WHY IS THE NEW WAVE OF JEWISH TERRORISM DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS?

Ali Saad Dawabsha, one-and-a-half years old burned alive by extreme settlers.

Ali Saad Dawabsha, one-and-a-half years old burned alive by extreme settlers.

Israel was stunned last week by a pair of violent attacks, both apparently perpetrated by Jewish extremists, just hours apart, that seemed to suggest a country teetering on a precipice, threatened with a wave of Jewish religious violence.

Why Jewish Terror Is Different This Time

Israel was stunned last week by a pair of violent attacks, both apparently perpetrated by Jewish extremists, just hours apart, that seemed to suggest a country teetering on a precipice, threatened with a wave of Jewish religious violence.

It may indeed be on that precipice, but not in the way it appears at first glance.

The two incidents, which captured international attention, were the stabbing of six marchers during Jerusalem’s gay pride parade by an Orthodox man on Thursday afternoon; and the deadly firebombing of a Palestinian home in the tiny West Bank village of Duma in early hours of Friday morning, apparently by Jewish militants from a nearby settlement. The West Bank arson attack killed an 18-month-old toddler and left his 4-year-old brother and parents gravely wounded.

At first glance the two incidents might look similar. Both are believed to be the work of extremist Orthodox Jews. Both appeared motivated by hostility toward an out-group, gays and Palestinians. Both are relatively rare instances of Jewish extremist attacks turning to lethal or near-lethal violence.

But there the similarity ends. The suspect in the gay parade stabbing, Yishai Schlissel, is a self-appointed anti-gay vigilante who was known to the police — in fact, he’d just been released from prison a month earlier after serving 10 years for a nearly identical attack in 2005. He’s a member of Jerusalem’s Haredi or ultra-Orthodox community, which generally rejects Zionist nationalism. Most Haredi Jews believe Israel is not the promised Jewish commonwealth because the ancient kingdom can’t be restored until God sends the messiah.

The West Bank arson is believed by authorities to be the work of a group of religious nationalist militants from a nearby Jewish settlement. The settler movement historically grew out of the religious wing of Zionism, which takes the opposite view from Haredim: It holds that the founding of modern Israel is itself evidence that the era of messianic redemption is either underway or imminent.

The West Bank arson comes at a time when incidents of settler unrest are very much in the Israeli headlines, heightening the sense of crisis. On Wednesday, July 22, two brothers ages 19 and 21 from the large urban settlement of Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem, were sentenced for the torching last November of a progressive Jewish-Arab school in the capital. They were members of a far-right organization, Lehava (a Hebrew acronym for Stop Assimilation in the Holy Land), founded by a former aide to the late Meir Kahane, which aims to prevent marriage, dating and fraternization between Jews and Arabs. The brothers were sentenced to two and two-and-a-half years, prompting protests from parents and school officials that the sentence was too lenient.

Then, on Monday, July 27, five youths were indicted in the June 17 torching of a Catholic church on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Church of the Multiplication of Fish and Loaves, built on the spot where Jesus is traditionally believed to have performed the miracle of fish and loaves. The suspects are described as members of the hilltop youth, a loose network of young settlers who gravitate toward illegal West Bank settlement outposts. They tend to reject authority, including the mainstream settler movement leadership, and typically follow a syncretic philosophy combining religious Orthodoxy, far-right politics and new-age environmentalism.

According to the Shin Bet security service, the five suspects belong to a secretive organization that espouses direct action, including torching churches and mosques, in order to “overturn the government and bring about messianic redemption.” The suspects’ attorney is Itamar Ben-Gvir, another prominent former follower of Meir Kahane who’s more recently been active in a far-right political party, Yachad, that failed to pass the threshold for entry into the current Knesset.

That same Monday night, July 27, rioting broke out at the settlement of Beit El, considered the flagship of the ideological settler movement, as the army moved in to secure two illegal buildings slated for demolition. The apartment buildings were built without permits on land claimed as private property by a Palestinian farmer. The Israeli supreme court had ruled in favor of the farmer after lengthy proceedings that go back to 2012, and gave the army until Thursday to complete the demolition.

Protests against the demolition drew hundreds of settlers from across the West Bank. They continued sporadically for two days, with protesters throwing stones, chairs and garbage at the troops, ending only on Wednesday morning when army brought in heavy equipment and completed the demolition.

Groups of right-wing Knesset members and at least four government ministers from the Likud and the settler-based Jewish Home party came to Beit El on Tuesday to add their voices to the protest.

Ironically, the Knesset had given final approval just a week earlier to a new law imposing draconian new punishment for Palestinians arrested for stone-throwing. Apparently it doesn’t apply to Jews doing the same thing.

Emotions surrounding the Beit El disturbances were heightened by the fact that they took place on the 10th anniversary of the disengagement from Gaza, which has remained an emotional flashpoint for settlers and their supporters ever since. One group of some 250 Israelis marked the anniversary by barricading themselves at Sa-Nur, one of the four northern West Bank settlements evacuated along with Gaza in 2005. They held out for two days before being forcibly removed by troops.

Against this background, authorities and observers were advancing several theories as to the motives of the arsonists at Duma village. Some said it was a price-tag attack, typically an act of vandalism in which settler militants respond to Israeli law enforcement actions against settler extremists with acts of vandalism against Palestinian villages. The logic may not be dissimilar to jihadi groups in Gaza that respond to Hamas disciplinary crackdowns by firing rockets at Israel. In this case, it could have been a “price tag” response to the demolition at Beit El.

It’s unusual, however, for a price tag attack to include violence against persons. If this was a price tag attack — and if the attackers knew there were people in the second building and deliberately aimed to harm them — it could represent an escalation in tactics, perhaps due to the heightened emotions surrounding the Gaza anniversary. Could the price-tag movement be turning more deadly? It’s too soon to tell.

Moreover, price tag attacks typically leave behind graffiti with the words “price tag” or tag mechir on the wall. This time the attackers left behind graffiti that said “revenge.” That’s led some sources to speculate that the attackers were from the settlement of Shiloh, just west of Duma village, where Palestinian terrorists murdered a resident, Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, in a roadside ambush exactly 30 days before the arson attack.

But one other phrase was daubed on the wall at Duma, that’s been largely overlooked. The attackers wrote the words “ Yechi Hamelech Hamashiach ” — “long live the king Messiah.” It’s the motto of the messianist wing of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which believes that the late grand rabbi of Lubavitch, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, is the messiah and will return to rebuild the ancient kingdom and redeem the world.

The messianist wing of Chabad has coexisted in uneasy tension with the mainstream wing for two decades. Recently, though, there have been signs of a possible détente. Last month, according to the Haredi Israeli website Behadrei Haredim, the mainstream journal Kfar Chabad carried a rare interview with a militant leader of the messianist wing, Rabbi Yisrael Halperin of Herzliya. Is mainstream Chabad moving to reconcile with the messianists? Too soon to tell.

Chabad-Lubavitch, unlike virtually every other Hasidic or Haredi sect, supports West Bank settlement and opposes territorial compromise with the Palestinians. Members of the messianist wing have been involved at times with various settler extremist groups.

The arsonists who torched the Church of the Multiplication left graffiti, too. It read: “ Elilim karot yikaretun ” — “The false gods will surely be uprooted.” That’s a quote from the Aleinu prayer, an ancient messianist text read at the end of every synagogue service, which expresses a yearning “to see speedily” the day of divine redemption, when all humankind will accept the sovereignty of the God of Israel — that is, the messianic era.

Is it significant that the arsonists in two attacks inside two months both left behind graffiti announcing the arrival of the messianic age? Maybe — and maybe not.

It could be, as some observers speculate, that the Duma arsonists were from Shiloh and were seeking to avenge the June murder of Malachi Rosenfeld. It’s also possible that they come from another settlement in that area just south of Nablus. Three of the West Bank’s most militant settlements are in that immediate area, including Itamar, which is home to the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, headed by a leading Chabad messianist rabbi, Yitzhak Ginsburgh; Kfar Tapuach, a stronghold of the Kahanist movement; and Yitzhar, a stronghold of the Bratslav Hasidism that’s popular among hilltop youth, known for following a rebbe or grand rabbi, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, who died in 1810 and had no successor.

It’s possible that none of that is relevant, and that these are merely the latest in a series of occasional outbursts by hotheads at the undisciplined edge of the settler community. It’s also possible that there’s a convergence underway on the radical, messianist fringes of the three movements. It’s been noted in recent years, mostly but not only in jest, that the three movements — Chabad, Bratslav and Kahanist — are all led by dead rebbes who aren’t around to discipline their more eccentric followers.

There are few true believers truer than those who continue faithfully following their beloved leader even in death. And there are few moments in history more volatile, and more vulnerable to the blind passions of messianists, than moments when the air all around is filled with talk of apocalypse and end times. The more the popular mood leans toward apocalyptic hysteria, the more the messianist true believers at the fringes will take it upon themselves to take action and bring the end times closer.

Israel’s leadership often complains that loose, hatelful talk by Palestinian leaders, beginning at the top with Mahmoud Abbas, bears responsibility for inciting terrorist violence on the ground. It might be time to look in the mirror.

OBAMA COFFEE ‘JOKE’

25-Barack-Obama-Coffee-Art

As posted on Twitter ….

Q. Do you know what Obama coffee is?

A. Black and weak.

That’s supposed to be funny?

Well it’s NOT!

Nothing more, nothing less

Nothing more, nothing less

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN IN THE NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT?

Once again the ultra-‘orthodox’ removed the faces of the women, this time, in Netanyahu’s Cabinet ….

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers' face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers’ face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

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Now, minister's legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Now, minister’s legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Haredi website censors female ministers from government picture

Behadrei Haredim posts traditional government picture taken at President’s Residence, but blurs faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev; amended picture censors Minister Regev’s legs as well.

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

Different organizations slammed the “despicable exclusion,” calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene and work to stop it.

In the picture which was published on the website Tuesday, the faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev were blurred in accordance with the norms of most haredi media outlets and of the public domain in the haredi sector. Regev’s legs, by the way, remained exposed – which caused many on social networks to ridicule the website’s modesty norms – but were later blurred as well.

Galia Wolloch, chairwoman of the Na’amat movement, wrote in an appeal to the prime minister that the incident was “a great offense to women and an attempt to exclude them and even make them disappear completely,” and that the new female ministers were being treated “as criminals if not worse.”

According to Wolloch, the blurring of the women is even more offensive in light of the fact that one of those women is the gender equality minister – a role which aims to eradicate gender discrimination cases.

“This is an outrageous and offensive publication, a serious offense to the Israeli government and the presidency, and a serious offense to all women,” Wolloch wrote. “The Israeli government’s female ministers are not criminals and should not have to conceal their faces… Excluding them from the public domain and from the eye of the public is simply intolerable.”

‘Unnecessary vulgarity’

The Na’amat women turned to Netanyahu as the communications minister as well, asking him to ensure that the website would no longer be able to act in a way which offends, excludes and degrades female ministers and women in general in the State of Israel.

They further noted that “a picture issued by the Government Press office must be published in the exact way it was issued, without changing it and without degrading the photographed people.”

Attorney Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of the Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality association, said in response to the censored picture: “It’s sad that the Behadrei Haredim website has reached the 21st century from a technological perspective, but is still in the Middle Ages when it comes to the exclusion of women. No one demanded that the haredi media outlets publish the government picture. They could have omitted it, like some of them did. Censoring the picture is unnecessary vulgarity.”

Regev added, “It’s unclear why the website, which is so sensitive about the haredi public’s image in issues like the attacks on haredi soldiers, couldn’t have demonstrated the proper sensitivity in this case as too. It’s unclear why the website’s editors think that the haredi representatives in the government can sit with women, cooperate with them and pose for pictures with them – but that the pictures must not be published.”

He offered an answer: “State funds ‘purify’ women.”

The censored picture was shared on many social media groups, where it was condemned and criticized.

The Behadrei Haredim website offered the following response: “‘Behadrei Haredim’ is the biggest haredi website in the world, and we would like to stress the word ‘haredi.’ As such, it does not publish pictures of women on its homepage, unlike other websites which pretend to be haredi. The haredi press has never and will never feature pictures of women. The basic right of freedom of expression does not stop at the entrance to Bnei Brak.”

Source

If only it was that easy to get rid of the ultra right extremists in the government ;)

 

 

ISRAELI ARMY HAS PLANS TO KILL MORE HUMANELY

The military has considered using the non-lethal method in the West Bank that is already used by Israeli police, but doubts regarding its lethality prevented its use. 

Controversy over the issue arose after the death of 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot in East Jerusalem last year, whose relatives claimed he was struck by a police rubber bullet.

Non-lethal ammunition used by the IDF

Non-lethal ammunition used by the IDF

IDF to use ‘more humane’ non-lethal ammunition

After extensive testing, military approves use of rubber bullets in the West Bank by specially authorized units to disperse riots.

The IDF will soon introduce a new means for riot dispersal. Following a series of experiments recently performed by the military, the use of non-lethal ammunition has been approved as a method to avoid escalations of violence.

An Army officer told Ynet that the rubber bullet “is considered a more humane weapon”.

The military has considered using the non-lethal method in the West Bank that is already used by Israeli police, but doubts regarding its lethality prevented its use.

Controversy over the issue arose after the death of 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot in East Jerusalem last year, whose relatives claimed he was struck by a police rubber bullet.

The tens of thousands of rubber bullets purchased by the IDF are intended for use by the Judea and Samaria Division, and will be deployed in the upcoming weeks, initially as a pilot program for border guard units.

Another change in crowd control measures used by IDF is the Ruger firearm, which specially authorized units can use to fire small lead projectiles into the lower body of a central instigator.

The rubber bullets to be used by the IDF will have a diameter of 40 millimeters (about 1.5 inches). Like the Ruger, units will require special authorization to use them. The minimum distance from a demonstrator must be seven meters (about 23 feet), with a range of a few dozen meters.

Source

‘CELEBRATING’ INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN ISRAEL BY ERASING WOMEN

The city of Beit Shemesh is experiencing further religious radicalization: Visitors of the Leumit Health Services’ Woman’s Health Center in the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet neighborhood were amazed to discover that the word “woman” had been erased from the sign with black paint.

Some blame this on extremist religious zealots, the real reason is IGNORANCE!

How quickly they forget from whence the came

How quickly they forget from whence they came

Word ‘woman’ erased from HMO sign

After targeting women’s pictures, radical haredi groups in Beit Shemesh take on written word as well.

The city of Beit Shemesh is experiencing further religious radicalization: Visitors of the Leumit Health Services’ Woman’s Health Center in the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet neighborhood were amazed to discover that the word “woman” had been erased from the sign with black paint.

The incident surprised members of the ultra-Orthodox sector as well, who found it difficult to understand the problem with the word “woman.”

“Apparently, they think their women don’t need any health or services,” says local resident Nili Philipp. “It’s no longer of matter of respect or modesty. It’s complete exclusion.”

About a month ago, Judge David Gideoni accepted a claim filed by Philipp and three other women against a modesty sign posted in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet and ordered Mayor Moshe Abutbul and the Beit Shemesh Municipality to pay each plaintiff NIS 15,000.

Last week, Philipp toured the area with a group of foreign journalists and noticed the HMO sign with the word “woman” painted in black.

“They received live evidence of what we are going through in Beit Shemesh,” Philipp says. “I used to visit the shopping center where the HMO clinic is located because it’s close to home and offers convenient prices and plenty of parking, but after being sworn at several times, I stopped going there.”

Health Center, no 'woman' (photo from Facebook)

Health Center, no ‘woman’ (photo from Facebook)

The local Leumit Health Services clinic treats women from all sectors. “If a woman gets an appointment, she is sent here even if she is not ultra-Orthodox,” says a city resident. “Some of the men and women who worked there are not haredi either, so they can’t impose their lifestyle on everyone.”

One of the workers says that in recent weeks, the center’s entrance doors have been spray-painted with graffiti calling on women to dress modestly. “The poor cleaning lady had to erase them all the time, but she recently stopped doing that because it took up too much of her time, and the graffiti just stay there,” the worker added.

Visitors of the Woman’s Health Center and the main Leumit clinic located nearby have expressed their anger over the offensive graffiti.

 

Report FROM

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A healthier outlook of this wonderful day can seen from the other side of the wall in this contribution from

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Many people like me believe sincerely that had women been in charge here, we would have had a free Palestine by now.

A society which bestows honour on women

A society which bestows honour on women

Today is International Women’s Day . The mainstream media misses thepoint intentionally. They highlight certain women (some who make the lives of women everywhere difficult people like Hilary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, Angela Markel etc) and they fail to give credit to those who change things or to even explain to us the origin of this day. Having an anual dedicated day for women (action) was proposed by Clara Zetkin of Germany to attendees at the International Conference of Working Women in 1910. Inspired by women socialist movements for fair working conditions in the USA in 1908 and 1909, movements grew of women demanding their rights (until then they did not even have a right to vote).  The first women’s day on 8 March 1911 launched demonstration and marches for women workers’ rights (right to vote, right to fair work condition, right to live free from oppression, right to life, against wars etc).  After a long struggle and many lives lost along the way, the UN finally recognized 8 March as an “International” (I prefer global) women’s day in 1977, 66 years after it was launched by brave socialist women. Thus women’s day is about actions against injustice not about Hilary Clinton!

The First Arab Women’s Congress of Palestine gathered about 200 women and was held on 26 October 1929 in Jerusalem. The demands were rights of women and against the Balfour Declaration, against the racist idea of Zionism,  for self-determination, and for full equality (gender, religion etc). They elected a 14 member Executive Committee headed by Matiel E. T. Mogannam.  Mogannam wrote a book titled “The Arab Women and the Palestinian Problem” published 1937.  Moghannam explained how Palestinian women in the 1920s were innovative in many ways: lobbying the colonial power, writing in newspapers, and holding the first demonstration in human history that used automobiles with 120 cars in 1928 (gathered from all over Palestine to drive in the streets of Jerusalem). See my book on “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A story of hope and empowerment” (http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/)

The struggle of women here continues unabated. Many people like me believe sincerely that had women been in charge here, we would have had a free Palestine by now. My mother who is 82 years old showed us by example what giving and self-sacrifice and love of people and land means. My wife and three sisters are likewise examples of what we all should aspire to do: kind, dedicated, and hard-working human beings. Like millions before them and millions contemporary with them, these women make life livable while many men (and a few women) engage in hurting others and pushing for conflicts and war. Words are too mediocre and inadequate to express our feelings but I simply want to say to all the women working for peace and justice: thank you and to pledge that we will work with you for more progressive change in our societies.

 

 

TERRORISM IS LEGAL IN CANADA

The JDL is a Kahanist organization that has been banned in Israel and the United States as a terrorist group. Its Canadian branch has been implicated in a long line of vigilante violence and fear-mongering. The fact that such a piece of dreck can solicit in a respectable Jewish establishment should make us sick to our collective stomachs.

But it doesn’t. That’s because the North American Jewish community, like its Christian and atheist counterpart, is infected with the scourge of Islamophobia. I define Islamophobia in the same way I define anti-Semitism: the delegitimization of a faith and the propagation of stereotypes and prejudice against its adherents. And it is endemic in our community.

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Jewish Defense League Meets Pastrami

By Menachem Freedman FOR

The register at Ben and Izzy’s Deli in Toronto / Courtesy of Menachem Freedman

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When the news hit my Facebook feed that Ben and Izzy’s, a restaurant in Toronto, had been named “North America’s Top Kosher Deli,” I immediately packed my bags. Under the guise of visiting family, I began a pilgrimage to what shalomlife.org called “one of the best delis around.” I have to say — the pastrami was perfect, the chicken soup was superb, though the lack of celery soda seemed a bit blasphemous. But what was less appetizing was yet another reminder that the Jewish community is beautiful, vibrant, caring — but also tainted by racism and Islamophobia. It’s about time we speak out.

This sad reminder came to me at the end of my meal. Next to the register, by the charity boxes for orphanages and social programs, I saw a black box with a raised yellow fist. I nearly lost my brisket. The Jewish Defense League (JDL) is soliciting in the #1 kosher deli in North America.

The JDL is a Kahanist organization that has been banned in Israel and the United States as a terrorist group. Its Canadian branch has been implicated in a long line of vigilante violence and fear-mongering. The fact that such a piece of dreck can solicit in a respectable Jewish establishment should make us sick to our collective stomachs.

But it doesn’t. That’s because the North American Jewish community, like its Christian and atheist counterpart, is infected with the scourge of Islamophobia. I define Islamophobia in the same way I define anti-Semitism: the delegitimization of a faith and the propagation of stereotypes and prejudice against its adherents. And it is endemic in our community.

It’s easy to find Islamophobia in fringe movements like the JDL. But it can be found in quieter forms across the Jewish spectrum. It exists in “mainstream” organizations like Aish Hatorah. Aish, which runs synagogues and youth programs across the continent, was associated with and possibly responsible for the fear-mongering “Obsession” video series that taught thousands of Jewish students and Birthright participants (as well as cadets of the NYPD) about the supposed Muslim plot to take over America with Sharia law. It exists in our synagogues, of every denomination. This Rosh Hashana, a Conservative rabbi made waves when he said five percent of the world’s billion Muslims were dangerous extremists (actually, he called them “Koran-waving, Allah Akbar-howling Muslim murderers”) and the rest were comparable to Germans who did not protest the Nazi regime. The Conservative movement has not denounced him.

Again, as figures like Bill Maher and Glenn Beck make evident, Islamophobia is not only, or even primarily, a Jewish problem. But it’s far too prevalent in a community that has historically stood at the forefront of civil rights causes on this continent. Judaism has a special relationship with Islam, as two religions that are centered around good deeds, prayer and an emphasis on charity and community responsibility. We should be the last to buy the message that Islam is a primitive, violent religion — especially when Muslim countries provided Jews a safe, though not equitable haven from thousands of years of Christian massacres.

Throughout the world, Islamophobic laws have also affected Jews. Anti-ritual slaughter legislation in Europe affected kosher meat as well as Halal. The ban on religious headgear in France and the attempted ban in Quebec targeted the kippah as well as the hijab. Anti-sharia legislation affects our beit dins (Jewish courts) and the protection of agunot (women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce).

In the fight against Islamophobia, Jews are not passive bystanders; we are secondary targets. We have an obligation to fight ignorance and educate ourselves about the many facets of our fellow Abrahamic faith. We have a duty to fight Islamophobia and any form of discrimination. Speaking out against baseless hatred and prejudice — well, that’s even more Jewish than pastrami on rye.

WHY HELEN THOMAS SAID THOSE WORDS

The words of Helen Thomas echo in my mind whenever I read something like the report that follows ….

GOD IS GREAT is a deafening sound to dogs and other similar creatures

Illegal Jewish settlers are bothered by the call to prayer

Illegal Jewish settlers are bothered by the call to prayer

Israel bans Muslim
call to prayer in Hebron
61 times in October
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HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have forbidden mosque leaders from calling for prayers through loudspeakers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron 61 times in October under the pretext that it bothers nearby Jewish settlers, the Palestinian ministry of endowment said Sunday.
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The ministry of endowment’s Hebron office said in a statement that banning the call for prayer “is racism and clear violation of freedom of worship which all international conventions maintain.”

A NEW ISRAELI PIN-UP CALENDAR TO DIE FOR ~~ LITERALLY

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The occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

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Israeli Soldiers Create Least Sexy Pin-Up Ever

By Sigal Samuel FOR

MTKL’s Israeli Army Women Calendar

Just a couple of months after the Gaza war, Israel has found a new way “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — via the power of a pin-up calendar featuring real IDF soldiers.

Or, as the creators of the MTKL Israeli Army Women Calendar like to call them, “the chosen amongst the chosen people.”

These chosen women, brought together by two former (male) soldiers who “scoured the ranks of the powerful Israeli army,” would like you to donate $25 to their Indiegogo campaign so that they can not only ship you this calendar, but also create a whole line of clothing and accessories that will blend “the best of military and street into must-have urban fashion.”

MTKL

Their goal is to make $30,000 off the calendars, enabling them to bring their clothing line to production in early 2015. So far they’ve raised about $3700 — which means that a bunch of people are already walking around wearing jewelry “fashioned after the official IDF Dog Tag.”

Scary thought.

I say that because, if you ask me, this fashion line — and the pin-up calendar being used to showcase it — is pretty much the most unsexy thing I can imagine.

It’s not just that this product is the work of two men using a bunch of women’s bodies to make a quick buck. Leave aside for a minute the obvious feminist objections to pin-up calendars writ large — and hone in on this calendar in particular. It doesn’t take long to see that we’re being sold more than your average “male gaze” sexual fantasy. What we’re being sold is an ideology that equates sexiness with militarism, and Israel with both.

There are at least 4 deeply unfortunate things about this:

1) It shows that Israel’s macho culture — a culture that says military violence is a beautiful and even arousing thing — is alive and well.

2) Women are supposed to be grateful to be allowed into this macho culture. The fact that they’re included is a sign of the culture’s progressiveness, of how evolved and “egalitarian” it is (to quote MTKL’s campaign).

3) Plenty of women actually buy into this logic. That includes the international buyers of MTKL’s products (sadly, I have no doubt that their products will sell) and the Israeli models themselves.

4) By buying into this logic, they are — wittingly or unwittingly — working to put a sexy face on the occupation.

But the occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

The MTKL designers may think their calendar will help “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — but I suspect that for an increasing number of people, this insistence on associating Israel with militarism actually does the exact opposite.

DID ELIE WEISEL LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE HOLOCAUST?

IF SO, WHY IS HE SUPPORTING A NEW ONE??
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TO ANYONE!

TO ANYONE!

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Of all the organizations in Israel, he chose Elad, the most controversial, a group with no truth, grace or compassion. It’s all too clear why they chose him as chairman, but not at all clear why he agreed.

Wiesel has garnered enormous respect from the Jewish people and Gentile nations for surviving and becoming a mouthpiece for Holocaust victims. How about sharing some of that respect? Won’t you reconsider, identify with them and sign their cursed blessings?

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Elie Wiesel hides ethnic cleansing behind a prayer shawl

This ostensible messenger of peace supports an organization that evicts Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.

By Yossi Sarid FOR
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Obama Wiesel

President Barack Obama hugging Elie Wiesel. Photo by Reuters
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Much have I learned from gossip columns, which for reasons of propriety are also called “social columns.” Without them how would we know who’s going with whom and for what gain?

Before turning to the news pages, cast an eye on the yellow stuff. It will help you understand how the system works.

The special ads – not those intended to sell chocolate pudding – also provide important information and develop your awareness. According to the numbers, under 10 percent of readers look at them, but that’s a mistake to be corrected.

So last Friday, this paper of all papers carried an ad in Hebrew blessing the “dozens of new families joining the Jewish community in the City of David.” According to the ad, “We salute the Zionist action of those involved; we all share the challenge of strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. With you we’ll receive the pilgrims who visit over the holiday.”

This is followed by the signatures of people linked to settler group Elad. Some of the names are unfamiliar, but some are astonishing. After all, this organization is notorious for making trouble in the City of Eternal Peace.

I wasn’t surprised to see singer Yehoram Gaon’s name, for example. He sees a flag in every rag and takes every broomstick for a flagpole.

But what are former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, former police chief Shlomo Aharonishki and former Hadassah University Hospital chief Shlomo Mor-Yosef doing there? What’s a former director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ilan Cohen, doing there? Maybe they should explain why they’re willing to sponsor people who evict people and take over their homes?

As they say in Isaiah 5:8, “Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.”

And who’s their chairman? You’ll never guess. Not casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, not Jewish organization leader Malcolm Hoenlein. Not even U.S. businessman Irving Moskowitz and his wife Cherna.

It’s somebody identified more than anyone with the memory of the Holocaust — a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom — Elie Wiesel. The Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo wrote: “Wiesel is a messenger to mankind; his message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity.”

This is a man expected to show special sensitivity to the suffering of the other, whether in Romania’s Sighetu Marmației, where he’s from, or Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. This is the man who portrays himself as a friend of Barack Obama, but who lends a hand to those who insult the president publicly.

Before every meeting in Washington, these people prepare another invasion in Jerusalem, sabotaging others’ laborious efforts. Maybe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew why he offered Wiesel Israel’s presidency at the time, but we didn’t.

He’s the man who declared he was keeping himself out of Israeli politics, anointing himself with pure olive oil. Every time he was asked to respond to some injustice in our midst, reminiscent of some injustice far away, he evaded the question.

He of all people burst into one house after another, houses bought in shady deals, fit for the night to be carried out before the sheets and coffee cups have cooled. He of all people is hiding creeping ethnic cleansing behind a prayer shawl.

Of all the organizations in Israel, he chose Elad, the most controversial, a group with no truth, grace or compassion. It’s all too clear why they chose him as chairman, but not at all clear why he agreed.

Wiesel has garnered enormous respect from the Jewish people and Gentile nations for surviving and becoming a mouthpiece for Holocaust victims. How about sharing some of that respect? Won’t you reconsider, identify with them and sign their cursed blessings?

WATCH AS ISLAMOPHOBIA GOES LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD

And the Oscar goes to .... 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

And the Oscar goes to …. ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” he said of Islam on his program, Real Time with Bill Maher, “that will f–king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

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Ben Affleck, Bill Maher tussle over Islamophobia


Actor gets visibly agitated by comments he considered Islamophobic, cutting off the host, author Sam Harris and N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
By Haaretz

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Ben Affleck at the 52nd New York Film Festival opening night gala presentation of the movie 'Gone Girl' in New York, Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Reuters

Ben Affleck at the 52nd New York Film Festival opening night gala presentation of the movie ‘Gone Girl’ in New York, Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Reuters

 

A week after sparking controversy over his anti-Islam comments, HBO host Bill Maher doubled down in a debate over Islam that pushed Ben Affleck’s Islamophobia button on Friday.

“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” he said of Islam on his program, Real Time with Bill Maher, “that will f–king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

Earlier in the heated discussion, Maher and author Sam Harris were agreeing with each other that liberals do not hold up liberal standards when it comes to Islam.

“You and I have been trying to make the case I think that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show,” said Maher, referring to the previous installment when he stated, “If we’re giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn’t we be starting with the mutilators and the honor killers?”

That debate drew fire from Islamic scholar Reza Aslan, who said on CNN on Monday, “The problem is that you’re talking about a religion of one and a half billion people, and certainly it becomes very easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush.”

On Friday, Maher said that liberals applaud for principles like “freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals … but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking then they get upset.”

“Liberals have rally failed on the topic of theocracy,” responded Harris.
He asserted that liberals criticize “white theocracy” and “Christians” but have failed to be critical about “the treatment of women, and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world.”

He added,” The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamaphobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people, which is intellectually ridiculous.”

Are you the person who understands the officially codified document of Islam?” Affleck queried Harris.

“Actually, I’m well educated on this topic,” Harris responded.

“I’m not denying that certain people are bigoted against Muslim people, and that’s a problem,” added Harris, but Affleck did not allow him to finish his sentence.

The actor jumped in, describing Harris’s generalizations about Islam as “gross” and “racist.”

“It’s so not,” interjected Maher.

“It’s like saying, ‘you shifty Jew!'” said Affleck.

Harris shot back, “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas… and Islam is the motherload of bad ideas.”

“That’s just a fact,” chimed in Maher.

“It’s just an ugly thing to say,” said Affleck.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tried to bring in some balance, telling Maher that the picture he is painting is “to some extent true, but it is hugely incomplete,” but his calm analysis was cut off by an agitated Affleck.

“It is certainly true that plenty of fanatics and jihadi are Muslim, but the people who are standing up to them – Malala, Mohammed Ali in Iran, in prison for 9 years for speaking up for Christians, a friend that I had in Pakistan who was shot this year, Rashid Rehman, for defending people accused of apostasy –,” said Kristof before Affleck interjected, ending his contribution to the debate.

Affleck argued that the others were stereotyping 1.6 billion people for the beliefs of a handful of radicals. “That’s just not true, Ben,” countered Maher.

Harris then gave an analysis, in which he described 20% of the Muslim world as being Islamists, basing his assessment on various polls, and then described a wider circle of conservative Muslims “who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we’re horrified by that, but they hold views about human rights, women and homosexuals that are deeply troubling.”

He argued that liberal Muslims have to be empowered, adding, “Lying about the link between doctrine and behavior is not going to do that.”

The debate carried on a little longer before Maher made his mafia comment. After that point, everyone agreed to disagree.

Aslan, commenting on Affleck’s aggressiveness during the debate, tweeted on his account, “Watching @BenAffleck go after Sam Harris & Bill Maher with that TONE really made me scared of white New Englander.”

HIGH DEMAND FOR KILLER SPERM IN ISRAEL

A Sick Aftermath of War
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“A man who serves in the army in a combat role is usually assumed to have impressive constitution which confirm the genetic aspirations of the women. They believe he will be fit, healthy, and have several other important attributes.” 

Given the increased demand for specialized sperm, the donors’ bank looked into its database and discovered that all donors had served in the IDF and half had served in combat roles.

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Gaza fighting prompts spike in demand for soldier sperm donations

Haifa hospital sees surge in requests for donors who served in combat roles in wake of IDF Operation Protective Edge.

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Operation Protective Edge has sparked a new wave of patriotism in Israel, and it seems that this sentiment has manifested in a slew of other fields, including sperm donations.

Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has reported a rise in the number of women requesting special donations, and specifically asking for donors with a background as combat soldiers.

In addition to choosing the donor’s educational background, hair and eye color, the hospital also allows women to choose from donors with and without a military record.

“These women build a profile of what they feel is the ideal donor and the father of their future child,” said Dina Aminpour, head of the hospital’s sperm bank.

“It seems that the (Gaza) military operation and the stories the Israeli public was exposed to recently (about the IDF) have helped clarify some things for those requesting donations.

“It touches on the donors’ character, and military service seems to indicate something about a person,” she explains, saying the women affiliated army service with resilience, determination, altruism and resolve.

“A man who serves in the army in a combat role is usually assumed to have impressive constitution which confirm the genetic aspirations of the women. They believe he will be fit, healthy, and have several other important attributes.”

Given the increased demand for specialized sperm, the donors’ bank looked into its database and discovered that all donors had served in the IDF and half had served in combat roles.

Each month some 60 women turn to the sperm bank at the Haifa hospital, and as many as half – in recent days – have asked for a donor with a history of combat service; before Operation Protective Edge, the request was rarely made.

Now the combat criterion has become as important as height and educational background of the donor.

In recent years there has been a significant decrease in the sperm quality of men in Israel and the world, meaning there are less and less potential donors which can actualize the donation.

“On average, only 10 percent of potential donors are accepted,” explained Prof. Shachar Kol, who runs the artificial insemination clinic at Rambam – the largest hospital in the north which supplies sperm donations to fertility clinics for the entire region.

The problem with the sperm quality has led to a large shortage in donations and the need to recruit more and more men to donate. In the past year the hospital even hosted an exhibit hosted by Ynet.

Source

WHEN MURDER IS NOT ENOUGH

Captions say …. A good Arab is a dead Arab … kahane lives!

PriceTag_557_356_c1

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Two videos have emerged showing Israeli police brutally beating a Palestinian youth in the Shuafat neighborhood of eastern occupied Jerusalem.

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The second video posted on Facebook by Quds News Network shows the same incident. It appears to have been shot with a mobile phone from an adjacent building.

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Many injured

Red Crescent medics said 170 Palestinians were injured since Monday, including three with live bullets, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Dozens were injured by rubber bullets, including six journalists, and three people suffered fractures after being assaulted by Israeli police officers, Ma’an News Agency added.

The brutal beating caught on video is reminiscent of an indelible image of a similar attack on a young Palestinian during the first intifada in the late 1980s.

 

From

 

‘SO LONG, IT’S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU’ ~~ A PALESTINIAN LOVE STORY

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Sam Bahour adds this … 

Carol and Osama are good friends; it’s sad to see them leave, physically that is. I am constantly asked by visitors, what I think the ultimate goal of Israeli actions on the ground is. Well, this is it. The goal is for us to leave or vanish–no less. Given we will do neither, collectively, as a people, buckle up for the long haul. Humanity must prevail before peace pokes out its head.

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‘So long, Israel, and thanks for nothing’

As a Palestinian Israeli married to a Palestinian, we’ve been waiting for Israel to grant us permission to live together. 15 years later, forced to choose between homeland and family unity, we have finally left.

By Carol Daniel Kasbari
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Carol Daniel Kasbari and husband Osama with two boys.

Carol Daniel Kasbari and husband Osama with two boys.
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After fifteen years of waiting, my husband and I have finally begun our life together. We have left Jerusalem for good.

I am a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, raised in Nazareth. My husband is also a Palestinian, but unlike me, he is not a citizen of Israel. In fact, he is not a citizen of any country.

I met my husband, Osama Kasbari, in Ramallah in 1997 when I was a student at the Hebrew University, and the connection was immediate. After that first meeting, we spent three hours talking on the phone – about life, identity, language, home – and within a year, we were married.

We began the process of building a normal life, applying for “family unification,” a process under which non-citizens married to Israelis could gain temporary residency status and further on down the line become permanent residents or citizens. At the Interior Ministry office in Nazareth, we were told that the process would be quite simple: We were to live inside of Israel’s borders, pay taxes, obey the laws and within four years, my husband would be granted permanent residency. This is what we were told, and this is what we believed, so this is what we did.

My husband was granted an Aleph/5 permit, a temporary status which enabled us to live together. He was one of those “good Arabs,” according to the Shin Bet, who reviewed our application to renew his permit. Every year, before the permit expired, I would spend an entire week on the phone, until I finally reached the clerk who would schedule an appointment for us at the Interior Ministry. The grilling would begin on the phone, and end in a day-long visit to an office where we submitted a pile of papers that revealed every detail of our life: Three months of a protracted, demanding and exhausting process. It involved explaining every move and every payment we made. We felt we were at the mercy of clerks and strangers who passed judgment on our life choices. My husband couldn’t leave the country, buy a house and or even open a bank account or pay his own cellphone bill.

In 2003, weeks before my husband was scheduled to receive permanent residency, our dreams were shattered, along with other Palestinian couples like us. On July 31st, 2003, then-Interior Minister Eli Yishai successfully passed the “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order)” which categorically denied Palestinians from “the hostile areas,” meaning, Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, the ability to receive residency or citizenship as a result of their partnership with a citizen of Israel.

The initial reason provided was purportedly connected to security: One man in such a situation had been involved in a bombing in Haifa. The law was scheduled to last for a year, with the option to be renewed for an indefinite period at the end of the year. No other Palestinian who is in a family unification process has acted any act of terror or assault since 2003, yet the emergency law has been renewed every year until this day.

We were devastated. We had come so close to achieving some degree of normalcy for our family, which by then had expanded to include my two little boys, and suddenly we found ourselves waiting, again, for a political decision that would directly affect our personal lives.

And we tried everything to change it: We appealed to the Interior Ministry; I met with people involved in politics, people of influence with whom I worked with as facilitator for groups in conflict. Everyone would say, yes, yes, that’s terrible, but they would not lift a finger to do anything for us. One senior consultant for the government told me, “You know, Carol, this is the most sensitive issue for the Jewish people, the demographic one. It will be very hard for anyone to help you.”

Eventually, we filed a petition to the Supreme Court. The judges, too, expressed sympathy for our case. They said it was terrible, it was unfair, that we deserved better, and they suggested to the State Attorney that we find a compromise outside of the court that would allow my husband receive permanent status. The latter rejected this suggestion immediately: If we find a compromise with them, he said, we will open up the floodgates, and set a “dangerous precedent.” Our appeal was rejected.

So was this law truly about “security,” or was it about demography? In 2012, the Supreme Court collectively rejected every appeal against the law. They acknowledged that the law violated the principles of equality, but, as Judge Asher Grunis wrote, “[H]uman rights are not a prescription for national suicide,” referring to the “demographic threat” to the Jewish State posed by people like my husband. The treatment of our issue was humiliating and dealt with as a disease and a threat to Jewish existence. We couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

This year, after 15 years of waiting and struggling, of living with insecurity, fear, and harassment, we decided that enough was enough. We did not renew my husband’s temporary residency. Instead, we left the country and started looking for a permanent life in a place where would be welcome, wanted and respected. We moved to the United States, and bought a house in Virginia, something we had realized we may never have been able to do in Jerusalem. We knew this decision would possibly carry life-long consequences, as my husband would not be allowed to return to Jerusalem or Nazareth anymore. I have given up my right to bring up my boys in this country or to live my life close to my family and friends. I haven’t given up on my Palestinian roots or on my homeland, but on the suffering of being minority in a country that doesn’t respect the rights of others who are not Jewish.

Now, when I return to Jerusalem for a visit, I feel numb. My family – and the thousands of other families like ours – had to make the choice between a normal, full life abroad and a temporary life in our homeland. That is a choice no family should have to make.

Carol Daniel Kasbari is a conflict transformation specialist and veteran facilitator for groups in conflict in the Middle East since 1995 and has spoken about her work in this TEDx talk in Jaffa. Born in Nazareth, she holds a Masters degree in NGO Administration and Public Policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is pursuing Ph.D studies at George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She currently lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband, Osama Kasbari, and their two children.
Written FOR

STEPHEN HARPER ~~ SINGING AND DANCING FOR APARTHEID

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As a Canadian citizen, this truly saddens and disgusts me  *

Harper Sings ‘Hey Jude’ At State Dinner In Jerusalem

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It’s fair to say Stephen Harper has received a “rock star” welcome on his first official visit to Israel.

And on Tuesday, he rocked out.

The prime minister took the stage at a state dinner in Jerusalem to perform some Beatles tunes on the keyboard, including “Hey Jude,” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking on.

And judging by the videos posted online, it seems Harper’s musical stylings were warmly received by Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

The Jerusalem Post described Harper’s performance as courageous.

Netanyahu posted a brief clip to his YouTube account.

Harper also dusted off an old classic, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

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FROM

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Related Report

DROWNING IN THE FECES OF ZION (VIDEO)

334590_Gaza-sewage

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Fetid muck, which bubbles up from manholes and overflows from the idle plant when waste goes untreated, could soon spill into the homes of tens of thousands more residents in downtown Gaza City, officials and residents said.

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Video: As siege stops pumps, Gaza children wade to school in sewage

 Ali Abunimah
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This video shows children in the al-Sabra neighborhood in eastern Gaza City wading through streets flooded with sewage.Some make their way carefully across stones to avoid the fetid water, while others wade right in or are carried on the shoulders of older children.With their book bags on their backs, they are determined to get to school. The video was shot by Jehad Saftawi for the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) (imeu.net).

Siege stops pumps

Why is this happening? As Reuters reported on 14 November:

Children waded through sewage submerging the streets of a central Gaza neighborhood on Thursday, a day after one of the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s largest waste water treatment plants stopped for lack of fuel.

Fetid muck, which bubbles up from manholes and overflows from the idle plant when waste goes untreated, could soon spill into the homes of tens of thousands more residents in downtown Gaza City, officials and residents said.

Egypt’s months-long crackdown on cross-border smuggling tunnels that used to bring fuel in cheaply has already forced Gaza’s only power plant to stop, meaning two weeks of daily 12-hour blackouts for the territory’s 1.8 million residents.

“This is the start of a catastrophe and unless the world listens to our cries, a real disaster may hit Gaza and its people,” Gaza municipality’s Sa’ad El-Deen Al-Tbash said.

“This is a humanitarian, not a political issue. Gaza’s children did nothing to deserve being stuck in sewage,” he told Reuters.

As a consequence of the blackouts Gaza children must also study in the dark.

“Health catastrophe”

While media are reporting that electricity blackouts are now 12 hours per day, the new situation is that for many people, power is out for 18 hours daily.

On 7 November the UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) warned of the dire impact on Gaza’s already strained healthcare system.

With grid power so compromised, most hospitals rely on generators but, MAP warned:

The majority of generators in Gaza’s hospitals were not designed to work for up to 18 hours per day and the Ministry of Health expects to encounter difficulties in maintaining them, especially those requiring spare parts, due to the restrictions of Israel’s blockade.

The fuel crisis is making it difficult for ambulances to continue operating and hindering the ability of medical workers to get to health facilities. Its impact on other essential services such as sewage and water pumping stations also poses a public health risk. 

The video above shows that for the children confronted with sewage in the streets, “risk” has turned into a grim reality.

This is no “natural” disaster. It is the result of the sewer-like politics of the region, where Israel, Egypt’s coup regime and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority collude, with US and EU complicity, to tighten the siege and with it the deliberate collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Written FOR

NO NEED TO APOLOGISE TO PALESTINE, IT JUST DOESN’T EXIST!

Of course, you can never please everyone. Within hours the blog on which the change was announced was bombarded with several messages demanding to know why there was still no mention of Palestine.
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The ‘old map’
w-scholastic-111513
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Scholastic Puts Israel Back on ‘Stilton’ Map

By Dave Goldiner

And the new one

Scholastic had already apologized for publishing a children’s book in its popular Geronimo Stilton series that included a map of the Middle East leaving out Israel.

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Stung by the fierce reaction, the publishing giant has gone one step further.

It reworked the animated map to include Israel. It also told parents it would replace copies of the book, ‘Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab’ with a new updated one including the new and improved map.

Or you can download a copy of the new Israel-friendly map and paste it on top of the old offending map. Plus there are options for getting a new e-book if you purchased the book online.

Or you can call a special hotline.

Got the message? The folks at Scholastic are really, really sorry about the snafu. And they really, really care about Israel.

Of course, you can never please everyone. Within hours the blog on which the change was announced was bombarded with several messages demanding to know why there was still no mention of Palestine.

Source

FALSIFYING LIFE IN GAZA

Rather than admit that life in the Gaza Strip was virtually destroyed by actions of the Israeli army, they now want you to believe that just the opposite is the case …. here is how they do it; 
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A few questions came to mind after reading the following ….
1. Where are the building materials coming from (and how are they getting through the closed border)
2. Where are the goods on sale coming from seeing as the siege does not allow goods to enter the Strip?
Does the IDF really believe we are all stupid??
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Israel army publishes fake image of huge “Gaza shopping mall”

Ali Abunimah
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An enormous shopping mall the Israeli army claims is in the Gaza Strip. (Source: IDF Blog)

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In one of its periodic efforts to deny the devastating effects of its siege of Gaza, the Israeli occupation army published a blog post on 12 August claiming that Palestinians in Gaza are “out in force, enjoying themselves in sparkling new malls, beautiful beaches and hotels, and doing their shopping in pristine grocery stores and markets heaving with fresh produce.” (Screenshot of entire “IDF blog” post).

The “IDF blog” includes the impressive photo above of a shopping mall where Palestinians in Gaza are supposedly shopping for the latest imported fashions.

I showed the photo to The Electronic Intifada’s correspondent in Gaza, Rami Almeghari. His reaction: “I can assure you that there is no such mall in Gaza.” Rami is quite right.

Fake image

If you do a Google Image search using the image from the “IDF” blog post, the same image turns up associated with the Metro Plaza shopping mall in Kolkata, India as well as several other places. 

 

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kolkata

A Google image search turned up many examples, like this one, of the image associated with other malls.

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Where is it really?

But the “Gaza mall” photo published by the Israeli army is actually an image of the Suria KLCC Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as numerous user-generated photographs on the travel review site TripAdvisor.com attest.

You can also see many people shopping at the mall – in Malaysia – in this video:

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Israeli army sources: anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic blogs

Before publishing it on 12 August on its English-language website, the Israeli army published the same post in French on 4 August.

It was then published by the anti-Palestinian website Tribune Juive the same day.

But some of the material had already circulated on many other Islamophobic websites long before.

For example, the same Kuala Lumpur mall photo, purportedly in Gaza, appeared on a virulently Islamophobic blog called “Barenaked Islam” in April 2012, and was disseminated on Facebook by “Geert Wilders supporters,” a page dedicated to the Islamophobic Dutch politician.

It also appeared on “Religion of Peace,” another anti-Muslim hate site.

It would appear that the Israeli army gets its information about Gaza from Islamophobic hate sites.

Forced dependency

The Kuala Lumpur shopping mall is vastly bigger than any commercial facility anywhere in Gaza.

But another image, the supermarket shown on the “IDF” blog, appears to be the Metro supermarket in Gaza. I didn’t visit it, but I did visit the Abu Dallal supermarket in Nuseirat refugee camp.

I was told that Abu Dallal is one of largest supermarkets in Gaza. By American, European, or Jordanian standards it is not very big, smaller than an average CVS or Boots drugstore.

More important than its size, however, is that like other stores in Gaza, it is packed full of Israeli goods.

That’s one of the ways the Israeli blockade creates dependency: While Gaza industry and agriculture are devastated by the siege, Israel is happy enough to see its own companies profiting from people in Gaza, siphoning off what little income they have, whether from work, humanitarian aid or remittances abroad, by selling them Israeli goods.

Poverty and dependency are the real effects of siege

But Israel is much more restrictive when it comes to supplies that meet basic needs and could allow Gaza to move out of dependency. There is, for example, a shortage of 250 schools for Gaza’s children, which cannot be built due to the lack of building supplies.

And the reality is that while there is food in Gaza, “severe poverty has increased over years of closure and because of travel restrictions,” Gisha, an Israeli nongovermental organization that monitors the siege, noted in a recent factsheet.

More than 70 percent of the Gaza population receives some form of humanitarian aid, compared with one third in the year 2000.

For imports of raw materials and many basic goods, Gaza’s economy remains heavily dependent on underground tunnels to Egypt, as I saw myself during my visit, and as Gisha also documents.

Since the Egyptian military coup on 3 July, the Egyptian army, which works closely with Israel, has been instensifying its effort to destroy the tunnels.

Exports crushed

Israel continues to crush Gaza’s export industries. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has allowed a total of 94 trucks out of Gaza in 2013 – that’s about a dozen a month from a population of almost 1.7 million people. Insignificant.

By contrast, in 2007, the year before the siege began to bite, more than 5,000 trucks were allowed out of Gaza. In 2001 it was 15,000.

Cynical propaganda

The Israeli army’s cynical propaganda is supposed to distract people from the fact that the vast majority of people in Gaza live in deep poverty and a very precarious economic situation, without electricity for 8-12 hours per day, and depend on humanitarian aid, due to Israel.

Gaza’s per capita annual GDP is just over $1,000 dollars. Compare that with $32,800 for Israel.

The lesson: learn the facts and don’t be taken in by Israeli army fabrications.

With thanks to Twitter user @sallyidwedar who initially spotted “IDF” fakery, and Omar Ghraieb for answering my queries about Gaza’s supermarkets.

Written FOR

SOLDIERS DESECRATE THE MEMORY OF RACHEL CORRIE

Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”

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Israeli soldiers have depraved “fun” making “Rachel Corrie pancakes”

Ali Abunimah 

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Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”

Photos of the event were posted on the Facebook page of the “Heritage House,” a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem that houses so-called “lone soldiers,” men recruited from overseas to join the Israeli occupation forces.

Nesim Pesarel, one of the “Heritage House” residents, seen in a photo from his personal Facebook page.

Above the photos of young men, some in Israeli army fatigues or apparently carrying guns, is the caption “Afternoon of ‘rachel corrie’ Pancakes and fun!”

Rachel Corrie is the young American woman murdered by an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family home in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003.

The depraved joke that these men were presumably making is a play on the English idiom “flat as a pancake.” Their celebration and joking about Rachel Corrie’s death is utterly vile and reflects the culture of dehumanization inculcated into Israeli soldiers.

Ben Packer, the director and rabbi of “Heritage House,” hit back at some negative comments about the images, posting this response:

In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!

Packer added, “Anti-Israel activists are all in a tizzy about these pictures! makes them even funnier!!!”

The page also appeals for donations “to support our guests and ‘lone soldiers.’” Residents of the “Heritage House” settlement also take part in colonization activities in other parts of the occupied West Bank, including Hebron.

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Alex Winston is the “den mother” of The Heritage House men’s dormitory. Alex Winston is a member of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade.

Nesim Pasarel (right with weapon) and Jonathan Leibovits (seated)

 

(Update: The gallery was removed shortly after the publication of this post.)

The true face of the “IDF”

In recent months, The Electronic Intifada has highlighted incidents of Israeli soldiers using social media to advocate brutal violence, and acts of sadistic torture and murder of children.

The Electronic Intifada also revealed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian child seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.

This week, the army began investigating a video posted online of Israeli soldiers frying a small bird alive, an act that had no purpose but gratuitous animal cruelty.

Israeli army attempts to halt social media scandals

The “Rachel Corrie pancakes” photos provide yet another window into the Israeli army’s culture of violence and come just as the occupation forces have tried to staunch the flow of embarrassing incidents on social media that have hurt its propaganda efforts.

The campaign, which includes this YouTube video, urges soldiers to “improve their image online.” 

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The voiceover in the video commands:

Soldier! Improve your appearance! Always remember: You are the face of the IDF. So improve your appearance – online!

The IDF is glad to invite you to get connected, share, love, tweet, respond, and show the pretty face of the IDF.

So go into the official pages and send us pictures, videoclips, and stories. The IDF on the Internet. One army, everybody’s face.

The “lone soldiers” at the Heritage House settler-colony have clearly not got the message.

With thanks to Dena Shunra for assistance with research and translation and Benjamin Doherty for assistance with research.

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PALESTINIANS ARE THE FIRST TO SUFFER UNDER EGYPT’S NEW GOVERNMENT

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff  (Freedom for whom???) 
military-coup-in-egypt-2-english
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The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.
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Egypt deporting Palestinians trying to return to Gaza

by Ali Abunimah 

A Palestinian woman waits at the closed Rafah crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on 5 July.

 (Eyad Al Baba)

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Palestinians trying to return home to the Gaza Strip via Cairo airport are being deported by Egyptian authorities to the countries they flew in from, at their own expense.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.

In recent days, militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have repeatedly attacked Egyptian army posts and checkpoints.

Yousef M. Aljamal, a writer and occasional Electronic Intifada contributor, was among those deported. Aljamal was returning home to Gaza from New Zealand, where heparticipated in the recent Conference on Palestine in Auckland.

Aljamal tweeted about his deportation from Cairo, back to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where he had stopped in order to obtain an Egyptian visa.

He reported seeing other Palestinians sent back to Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Canada, among other countries.

on Twitter

The Palestinian government in Gaza has appealed to Egyptian authorities to re-open Rafah, citing thousands of Palestinians, including many pilgrims, stranded away from home.

Even before the latest crisis in Egypt, conditions at the crossing have remained difficult and unpredictable, with “Mubarak-era cruelty” remaining the norm.

Anti-Palestinian campaign intensifies in Egypt

The deportation of Palestinians comes as campaigns against Palestinians are intensifying in Egypt.

Anti-Palestinian campaigns in the Egyptian media are not new, as Joseph Massad wrote last August. They have included outlandish claims that shortages of basic supplies including fuel and medicines for Egypt’s 83 million people are caused by supplies being sent to Gaza’s 1.7 million Palestinians.

The volume has however increased amid the ongoing crisis. Rumors circulated by Egyptian media and social media accuse Hamas – without evidence – of sending operatives to support the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government.

Such rumors have led to false accusations and deportations of Palestinians living in Egypt,as the Egyptian journalist Fahmy Howeidy reported in a 7 July article in Egypt’s Shorouk News.

Howeidy concludes his powerful piece with these observations:

Who is the party that is keen to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians and fabricate charges against them in Egypt? And what is its interest in doing this? And why is there no clear political stance to stop these humiliations? My information is that there are elements within the Palestinian security apparatus still working against the government in the Gaza Strip and trying to malign it and bring it down.

There are also elements within the Egyptian security services – whose arms reach into the media – who despise Palestinians and sneer at resistance, and who cannot bear to hear the name of Hamas because of their relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. And these parties have rebounded lately, for well-known reasons. This leads to ask who they represent and to what extent they are connected with the deep state whose elements do not cease for even a day from spreading hatred between Egyptians and Palestinians in violation of all national and ethical norms.

Syrians, as well as Palestinians, have also been targeted by such rumors and campaigns.

As Egypt slips further into political chaos, Palestinians stranded abroad are hoping they can get home without falling victim to the increasingly poisonous atmosphere.

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ZIONIST HARASSMENT ON THE WALLS …

Why are communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly the victims of racist vandalism at the hands of Jewish Israelis? Why were cars in Abu Ghosh damaged last week? Why were gravestones in Jaffa desecrated last month? Why was a school in Wahat al-Salam defaced last year?
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Israel’s racists step up attacks on Palestinian citizens

David Sheen *

Men stand near wall sprayed-painted with graffiti

Graffiti reading “Arabs out” and “Racism – Assimilation” in Abu Ghosh, 18 June.

 (Jim Hollander /EPA)

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Why are communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly the victims of racist vandalism at the hands of Jewish Israelis? Why were cars in Abu Ghosh damaged last week? Why were gravestones in Jaffa desecrated last month? Why was a school in Wahat al-Salam defaced last year?

Are attacks on these communities reprisals for anti-Semitic attacks that emanate from them? Is it because the sons of Wahat al-Salam crash cars into Jews? Is it because the youth of Jaffa perpetrate terrorist attacks against Israelis? Is it because the residents of Abu Ghosh provide protection to anti-Zionist suicide bombers?

The attacks listed in the first paragraph of this article actually occurred, but the ones listed in the second paragraph are totally false — I just fabricated them. No residents of these communities have been accused of committing crimes motivated by nationalism — or anti-nationalism, for that matter.

Even if any of them had been, it would not justify the collective punishment of these communities. But it would at least provide motives for attacks on these communities, motives that some Israelis might sympathize with: “revenge” for prior attacks on Jews, “intimidation” to prevent future attacks on Jews.

But again, residents of these communities are not suspected of having committed any hate crimes against Jewish Israelis. So what could be the motive for attacking them? In addition to the prescriptive messages spray-painted in previous attacks — “Arabs Out” and “Death to Arabs” — the perpetrators of the most recent acts of vandalism also included another slogan, one that does point to motive: “Racism or Assimilation.”

“Racism or assimilation”

For outsiders unfamiliar with the internal Israeli discourse, this phrase needs to be parsed. The vandals have posited these two nouns — “racism” and “assimilation” — as either-or options for Jewish people living in Israel. Aligning themselves with the first option, the perpetrators are acknowledging that their attacks on Palestinian communities are motivated by racism, and they are calling for more of the same. The other option, the alternative to racism, is the choice that they loathe: assimilation.

What is this creature called assimilation, and why do these self-professed racists hate it so much? Assimilation is simply the process by which individuals, or groups of individuals, adopt ideas from other individuals and groups of individuals. These racists want to prevent Jewish people from adopting ideas of other people because they want all Jewish people to adopt their own ideology: Jewish Dominionism.

Dominionists seek to transform the State of Israel from a democratic ethnocracy into a theocratic ethnocracy. The current government, a relatively secular regime that grants extra privileges to Jewish people on the basis of their ethnicity, is insufficiently Jewish in their opinion. The Dominionists want all affairs of state and all public spaces in Israel to conform to the rules of Orthodox Judaism.

If the Dominionists’ dreams were realized and they were able to forge the face of the state, what would it look like? At the first public conference of the Dominionist “Derech Chaim” movement in March, I listened to the movement’s leaders flesh out their shared vision for the future. They bemoaned the legal obstacles that hinder the accomplishment one of their main objectives: physically separating Jewish citizens from non-Jewish citizens in Israel.

Segregation

Dominionists do not make up a majority of the Jewish population in Israel; if they did, they would already have turned Israel into a full-fledged theocracy. But their desire to physically separate Jewish people and non-Jewish people into separate areas is shared by the secular segregationists, who do make up a majority of the Jewish population.

Secular segregationists do not want the country to be governed under the strict rules of Orthodox Judaism, but for their own racist reasons they would prefer to not have to see any non-Jewish Arab people as they go about their daily lives. When they seek medical attention at hospitals or recreation at amusement parks, there seems to be an increasing consensus among the majority of Jewish Israelis that religious segregation is a positive phenomenon.

To be sure, there are parts of Israel in which Jewish people and non-Jewish people choose to live close to each other and get along fairly well. They are few and far between, but they exist, and among them are Abu Ghosh, Jaffa and Wahat al-Salam. It is precisely because Jews and Arabs live there in relative peace that these communities are attacked. It is the option of Israelis and Palestinians living in a multicultural environment that the Dominionists want to eliminate.

If the government of Israel not only enabled segregation but also simultaneously enabled groups of Jews, Arabs and others to establish multicultural institutions and heterogenous communities, it could at least claim to be adhering to a libertarian interpretation of the right to equal treatment under the law. But there is only one such Palestinian-Israeli intentional community in the entire country — Wahat al-Salam — and as its first Palestinian resident told me just days before he died last year, it exists not because of the Israeli government’s efforts, but in spite of them.

While (what are likely) disorganized groups of Dominionist hooligans carry out physical attacks on mixed Arab-Jewish communities like Wahat al-Salam, highly organized groups of Dominionist activists move into mixed Arab-Jewish towns across the country with the avowed objective of preventing “assimilation” and eventually driving out the non-Jewish residents (Amy Teibel, “Devout Israeli Jews moving to Arab-Jewish cities,” Associated Press, 4 October 2012). And in the last three years, top Israeli political and religious leaders have stepped up their efforts to segregate areas of the country into Jewish and non-Jewish.

Racist rulings

In 2010, first dozens, and then hundreds, of chief rabbis on the government payroll issued a religious edict forbidding Jews from renting apartments to non-Jewish people. The rabbis justified their racist ruling by citing passages of the Bible which call for ethnic cleansing the land of Israel and implementing complete racial segregation (Deuteronomy 7). Their ruling still stands, and no disciplinary action was ever taken against the rabbis.

In 2011, Israel’s parliament, the Knessetpassed the Communities Acceptance Law, colloquially called the “Kaadan Loophole Law,” because it circumvented the Kaadan case at the high court, which made it illegal to bar a person from purchasing property just because he or she comes from a different culture. The new law granted hundreds of villages in Israel the right to veto home sales on the basis of the buyer’s background.

new government bill currently being debated in the Knesset would permit Israeli businesses to give preferential treatment to people who have served in the army. Although the law would also have a negative impact on some other groups, it is a thinly veiled attempt to sanction discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who, as a rule, do not serve in the military. If the law is enacted, it would essentially extend the legal right to segregate by religion to land developers in any area of the country, including downtown Tel Aviv.

After last week’s embarrassing attack in Abu Ghosh, just as a long list of Hollywood stars were visiting Jerusalem only a couple of kilometers away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to condemn the attack, saying that it contradicted the values of the Israeli people, and of the Jewish religion (“PM: ‘Price tag’ attacks contradict values of Jewish people and state,” The Jerusalem Post). While that may be true for some Israelis, and for some adherents of Judaism, these racist attacks are clearly in sync with the values of large number of Jewish Israelis, including secular segregationists such as Netanyahu himself, and the Jewish Dominionists that are his power-brokering political partners.

*David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker. Born in Toronto, Canada, Sheen now lives in Dimona.

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