Pamela Geller’s antics are an embarrassment to zionist groups

Indeed, mainstream pro-Israel groups like Anti-Defamation League have condemned Geller and the anti-Islam message of the Philly bus ad.

Daughter of Satan

Daughter of Satan

I found an interesting read on the pages of UK Media Watch, formerly called CIF Watch. They are the mouthpiece for British zionism and finally found something worthwhile to mouth off about. I’m pretty sure you will find it of interest as well ….

Guardian/AP falsely describes org founded by Pamela Geller as a ‘pro-Israel group’

Pamela Geller peddles in conspiracy theories, makes common cause with extremists, and advances hyperbolic, divisive and extremely misleading narratives about the so-called threat of “Islamization” of the United States. Geller was even bannedfrom entering the UK by Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, “on the grounds that her statements may foster hatred and provoke violence due to her extreme views”.

Here’s just one example of the kind of vitriol found on her blog.

“Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords.”
— Pam Geller,, April 13, 2010

Geller has also reportedly claimed that “President Obama is the love child of Malcolm X, that Obama was once involved with a “crack whore.”

On April 1st, the Guardian published an Associated Press (AP) report on an anti-Islam bus ad campaign in Philadelphia sponsored by one of Geller’s groups.

Here’s the ad.


In the headline of the Guardian article (Hitler ads from pro-Israel group begin running on Philadelphia transit buses), and in the text,  Geller’s American Freedom Initiative is characterized as a “pro-Israel group”.

Here’s the opening passage of the article.

The ads from the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative will appear on 84 buses. One features a 1941 photograph of Hitler and supporter Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Arab nationalist.

However, if you look at site in question (and other sites affiliated with Geller and her campaign), they don’t claim to be “pro-Israel” groups. Their focus is clearly on opposing Islam and putatively championing “free-speech“.

Here’s the mission statement of American Freedom Defense Initiative:

The American Freedom Defense Initiative is a new organization launched by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Our objective is to go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative, cultural, sociological, and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and values.

AFDI acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials, the mainstream media, and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, the ever-encroaching and unconstitutional power of the federal government, and the rapidly moving attempts to impose socialism and Marxism upon the American people.

Indeed, mainstream pro-Israel groups like Anti-Defamation League have condemned Geller and the anti-Islam message of the Philly bus ad.

Though Geller supports Israel, that position alone doesn’t warrant characterizing her movement as a “pro-Israel” group. The Guardian article unfairly smears pro-Israel groups by associating them with Geller’s extreme views, and we urge editors to revise the text and headline accordingly.


See how reliable the Western Media can be …

CNN Gaffe: “Deadly Attack on Jerusalem Mosque”

Developing Story or Underdeveloped one?

Developing Story or Underdeveloped one?

In what can only be assumed to be a gaffe on the part of CNN producers, an interview with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat included a seriously amiss caption confusing the synagogue in this morning’s attack with a mosque.


Presumably in response to the embarrassment, CNN has removed its video. Unfortunately for CNN, we recorded the relevant clip:


Caught in the act BY



Where did zion go wrong to get one of its most ardent supporters to turn against them?


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Report: Israelis key players in ‘cash for kidneys’ black market

NYT says Israelis play ‘disproportionate role’ in global organ trade, with brokers arranging kidney transplants at cost of more than $100,000.

Israelis have a “disproportionate role” in the seamy world of international organ-trafficking, according to a comprehensive New York Times investigative report on global organ trade.

Two years ago, the report states, the family of Ophira Dorin, a 36-year-old Israeli woman with kidney disease, began looking for a way to bypass the long waiting list for an organ and soon came found three Israeli organ brokers whose reach purportedly extends to Central America.

It wasn’t an easy task, the report said, but Dorin’s mother, who works in a hospital, managed to make a contact with the three brokers, whom the Times names as Yaakov “Koby” Dayan, a businessman in his late fifties who takes an interest in real estate and marketing; Avigad Sandler, a 65-year-old insurance agent who was an IDF officer; and 30-year-old Boris Volfman, an emigrant from Ukraine and Avigad’s protégé, who runs his own transplant tourism agency.

All three are active operators in Israel’s underground kidney market, according to the Times.

For years, the three had paired Israeli patients with donors from abroad, according to the report. They claim that their activities were legal and that their involvement in the organ transplants was strictly indirect. According to the New York Times report, the prominence of Israelis in the global organ trade can be attributed at least partly to an unavailability of organs for transplantation, as a result of Jewish law prohibitions.

“When someone needs an organ transplant, they’ll do everything in their power,” the report cites Meir Broder, a legal adviser to Israel’s Ministry of Health, as saying.

From 2009 to 2012, the brokers sent numerous patients to Costa Rica. The NYT tracked them down and even reached the brokers, some of whom live in Ramat Gan in central Israel. There is no official information on the number of the transplant recipients, but the NYT counted 11, including six Israelis, who made their way to Costa Rica to receive organs from locals. The same three Israeli brokers also assisted people from other countries. One of the cases has been solved by the police, and the money was returned to the patient, in this case an American. Two other Israelis brought their donors with them from Israel. Dayan assisted four patients – including Ophira.

‘A third of the cost than in the US’
Dorin told the New York Times that she was asked to pay $200,000 in cash to Sandler for a flight to Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, she came into contact with Volfman, who asked for only $150,000. However, both Sandler and Volfman were arrested in Israel shortly after due to a suspicion of involvement in organ trade.

Later on Dorin met with Dayan, who asked for $175,00 for the entire procedure. $18,500 of the sum was paid to a 37-year-old local unemployed man, for his kidney. While Ophira questioned the legality of the procedure that Dayan had presented to her, she stated that she felt that she didn’t have a choice: “my condition was critical,” the report quoted her as saying. “I didn’t feel very good, and my condition was getting worse. Even if I knew it was illegal, I don’t think I would have done anything different. It’s important to understand that these people, although greedy, do save lives.”

In 2008, an international committee formulated the “Declaration of Istanbul”, that asserted that organ trade violates the “the principles of equity, justice and respect for human dignity and should be prohibited.” However, organ transplantations usually pass under countries’ radars due to a lack in clear laws on the issue and an insufficiency of cooperation between the countries regarding extraditions.

In Costa Rica, many gave into the temptation of making fast money – not only poverty-stricken people, but physicians as well. According to the NYT, “Physicians have a financial incentive to treat foreign patients because of the country’s dual public-private medical system. Specialists like nephrologists and transplant surgeons are required to work at state-run hospitals, where they make perhaps $7,000 a month. But they can earn more by working after hours at private hospitals that cater to patients with means. There, doctors are paid by the case, so the more transplants they perform, the more they make.”

One of the physicians involved in the incident is Dr. Francisco José Mora Palma, the chief of nephrology at a San José hospital, to whom the payments were transferred, and who also paid the kidney donors. One of the doctors explained to the NYT that in the US, a kidney transplant costs $250,000, while in Costa Rica, “it would cost more or less a third part, including the hotel and the ticket for the planes.” Soon, a rumor began spreading around the San José Hospital about the large profits one can make from organ donations.

Dayan reportedly made use of the services of dummy corporations through which he routed $30 million from 1997 to 2007, mainly from transplant brokering. He collaborated exclusively with the senior doctor at a San José hospital, Dr. Mora, for Israeli patients. When tracked down by the NYT, Dayan confirmed that he knew the doctor, but denied that he had sent patients to Costa Rica. He said that the Dr. Mora himself had been involved in connecting Costa Rican donors with Israeli patients. “We help people, but I don’t want to talk about it,” he told the NYT.

The first to suspect criminal activity was a nurse at the public hospital in Costa Rica where Mora worked, the Times said. She reportedly noticed that the equipment the hospital used for surgery was different than that used for transplants. The suspicions of hospital staff in the US were aroused several months later, when an Israeli patient came to them in serious condition, after undergoing a kidney transplant in Costa Rica.

The alert in Costa Rica regarding illegal organ trade was heightened when a young Costa Rican couple who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport caught the attention of airport staff – a series of questions revealed that they had came to Israel to sell a kidney, saying that Dr. Mora had sent them. The NYT stated that the couple did not know why they had been sent to Israel instead of the procedure being performed in Costa Rica as usual, but that they were in desperate need of the money. After their intentions were exposed, the couple were deported, without the money they had expected to collect.

‘He said it was legal’
A month after the airport incident, in April 2013, the director of the hospital in San José informed Dr. Mora that he was not approving any more transplants, the report said. Shortly after, a man arrived at the director’s home demanding an explanation, and spouting verbal abuse. The NYT names him as Adi Vladlen Lishinski, a 30-year-old Israeli with a criminal record, who also goes by the name of Damien Goldstein. An acquaintance of Lishinski, car salesman Carlos Zúñiga Forero, told the newspaper that Lishinski had openly admitted that he “makes a living selling organs” and that “he said it was legal because the people sign some papers”.

Forero further explained that Lishinski had hoped to establish a transplant tourism agency, and was looking for a local partner.

In November 2012, Lishinski set up an agency under the name D & B Medical Treatment Solutions, the report said. A notary who had been employed by Lishinski understood only after a certain period of time that he had been misled. The NYT quoted the notary as saying that Lishinski called him “a coward. I responded that as an attorney I have the right to choose what risks to take.”

At the end of that month, Lishinski arrived in Israel and was arrested. The NYT learned that he was an old acquaintance of Volfman, and that the two had met as teenagers at a program for juveniles in northern Israel. Volfman confirmed to the NYT that he was Lishinski’s business partner, but denied that Lishinski had been working for him in Costa Rica.

Volfman was arrested for a short period of time in 2012. Avigad Sandler, one of the other Israeli organ brokers, was also arrested in April on suspicion of trafficking in organs.

In 2007, Volfman pleaded guilty in the kidnapping of a man who he had used to break into databases of hospitals and look for patients in need of a kidney transplant. Several months after his release from prison, he established his own transplant agency. Within a year and a half, the agency arranged for 15 transplants, the report said. Volfman told the paper that his agency was only an intermediary between medical centers and patients.

Patients such as Ophira described Volfman as “self-confident, earnest and smoothly reassuring.” Volfman had sold his own kidney in Columbia, as a young man, the report said. He told the NYT that he had worked with Sandler and even accompanied patients to Sri Lanka, but denied any involvement in the organ trade.

Fate of the brokers
In June 2013, Costa Rica police arrested Dr. Mora. He was jailed for four months, and later retired from his job.

His acquaintances told the New York Times that Dr. Mora had said “they did the kidney transplants to save lives.” Following his arrest, more people who were involved in the process were also taken into custody, the report stated. Some of them are doctors due to be prosecuted this month. Most of the transplants were carried out at Hospital La Católica, whose employees had not responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the regulations in Costa Rica have been tightened and it was decided that doctors taking part in such illegal proceedings would be charged. In addition, a national waiting list system for organ transplants was established.

In Israel, there are no charges against Sandler or Volfman, but the investigation is ongoing. In 2008, Sandler was suspected of involvement in a trafficking network in Kosovo. Attempts to contact him were unsuccessful, the NYT said.

Several months ago, one of Volfman’s associates was arrested. The “primary suspect”, whom the NYT surmises is Volfman, is apparently out of Israel, and, the police told the paper, “has no intention of coming back.”

It was further reported that similar cases are being investigated in Turkey. Meir Arenfeld of the Israel Police said that the brokers were not deterred by the prior arrests.

“We see a pattern of behavior that is repeating itself,” he said.





Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Here are the steps taken ….. as seen by Carlos Latuff



Al-Jazeera Gaza offices evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

Israel denies deliberate targeting of TV station, but staff claim that ‘two very precise shots’ were fired
Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building in Gaza

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building after it came under fire in Gaza. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Rex Features

Israel‘s army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network’s correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. “Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” said Stefanie Dekker. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.” Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The incident came a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for al-Jazeera to be banned.

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Al-Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” he said.

“All the big networks operate in Israel, some of them are not exactly pro-Zionist, and yet as a democratic state we allow them to operate here. In the case of al-Jazeera it is not an issue of freedom of the media but of a terrorist wing that currently fights against Israel.”

A statement posted on the al-Jazeera website said: “Al-Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement. (It) considers (his) comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of al-Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

Al-Jazeera also reported that Israel’s communications minister, Gilad Erdan, has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing al-Jazeera, calling it an “enemy” broadcaster. The request is not mandatory.

Al-Jazeera said: “Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground. A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!”

Al-Jazeera has often come under fire in war zones and been banned, at different times, from almost every country in the Middle East. Its most recent troubles have been in Egypt, where three journalists working for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.


Just who is doing the telling?



Frightening as it may seem, we do not have the free will to think. Our thoughts are controlled by the mass media in ways that are not even realised by us.

This was the case during the Cold War, especially in regard to the Rosenberg Case which I wrote about yesterday.

Today I want us to take a look at how the media controlled our minds  then, and how it continues to this very day …



Is the Rosenberg Case closed?





The zionists seem more distressed by foreign reports dealing with Wednesday’s ‘terror attack’ than by the attack itself. How can they continue with their ‘victim status’ if the western press doesn’t play along with them? Surely Foxman will come forth with a condemnation regarding this situation shortly. How else can he continue at his job if he doesn’t expose such blatant anti-Semitism?


Today they continue ‘kvetching‘ as can be seen in the following report from Ynet….

Terror in J’lem? ‘Palestinian strike,’ Reuters says  

Reuters shies away from characterizing Jerusalem bombing as terror attack, referring to it as ‘Palestinian strike.’ Responding to Ynet inquiry, news agency says ‘it is not up to Reuters to say who carried out attack’

In covering Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem the Reuters news agency was loath to declare a Palestinian terrorist group was behind the bombing.

“Police said it was a ‘terrorist attack’ – Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike,” Reuters reported Wednesday. Many foreign media outlets based their reports on Reuters which described the incident as a “Palestinian strike.”

Among them was Sky News, which later corrected its report, as well as Yahoo News and Swiss Info. CNN was also careful not to place responsibility for the attack on the Palestinians. A report about Israel’s complaint to the Security Council following the attack stated that Israel had described the explosion as a terror attack.

Reuters’ report of Wednesday attack

Earlier this month, Israel demanded an apology from CNN over its coverage of the terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was “tendentious and deceptive.” A CNN website report avoided describing the event as a terror attack, noting that the Israel Defense Forces consider it an act of terrorism.

Reuters told Ynet in response: “It is not up to Reuters to say who carried out an attack. We always need to quote the authorities, such as the police. On Wednesday, Israeli police used the Hebrew word “peegooa”, without specifically mentioning the Palestinians – but in the local context it is clear that this is who they were referring to. We spelt that out to an international audience to clarify precisely who was being blamed.

“We were certainly not trying to give a judgment value. We were simply seeking to present the facts, with all the correct attribution.

“We have used the same approach for years. This is not a policy we apply only to the Middle East conflict. It is a policy which we use across the globe in all situations.”


A newspaper with close links to Egypt’s government has been slammed by Israel for an “antisemitic” cartoon showing an Israeli flag with a Nazi swastika in the place of the Star of David.

The caricature, in Egyptian daily Al-Watani al-Youm (the National Today) imagines an aid ship headed for Gaza being grabbed by an octopus carrying the vandalised Israeli flag.

I feel like a proud father showing off my son’s perfect report card. In this case it’s about the work of my Associate, Carlos Latuff. The ziopress has been featuring it in front page headlines…. not because they like it, just the opposite, they loathe it.

How much prouder could a father be? Keep it up Son!

First, the Jewish Chronicle in London ….

Carlos Latuff said Israeli criticism would not prevent him from “keeping on making my cartoons on behalf of the brave Palestinian people.”

Then, the mouthpiece of Israel’s extreme right, Arutz Sheva ….

“Using the Nazi swastika symbol in the heart of the cartoon, and even the idea of using it, is an insult to humanity and is tantamount to an anti-Semitic statement,” the letter said in part. Newspaper editor Mohammad el-Alfy defended his decision to publish the cartoon in a subsequent editorial, claiming it was an issue of freedom of expression.

Brazilian cartoonist Carol Latuff was equally unrepentant in an email to Reuters in which he said “The Israeli ambassador could show the same interest that he shows for my cartoons, for the lives of the activists lost in the Freedom flotilla. Allegations of anti-Semitism are a well-known strategy of the Israeli government and its supporters in order to neutralize any criticism against the Israeli apartheid. These malicious allegations will not prevent me keeping on making my cartoons on behalf of the brave Palestinian people.” (

The cartoon itself could just be the tool needed to change Egypt’s attitude towards Israel as indicated here….

This latest blow to relations between Israel and Egypt follows the accusation by President Hosni Mubarak that Israel “is trying to shirk its responsibility to Gaza and throw it at Egypt.”

Needless to say, DesertPeace will continue to feature the works of this great artist….

Also see the following two posts….




LIES! LIES!! LIES!!! …. and then some!!!!

Just look at the lead stories in Israel’s media outlets….

Jerusalem Post

Ynet News


Arutz Sheva


The English language press in Israel is limited to two major newspapers, The Jerusalem Post and HaAretz. One is pretty much ‘establishment’ and zionist while the other tries to be a bit to the left…

Every now and then, the Post publishes a piece worth reading…. for example, THIS appeared today.

But, in general, the following is the only real use for it…..


Without human rights and the rule of law there can be no justice, without justice there can be no peace

I was pleasantly surprised, actually shocked, when I opened the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post this morning. There was a special supplement between the regular sections…. a poster sized (suitable for framing) copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Post is an ardent supporter of the State of Israel, no one can deny that, also an ardent supporter of Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinian people….. which includes the absolute denial of Human Rights.  To see them agree to include this precious document into their paper is truly a welcome gesture.

It would have been even more meaningful if they printed the following report as well…..

Israel Continues to Deny Palestinians’ Fundamental Human Rights

On 10 December, the world observes the 61st International Human Rights Day, commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, International Human Rights Day will focus on non-discrimination, a right enshrined in, inter alia, Article 1 of the UDHR:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood

However, 61 years after the adoption of the UDHR, Israel continues to pursue clearly discriminatory policies and practices and the violation of Palestinians’ human rights have persisted, and escalated.

Israel’s persistent human rights violations would not be possible without the complicity or support of the international community. As recently illustrated by the events surrounding the Goldstone Report, States’ tacit consent or active efforts serve to undermine the fundamental premise of the UDHR: that human rights apply equally and universally. Influential States – who claim to promote and safeguard human rights – either grant Israel impunity or prioritise a ‘peace process’ based on political considerations, while disregarding justice, accountability and the rule of law. The UDHR itself recalls that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

This year began with Israel’s devastating 23-day offensive on the Gaza Strip, (‘Operation Cast Lead’). This military offensive resulted in the killing of over 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilian, and the devastation of the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure. To date, Gaza continues to suffer a humanitarian crisis due to Israel’s unrelenting illegal blockade, which has, inter alia, rendered reconstruction – and thus recovery – impossible. This collective punishment indiscriminately affects all of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants, compounding an already dire human rights situation. Those most vulnerable include refugees, women, children and the elderly.

Over the course of 2009 existing illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land have expanded and new settlements have been established. The confiscation and annexation of Palestinian land has continued unabated, and intensified in East Jerusalem. In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the Annexation Wall is a violation of Israel’s obligations under international law. However, construction continues, and approximately 58 percent of the Annexation Wall has been completed to date. When finished, 85 percent of the 723 km long Wall will stand on Occupied Palestinian Territory (‘OPT’).

Forcible transfers of Palestinians and an increase of internally displaced persons (‘IDPs’) and refugees are a consequence of the aforementioned Israeli policies and practices in the OPT. Almost 70 percent of the Palestinian people are forcibly displaced persons who have remained without access to durable solutions and reparations.

As a result of Israel’s systematic discrimination, occupation and colonisation, the Palestinian people have faced increased violations of, inter alia, their right to life, their right to housing and property, their right not to be subjected to torture or cruel and inhuman punishment or treatment, their right to free movement, their right to return, and their right to an effective judicial remedy. At the core of these violations is the denial of Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

The systematic violation of Palestinians’ human rights cannot be allowed to continue any longer. As the international community celebrates International Human Rights Day, we as Palestinian non-governmental organisations, remind the Member States of the United Nations to uphold their pledge “to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as enshrined in the UDHR.

Human rights violations will continue as long as Israel is granted the ability to act as a State above the law. The international community must make tangible efforts to combat impunity, and uphold victims’ rights, this includes implementation of the Goldstone Report’s recommendations, and the 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Wall by the International Court of Justice. International pressure must also be put on Israel to respect the territorial integrity of the OPT, including East Jerusalem, end illegal confiscation and annexation of Palestinian land, ,dismantle illegal Israeli settlements. and provide reparation to Palestinian victims, including refugees and IDPs. Ultimately, Israel’s occupation, which is the root-cause of Israel’s human rights violations, must cease as demanded by international law.

Without human rights and the rule of law there can be no justice, without justice there can be no peace.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be seen HERE



Who was it that said that ‘white man speaks with forked tongue’? ….. Shouldn’t it be ‘white Madam’?

Palestinians condemn Hillary Clinton over Jewish settlements stance
Nov 2, 2009 – 1:48:40 PM

The Palestinian government has accused the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, of undermining progress towards Middle East peace talks after she praised Israel for offering to curb construction of some Jewish settlements. After meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a visit on Saturday, Clinton called for an unconditional resumption of peace talks and welcomed Israel’s offer of a slowdown in settlement activity.

It’s not peace, Madam Secretary
Nov 2, 2009 – 1:42:08 PM

All of a sudden, after 10 months and who knows how many meetings, freezing construction in the settlements is no longer a precondition for negotiations. True, until now the Palestinians were willing to negotiate the end of the occupation while their partner made it worse. That is how we have gone from 109,000 settlers – not including East Jerusalem – when the Oslo Accords were signed 16 years ago to more than 300,000 today.

Clinton urges Israel to make greater peace efforts
Nov 2, 2009 – 1:28:25 PM

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said that Israel must make greater efforts to ensure peace with the Palestinians, a day after supporting Israel on the contentious settlements issue. Speaking in Morocco while meeting Arab foreign ministers on Monday, Clinton said that Washington remains opposed to Israeli settlements. She said that “positive steps” taken by the Palestinians towards peace, such as improved security in the occupied West Bank, “should be met by positive steps from Israel”.



Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom.
(Tomer Appelbaum)

Rightists confront ‘IDF organ trafficking’ reporter at Israel airport
By Gili Izikovich

Dozens of right-wing activists on Sunday confronted a Swedish journalist who accused Israeli soldiers of harvesting organs from Palestinians, shouting at him upon his arrival in Israel at Ben Gurion airport.

The rightists waved banners bearing slogans against Donald Bostrom, who will be a guest of the Dimona Media Conference on Monday, and called for him to be expelled from Israel.

In his article, which was published in August, Bostrom attempted to tie Jewish criminals who trafficked in organs in New Jersey to Palestinian claims that Israel had removed organs from Palestinians killed by IDF soldiers.

Bostrom will be interviewed at the conference on Monday by the anchor of Channel 2’s Friday night news show, Yair Lapid.

Although no specific threats were received, Bostrom will be accompanied by a bodyguard throughout his stay, and the conference will make special security arrangements to prepare for potential protests.

Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, who is also minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee, announced on Saturday that he would not come to the event and would drop his support for it because of Bostrom’s presence. The move will cost the conference NIS 200,000.

Organizers said the journalist is expected to visit Israeli towns in the vicinity of Gaza and other local conflict areas.

Bostrom’s article, published in the popular Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, set off a media frenzy in Israel, and Bostrom has been accused of disseminating “a blood libel” against Jews.

Sweden’s Ministry of Justice announced in August that it would look into complaints alleging that the article was racist and amounted to incitement against Israel.



thats racistBy Mazin Qumsiyeh

It is not easy to remain a racist oppressor and it is getting harder to keep deflecting the critics by asking them to focus on nonexistent threats (like Iran).  The Human Rights Council accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza and the Israeli government panics and deals with it as a public relations challenge!. Israeli human rights groups challenge Israel home demolitions in Jerusalem and a UN experts’ panel names Israel as profiting from Ivory Coast blood diamonds. Heads are buried in the sand.  Israeli leaders are either foregoing trips (to Europe where they may be arrested for war crimes) or going to speak and heckled and challenged by human rights activists (e.g. Olmert’s tour of the US). Israel is being called to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Spain is fuming after Netanyahu asks the right-wing government of Italy to retain control of UNIFIL. Amnesty study shows how much Israel steals Palestinian water and deprives Palestinians of water.  And the list is endless.  Israel however has lots of money from US taxpayers and from extortion and from deluded Jewish Zionists around the world.  Zionism deploys legions of lobbyists and media/hasbara people and they are all working overtime. Some are members of the US Congress and managed to pass resolutions that violate US laws but please Israel.  One Israeli apologist heckled Jewish American Anna Baltzer and Dr Mustafa Barghouthi on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (see action alert below).  Desperate mean actions are taken in last ditch attempts maintain a costly Jewish state with racist laws.  Israeli jails are filling with human rights activists, conscientious objectors, civil resistance people and even journalists. Psy-ops (psychological warfare) are being waged by Israel to crush resistance to its colonial activities and stem the increased exposure in the era of the internet (when a video of settlers attacking olive pickers and cutting olive trees can circulate to millions in seconds).  We see more denial of entry to Internationals, petty denial of education rights to Palestinian students (see Action below) and desperate moves to hide the atrocities.  All this (much of it backfiring) is reminiscent of what happened to south Africa in the 10 years preceding the end of apartheid. Thus, we are optimistic that we are in the final stage of a multi-stage process. The boycotts, divestments, and sanctions movement is mushrooming.  More Israelis are joining the human wave demanding justice and equality and the Zionist movement has become more desperate in its fraudulent use of “anti-Semitism” and “self hating Jews” to silence the critics. Increasingly paranoid and shrieking delusions, even some life-long Zionists have started to question the direction of the movement and its increasingly ghettoized mentality.  Others remain in their racist and ultimately self-destructive ways (several homes demolished in Jerusalem and in the Negev just the past two days creating far more animosity).

Instead of taking advantage of the weaknesses inherent in a racist ideology bent on ethnic cleansing, some Palestinians fell into the trap created by the Oslo process of talking about endless negotiations and elections for a “Palestinian Authority” (PA). In my humble opinion, the PA has already outlived its usefulness (it was supposed to be interim for five years anyway and now it is 16 years).  The only elections we should be talking about are elections to the Palestinian National Council (rebuilding the PLO).  This would be critical to avoid reducing the Palestinian question to the form of the Bantustans/ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza and who rules these ghettos. It is time to reshape and reinvigorate the struggle for freedom.  And once Palestinians are free, the Jews who live here will be freed from the self-imposed chains of Zionism and racism.

Amnesty international devastating report on water usage in the West Bank is now available (PDF file):

ACTION: Fill out the form to a) thank the Daily show for interviewing Anna Baltzer and Mustafa Barghouthi and b) ask why the version broadcast was edited in a way to remove the most critical parts of what Anna said. The major issues cut out were (1) the US role in aiding Israel, (2) the lack of adequate coverage in mainstream US media, and (3) the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott / Divestment / Sanctions (BDS) to nonviolently pressure Israel to comply with international law. Go to (make sure to choose The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as your topic). You may also want to join the forums of the daily show and post your thoughts there and also call 212-468-1700.
(the unedited version) Dr. Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show

Action: Send a letter to the Israeli military authorities by email ( or by fax (+972 3 697 6306) and let them know that you demand that they release Berlanty Azzam immediately so that she can resume and complete her last year of studies at the Vatican-sponsored Bethlehem University (she is being threatened with deportation back to Gaza).

Action: Resist the visit by the racist “mayor” of occupied Jerusalem representing the apartheid regime that built 50,000 housing units in Jerusalem for illegal settlers while demolishing hundreds of Palestinian homes in the city.  November 3, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. Gates Concert Hall, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, University of Denver Campus 2344 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver.  Demonstrations and other civil resistance actions requested to highlight Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing policies.

Finally a report from the conference “United in Struggle against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism”

24-25 October, 2009

Bethlehem, Palestine

Seminar Declaration

Towards the unity of all forces in struggle for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestine

Between the 24th and the 25th of October, 2009, the Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI), together with the Alternative Information Center (AIC), organized an international seminar in the city of Bethlehem, Palestine. The seminar gathered Palestinian, international and anti-colonial Israeli activists, researchers, and others interested in promoting justice for the Palestinian people. The seminar placed a special emphasis on the economic interests behind the occupation and the potential impact that the international campaigns for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) can make in promoting justices for the Palestinian people. The seminar aimed to review, develop, and document the Palestinian advocacy mechanisms locally and internationally, to determine the impact of such efforts so far, in addition to raising the level of cooperation and coordination amongst the various related actions and activities.

The conduct of the seminar coincided with the continuing unprecedented state of polarization within the Palestinian people. The severe and disastrous consequences of this internal dispute not only hamper the current political performance of the Palestinian people, but also do away with years of sacrifice, struggle and accomplishments. Now, the Israeli occupation is at a crossroads facing a potentially historic opportunity to continue its politics of separation and expansion on all fronts, marked by the intensification of political assassinations, arrests, restrictions on movement and basic freedoms, takeover of lands, and the construction of settlements. While the process of Judaization and isolation of Jerusalem is accelerating, Israel insists on continuing the settlement and expansion activities in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the daily crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip, and the politics of aggression and discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In light of the decision taken by the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt the Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report), the United in Struggle Seminar joins in the call on Arab, Palestinian and international civil society and official institutions to take appropriate measures to bring officials from the occupying Israeli state to justice.

The participants in the United in Struggle Seminar call for the following:

1.       To immediately restore Palestinian national unity.

2.       To activate the Palestine Liberation Organization in a democratic and inclusive manner that will permit the participation of all Palestinian forces and factions based on the Cairo Agreement of 2005.

3.       To activate and construct Palestinian national frameworks that will reinforce the capacity of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation and to consolidate progressive Palestinian principals.

4.       To continue the efforts on all levels to hold the state of Israel and its leadership accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity in international courts and milieus.

5.       To consolidate and continue the efforts to end the blockade on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

6.       To firmly oppose politics and projects of normalization with Israel in the Arab world by activating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine campaign (BDS).

7.       To emphasise the 2005 invitation extended by Palestinian civil society to conscientious Israelis to support the call for BDS for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

8.       To reinforce a stronger and more efficient position in the Arab states and societies to defend Jerusalem, in addition to boycotting all political, economic and cultural activities complicit with Israeli efforts to Judaize and isolate Jerusalem.

The Seminar Organizing Committee



International Women’s Media Foundation Honors Israeli Journalist Amira Hass with 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations!  Mazal Tov!!  Mabrook!!!


HA~! It’s easier for Israel to show anger when its soldiers are portrayed for what they really are…. COLD BLOODED MURDERERS!

If Israeli soldiers DID NOT target Palestinian children earlier this year in Gaza, who killed the 450 that lie buried there today? Reality TV does have its merits…..

Israeli anger over Turkish TV show

Israel says the Turkish show portrayed men
dressed as Israeli soldiers killing children

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, has ordered officials to summon Turkey’s ambassador in Israel and lodge a protest over a Turkish television series that Israel says portrays its soldiers murdering Palestinian children.

The move is the latest twist in worsening relations between the two countries which have traditionally had close defence ties.

An Israeli foreign ministry statement quoted Lieberman as saying that the programme, screened by Turkish state television, constituted incitement against Israel “at the most grave level”.

Israeli television screened a clip on Wednesday that it said was from the series, showing an actor dressed as an Israeli soldier taking aim at a smiling young girl and shooting her in the chest from point-blank range.

‘Deteriorating relations’

Israeli army radio said the show, about the tribulations of a Palestinian family, was aired on Tuesday on Turkey’s TRT One channel and also depicted troops killing a Palestinian newborn baby delivered after its mother went into labour at an Israeli roadblock.

“A series like this, which has not the slightest connection with reality, which presents Israeli soldiers as the murderers of innocent children, would not be appropriate for broadcast even in an enemy country and certainly not in a state which maintains diplomatic relations with Israel,” Lieberman said in the statement.

Turkey’s ties with Israel have continued to deteriorate since Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, which left hundreds of Palestinian civilians dead.

Last week, Turkey banned Israel from an international air exercise in protest against its actions in Gaza.

Public opinion

Speaking on Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, defended the decision and said he had to take account of public opinion on Israel.

“Anyone who exercises political power has to take account of public opinion … I can’t just put the calls from the public to one side, it’s a question of sincerity,” Erdogan said.

The prime minister said Turkey had proposed that the joint exercise, which was also meant to involve the United States’ air force, be either postponed or held without Israel but would not bow to interference when making decisions.

He said: “I want people to know that Turkey is a powerful country which takes its own decisions. We don’t take orders from anyone.”

Israeli officials have expressed concern over Ankara’s decision to cancel the aerial manoeuvres which were to have taken place from October 12-23 in central Turkey.

The international section of the Anatolian Eagle air exercises has been carried out annually since 2001.

The US called the Turkish decision “inappropriate”.

‘Strategic relationship’

Turkey has been Israel’s chief regional ally since the two signed a military co-operation deal in 1996, but its criticism of Israel has mounted since Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, downplayed the increase in tensions with Turkey despite Ankara’s decision to call off the joint military exercise.

He said: “I think that basically there are ups and downs for all different reasons in relations.

“But our relationship with Turkey is long-standing, important and strategic in nature.”



The tabloids of the world are literally ‘full of it’ this morning. The ‘expose’ of the decade….. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ‘secretly Jewish’!

If so….. do you care? Does it matter??
Do you really think the ‘scrawled note’ on his identity card was never seen by government officials when he entered the race for President of Iran? And when they did see it, they obviously did not care.

All of the tabloid articles mentioned that “Experts told the Telegraph his vitriolic attacks against Jews could be an attempt to hide his past.” Attacks against Jews? Where?? When??? Verbal attacks against Israel and zionism maybe….. but against Jews, NEVER.There IS a difference.

But, tabloids are out to be sold…. and there are enough morons out there prepared to buy them and believe the crap that is printed in them. Thank Heaven for the Blogesphere, a place where truth can be found (in some places).

The following is a sample of the type of ‘article’ that appeared on this subject….

Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is secretly … Jewish?

BY Rich Schapiro

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's family apparently changed its name from Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning 'cloth weaver.'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s family apparently
changed its name from Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning ‘cloth weaver.’

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Jewish roots

Oy vey!

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – perhaps the world’s best-known Holocaust denier – might actually be Jewish, according to a bombshell report published on Saturday.

Ahmadinejad’s family apparently changed its name from Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning “cloth weaver,” when it converted to Islam after his birth, the London’s Daily Telegraph says.

The nuke-pursuing Iranian was photographed in March holding up his identity card, revealing a scrawled note suggesting the shocking name change.

The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Ahmadinejad’s hometown of Aradan. The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran’s Ministry of the Interior, the paper says.

Experts told the Telegraph his vitriolic attacks against Jews could be an attempt to hide his past.

“This aspect of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s background explains a lot about him,” said Ali Nourizadeh, of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies. “Every family that converts into a different religion takes a new identity by condemning their old faith.

“By making anti-Israeli statements, he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections.”

A London-based expert on Iranian Jewry said that the “jian” ending to the Sabour name shows that the family had been practicing Jews.

“He has changed his name for religious reasons, or at least his parents had,” said the Iranian-born Jew. “Sabourjian is a well-known Jewish name in Iran.”


The ‘verdict’ is in…… the fascists are found innocent

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


Khalid Amayreh Interview: “the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare”

By Mary Rizzo

khalid head pictureThose who seek information about Palestine often tend to be attracted to particular writers and journalists for the special insights and gifts that seem to be uniquely their own. “The Middle East Crisis” is an issue having a profound, complex and multi-faceted dimension of interpretation, that for however long there has been a crisis (and worse), and despite the great abundance of written material available, more than we can ever realistically confront, the reader is driven to seek the voices that can analyse any aspect of the situation clearly. There really are far fewer with this talent than one would expect. The characteristic of this type of writer is that there is a distinctive voice or style, and more than that, there is a strong sense that the coherent and authentic ethics of this person are part of the message. It is not just reporting facts and intelligent analysis, but creating within us a consciousness of the moral situation that underlies the events. Khalid Amayreh is one such “source”. He is a very prolific author, and he is often able to correctly analyse the event of the day and place it into its overall context. This makes his work almost a diary of Palestinian events. However, as useful as it would be if he limited himself to reporting, Khalid Amayreh is far more important as a writer. He is concerned with the human condition and knows that the reader should not be left only with a cold reportage, because that would be telling only half of the story, and the less important half at that. His voice is the one speaking to the human heart, to the reader who sees the oppression that Palestinians are living under, and is mystified at they are no nearer to the end of their suffering. Khalid does not talk about “indiscriminate masses”, his work is almost a passion play, where there are names, identities, human stories behind all of the events narrated. In this interview for Palestine Think Tank, he touches on many issues in his intimitable way.

Mary Rizzo: Could you briefly tell us about the work you do?

Khalid Amayreh: I am a journalist who since time immemorial has found himself, first as a human being, and second as a journalist, right in the middle of the fray of the enduring Palestinian plight. For example, I remember I knew all the details of Israeli commando operations and massacres when I was merely 7 years old.

When I went to the US in 1976, I wanted to study Computer Science, then Business Administration. However, as I saw Zionist circles on campus at the University of Oklahoma try somewhat successfully to change the black into white and the big lie into a virtual truth, I decided to study journalism.

Which I did.  Now, I am fully-engaged in my work, writing nearly daily columns for a host of media outlets on three continents. Eventually, the internet became my ultimate domain because what I do say, and I always have much to say, is not particularly liked by the politically-correct media. Hence, I can say that in a certain sense, the internet has substantially freed us from the traditional media colonialism.

I am quite satisfied with what I have been doing. My articles are published and posted around the world in several languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish and other European languages. Many of my articles are posted on my website. It is

MR: You have in the past several years faced some difficult situations. Two of these that we are aware of are your denial of a visa to leave the West Bank for conferences in Europe and the other was your arrest and brief detention. Both of these were the doing of the Palestinian Authority. Why do you believe they have put these restrictions on you?

KA: Yes, my success as a journalist, especially my ability to communicate the Palestinian narrative to Western audiences drew negative reactions from the Israeli security authorities. You know the Shin Beth, Israel’s chief domestic security agency, controls nearly every aspect of our life despite the existence of the Palestinian Authority. Hence, the Shin Beth constantly sought to persecute and harass me in the hope that I would tone down my outspoken criticism of the Israeli occupation and its often barbaric treatment of our people. In this context, they refused to grant me a press card, they refused to allow me access to Jerusalem. And finally, they imposed a harsh travel ban on me. In fact, I am still barred from leaving the West Bank. This is the behaviour of a country that claims to be a democracy.

As to the PA, it is very much slave of Israel. This is why I am also constantly harassed by the PA security apparatus. The PA doesn’t like my writings, and seeing that neither carrot nor stick would stop me, they often incarcerate me for a short period until a media outcry ensued in which case they would release me, hoping that next time I would exercise self-restraint, or more correctly self-censorship.

1385138738MR: You live in one of the areas where settlers have made any kind of co-existence in the same territory as the indigenous population impossible. In your view is the Hebron experience a typical one that would be reproduced whenever there would be closer contact between Jews and Palestinians, or is it in some way different?

KA: The settlers are mostly genocidal fanatics who would go to any extent, including cold-blooded murder, to reach their goals. And their goals can be summarized in one phrase, and that is the annihilation of the Palestinian people.

I’ve met numerous settlers, and from my conversations with them, I can say that most of these people represent the Nazis of our time. What else can one say of a people who tell you that you either agree to be enslaved by them or you will be deported and expelled from your own country? And if you said ‘NO’, then you would have to be physically exterminated.  These people are really depraved and sick. They would quote strange quotations from a host of religious books to justify their genocidal ideology. The brutal ugliness of their mentality has no limits.

What is more dangerous is that they don’t stop at the theoretical and ideological levels. They often translate their venomous and virulent views into cold-blooded murder of innocent Palestinians.  And in most cases, the pro-settler Israeli justice system turns a blind eye to their murderous behaviour and lets them get away with impunity.

988767463MR: You often refer to the actions of today’s Israelis as being similar to those of the Nazis, and you present in detail many of these crimes and abuses against especially unarmed civilians that indeed are strikingly similar. Do you believe there is a danger or risk in the use of this analogy?

KA: Well, this is a very good question. First of all, we have to remember that the holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz or Bergen Belsen and other concentration camps. It started much earlier with comparatively innocuous things like the enactment of anti-Jewish laws in the early 1930s. Earlier, there was Hitler’s infamous book, Mein Kampf. Eventually there was the Kristalnacht, and we know the rest of the story.

Today, any serious observer scrutinizing the collective psychology and behaviour of the Israeli Jewish society would most certainly find many serious similarities between the Jewish state and the Third Reich. In Germany, they had the master race mantra, here in Israel they have the chosen people mantra.

In Germany they had the expansionistic concept known as Lebensraum; and here in Israel they have the settlement scheme. In Germany, they had the racist classification of people into Übermenschen and Untermenschen, while here in Israel almost everything is defined through the prism of being  either Jewish or Goy. The list goes on and on.  Do you know that there are rabbis in Israel who openly teach that non-Jews are animals and whom the Almighty created in a human shape only in deference to Jews. I am not speaking about marginal or obscure figures. I am speaking about rabbis with thousands of followers who are backed by powerful political parties represented in the government and the Knesset.

Ask any average settler how he or she views Palestinians or non-Jews in general, and they will tell you that they are animals and that their lives have absolutely no sanctity.

In short, the Zionist-Nazi analogy is more than legitimate. It is an objective reality.

1012146470MR: Is it possible that there is the danger of a new Palestinian genocide comparable to that of ’48 with the discussions of “population transfer” of the Palestinians who live in Israel that are heard by several political movements that are in power in Israel, or is this population somehow protected and facing more danger are those in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?

KA: The answer is definitely yes. I am saying so because Palestinians have always relied for their very survival on the good will of the international community and world public opinion. Hence, should the world community go into a brief slumber, I have no doubt that Israel would seize the opportunity and embark on the unthinkable.

More to the point, we must view the criminal Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza nine months ago as a precedent that could be repeated again and again.

Finally, it is crystal clear that the Israeli Jewish society is drifting menacingly toward fascism. For example, today the very survival of the Benyamin Netanyahu’s government depends to a very large extent on the support of three manifestly racist political parties representing the extreme religious right. These are “Habayt ha’Yahudi,” “Echud Leumi,” and Shas, a formerly moderate Charidi party which has been moving steadily toward religious jingoism.

I am speaking about religious parties that see nothing wrong with the mass murder of innocent people. They always can quote from ancient books to justify their morbid ideology. Also, imagine how the world will look like when these racist groups reach power in Israel and seize control of Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal.

And this is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” it will happen, because it is only a matter of time before the fanatics of Gush Emunim and other Judeo-Nazi elements reach power in Israel.

MR: Palestinians in Israel comprise twenty percent of the official population. Why is it that, after Azmi Bishara, whose fate is now in exile, and a very few others, this large sector of population is under-represented in their parliament? Would it not be helpful to have more representation?

KA: The Arab community in Israel is under-represented because of a host of factors. But the main factor is that the Israeli system is designed to keep the Arab community marginalized. Today, Israeli leaders from “right” and “left” are increasingly brazenly advocating ultimate ethnic cleansing of Israel’s Arab citizen. Tzipi Livni, the leader of Kadima, said on numerous occasions that Israeli Arabs would have to seek national fulfilment in the future Palestinian state. Her remarks are nothing short of a euphemism for expulsion and ethnic cleansing.

If this is the view of a respected  “liberal,” and “centrist” politician, imagine the kind of attitudes the right with its religious and secular camps would have toward Israel’s Arab citizens.

118041925MR: You have documented many of the acts against the Palestinian people. If you could put things in an order of those that should be resolved before the others, out of this selection, what would your suggestion be and why: the ending of the siege of Gaza, the dismantlement of the checkpoints, the dismantlement of the Wall, international recognition of Hamas as the legitimately elected representatives of the Palestinians and in the 2006 Legislative elections, release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, release of Palestinian prisoners from Palestinian jails, a freeze on settler expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem?

KA: I think all aspects of the Palestinian plight are inextricably entwined. For example, the internal Palestinian problems stem mainly from the Israeli occupation. It was Israel after all which took draconian measures against our people following the 2006 elections when Hamas won the polls. This eventually led to the contention between Fatah and Hamas which culminated in the ousting by Hamas of Fatah militias from Gaza following a failed coup attempt against the elected government by Fatah forces backed and armed by the United States.

But, it is true, we just can’t solve and resolve all the problems facing our people in one fell swoop.  The situation in Gaza remains very harsh and the survival of our people there is imputed first and foremost to their tenacity, resilience and steadfastness, not Israeli magnanimity.

The Palestinian prisoner issue is also a nagging nightmare that is constantly haunting our people. We are talking about nearly 10,000 prisoners many of whom are held without charge or trial because of their non-violent opposition to the Israeli occupation. Their continued detention is undoubtedly a repulsive reflection of the brutal ugliness of the Zionist mentality.

MR: Do you believe that the Palestinians should aim at establishing a new popular uprising, or should they wait and see if the Palestinian Authority can find a unity government or bring an end to Israeli occupation by themselves.

KA: Normally, uprisings, especially in the Palestinian context, are not planned. They just happen when the powder keg reaches the boiling point. But I tend to accept the hypothesis that another Intifada is only a matter of time, given the unmitigated occupation and repression as well as the scandalous failure of the peace process.

As to forming a new unity government, it is really difficult to accord this subject a lot of importance. After all, what is the point of forming a government that has no sovereignty and is subject to the draconian restrictions of the Israeli occupation?

MR: Do you hold out hope that the Obama Administration can bring about at least a bit of improvement for Palestinians, or is it equally subject to the Israel Lobby?

KA: No, not any longer. Until recently, I thought, probably naively, that Obama might prove himself to be a man of his word. However, his utter failure to stand up to the arrogant Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has exposed the American president as just another functionary of the establishment.

Moreover, what many in the West doesn’t realize is that for Israel to give up the spoils of the 1967 war, the Jewish state would have to be forced, even physically, to do so.

However, in light of Obama’s obsequious discourse vis-à-vis Netanyahu, especially with regard to the settlement issue, it is increasingly obvious that the US leader is not mentally or politically capable of doing what it takes to force Israel to end the 42-year-old occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The task of forcing Israel to end the hateful occupation would require a radical transformation, even a revolution, in American political thinking. And I just don’t see this happening in the foreseeable future.

MR: Why, in your view, have the Palestinian Islamist parties, especially Hamas, not had the strong support of the Ikhwan in other Arab nations, especially following the rejectionist stance of the so-called International Community following the democratic elections? Is it because the project of Hamas has a stronger nationalist nature to it, or might there be other reasons that you have reflected upon?

KA: I think they do as evidenced in the huge demonstrations organized by Islamic organizations throughout the Muslim world during the Israeli blitz against the Gaza Strip. However, we have to keep in mind that most Islamic parties and organizations are based in despotic and authoritarian states. Hence, the often tight restrictions imposed on Islamist activism do have a detrimental impact on the extent to which Islamists can render tangible material support to Hamas.

But the Islamists are giving extremely viable financial support to Palestinian Islamists without which Hamas would have had a much harder time facing international sanctions.

We also have to remember that Hamas is mainly an asset, not a liability, for Islamic activism around the world, which means that support for Hamas by Islamic groups in the Arab-Muslim world is not exactly altruistic in nature but is also motivated by a certain degree of expediency.

MR: The division of the Palestinian people along many lines, while an internal problem, does prevent more firm opposition to the military occupation of Palestine. Do you think there is a way to overcome the divisions, or are they destined to increase with the introduction of measures such as Dayton’s “Security” forces in the West Bank, for example?

KA: Well, in the final analysis, Palestinian divisions are a symptom of the Israeli occupation. They are not a home-grown malady but rather a foreign-induced phenomenon sustained through political and economic manipulation of certain objective Palestinian needs. After all, we are very much a prisoner population who have been relentlessly used by the Israelis as a field of experiment for over 40 years.

I believe that the ultimate raison d’être of the “Dayton forces” is to crush public opposition to any prospective “peace” deal that would be imposed on the Palestinian people.  Needless to say, such a deal would be tantamount to a real liquidation of the Palestinian cause. However, I really doubt whether these forces would succeed in their mission in the long run.

The Palestinian cause is simply so deeply rooted in the collective conscience and psyche of our people, so much that it is inconceivable that these kids would succeed in morphing our people into submission. That would be anti-historical antithetical to the nature of things in Palestine.

MR: Recently, the first group of Palestinian refugees from the Al-Tanaf, Al-Waleed and Al-Hol refugee camps in Iraq have been “settled” in the USA. What do you think of this kind of programme?

KA: Naturally, we are very suspicious about any resettlement of Palestinian refugees anywhere in the world. But I am certain about one thing, namely that the refugee plight and the right of return will continue to define the Palestinian question.

I am saying so because the refugee problem is the Palestinian problem.

MR: What kind of personal experiences does the average Palestinian living in the West Bank have with the Israelis?

KA: Well, it is safe to say that the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare. Ours is a landscape shaped by home demolitions, land seizure, evil roadblocks and checkpoints manned by trigger-happy soldiers, humiliating inhuman treatment, cruelty, terror and unrelenting criminality. Ours is a real holocaust minus the gas chambers.  We are after all the longest suffering people on earth, and we continue to suffer on a daily basis.

Today in every junior high school in America, students read Anne Frank, while in every high school Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ is requisite reading. This is the man who says rather brazenly that he readily identifies with Israeli crimes and that he couldn’t bring himself to say bad things about Israel.

The victims of the first Kristalnacht enjoy the world’s approbation and sympathy, while at the same time having succeeded in demonizing an entire people for whom Kristalnacht still remains a night without end.

MR: It seems that access to information about the reality of Palestine, especially of the hardships brought on by the war, the checkpoints and the blockade of Gaza, should enlighten the public that there is a humanitarian emergency. What, in your view, is preventing the international community and the Arab nations from expressing moral outrage and demanding their leaders to hold Israel accountable for these situations?

KA: I think the Arab masses would want to help the Palestinians, and they are actually helping. However, for most Arabs helping the Palestinians, especially Hamas, involves a certain risk as most regimes view identification with Hamas as connoting opposition to the regimes itself. This is true in American-allied states such as Egypt and Jordan.

As to people around the world, I think the overall outlook is positive. I think a growing number of people are now willing to take to the streets to voice their solidarity with our people. But what we need to do is to keep up the good work and try as hard as possible to isolate the evil entity.

MR: Do you believe that there is a great deal of fear in the Palestinian people which prevents them from voicing denouncements of the corruptions of the PA and the PLO before it? Or could some of this be because the allocation of funds is filtered through these organs and people need to make a living?

KA: Of course there is. The Palestinian Authority is effectively a police state without a state, and the corrupt people and their supporters, friends and cronies occupy powerful positions in the PA hierarchy. Take for example the millions of dollars arrogated by Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha. It is widely believed that the former “First Lady”! received millions of dollars from the PLO as part of a financial settlement which very few Palestinians know about. As to the justice system, it is very much subservient to the political level and the security apparatus. This is how the donor countries, e.g. the US, are shaping Palestinian “democracy.”

MR: What can the exiled or Diaspora Palestinian community do for their brothers and sisters in Palestine?

KA: Palestinians in the Diaspora have a grave responsibility to carry out. They should constantly communicate our plight to the world, they should always be eloquent spokespersons for their people and their cause. But in order to be successful and effective they have to organize themselves and try to enlist local support for Palestinian grievances in their respective places of residence. My ultimate advice to Palestinian expatriates is: make as many friends as possible for our just cause. And don’t allow yourselves to be diverted from the central goal, and that is to create and effect pressure on the Zionist regime.

And don’t get yourselves involved in any activities that might be misconstrued as “anti-Semitic.”  Judaism is not our enemy.

MR: What can “internationals” do to help?

KA: “Internationals” and other solidarity activists have a hugely important job to do. They are witnesses to what Satanic Zionism has been doing to the Palestinians. Israel would want to gang up on us while the eyes of the world are shut. It is very much like the way a murderer or a thief behaves. They don’t want to be seen committing their crimes.

In fact, I can safely claim that had it not been for these courageous men and women, the level of Israeli terror against the Palestinians could have been much worse.

Therefore, I would like to salute each and every one of these heroes who have been sacrificing their time, energy and careers in protecting an unprotected people. You are the good Samaritans of our time.  So come here, bring your friends, and don’t forget your cameras. May God bless you all.

MR: You are often considered to be especially sensitive to and close to the positions of the Islamist parties, and very often, there are more than a few false representations of them, including for example that Hamas had help from Israel in its foundation, with some even saying Mossad was involved, that they won the elections only because they represented a “protest” vote, and more crucially, that their operations are not resistance, but are rather terrorist acts. Evidence points away from all of these positions, yet they are part of an interpretation trend as much in “the left” as for “moderates” and “neo-cons”. Why do you think that despite evidence, for instance, Hamas always maintained their unilateral truces, while Israel engaged in targeted assassinations of high-ranking leaders of Hamas, people across the board are so quick to accept these false representations as legitimate?

KA: I am not affiliated with any political group. This is because I had long realized that affiliation with an ideological or political party would interfere with and be detrimental to my work as a journalist. Besides, the little philosopher inside me always tells me to be constantly free-minded.

I remember that poet who described fanatical adherence to a political party. He said: I always voted at my party’s call, and never thought for myself at all.

Having said that, I also realize that it is imperative that people must support just causes and speak up the truth even in the presence of power. This is why it is paramount for my mental and psychological health that I must stand against such vices as oppression, arrogance, immorality, mendacity, selfishness, hypocrisy, rapacity and racism. I know it is not easy to swim against the current. However, it is also true that silence or indifference or inaction in the face of evil is morally disastrous in the long run. We mortals live a few decades in this life. It is essential therefore that we lead a dignified life shaped by our concerns for freedom and justice and sublime human spirit.

As to Hamas being helped by Israel, I think this is a form of disinformation by the anti-Islamist camp aimed first and foremost at besmirching Hamas.

The way Hamas has been behaving and acting since its foundation more than 20 years ago should be a clarion refutation of all these lies and insinuations.

This is not to say though that Israel has not tried and is not trying to pit Palestinians against each other. But this is not the same as saying that Hamas was created by Israel or that its growth was facilitated by the Israelis.

After all, Islamic fundamentalist groups are a global phenomenon and by no means confined to occupied Palestine.

MR: What do you think the final status might be in terms of statehood and what do you foresee as a timetable for this?

KA: It is very difficult to figure out how and when this conflict will end. What is clear though is that it won’t come to an end in the foreseeable future. I am convinced that the increasingly-religious conflict will continue for several more decades. However, in order for the conflict to reach an exhaustive conclusion, Zionism would have to disappear.

A final point, I strongly believe that time is not working in Israel’s favour as Israel is going to find it increasingly difficult to live normally in a hostile environment. Fifty years from now, Israel will be surrounded by more than 700 million Arabs and Muslims. And Jews themselves would be a small and dwindling minority in mandatory Palestine.

And like Albert Camus said “in world where everything can be denied, there are forces undeniable, and on earth where nothing is sure, we have our certainty.” And I think the dismantlement of Zionism is a historical certainty.



Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The Israeli press is abuzz with commentaries regarding the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which can be read HERE.

Below, find two of the best reports on the situation, both from HaAretz.


Amira Hass / The one thing worse than denying the Gaza report

On Friday an Israel Defense Forces soldier called to protest the publication of another story in Haaretz which in his words, tainted not only the troops’ image but also his Sabbath day.

The soldier was referring to Gaza resident Zinat Samouni’s account of how soldiers killed her 46-year-old husband and their 4-year-old son Ahmed – just two of the 29 people of the same family the army killed between January 4 and 5.

The soldier, who said he participated in the fighting, said he didn’t believe the women’s statements were true, though he did believe soldiers “scrawled stupid things on the walls, and that’s really not right.”

This is a common Israeli solution – in this case, to admit to the graffiti’s existence, but downplay its seriousness or view it as everyday Israeli high jinks.

Everything else can be denied. It can always be said that photographs of civilians killed were fabricated. The Palestinians’ accounts can be dismissed as lies, intrigues of Hamas, embellishment or, at best, facts taken out of context since Gazans are, after all, afraid of what Hamas would do to them if they told the truth.

Jurists will argue over the meaning of international law and will suggest contradicting analyses. Politicians will justifiably note that the United States does not have commissions of inquiry thrust upon it by the United Nations. Others will say that if Judge Richard Goldstone was reliable enough to be a prosecutor in the International Criminal Court cases on Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and his Pakistani colleague Hina Jilani was fit to participate in the international investigation into Darfur, there is no reason to suddenly cast doubt on their credentials now that they are examining Israel’s deeds in Gaza. The Goldstone Commission’s findings are in line with what anyone who didn’t shut his or her eyes and ears to witness testimony already knows.

B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Haaretz and the international media – to Israelis, these have all fallen into the trash bin of the mendacious Palestinians. In the best case, they have become trapped in their own pure-hearted naivete, and in the worst, into collaborating with efforts to besmirch Israel and bolster prejudices against it. Like the Serbs of yore, we Israelis continue thinking it’s the world that is wrong, and only we who are right.

Israel struck a civilian population that remains under its control, it didn’t fulfill its obligation to distinguish between civilians and militants and used military force disproportionate with the tangible threat to its own civilians. Air Force drones and helicopters fired deadly missiles at civilians, many of them children; the Tank Corps and Navy shelled civilian neighborhoods with weapons not designed for precision strikes; soldiers received orders to fire on rescue crews; others fired on civilians carrying white flags; and others killed people in or near their homes. Troops used Gazans as human shields, soldiers detained civilians in abusive conditions, the army used white phosphorus shells in dense civilian areas and, on the eve of withdrawing, destroyed wide residential, industrial and agricultural areas.

There is only thing worse than denial – the admission that the IDF indeed acted as has been described, but that these actions are both normal and appropriate.


Disgrace in The Hague
By Gideon Levy
There’s a name on every bullet, and there’s someone responsible for every crime. The Teflon cloak Israel has wrapped around itself since Operation Cast Lead has been ripped off, once and for all, and now the difficult questions must be faced. It has become superfluous to ask whether war crimes were committed in Gaza, because authoritative and clear-cut answers have already been given. So the follow-up question has to be addressed: Who’s to blame? If war crimes were committed in Gaza, it follows that there are war criminals at large among us. They must be held accountable and punished. This is the harsh conclusion to be drawn from the detailed United Nations report.

For almost a year, Israel has been trying to argue that the blood spilled in Gaza was merely water. One report followed the other, with horrifyingly identical results: siege, white phosphorous, harm of innocent civilians, infrastructure destroyed – war crimes in each and every report. Now, after the publication of the most important and damning report of all, compiled by the commission led by Judge Richard Goldstone, Israel’s attempts to discredit them look ludicrous, and the empty bluster of its spokespersons sound pathetic.

So far they have focused on the messengers, not their messages: the researcher for Human Rights Watch collects Nazi memorabilia, Breaking the Silence is a business and Amnesty International is anti-Semitic. All cheap propaganda. This time, though, the messenger is propaganda-proof. No one can seriously claim that Goldstone, an active and ardent Zionist, with deep links to Israel, is an anti-Semite. It would be ridiculous.

Although there were some propagandists who actually tried to use the anti-Semitism weapon against him, even they knew this was farcical. One had to hear the moving interview that Goldstone’s daughter Nicole gave to Razi Barkai on Army Radio Wednesday, to understand that he is in fact a lover of Israel and its true friend. She spoke, in Hebrew, of the mental anguish her father experienced and of his conviction that, had he not been there, the report would have been much worse. All he wants is an Israel that is more just, she explained.

Neither can anyone doubt his legal credentials, as a top-level international jurist with an impeccable reputation. The man who found out the truth about Rwanda and Yugoslavia has now done the same regarding Gaza. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague is not only a legal authority, he is also a moral authority; therefore complaints about the judge won’t hold water. Instead, it is time to look closer at the accused. Those responsible are first and foremost Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi. So far, incredibly, none of them has paid any price for their misdeeds.

Cast Lead was an unrestrained assault on a besieged, totally unprotected civilian population which showed almost no signs of resistance during this operation. It should have raised an immediate furor in Israel. It was a Sabra and Chatila, this time carried out by us. But there was a storm of protest in this country following Sabra and Chatila, whereas after Cast Lead mere citations were dished out.

It should have been enough just to look at the horrendous disparity in casualties – 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli – to shake the whole of Israeli society. There was no need to wait for Goldstone to understand that a terrible thing had occurred between the Palestinian David and the Israeli Goliath. But the Israelis preferred to look away, or stand with their children on the hills around Gaza and cheer on the carnage-causing bombs.

Under the cover of the committed media, and criminally-biased analysts and experts – all of whom kept information from coming out – and with brainwashed and complacent public opinion, Israel behaved as if nothing had happened. Goldstone has put an end to that, for which we should thank him. After his job is done, the obvious practical steps will be taken.

It would be better for Israel to summon up the courage to change course while there is still time, investigating the matter genuinely and not by means of the Israel Defense Forces’ grotesque inquiries, without waiting for Goldstone. Olmert and Tzipi Livni must be brought to pay for their scandalous decision not to cooperate with Goldstone, although at this point that is spilled milk. Now that the report is on its way to the ICC and arrest warrants could soon be issued, all that remains to be done is to immediately set up a state inquiry commission in order to avert disgrace in The Hague.

Perhaps next time we set out to wage another vain and miserable war, we will take into account not only the number of fatalities we are likely to sustain, but also the heavy political damage such wars cause.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel, deservedly, is becoming an outcast and detested country. We must not forget it for a minute.



This is news to me….. if the Iraq War is over WHY THIS???

new york times

There is lots going on in the Middle East these days, Israel and Palestine in paricular. What does the average American know about  these events? ZILCH!
What does the average American know about the wall of apartheid dividing Israel from the Occupied West Bank?
What does the average American know about the ongoing genocide of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip?
What does the average American know about Moslems not being allowed to pray at one of their holiest sites because it is in Occupied Jerusalem?
But, for some reason the New York Times found the following newsworthy enough to put on Page 1 of today’s edition…
part of the title ‘Tugging at Israel’s Heart’ is totally untrue. Most Israelis don’t really care about these incidents, in fact they find it rather amusing at times. Such ‘news items’ are nothing but spacefillers that take the place of the real issues in this region.
The American media is doing a great disservice to its readership… hence the growth of the Blogesphere.
Religious-Secular Divide, Tugging at Israel’s Heart
JERUSALEM — On Saturday, as on every Saturday in recent weeks, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered before dusk on the terraces above the Carta parking lot just outside the Old City walls. In black silk Sabbath robes and fur hats, they lined up in rows, perched and waiting.

Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

In July, ultra-Orthodox protesters converged on a municipal parking lot that the mayor allowed to be open on the Jewish Sabbath.


Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

The protesters have come to the lot each Saturday in recent weeks, where they clashed with Special Force police officers.

Suddenly their foot soldiers arrived on the street below, protesters who surged past the newly opened luxury Mamilla Hotel. Police officers mounted on horses rushed to meet them as hotel guests looked on, bewildered, from windows on the upper floors.

This summer, radical elements of the ultra-Orthodox community have been demonstrating and rioting against city authorities, welfare officials and the police. For Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, a secular high-tech millionaire trying to attract more business, tourism and professional types to the city, the timing has been inopportune, to say the least.

The tensions in this contested city usually run along an east-west, Jewish-Palestinian divide. But within the western, predominantly Jewish, section of the city, the cultural fault lines between religious and secular Jews run deep. Any change in the delicate status quo seems capable of setting off a riot, as Jerusalem’s most zealous Jews and liberals vie for the city’s character and soul.

“It is all part of the special human mosaic that makes up Jerusalem,” said Israel Kimhi, a director of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, an independent research organization here. But the recent turmoil “does not do much for the image of the city,” he added, arguing that a small but strident section of the ultra-Orthodox population has grown increasingly extreme.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as haredim, or those who fear God, went to battle in years past to ensure observation of the Jewish Sabbath, and tried to force the closing of movie theaters and roads. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, strictly observant Jews do not work, use electric devices, spend money or drive. There are no municipal services during the Sabbath in Jerusalem, and on the Jewish side most businesses are closed.

But after a 13-year lull in what local residents call the “Sabbath wars,” another round started one Saturday in June, when City Hall decided to open a parking lot. With the security situation in Jerusalem relatively calm, tourists and day trippers have been flocking back to the Old City on weekends, prompting a need for somewhere to park their cars.

At first, the mayor opened a municipal parking lot under City Hall. When that led to protests, he opened the private Carta lot under Arab management, and made it free of charge. The protests only intensified.

Yoelish Kraus, the operations chief for the Eda Haredit, the militantly Orthodox organization behind the protests, said the mayor’s mistake was announcing the opening of the parking lot at a news conference. As soon as there is a public sanction for violating the Sabbath, he said, “we have to fight.”

The ultra-Orthodox make up about a third of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, and the adherents of the Eda Haredit are only a fraction of that. But with an average of 10 children per family, Mr. Kraus said, the community is growing fast.

The rabbinic sects of the Eda Haredit are the scions of Orthodox Jews who were in Palestine before the foundation of Israel in 1948. In the absence of the Messiah, they fervently reject Zionism and the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

The protesters called the police “Nazis” and spat at them. Special Force police officers dumped troublemakers into the fragrant rosemary and lavender bushes along the sidewalk. Protesters who tried to block the road were sprayed with pepper gas and carried off in a prison service van.

A small knot of secular counterprotesters sang songs at a bus stop while ultra-Orthodox demonstrators threw plastic bottles of water and pebbles at them. “The parking lot will stay open because we will not let it close,” said Nir Pereg, 29, a secular resident of the city, as his companions belted out a round of “Jerusalem will not fall.”

The Eda Haredit has also rallied around one of its members this summer, a mother who was arrested on suspicion of starving her 3-year-old son. Her supporters rioted in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods and set fire to a local welfare office where she had met with social workers before being detained.

Fierce riots broke out on Sunday night after the police entered a central ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to remove the body of a murder victim from a hostel. The riot seemed to have more to do with a general hatred of the police than the killing itself, which did not even involve a member of the ultra-Orthodox community. For the first time, the police used tear gas and stun grenades and fired in the air to disperse the crowds.

The Eda Haredit called the police “murderers,” saying later in a poster that a young yeshiva student had been run over and badly wounded by a vehicle of the “Zionist Gestapo” force.

Violence then broke out again on Tuesday night, when a mob attacked a taxi driven by an Arab driver in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. The driver escaped, though the car was battered.

In a modest counterstrike on a recent weekday morning, eight non-Orthodox Jewish activists — six women and two men — got on a No. 40 bus heading from the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot D into town. The women sat down in the front rows. The men went to the back.

Ramot D is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood where rigid religious rules are applied. The No. 40 is one of several public bus lines designated as “mehadrin,” or strictly kosher, where the men sit in the front and the women behind. The activists view this draconian interpretation of the modesty code practiced by Orthodox Jews as discriminatory, and the policy is being appealed in Israel’s Supreme Court.

Stern black-coated male passengers muttered their disapproval, but the Rosa Parks-inspired act of civil disobedience took place peacefully, largely because the bus driver, an Arab, decided not to try to enforce the rules.

Some ultra-Orthodox women said they liked the separate seating arrangement. Others took advantage of the activists’ presence and moved to the front.



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