, Muhammad has entered day-9 in his hunger strike.

Once again, we appeal to you to contact the Israeli government agencies and embassies to protest the renewed incarceration of Muhammad Elqiq and demand his immediate release.  In a few days, Israeli PM B. Netanyahu will be in Washington D.C. to tell President Trump that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.  President Trump should tell Netanyahu that a true democracy doesn’t imprison people for years without charger and trial.

Thank you for your efforts

Fayhaa  Elqiq (Muhammad’s wife)

Elqiq Family and friends

14 February, 2017

 

Posted by Khalid Amayreh

ISRAEL HAS HAD A ‘MUSLIM BAN’ FOR SEVEN DECADES

We’re experts in bans. We’ve banned Palestinians, who we said didn’t even exist, from returning to their homes, for 7 decades.

Where there is no wall there is a barbed wire fence

Where there is no wall there is a barbed wire fence

Israel has had a ‘Muslim ban’ from the start

Jonathan Ofir FOR

Israel has had a ‘Muslim ban’ from the start.

Sure, we didn’t say ‘Palestinian ban,’ just like Trump didn’t say ‘Muslims’. But it meant what it meant, and it still does. Just like Trump offered a certain preference for the Christians, we tended to prefer them for cynical alliances. In Lebanon we used this alliance to wreak havoc and massacre Palestinians.

Now we’re even on steroids with these bans. Since 2003 our ‘equal citizens’ can’t even marry someone from those occupied or ‘enemy’ territories or states. That family unification ban , which prevents Palestinian citizens from marrying and uniting with people from West Bank, Gaza and other ‘enemy’ states, was also ostensibly about preventing ‘terror’– just like the Trump ban. But in 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, spilled the beans and said it was just about a preserving a ‘Jewish State’. He said “There is no need to hide behind security arguments. There is a need for the existence of a Jewish state”.    

That ban was also ‘temporary’, but we’ve been renewing it, every single year.

We’re experts in bans. We’ve banned Palestinians, who we said didn’t even exist, from returning to their homes, for 7 decades. We just had to. Jewish State, you know.

And yes, we have the ‘Israeli Arabs’ (2/3 of them already define themselves as Palestinians), just like you have your American Muslims. We’ve tried it all, we know exactly what to say when they question our ‘Jewish democracy’. We even have a ministry of Propaganda to take care of that, I kid you not, the Ministry of Hasbara led by Gilad Erdan. Hardly anyone in the world knows this, because we mostly only call it ‘Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ and omit the Hasbara, but it’s official: Ministry of Strategic affairs and Hasbara. You’ll hardly find this mentioning, but when it does appear in the very odd case, ‘Hasbara’ will be translated as ‘public diplomacy’, and Hasbara put in brackets, as here . When you go to the Israeli Government site and look for government offices, in Hebrew it says ‘Ministry of Strategic affairs and Hasbara’, but the English version just says ‘Minister of Strategic affairs.’ How convenient. The world doesn’t need to know.

There’s so much Trump and USA could still learn from us – and they do. We are masters of deception, and we can turn exclusivist nation-states into ‘enlightened democracies’ by the sheer power of our Hasbara propaganda. So Netanyahu congratulates Trump for the wall: “Great success”, “Great idea”. It’s already success because it’s not an ordinary wall, it’s a racist wall, like ours. It’s a great idea because walls are our thing.

And we call the ‘other’ refugees ‘infiltrators’. Actually, our deputy Defense minister Eli Ben Dahan says that “they don’t need to be extended a helping hand or be pulled out of the sea and saved from drowning.”  Yes, he’s an orthodox Jew you see, he knows what Jewish values are.

But now the ‘liberal Zionists’ are protesting against Trump. This doesn’t look good, he’s gone too far. So now J Street, Americans for Peace Now and many other organizations who are ideologically against the Palestinian refugees’ right to return, are shedding crocodile tears. 

And across the Atlantic, the head of the UK Jewish Labour Movement Ella Rose tweets straight from the anti-Trump Ban: “we were all refugees once.” How touching. But other times, Ella Rose is not so soft and kind. When Asa Winstanley exposed the fact last year that Rose had stepped into the JLM outfit straight out from her Public Relations office at the Israeli Embassy , Rose wanted him to “die in a hole” and vowed to use “Krav Maga” –Israeli hand-combat techniques–  to take down Jackie Walker, a leading critic and member of Labour. 

Trump is no wake-up call for ‘liberal Zionists’. They simply exploit the mainstream outrage in order TO BE in the mainstream, in order to whitewash their racism, in order to obscure the fact, that their darling Jewish State is far ahead of Trump in so many ways, and they have been supporting it all along. Maybe they don’t even realize that themselves. And you couldn’t really blame them that much, because, as Israeli former head of Military Intelligence, Major General Shlomo Gazit once said, “The trouble with us Israelis is that we’ve become the victims of our own propaganda.” 

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.”

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