CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF OCCUPATION

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel celebrates 50 years as occupier

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation.

The centerpiece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour party, now heading the opposition.

The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature. But the extravagance of the festivities also underscores the growth over five decades of Israel’s self-assurance as an occupier.

Documents found this month in Israel’s archives reveal that, when Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, its first concern was to hoodwink the international community.

The foreign ministry ordered Israel’s ambassadors to mischaracterize its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem as a simple “municipal fusion”. To avoid diplomatic reprisals, Israel claimed it was necessary to ease the provision of essential services to the occupied Palestinian population.

Interestingly, those drafting the order advised that the deception was unlikely to succeed. The United States had already insisted that Israel commit no unilateral moves.

But within months Israel had evicted thousands of Palestinians from the Old City and destroyed their homes. Washington and Europe have been turning a blind eye to such actions ever since.

One of the Zionist movement’s favorite early slogans was: “Dunam after dunam, goat after goat”. The seizure of small areas of territory measured in dunams, the demolition of the odd home, and the gradual destruction of herding animals would slowly drive the Palestinians off most of their land, “liberating” it for Jewish colonization. If it was done piecemeal, the objections from overseas would remain muffled. It has proved a winning formula.

Fifty years on, the colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank is so entrenched that a two-state solution is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Nonetheless, US president Donald Trump has chosen this inauspicious moment to dispatch an envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a “goodwill” response, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a framework for settlement building. It is exactly the kind of formula for deception that has helped Israel consolidate the occupation since 1967.

Netanyahu says expansion will be “restricted” to “previously developed” settlements, or “adjacent” areas, or, depending on the terrain, “land close” to a settlement.

Peace Now points out that the settlements already have jurisdiction over some 10 per cent of the West Bank, while far more is treated as “state land”. The new framework, says the group, gives the settlers a green light to “build everywhere”.

The Trump White House has shrugged its shoulders. A statement following Netanyahu’s announcement judged the settlements no “impediment to peace”, adding that Israel’s commitments to previous US administrations would be treated as moot.

Effectively, the US is wiping the slate clean, creating a new baseline for negotiations after decades of Israeli changes stripping the Palestinians of territory and rights.

Although none of this bodes well, Egypt and Jordan’s leaders met Trump this month to push for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The White House is said to be preparing to welcome the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Some senior Palestinians are rightly wary. Abbas Zaki, a Fatah leader, fears Trump will try to impose a regional solution on Arab states, over Abbas’s head, designed to “eliminate the Palestinian cause altogether”.

David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, reportedly once said: “What matters is not what the goyim [non-Jews] say, but what the Jews do.”

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Oslo accords dangled an illusory peace carrot that usefully distracted the global community as Israel nearly quadrupled its settler population, making even a highly circumscribed Palestinian state unrealizable.

Now, that game plan is about to be revived in new form. While the US, Israel, Jordan and Egypt focus on the hopeless task of creating a regional framework for peace, Israel will be left undisturbed once again to seize more dunams and more goats.

In Israel, the debate is no longer simply about whether to build settler homes, or about how many can be justified. Government ministers argue instead about the best moment to annex vast areas of the West Bank associated with so-called settlement blocs such as Gush Etzion.

Israel’s imminent celebrations should lay to rest any confusion that the occupation is still considered temporary. But when occupation becomes permanent, it metamorphoses into something far uglier.

It is past time to recognize that Israel has established an apartheid regime and one that serves as a vehicle for incremental ethnic cleansing. If there are to be talks, ending that outrage must be their first task.

ERIN GO BRAGH! ~~ TOGETHER WITH PALESTINE!!

Israel has strongly condemned the decision by a Dublin City Council subcommittee on ceremonies to raise the Palestinian flag over city hall in solidarity with the Palestinian people “who have lived under brutal Israeli occupation.”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Dublin City Hall to raise Palestinian flag in solidarity against ‘brutal’ Israeli occupation
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The provocative gesture is being initiated by a known pro-Palestinian councilman who claims that Israel is ‘an apartheid regime.’ Council: Event is expected to take place on May 15 to mark 50 years of ‘Israeli occupation.’

Israel has strongly condemned the decision by a Dublin City Council subcommittee on ceremonies to raise the Palestinian flag over city hall in solidarity with the Palestinian people “who have lived under brutal Israeli occupation.”According to the decision Tuesday, the flag will be raised on May 15th, marking 50 years since the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip came under Israeli control.

The proposal must pass another round of ratification set for May 8th before it can become an official decision. However, given the council’s composition, the chances are good that the proposal will be passed with a large majority, as it was unanimously approved in the subcommittee.

The Dublin City Council is controlled by Sinn Féin and other leftwing parties that are traditionally anti-Israel.

The initiator of the proposal, which is sure to cause international tension, is a pro-Palestinian local councilman named John Lyons.

Lyons, who has also organized pro-Palestinian protests in Ireland in the past, explained that he initiated the proposal as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“The Irish people have held large demonstrations to support the Palestinians in recent years. Israel is an apartheid regime. If raising the flag was to cause a bit of a debate amongst some people who are unsure of it flying over City Hall, I think that’s a welcome development. I think that today more and more people think that the way Israel behaves drastically undermines the cause of its establishment.”

In response, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said, “If the Dublin City Council approves the decision, it is actually raising a white flag of surrender to terrorist organizations, hate and extortion. This is a hostile decision that first and foremost hurts the decent citizens of Dublin and marks the city with the stain of shame.”

(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)

SOURCE

SARAH SILVERMAN ~~ ‘THE OCCUPATION IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER’

OR …. WHY IS THIS NIGHT PASSOVER DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER NIGHTS PASSOVERS?

Comedian Sarah Silverman spoke out against Israel’s military occupation in a new Passover Haggadah timed with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel conquered the West Bank.

As millions of Jews gather around their Passover seder tables next week to commemorate the liberation of their forbearers from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, many will be pondering the relevance of this story for modern times.

Silverman writes: “Of all people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed – and not being in our own country. That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic.”

“The Jubilee Haggadah,” released as part of a new Israel-Diaspora initiative called Save Israel, Stop Occupation, March 2017. Credit Irit Hemmo/ Michal Sahar Studio

Sarah Silverman Condemns Occupation in Passover Haggadah

From Trump to refugees to police brutality – how are this year’s new Haggadahs different from others? In a word: politics.

Judy Maltz

As millions of Jews gather around their Passover seder tables next week to commemorate the liberation of their forbearers from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, many will be pondering the relevance of this story for modern times.

They need not rack their brains too hard.
From the recent U.S. crackdown on immigrants and refugees, to the soon-to-be-marked 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians, the daily news cycle offers a plethora of oppression-themed topics to draw from at the holiday meal.

To help those seeking to incorporate contemporary political and social issues into their seder-table conversations, several progressive Jewish organizations have recently published updated versions of the Passover Haggadah – the book read at the meal, which relates the story of the ancient Israelite Exodus from Egypt – as well as special supplements and inserts.

Some address big global themes, like refugee rights and hunger, while others make do with purely local matters – police brutality in Chicago being a case in point.

To mark the 50th year of the Israeli occupation, a new Israel-Diaspora initiative called Save Israel, Stop Occupation has just released “The Jubilee Haggadah,” which features contributions from 30 prominent artists, activists, rabbis and scholars. Among them are Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman, Israeli author Amos Oz and Israeli singer Achinoam (“Noa”) Nini. Jessica Montell, who spearheaded the new initiative, says her inspiration was the biblical commandment to return all land to its original owners in the jubilee year.

“It seems natural to link the jubilee mitzvah with the festival of freedom and to use the story told in the Haggadah to help explain why the occupation must end,” she says.

The printing of the English version of “The Jubilee Haggadah” was made possible by the New Israel Fund.

In her comments in the book, Silverman writes: “Of all people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed – and not being in our own country. That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic.”

The excerpt from Oz is culled from a column he penned (for the now-defunct Davar newspaper) in August 1967 – two months after the Six-Day War, which marked the beginning of Israel’s occupation, in which he warned: “I have fears about the kinds of seeds we will sow in the near future in the hearts of the occupied. Even more, I have fears about the seeds that will be implanted in the hearts of the occupiers.” Oz was one of the first prominent Israelis to speak out against the occupation.

The introduction to “The Jubilee Haggadah” calls for an immediate end to Israel’s oppressive control over the lives of Palestinians. “Our world was sustained with the justified establishment of the State of Israel, yet this very event compels us to pursue justice for our neighbors as well,” it reads. “The Palestinian people yearn for their own escape from bondage. In the 50th year of Israel’s rule over them we must raise our voices and cry out for freedom.”

HIAS, the Jewish-American organization that has helped refugees from all over the world for 130 years, has produced a new Haggadah supplement that incorporates the personal stories of some of the thousands of newcomers it has helped resettle in the United States in recent years. The supplement includes a special new introduction to the seder that is meant to be read out loud by the person leading the ceremony.

“As we step into this historical experience, we cannot help but draw to mind the 65 million displaced people and refugees around the world today fleeing violence and persecution, searching for protection,” the suggested text reads. “Like our ancestors, today’s refugees experience displacement, uncertainty, lack of resources, and the complete disruption of their lives.”
HIAS’ new introduction to the Haggadah points a finger at the new Trump administration. “In the United States, in particular, we have experienced a devastating closing of doors to refugees,” it says. Aside from readings, the HIAS supplement also suggests interactive activities and offers a guide for those interested in advocating for refugees.

Every year, Mazon (the Hebrew word for “food”), a Jewish organization that fights world hunger, proposes a fifth question to add to the traditional Four Questions (“Ma Nishtana”) that appear in the Haggadah and are typically recited by the youngest participant at the seder meal. This fifth question addresses concerns about the new U.S. administration’s proposed cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It reads as follows: “On all other nights we ask, ‘How can I help feed the hungry?’ Tonight we ask, ‘How can we protect the precious safety net that supports those who are hungry?’”

Bina, a Tel Aviv-based institution that promotes social change and operates several secular yeshivas, has created new downloadable and printable Hebrew Haggadah bookmarks that provide a modern twist on key themes in the traditional seder readings. Each bookmark includes new texts that can be added and interactive activities designed to engage children. One of the bookmarks, which addresses the theme of “For you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” urges Israelis to treat the strangers among them kindly – whether they be migrant workers, refugees, asylum seekers, converts or immigrants.

“Our sages claimed that feeling alien is part of our DNA as a nation,” it says. “This can be interpreted as an expression of our obligation to always keep an eye on the strangers and the weak in our midst and to come to their assistance.”

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a Chicago-based nonprofit that fights anti-Semitism and poverty, this year created an updated version of the classic Haggadah song,“Dayeinu” (“It would have sufficed for us”) that addresses police brutality, a well-known problem in this large Midwestern city. Here’s how it begins: “If Chicago Police officers did not use force 10 times as often against black people as compared to white people – Dayeinu!

“If more than one in six officers was able to articulate the Chicago Police Department’s use of force policy properly – Dayeinu!
“If more than $500 million in Chicago taxpayer money had not had to be spent on lawsuit settlements for police misconduct since 2004 – Dayeinu!”
And here’s how it ends: “All the more so will our cause for gratitude, celebration, praise, relief, and song be manifold when all police protocols are structures to maximize accountability to the public it serves. Helleluyah!”

Meanwhile, In Israel today …..

Click on link to read post from the archives

CLEANSING THE LAND OF BREAD AND ARABS

DANCING THROUGH THE OCCUPATION

Let’s talk about Palestine, giving the podium to an artist who lives in occupied Palestine. He’s Maher Shawamreh, a dance teacher and director of the school of art in Ramallah. In the interview with us he explains how dance communicates peace by extending the soul, and in this way reaching beyond the walls built by intolerance and war.

Maher Shawamreh: Through dance we communicate all cultures of the world

by Antonietta Chiodo,  English Translation by John Catalinotto

He speaks of his love for the arts he teaches daily with the support of his colleagues the Orient & Dance Theatre. His students are children and teenagers. Communication takes place through the vibrations of the body and music. Maher, a man who grew up in a state of siege, managed to create in this modern era the ability to dissolve words and bring peace to life on the stage with the ability to unite different cultures and languages.

As a teacher and highly developed artist he has been allowed in recent years to get a foothold in the West through his shows, and can boast of collaborations with artists from various countries. His ability to draw comparisons and to make use of the arts has enabled him to continually outdo himself regarding technique, using bodily communication to convey freedom to the audiences.

When did you start your engagement with dance and what made you realize that was your life’s path?

As a young man I studied electrical engineering. My career in contemporary dance officially started in 1996. In 1999 I started to do some shows in various regions of Palestine and other countries. I supported myself by working in the workshops. A few years later I started doing more ambitious interpretations, supported by works by works of artists at the high level of Mahmoud Darwish and Ghassan Kanafani. Then I became definitely aware that I could no longer escape or be distracted from dance. It had taken hold of my life and filled my thoughts. To make it clearer, let me explain that dancing is not life itself, but it is my journey in search of my identity. Through dance I became part of the universe and came into contact with God (Allah). Nowadays I realized that dance is a cure, a miracle drug.

Why in human history have artists proven the most valuable ambassadors of peace?

Humans communicate with each other in different languages, in French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish … it is our job to understand each other to the end and apply outselves to the search for different semantic content. Art is a universal language and does not need a specific grammar to be understood. Dance is body language. Awakening sensations and vibrations, dance merges nature and soul. In this way it establishes a communication with the spirit, moved by Allah. At that point you realize that God loves you and through that message you find your inner peace. At the moment in which a body dances, Allah puts the universe in motion. Creating transforms itself into a movement, giving life to a permanent dance. The dance and music give rise to immortality for those who interpret it as well as for those who observe them.

How would you imagine a dance show with Western artists and Palestinians? What music would you choose?

As I mentioned before, dance is the extension of the word of Allah through the body and produces our sensations. We can share this in all the languages ​​of the world. By listening passively, we can touch our souls. We can reflect on ourselves dancing without feeling any fear. Also, dance allows us to simultaneously share different cultures and languages. That’s what I try to convey through my art. I love to dance with live music, moving not only my body but also my soul. The audience that watches my dance convinces me that dance has no boundaries. In fact, it includes the land, the olive trees, the eagle, the rocks, the sea … an elderly woman. It would be necessary to express ourselves freely in the central square of a market to overcome our own personal inner deficiencies through artistic expression. That’s my art expressed in words.

With what secret did you help your students overcome their fear of failing?

My students should be content with themselves and erase everything from their concious thoughts when they dance. Only in this way will they eliminate tensions. I learned to separate from my stress, fleeing far away. When I enter the room and see the first student, all my feelings become positive. And I exist only in that single moment. Through dance, the rage that is intrisic to human beings tends to lose itself in the movements, finally managing to completely dissolve. Dance is capable of creating tolerance. Dancing is like escape for the soul from life and from the world around us.

Have you ever been afraid that one of your students could be taken away by Israeli soldiers?

No, we are not afraid, we were born under occupation.

 

Originally posted AT

HAMMERING NAILS IN THE COFFIN OF FREEDOM

The latest Zionist nail to be hammered into the coffin for freedom of expression occurred last week when the disingenuous U.S. ambassador to the UN — the Indian American Sikh Nikki Haley —  hypocritically expressed superpower outrage and condemnation while calling for the withdrawal of a UN report that quite justifiably accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime.”

The Powerful Pro-Israel Lobby’s Denial Of The Inalienable Right To Freedom Of Expression Must Be Met With Obdurate Resistance For The Sake Of All Humanity

by William Hanna
“. . . 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 . . . ” and “ . . . the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people . . . ”
Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
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The latest Zionist nail to be hammered into the coffin for freedom of expression occurred last week when the disingenuous U.S. ambassador to the UN — the Indian American Sikh Nikki Haley —  hypocritically expressed superpower outrage and condemnation while calling for the withdrawal of a UN report that quite justifiably accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime.” This abysmal denial of an irrefutable reality was followed by the resignation of Rima Khalaf — the head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) — who had refused the subservient secretary-general’s demand that she withdraw the report. Needless to say, Israel’s resolve to censor the unpalatable truth of its criminal violations prevailed and the following report was disgracefully removed from the UN website:
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In January of last year Makarim Wibisono, the UN investigator for human rights violations in the Palestinian territories resigned because Israel had reneged on its pledge to grant him permission to enter the West Bank and Gaza with all his repeated oral and written requests for access over a period of 18 months being completely ignored. In a statement announcing his resignation, Wibisono, who reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), voiced “deep concern at the lack of effective protection of Palestinian victims of continuing human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.” Israel had long rejected the post of the independent investigator for the territories, accusing the 47-member state forum of bias against the Jewish state, a position supported by its pro-Israel politically shackled and totally unprincipled so-called government of the United States of America.
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In June 2013, after Richard Falk — Special rapporteur for Palestinian territories whose annual report on Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights was due to be presented to the HRC — said the NGO UN Watch should be investigated to ensure it was not not controlled by Israel, the ever obliging U.S representative to the Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, called for his resignation. In his annual report, Falk condemned what he called Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinians: “Israel continues to annex Palestinian territory; Israel persists in demolishing Palestinians’ homes and populating Palestine with Israeli citizens; Israel maintains a policy of collectively punishing 1.75 million Palestinians through its imposition of a blockade on the Gaza Strip; and Israel prosecutes its occupation with impunity, refusing to accept the world’s calls to respect international law.” Falk also repeated his previous calls for a boycott of companies conducting business with Israel or Israelis in the West Bank.
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The global extent and and well financed power of insidious Pro-Israel lobby networks, mainstream media watchdog organisations, and paid for social media activism to combat the so-called “New anti-Semitism” and the “delegitimisation of Israel” — otherwise known as stating the true facts with regards to Israeli violations — represents a zealously relentless effort to stifle any criticism of the crimes committed by an Apartheid Jewish state with blatant and unashamed impunity.
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Such unrelenting vigilance ensures that the mainstream media self-censors reports which are consequently written from the Israeli perspective; that even some of the supposed “independent” media organisations are inhibited by the fear of causing offence to Jewish sensibilities; that most Western political leaders and politicians routinely proclaim Israel’s “right to defend itself” as the “most moral” and “only democracy” in the Middle East; that pro-Palestinian events — especially on college and university campuses — are viciously besmirched or forced to cancel; that teaching professors critical of Israeli polices are either intimidated into silence or fired; and that the public’s right to freedom of expression does not extend to criticism of Israel which would be tantamount to that historic hatred for Jews on which the unprincipled ideology of Zionism is so dependent and exploits with ruthless precision.
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Apart from U.S. Congressional and White House subservience to every Israeli wish and whim, other Western governments are equally obliging in ceaselessly promoting the false premise that any pro-Palestinian activism by human rights organisations or individuals constitutes anti-Semitism. So while Apartheid Israelis continue to stand knee-deep in the blood of ethnically cleansed Palestinians, spineless bought and paid for Western leaders such Britain’s Theresa May who — despite the secretly filmed claim by an Israeli embassy official that he had persuaded the British government to adopt procurement guidelines that prevent local authorities and the NHS from boycotting Israeli goods — has continued to hypocritically regard Israel as “remarkable” and “tolerant”; Germany’s Angela Merkel whose Christian Democratic Union decried the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as “coarse anti-Semitism”; and Canada’s Justin Trudeau who in March 2015 — in an effort to muster Jewish support — attacked student organisers and questioned their right to free speech by expressing the view that “the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses.” The suppression of free speech on Canadian campuses is no different to that being rigorously  implemented on U.S. colleges and universities.
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Israel’s global propaganda — otherwise known as hasbara, or “explanation” — combined with the tenacious lobbying of pro-Israel groups has been so successful that Israeli government ministers no longer feel the need to feign interest in meaningless peace negotiations for a two-state solution as a means of playing for more time to facilitate illegal Jewish settlement expansion. Many of them have now publicly proclaimed that “there will never be a Palestinian state,” with their defiance stemming from the knowledge that irrespective of what they say or do, the rest of the world will neither care nor dare to do anything about it.
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By firmly implanting and exploiting the fear of being labelled an “anti-Semite” or “Holocaust denier” within the minds of most citizens in the Western world so as to preclude any criticism of Israel, pro-Israel activism has successfully maintained an unprecedented assault against freedom of expression on three fronts — official censorship, unofficial censorship, and self-censorship — which if not opposed are all undeniable forms of contemptible complicity in Israel’s barbaric crimes against humanity in general, and the Palestinian people in particular.
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“If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
                                               Albert Einstein
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Originally published AT

RICHARD GERE BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON THE OCCUPATION

Richard Gere calls for an end to ‘the occupation’

Arriving in Israel to promote his new movie Norman, directed by Joseph Cedar and starring Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, Gere is uncertain as to how he will be received by the public given his recent comments on the political situation.

Richard Gere (center) visits Temple Mount

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Hollywood star Richard Gere is in Israel promoting his new movie Norman, by Israeli director Joseph Cedar. However, the question of how he will be received by the Israeli public is a matter of uncertainty.”In my past visits to Israel, I always heard all the viewpoints. Now it has become almost impossible. I know many people will not like what I have to say, but these are things that need to be said,” said Gere.

“The occupation must end. The occupation is ruining everyone on both sides. A bi-national state won’t solve anything, and it will only turn Israel into an apartheid state. There needs to be two states for two peoples, with Jerusalem as the capital of both nations.

In his comments, Gere also referred to the issue of settlements, saying, “Why do you need all these provocations? How is it that the settlers are running the government? And how could it be that Israel, of all nations, controls another nation? Many Israelis that I know say the state has lost its way and I think that every Israeli knows that.”

During his visit to Israel, Gere is also planning on meeting members of Breaking the Silence. He knows that this will be poorly received, but he remains undeterred. “I recently spoke to someone from the organization who served in the army, a wonderful young woman with a big heart, and they’re labeling her an enemy of the state. It breaks your heart.”

Full report HERE

ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION AS A TOOL OF REPRESSION

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

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

Israeli occupation keeps 540 Palestinians under administrative detention

Israeli occupation keeps 540 Palestinians under administrative detention

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

Posted @ Free Haifa

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

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

The Administrative Detention of Muhammad Ibrahim

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

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

Muhammad gets into troubles

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

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

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

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

Harsh Interrogation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Administrative Detention as a tool of the Military Regime

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

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

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

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

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

Abusive Conditions at the Families’ Visits

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

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

khaled-ibrahim-abu-muhammad

Khaled Ibrahim, Abu Muhammad

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

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

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

Popular Struggle

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

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

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

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

 

PALESTINE ~~ THE RIGHT FOR JUSTICE

“Palestine First” should be the new solution for the Middle East. Since the 1948 establishment of the “Jewish State,” and the contemporaneous nakba — the catastrophic displacement of the Palestinian people — illegally occupied Palestine has been crying for justice. This is more so in this year of 2017 which marks the 50th year of the injustice committed against the illegally ceased territories in 1967.   

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu, the Thief of Tel Aviv

Netanyahu, the Thief of Tel Aviv

Palestine: Right for Justice!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski. English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

Since then the Zionist regime has continuously maintained its Judaisation policy with illegal settlement expansion by offering all possible incentives to Jewish settlers who planted themselves like grubs in the “kosher” speck with an incredibly luxurious lifestyle with all imaginable advantages including swimming pools, separate streets for “Jews only, “ and a security system separating them from the Palestinian environment.

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How hard-nosed must someone be to live on stolen Palestinian land without empathy for the impoverished indigenous population enduring the occupation hardships of minimum electricity and water. How small-minded must someone be not to be aware of the misery caused to Palestinians by illegal colonisers who believe they were “chosen” by God who promised Palestine. If there was a God, how could He have even wanted such a thing? No way. This Judaism has lost all sense humanity while languishing in the amoral swamp of Judaism’s “Judea and Samaria.”

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In the meantime the West Bank is host to more than 600.000 illegal Jewish settlers have spread their tentacles over stolen Palestinian land where — in the terminology of the Old Testament — they are the 11th  plight. Meanwhile, these illegal Jewish settlers are involved in the essential decisions regarding the ethnic cleansing policies of Palestine. They literally siphon off Palestinian water; they murder innocent Palestinians with impunity; and they perpetrate the terror watched over by the Jewish “Defence Force.” Such terror is particularly brutal in Hebron where a couple of hundred hard-core settlers terrorise hundreds pf thousands of Palestinians.


According to the Israeli human rights organisation “Breaking the Silence,” extremist settler civil security leaders also legally hold positions of influence within the Jewish “Defence Force.” Thanks to this notorious collaboration between the military forces and the Jewish extremist settlers, the latter are able to assume their own responsibility for security in the illegally occupied territories. This incredulous situation enables the occupation army to facilitate the settlers‘ inconceivable terror against innocent Palestinians. Such barbaric cooperation between the military and extremist Jewish civilians has become unique in the world where its injustice  and brutality has in the meantime become the norm.

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This ethnocratic “Jewish State” is not constitutional and all that can be said about it is that responsible for administrative detentions, extrajudicial killings, and continuous land expropriation through ethnic cleansing with illegal house demolitions and the destruction of infrastructure, olive trees, and harvests without regard to the norms of legality or justice.

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The fifty years illegal occupation has left an indelible mark on Palestine with its nine-metre high Apartheid wall stretching for more than 750 km across stolen and occupied Palestinian land separating, and oppressing Palestinian families; restricting movement with checkpoints protected by U.S. and European security technology; and dehumanising the already demoralized Palestinians. While such barbaric policies have been condemned, the rest of the world has, however, come to accept such conduct as the Israeli undemocratic norm.

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A network of paid Jewish Sayanim — the worldwide network of so called “Jewish State” helpers – along with Jewish diaspora brigades, are like a spider’s web spread over the world and the illegally occupied Palestine. This dedicated network creates mistrust and spreads Israeli hasbara propaganda where it has been painfully felt – by professors, students, and activists in universities — particularly in U.S., Germany, and Great Britain. Such organised support has served to the silence criticism of Israel for its violations with impunity. The freedom of opinion and the freedom of teaching which are a high good, and have not to be destroyed by these dangerous lobbyists. Nip things in the bud!

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And if the Parliament of the “Jewish State” which violates Israeli and natural international law also enforces the law for the retroactive legalization of thousands of apartments built on private Palestinian land, then the “only Democracy’ in the Middle East with this Predation policies will perpetuate the ethnic cleansing and Judaisation of Palestine as a means of achieving an “Eretz Israel.”

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In fact, the inhuman and unjust law of the prohibiting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip from accessing other territories, even within the illegally occupied Palestine, makes them an errant people without rights, breaks up their families, and makes normal family life impossible. Meanwhile the hypocritical international community despite of being aware of such violations, remains tolerant and keeps silent.

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The Palestinians in the illegally occupied West Bank are without rights, but not without justice, even if the representatives of the Knesset are not allowed to vote about these occupied people. This new and severe violation against international law represents another increase of the lawlessness. If this law was adopted, it would be time to bring all perpetuators to the International Court in The Hague, and to sentence all involved politicians of the “Jewish State” as international law criminals, Gaza genociders, war criminals, and land grabbers of the worst kind.

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The International Penal Court the German government puts at disposal more than 135 million Euros is an important institution Palestine should refer to. However, what does Germany and some EU states – all Nobel Peace Prize laureates do? They want by all means to prevent Palestine becoming a Member of the International Criminal Court. You can imagine the reason. Because of its “particular” relationship to the “Jewish State”? Or because the Zionist occupiers‘ regime threatens again and again to stop the non-existing peace talks? However, because the world keeps silent about this blackmailing, the “Jewish State” is encouraged to commit illegal occupation, human rights violations, and war crimes.

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Now the hypocritical world community is challenged. How long will it continue to look at this situation without opposing it and even by financially supporting it? The politics of the Netanyahu regime repeatedly resorts to scaremongering and agitation against other countries such the “destroyer” Iran so as to distract from their own crimes, scandals, and attacks.

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The “Jewish State” employs resentment politics and has found an engaged friend and helper in the new US president. The Zionist occupiers regime has already passed all red lines, without any consequence. How long can this continue with impunity?

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In the actual constellation with US president Trump who seems to be willing to create a new world order according its daily changing inspirations without any political understanding, the perspectives of a future peace and international understanding are more than sombre. With this President, there will be no state.

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Netanyahu and Trump employ the same methods of scaremongering and agitation which fall on fertile ground with populists along with the traumatized, the isolated, and the unsatisfied. It is a horrifying phenomenon while in the meantime the cost for the arms race increases without any proportion because of invented threatening, a brutal “value hypocrisy,” regime change and drone politics. If US president Trump, Merkel, Gauck, and von der Leyen, and the EU supports this aggressive expansion politics, there is danger ahead. Not just the “bad Russian,” but also the cold and perhaps even real war are ahead. It is a horrifying NATO strategy pursuing one objective connected with the “Christian-Jewish community of values”: the maintenance of power by the so called anti-terror alliance spreading terrorism by itself. However, this “terror” is always for the “good”; and all this has been pursued by the regime of the “Jewish State” with impunity since decades through its occupation, expansion, and oppression politics. Why should something change with the US-politics started under Trump and his Jewish consultants and Wall street billionaires?

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Trump is a dangerous narcissist who believes he has reached his destination and has discovered the U.S. as game of his longings. All his promises are insubstantial and “his people,” almost 30% of U.S. citizens, who were taken in by him and his cheap, misogynist, racist, and islamophobic election campaign slogans and elected him, will wake up one day and have a bad surprise. To say nothing of us who saw through him from the beginning and would have never voted for him.

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The right for justice for Palestine for me seems to move further and further, but exactly in belligerent Trump times this campaign for a free Palestine should be conducted always more urgently.

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Originally written FOR

SIGNING OFF ON THE FINAL SOLUTION FOR PALESTINE

 If the Israeli Knesset approves the legalisation of Jewish settlements on stolen Palestinian land, then the Zionist concept of a “Greater Israel” is getting closer to becoming a reality. All the more so since Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president will apparently support the Netanyahu government’s unscrupulous ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people as the “final solution” for the judaisation of all Palestine. 

final-solution-palestine

The “Final Solution” (Endlösung) of the Palestinian Question is coming closer and closer!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

170124113704-02-trump-exec-order-0124-screengrab-large-169

The Zionist concept of a “Greater Israel” can only be achieved by hijacking Judaism and exploiting Biblical narratives to legitimise claims to the “Promised Land” as a state exclusively for Jews.  Since its establishment, Israel has in its quest for the Judaisation of the Holy land left a trail of death and destruction in its barbarous wake. Announcements of new settlements are now an almost daily occurrence without there being even a token hypocritical protest from a Trump administration packed with neoconservative Zionists.

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So yet again it is the forgotten Palestinians who suffer while the hypocritical West with its Israel induced Islamophobic obsession remains focussed on the phony “War on Terror” instead of addressing Israel’s irrefutable crimes against humanity.

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It has always been the “White Race” with its racist capacity to articulate that has entrenched the premise of “White Superiority.” What right do Aryans have to wage wars against the Black, Red, and Yellow races; what makes Aryans superior to non-Aryans of different colours and ethnicity; and why should such racist perceptions be fostered and tolerated from childhood, through to adolescence and adulthood? All genocides have stemmed from racist perceptions of superiority – be it by a “master race” or a “chosen people” – that have variously resulted in the mass murder the world over including American Indians, the Herero people in Africa, the victims of the Indian caste system, and Jews during the Holocaust.

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Even if my list is incomplete, I would like stress the importance of remembering a subject that has concerned me for years — and which should not be allowed to descend into oblivion—because it involves almost 70 years of continuous barbarous displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to make way for an insidiously  illegal occupation by Zionist Jewish colonisers.

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This long history of colonisation by the “only democracy in the Middle East” – which outrageously claims to speak for all Jews in diaspora – is appalling especially when supported by the newly elected so-called President of the United States who has wasted no time in undermining all democratic principles and values. Such amoral U.S. presidential support has unleashed an unprecedented acceleration of settlement building with thousands of more apartments.

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One of the very few who people who was happy to welcome the change of occupant in the White House was Benjamin Netanyahu who was also the only Western leader to welcome Trump’s intention of constructing a wall along the border with Mexico and discriminating against Muslims and refugees. Israel’s applause for Trump’s conduct, however, is understandable considering the fact that the “Jewish State” has for many decades been embracing similar policies with equally arrogant impunity.

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When it comes to building separation walls; illegally encroaching on Palestinian land; and segregating Palestinians while expelling refugees and asylum seekers, Israel is second to none and reigns as the undisputed champion of Apartheid.

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Jews fleeing Nazi persecution were given refuge in many countries including the United States which more than any other country became the home of millions of persecuted refugees and immigrants including Donald Trump’s Scottish mother. Have Kushner, and Friedman, and their friends forgotten this fact? While seven Muslim states were included in Trump’s ban, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Pakistan, and Turkey were excluded. Saudi Arabia is an important partner for the real estate Mogul Trump; is involved in several companies and Joint Ventures; and is notorious for exporting terror – like bombing bad Houthi rebels in Yemen — with weaponry generously supplied for the “War on Terror” by Germany and the U.S. who require Saudi oil.

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In the meantime, even the “Jewish State” has initiated a “community of values” with the Saudis, all for the purpose of the war against terror. In a phone call the Saudis convinced Trump to limit a strict implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran. Trump and King Salman absolutely agreed to commonly move against the “destabilizing activities” of Iran.

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Let us see how the friend Netanyahu will react during his forthcoming visit to Washington.

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Now Trump wants to comply with the refugee agreement made with Australia. However, I am asking myself how Trump will distinguish between Christian and Muslim refugees.

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Actually the worst characteristic of Trump seems to be his dangerous unpredictability. In no time at all he has signed “Executive Orders” which do not mean anything positive for the world peace. Trump continues at the point where his predecessor Obama started: and drone flights and assassinations of civilians are the sad result. But in the end “we are the good ones” fighting for our values.

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Trump operates according to the notorious German slogan of all National-Socialists saying “I decide who is Muslim and who is not”.

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What Palestine needs, is an alliance complying with the Declaration of Human Rights. Palestine also needs a broad civil rights movement, able to struggle for new elections for a free Palestine with an undivided capital Jerusalem. Only after that the relocation of the embassies can start, not now as unilateral provocation of US-Christian-Zionist Trump hardliners, guided by Netanyahu’s regime.

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In the end, I would like to refer to an interview in DLF in which the so applauded David Grossman, who in Germany is called “peace activist” exposes more than racist ideas. Grossman stressed on the importance of a strong army to defence Israel. Does he want to defence the occupation? Grossman considers himself as more hungry for peace as the people in Europe because in his life he has not lived one day of real peace. Why does Grossman not ask about the reasons of this absence of peace? Israel could have lived in peace for a long time now, but it did all to promote illegal occupation and wars. Mr Grossman your claim for a normal life can only be achieved if you do not brutally oppress another people! For Grossmann the idea of leaving in a state which is not a “Jewish State” in which he would be part of a minority, is horrifying! He only believes in a Jewish Home and cannot imagine that in a common state they could be a Palestinian as finance minister, as minister of education, as police chief, or as chief of the national secret service Shin Bet. Yeh, what to say about it? Grossman admires Merkel for her refugees’ acceptance, and Germany should stay relaxed. Grossmann does not lose one word about the “Jewish State” and his treatment of refugees. Oh yes, Grossmann would not like to be in a minority among Palestinians.  

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This interview showed once against the racist Apartheid mentality of Jewish Israelis! They feel superior and are walled in their Apartheid life. It was a sad and scaring interview, appropriate to new US president Trump and his politics. (1)

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Yes, the “Final Solution (Endlösung)” of the Palestinian Question is coming closer and closer, and it does not mean anything good for Palestine!

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Originally written FOR

ZIONIST OCCUPATION TAKES ITS TOLLS

When  an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 

voltaire-zion

Zionist Occupation and Expulsion Take Their Tolls!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, translated by Milena Rampoldi,  edited by author William Hanna
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Netanyahu and his regime reacted with customary “outrage” to the attack in Jerusalem where Netanyahu with immediate instinctiveness appeared centre stage to invent a connection between the Islamic State and the Palestinian perpetrator, Fadi al Hanbar, a 28-year-old father from Dschaba, an illegally occupied part of East Jerusalem. It is absolutely mysterious how Netanyahu arrived at this conclusion without any apparent evidence: especially since the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not due to the Islamic State, but to the decades-long illegal occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of Palestinians.
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Was this young Palestinian “attacker” not himself a victim? He had been just released from an Israeli prison, where – of course – he was detained as a “terrorist suspect” rather than a brave “resistance fighter” as was the case for those Europeans who during the Second World War fought against Nazi occupations. Currently more than 6,000 Palestinians are detained indefinitely and without trial in Israeli prisons under Administrative Detention Orders. Almost all Palestinian families at one time or another had family members who were detained or are still being detained without knowing when or if they will ever be released. Men and women, old and young, are brutally tortured and kept in unacceptable, inhumane conditions that contravene the Geneva Convention. The Apartheid regime illegally occupying Palestine does not hesitate to use its infamous secret services Shin Bet and Mossad – along with their renowned superpower ally – perpetrate murderous crimes on a global scale. Extra-judicial executions by the “Jewish Defence Forces”; barbaric attacks by illegal Jewish settlers; and targeted killings by Mossad are carried out with impunity everywhere because the “Jewish State” has granted itself the licence to kill.
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Should there be astonishment at such attacks and explicitly against soldiers who were ironically on a bus tour through Jerusalem. Furthermore, these officer cadets have been trained to go to places where they are particularly needed, and where they have to execute reprisals and operations against Palestinians. In the occupied East Jerusalem the atmosphere is tense with Palestinians fearing that after January 20 – when Trump is inaugurated as U.S. President – matters will only get worse. Will Trump for example make good on his statement that under his presidency – with help of David Friedman, the orthodox Jew, right-wing settlement supporter, and the future U.S. ambassador to the “Jewish State” – the U.S. embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem thereby violating international law? This would be a provocation of the worst kind, cemented by the illegitimate claim of Jewish Zionist-fascist hardliners and their illusion of an “eternal and undivided Jerusalem” as capital of the “Jewish State”.  
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How can the Palestinians be blamed? They have for decades been forced to live under brutal conditions and are now faced with the threat of extremist Jews with Netanyahu regime support of having a new Jewish Temple built on Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), the Islamic holy site (“the Noble Sanctuary”) where the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock have stood for over 1,300 years. Directly after the recent attack, the Netanyahu regime decided to arrest the IS followers in the “Jewish State” without due legal process under the notorious Administrative Detention Orders that had for decades been routinely used against “troublesome” Palestinians whose illegal detention without trial has been condemned by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, B`Tselem, and Human Rights Watch to no avail while the international community with its core “values” maintained a cowardly silence!
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Five family members of the attacker have already been arrested, his house scheduled for destruction, and his body due to be buried in secret without being returned to his family whose applications for reunification with the inhabitants in the Gaza Strip have been refused by the Security Cabinet.
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Ethnic detention and illegal house demolitions – injustices tolerated by Western state communities – with even Germany always insisting on responsibility for remembrance of the past as justification for a “Jewish State,” failing to meet the responsibilities of the present for universal justice and human rights.
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Rather than continually promoting the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine, Merkel and Steinmeier should instead denounce the fascist crimes against humanity and stop the colonial terrorist zeal of their “Jewish friends”. There are no protests from Germany, the U.S. or the EU, who while expressing condolences for the attack on Israel, regard justified Palestinian resistance to persecution as being acts of terrorism.
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Because of this blatant double standard injustice there will never be peace. Only when the hypocritical “community of values” under “Christian-Jewish” leadership begins to perceive the illegal occupation as the main cause of legitimate Palestinian resistance, will there be tranquillity.
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Why should this resistance against the illegal occupation of Palestine be considered as an act of terrorism as compared with resistance to Nazi Germany’s terror! The application of double standards is always inadvisable because it will only fail at a political level. While Netanyahu – who is bogged down in the quagmire of a brutal occupation – is constantly looking for any opportunity to divert responsibility away from himself, the community of states should resist participation in, and support for this denigrating game.  
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This is a Zionist regime of a country drowning in a moral swamp – where a soldier’s cold- blood murder of an injured Palestinian lying on the ground – is celebrated by the majority of the population with even Netanyahu recognising him as a hero and brave opponent of terrorism. By reacting in this manner, Israel’s Zionist regime has forfeited any right to claims of being a democracy. Incomprehensibly, the military court has just condemned the soldier to only Second Degree murder and not to assassination. A further outrageous injustice would be if this murderer-soldier Azaria, was to be pardoned!
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Despite what Netanyahu and Western politicians want us to believe, this attack had absolutely nothing to do with Paris, Nice, Berlin, or anywhere else. The fact is that in the decades-long illegally occupied Palestinian Territories the injustice of the occupation has created a fertile ground for such resistance attacks by a hapless, denigrated, and desperate people, who have absolutely nothing to lose.  
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Meanwhile Netanyahu simply pursues self-serving policies that retain his power base by directing attention towards Iran, the Hezbollah, and Hamas. Furthermore he stokes the fire in Syria by supporting the terrorists of al-Nusra and taking the opportunity to reconnect with ISIS – which does not even operate in the “Jewish State” – so as to delegitimise the Palestinians and portray himself as the hero supporting the war against terrorism.
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This infamous conduct becomes even more so when Western politicians like French Prime Minister Hollande officially authorise targeted killings with drone attacks in Africa and the Middle East since 2013. On the list containing 17 names of those to be killed, 13 are still pending! Welcome to the club of those who have the licence to kill! With such policies, conscientiously supported by Germany and other Western alliance partners who promote such bombing, the real reason behind the “War on Terror” becomes apparent.
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This is not a Clash of Civilizations between the saviour “Judaeo-Christian values” and extremist Islamic terror, as they would have us believe, but a deliberate attempt to “Zionise” Western democracies into accepting the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. To this end, the Brandenberg Gate was illuminated in the flag colours of the Star of David which is a symbol of Israel’s illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine!

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When such an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 
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Originally written FOR
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Image by Carlos Latuff
In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

NETANYAHU SH-TS ON THE WORLD (AGAIN)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, has ordered that “working ties” be limited with 12 of the 14 countries on the Security Council that backed the resolution – the two others, Malaysia and Venezuela, have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Image By Carlos Latuff

Israel responds to UNSC Resolution2334

Israel responds to UNSC Resolution 2334

Israel punishes the world after UN vote

Resolution 2334, passed by a vote of 14-0 with the United States abstaining, reaffirmed that Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, are illegal.

While I previously expressed strong reservations about the resolution – because it does not go far enough and could undermine some key Palestinian positions – I told Al Jazeera that Israel’s panicked reaction is significant.

It is a sign that Israel interprets the UN move as a severe blow to its unrestrained colonialism on Palestinian land and as an indication that it is becoming seriously isolated.

I also argued that Israel’s attacks on President Barack Obama, and its open alignment with President-elect Donald Trump, are evidence of the fracturing of the pro-Israel bipartisan consensus in the United States.

Boosting BDS?

The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” but it imposes no specific consequences if Israel fails to do so. In that sense it is as toothless as all its predecessors.

But without the fig leaf of a peace process to hide behind, Israel clearly fears that patience is running out and that this resolution will boost Palestinian-led efforts to hold Israel accountable – particularly the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told CNN that the resolution “encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel.”

But Israel, already in a weak position internationally, seems determined to antagonize the world as much as possible.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, has ordered that “working ties” be limited with 12 of the 14 countries on the Security Council that backed the resolution – the two others, Malaysia and Venezuela, have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

This means, in effect, that Israel is imposing diplomatic sanctions on the likes of China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France.

Israel has already canceled a visit by the prime minister of Ukraine, prompting Kiev to summon the Israeli ambassador for a dressing down.

Test for new UN chief

Netanyahu also ordered the foreign ministry to “reevaluate” ties with the UN and has reportedly cut a total of about $8 million in funding to five UN institutions “that are particularly hostile towards Israel.” It is considering withholding another $48 million in membership dues.

Israel is also reportedly considering halting visas for employees of UN agencies and expelling Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

It would be an unprecedented step for Israel to expel the spokesperson of a UN agency.

“We’ve heard nothing official and therefore I have no substantive comment,” Gunness told The Electronic Intifada.

Gunness has long been a thorn in Israel’s side – he has been one of the few international officials willing to speak forthrightly about Israel’s violations of international law and to call for accountability.

If Israel expels Gunness and is met with impunity and silence by the UN and world governments, it would be the first clear sign that the resolution passed on Friday is indeed toothless.

Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the resolution, but standing up to Israel’s bullying will likely be the first major test for his successor António Guterres, who takes over the helm at UN headquarters on 1 January.

The spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not immediately return a request for comment.

Vitriolic

Israel is also threatening to punish the world by withholding its supposedly superior technologies.

“The era is over in which countries benefit from Israeli know-how in high-tech, in security and so on, and from the prestige of a visit to Israel and involvement in the Middle East without providing diplomatic repayment,” Dani Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York and a former leader in the West Bank settler movement tweeted.

Sami Peretz, a commentator for the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz ridiculed Dayan’s statement, warning that limiting exports “would be much, much worse than any harm ever caused by the BDS movement.”

Israel has been particularly vindictive toward New Zealand and Senegal, which co-sponsored the resolution along with Malaysia and Venezuela.

Haaretz reported that New Zealand acted with strong backing from the UK, and despite Netanyahu’s threats to its foreign minister Murray McCully that advancing the resolution would be tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

Netanyahu ordered the cancellation of aid projects in Senegal, including a drip-irrigation project that Israel marketed as part of the “fight against poverty in Africa” – a fight that is apparently only worth engaging in if it suits Israel’s propaganda priorities.

But the most vitriolic response has been reserved for Israel’s closest allies and benefactors.

Echoing Netanyahu himself, Ambassador Dermer has been touring television studios personally accusing President Obama of being behind the “ganging up” on Israel at the UN – something the US administration vehemently denies.

Notably, however, Israel has not shown the courage of its convictions by refusing the record-breaking $38-billion military aid package Obama recently agreed to give it.

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman likened France’s efforts to hold an international conference in coming weeks to build on the UN resolution to the Dreyfus Affair, the notorious 19th century trial and persecution of a French military officer that is seen as a seminal example of modern European anti-Semitism.

“Ridiculous”

Netanyahu is defending his measures as “a wise, aggressive and responsible reaction, a natural response that makes it clear to the nations of the world that what took place at the UN is unacceptable to us.”

But his reaction is causing disquiet even among hardline supporters of Israel’s anti-Palestinian policies.

Dov Weisglass, a former senior advisor to the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is notorious for saying a decade ago that Israel would restrict food to Gaza “to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Now Weisglass is calling Netanyahu’s reaction to the UN resolution “ridiculous.”

“The attempt to create symmetry between us and the rest of the world and to punish the 14 countries that voted against us is actually making the Palestinian dream of isolating Israel internationally into reality,” Weisglass said.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, also expressed misgivings. She argued that rather than canceling diplomatic visits, Israel would be better off trying to explain its position to the world.

“We need to get rid of this false term, the phrase ‘occupied territory.’ This is Israel’s territory — the Land of Israel,” Hotovely said in reference to the West Bank.

Hotovely may not have noticed that Israel has been trying to do that for decades, with elaborate marketing and propaganda schemes. The vote in the UN showed that all Israel’s efforts to convince the world that it has the right to steal as much Palestinian land as it pleases have come to nought.

Experience shows, however, that it is Palestinians who will feel the real brunt of Israel’s revenge: Israel is already vowing to build thousands more settler homes on Palestinian land in direct defiance of international law.

The question is whether world governments, having provoked Israel’s rage, will have the courage at last to hold it accountable.

 

JOY TO THE WORLD!

Now that the last check of the year sent by President Obama to Israel has been cashed, it’s easy for Netanyahu to mouth off against all who have supported him and his policies over the years.

Shameful indeed!

NOT the UN Resolution but the continued expansion of illegal settlements!!

Despite the outrage of the American zionist community, this resolution just might be what the civilized world has been waiting for.

Joy To The World!

Image by Carlos Latuff

So nice to watch Bibi squirm like a worm

"And then they said we have to stop stealing other people's land & obey international law. Waaaaaaaa!!!

“And then they said we have to stop stealing other people’s land & obey international law. Waaaaaaaa!!!

O HORRIBLE, ILLEGAL OCCUPATION TIME

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

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

Image by Carlos Latuff

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O horrible, illegal Jewish occupation time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PASSPORT

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

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

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

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

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

TRUMP CONSIDERING MOVING EMBASSY TO PALESTINE

Stolen land that is ….

Relocating the embassy means endorsing the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and predetermining the fate of Jerusalem in a final status solution. This endorsement includes acceptance of Israel’s illegally built settlements and the wholesale confiscation of Palestinian refugee property. 

The Jerusalem site formerly known as the Allenby Barracks, a possible location of the US Embassy (Photo: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

The Jerusalem site formerly known as the Allenby Barracks, a possible location of the US Embassy (Photo: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Site being considered for US embassy in Jerusalem is stolen Palestinian private property

Institute for Palestine Studies

Kellyanne Conway, President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager, has stated that relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a “a big priority” for the incoming administration. She added: “It is something that our friend in Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for.”

Meanwhile, in a passage that has since been removed from the online article, the Times of Israel has reported that the Trump transition team “has begun exploring the logistics of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, and checking into sites for its intended new location,” adding that the site being considered was formerly the location of the Allenby Barracks, the site of the British army’s Jerusalem garrison during the Mandate.

However, as is revealed by Walid Khalidi’s special report on the subject, originally published in the Journal of Palestine Studies, the site being considered is Palestinian private property stolen from its owners, including the waqf property of several families. He points out that the move would recklessly violate U.S. and international law and have the following impact:

  • The law of belligerent occupation applies to Jerusalem. Neither Israeli nor American laws have a bearing on the status of Jerusalem as an occupied city. Moving the embassy will not change the fact that Israel is the occupier, would contradict the stand taken by every US administration since 1967, and would violate international law and UN resolutions. These include 1980 UN Security Council resolution 478, which declared Israel’s announcement of Jerusalem as its capital “null and void.”
  • On 18 January 1989 a Land Lease and Purchase Agreement was signed between the Israel and U.S., for land serving as a US embassy site in what was known as the Allenby Barracks. Much of the land in this area belongs to Palestinian refugees, including privately owned and Waqf land. He notes: “with all that Jerusalem connotes, it is, to say the least, unbecoming for the United States’ future embassy in that city to be built on land that is stolen property.”
  • On 21 July 1989, Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois wrote a memorandum on the legal implications of the lease agreement, arguing that the expropriation of waqf or private property in Jerusalem was illegal; that the lease agreement itself was illegal; and that Congress is legally barred from providing funds for the implementation of the agreement.
  • Relocating the embassy means endorsing the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and predetermining the fate of Jerusalem in a final status solution. This endorsement includes acceptance of Israel’s illegally built settlements and the wholesale confiscation of Palestinian refugee property.

For these reasons, moving the embassy would gravely undermine the American role in the Middle East, especially since it contradicts and repudiates the commitments and assurances of all previous U.S. administrations since 1967. The implications of such a move for the position of the United States in the Middle East will be grave, including its adverse impact on the numerous Arab regimes that turn a blind eye to all the US does in support of Israel.

The impact inside Palestine and on Palestinians elsewhere is also likely to be great, whether in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or among the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel.  Finally, given how important the issue of Jerusalem is for Muslims around the world, and especially at a time when radical Islamist groups systematically exploit the Palestine issue, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem will constitute a potentially explosive provocation.

Read the full Walid Khalidi Special Report here.

BREAKING THE SILENCE ON ISRAELI RACISM

Where are the outcrys against this injustice?

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

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

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

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

Racism

By Amos Gvirtz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SILENCING OF THE LAMBS IN JERUSALEM

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

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

Islamic Call to Prayer at Dawn

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

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

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

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

HYDRO-APARTHEID

Water shortages are not new for Palestinians. Whether in the occupied Gaza Strip or the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the supply of water flowing into Palestinian homes is strictly capped or obstructed by Israel.

Palestinians collect water from a spring, in the West Bank village of Salfit on 27 June. Villagers had been without water for days as chronic supply shortages induced by Israeli occupation authorities continue to hit many parts of the territory. Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Palestinians collect water from a spring, in the West Bank village of Salfit on 27 June. Villagers had been without water for days as chronic supply shortages induced by Israeli occupation authorities continue to hit many parts of the territory. Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Israel’s hydro-apartheid keeps West Bank thirsty

Water shortages are not new for Palestinians. Whether in the occupied Gaza Strip or the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the supply of water flowing into Palestinian homes is strictly capped or obstructed by Israel.

As temperatures climb during the summer, taps run dry. Clemens Messerschmid, a German hydrologist who has worked with Palestinians on their water supply for two decades, calls the situation “hydro-apartheid.”

This year, Israeli journalist Amira Hass published data proving that the Israeli Water Authority had reduced the amount of water delivered to West Bank villages.

In some places, the supply was slashed by half. Her records contradict official denials that water supplies to Palestinian cities and villages are cut during the summer, even though that too is not new.

Cities and small villages have gone as long as 40 days without running water this summer, forcing those who can afford it to haul in water tanks.

When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it also seized control over the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, the territory’s principal natural water reserve.

The Oslo accords of the early 1990s gave Israel 80 percent of the aquifer’s reserves. Palestinians were supposed to get the remaining 20 percent, but in recent years they have been able to access only 14 percent as a result of Israeli restrictions on their drilling.

To fulfill the population’s minimum needs, the Palestinian Authority is forced to buy the rest of the water from Israel. But even then, it’s not enough.

Israel is only willing to sell a limited amount of water to Palestinians. As a consequence, Palestinians use far less water than Israelis, and a full third less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 100 liters per person per day for domestic use, hospitals, schools and other institutions.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with Clemens Messerschmid, who has been working in the water sector throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1997, about the engineered water scarcity for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Charlotte Silver: Is scarcity of water in the area driving the water crisis in the West Bank? Or is the scarcity engineered?

Clemens Messerschmid: Of course there is no water scarcity in the West Bank. What we suffer from is induced scarcity – it’s called the occupation. This is the regime imposed on Palestinians immediately after the war in June 1967.

Israel rules through military orders, which have the direct and intended result of keeping Palestinians short on water. It is not an ongoing gradual dispossession as with land and settlements, but was done in one sweep by Military Order No. 92, in August 1967.

The West Bank possesses ample groundwater. There is high rainfall in Salfit, in the northern West Bank, now known for especially hard water cuts.

The West Bank is blessed with a treasure of groundwater. But this is also its curse, because Israel targeted this immediately after taking control.

What we need is simple: groundwater wells to access this treasure. But Israel’s Military Order No. 158 strictly forbids drilling or any other water works, including springs, pipes, networks, pumping stations, irrigation pools, water reservoirs, simple rainwater harvesting cisterns, which collect the rain falling on one’s roof.

Everything is forbidden or rather not “permitted” by the Civil Administration, Israel’s occupation regime. Even repair and maintenance of wells requires military permits. And we simply don’t get them.

It is a simple case of hydro-apartheid – far beyond any regime in history that I am aware of.

CS: Israel has increased the amount of water it sells Palestinians, but it is still not enough to prevent villages from running dry. Putting aside the fact that Israel’s control over the aquifer’s resources is very problematic, why won’t Israel sell the Palestinians enough water?

CM: Israel first of all has drastically reduced the amount of water available to Palestinians. It has prevented all access to the Jordan River, which is now literally pumped dry at Lake Tiberias.

Then, Israel imposes a quota on the number of wells and routinely denies permits for much-needed repair of old wells from the Jordanian days – Jordan administered the West Bank from 1948 until the Israeli occupation – especially agricultural wells. That means the number of wells is constantly shrinking. We have fewer than in 1967.

Now, the only thing that has increased is the dependency on buying water from the expropriators, Israel andMekorot, Israel’s national water company.

This is reported over and over in the western press, because it is the point Israel stresses: ‘See how benevolent we are?’

So, yes, since Oslo, purchases from Mekorot have grown steadily. Ramallah now receives 100 percent of its water from Mekorot. Not a drop comes from a single well field we have.

The supply of villages by Israel was not done as a favor. It was initiated in 1980 by Ariel Sharon, then agriculture minister, when rapid settlement growth was starting. The water supply was “integrated,” in order to make the occupation irreversible.

What is important here is the structural apartheid, cemented and cast in iron in these pipes. A small settlement is supplied via large transmission pipes from which smaller pipes split off to go towards Palestinian areas.

Israel is very happy with Oslo, because now Palestinians are “responsible” for supply. Responsible but without a shred of sovereignty over resources.

The current so-called water crisis is not a crisis at all. A crisis is a sudden change, a new turn or a turning point in development. The undersupply of Palestinians is desired, planned and carefully executed. The “summer water crisis” is the most reliable feature of the Palestinian water calendar. And the amount of annual rain, or drought, has no bearing whatsoever on the occurrence and scale of that “crisis.”

I should stress that however routinely this occurs, in each and every single case, it is a conscious decision by some bureaucrat or office in Israel or the Civil Administration. Someone has to go to the field and turn down the valve at the split off to the Palestinian village. This, like every summer, was done in early June. Hence – water crisis in the West Bank.

CS: What factors may be contributing to the worsening water cuts this year?

CM: It seems settler demand rose drastically since last year. The Israeli Water Authority found 20 to 40 percent higher demand, which is quite remarkable.

Alexander Kushnir, the Water Authority’s director general, attributes this to expansion of settler irrigation in the mountains of the northern West Bank settlements, around Salfit and Nablus.

CS: How is it that people in present-day Israel are reportedly enjoying a surplus of water since the country has started using desalination, while the people under occupation in the West Bank are left with so little? Even Israeli settlers have reportedly experienced water cuts.

CM: It’s true that Israel declared for the first time a few years ago that it had a surplus water economy and iskeen to sell more water to its neighbors, from whom it expropriated water in the first place.

Palestinians are already buying water Israel stole, but as noted, not reliably or at sufficient rates.

Frankly, I don’t know. Why this special, elevated and aggravated desire of Israel not even to sell enough water to the West Bank?

In some areas, water is actively used as a weapon for ethnic cleansing, like in the Jordan Valley. Agriculture was always targeted from day one of the occupation.

But this logic does not apply to the densely populated Palestinian towns and cities in so-called Area A of the West Bank, that are still struggling. After 20 years, this still leaves me puzzled.

Another element is important to understand: Israel needs to constantly teach Palestinians a lesson. Any water procurement, any drop delivered should be understood as a generous favor, as an act of mercy, not as a right.

Israel has augmented water sales to the West Bank from 25 million cubic meters per year in 1995 to around 60 mcm/year now. Why does it not sell much more? It certainly could afford it waterwise – it has a gigantic surplus.

One of the material issues I can detect is the issue of price, and therefore meaning of water.

Israel wants to eventually get the highest price for desalinated water it sells to Palestinians. While we are only speaking about a few hundred million shekels a year [a few tens of millions of dollars] – which is not a lot for Israel – Israel wants to end the debate once and for all over Palestinian water rights.

Israel demands nothing short of a full surrender: Palestinians should agree that the water under their feet does not belong to them, but forever to the occupier.

By demanding full prices for desalinated water, Palestinians would admit and agree to a new formula.

A word on the Gaza Strip – unlike the West Bank, Gaza has no physical possibility of access to water. The confined and densely populated Strip can never supply itself. Yet, Gaza does not get such water deliveries from Israel. Only recently did Israel start selling to Gaza the five million cubic meters per year agreed in Oslo. A tiny cosmetic increase has been enacted.

In a way you could interpret this differential treatment between Gaza and the West Bank as an Israeli admission of a certain degree of hydrological dependence.

Israel receives the bulk of its water from the territories conquered in 1967, including Syria’s Golan Heights, but not a drop from Gaza.

Waterwise, Gaza has no resource to offer Israel. This is the same as with the main resource: land. Hence a very different approach to Gaza right from the start in 1967. Israel does not depend on Gaza in any material form. Ever since Oslo, Israel has demanded Gaza supply itself by its own means, such as through seawater desalination.

CS: How have donor countries acted in all this? Have they defended global minimal water standards or have they affirmed and bolstered Israel’s control over the water resources in the occupied West Bank?

CM: Unfortunately the latter. When Oslo started, we all were under the illusion that a phase of development would start. Wells that were forbidden to be drilled for 28 years would finally be put in place.

Soon, we learned that Israel in fact was never willing to give “permits … for expanding agriculture or industry, which may compete with the State of Israel,” as then-defense minister Yitzhak Rabin said in 1986.

What was needed then and now – and everybody knew it – was political pressure to extract the minimum well-drilling permits guaranteed under Palestinian-Israeli accords. This pressure never came. Never did the EU or my German government issue even a public statement in which it “deplores” or “regrets” the obstructions in the water sector. This is a true scandal.

But even worse, what was our Western answer to this? All donor-funded projects actually abandoned the vital branch of well drilling. The last German funded well was drilled in 1999.

As for the current so-called water crisis, we as donors are now busy generously funding anachronistic water tankering in the cut-off Palestinian towns and cities – adapting to and stabilizing the status quo of occupation and water apartheid.

“YOU DON’T MURDER A SLEEPING CHILD FOR PEACE”

We mourn with the family of  Hallel-Yaffa Ariel. Her murder was senseless and will only lead to more zionist terror.

You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. We will not let barbarism defeat humanity.

(See the photos presented after this ironic video)

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Child victims of zionist terror

Israeli occupation has killed 2,079 Palestinian children since 2,000,

Israeli occupation has killed 2,079 Palestinian children since 2,000,

Here are just a few

Mourners hold posters of Palestinian Riham Dawabsheh 27 and her family Reuters ... murdered in an arson attack on their home in the summer of 2015. The zio terorists involved were arrested and released.

Mourners hold posters of Palestinian Riham Dawabsheh 27 and her family Reuters … murdered in an arson attack on their home in the summer of 2015. The zio terorists involved were arrested and released.

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Israeli soldiers shot Sabreen Abu Sneineh, 8, in the head, in Hebron, Aug. 12, 2001. She was walking to school.

Israeli soldiers shot Sabreen Abu Sneineh, 8, in the head, in Hebron, Aug. 12, 2001. She was walking to school.

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Our precious Abir Aramin, killed by Israeli soldiers in Anata refugee camp near Jerusalem, 19 January 2007.

Our precious Abir Aramin, killed by Israeli soldiers in Anata refugee camp near Jerusalem, 19 January 2007. (Age 10)

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Israel murdered 507 Palestinian children in July/August 2014

Israel murdered 507 Palestinian children in Gaza in July/August 2014

Just a few ….

4 year old Gazan child’s head

4 year old Gazan child’s head

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Two dead Palestinian children, one burned to a crisp by phosphor, the other blown apart by a grenade or DIME bomb fired by Israeli soldiers.

Two dead Palestinian children, one burned to a crisp by phosphor, the other blown apart by a grenade or DIME bomb fired by Israeli soldiers.

So no, You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. We will not let barbarism defeat humanity.

OCCUPATION TO BLAME FOR TEL AVIV TERROR ATTACK

At least one elected official had the guts to speak the truth!

Tel Aviv Mayor Blames Terror Attack on Israel’s Occupation

“You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright.”

The 'savage' himself!

The ‘savage’ himself!

The mayor of Tel Aviv blamed the terror attack that killed four Israelis on the occupation of Palestinian lands.

Hours after two gunmen opened fire in a chic shopping district, Mayor Ron Huldai said the Jewish state’s half-century rule over Palestinians was fueling the violence.

“You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright,” Huldai told the Jerusalem Post.

The mayor was joined by Israeli Arab lawmakers in a plea for peace after the deadly attack.

They said civilians “on both sides” should be removed from the conflict and denounced the possibility that Israel will embark on a retaliatory campaign of collective punishment.

Even when asked about reports that West Bank Palestinians celebrated the murders, Huldai refused to take the bait. He insisted that the occupation, which he said “I know and I was a part of,” was the real culprit.

“Leaders need courage to not just talk,” Huldai said.

Israel’s right-wing government ministers wasted no time in lashing out at Huldai and other leftists, insisting that he was whitewashing terror. Deputy Defense minister Eli Ben-Dahan said Arabs were terrorizing Jews in the Holy Land even before the state of Israel was established, let alone when it seized the West Bank.

“They are the delusional ones,” Ben-Dahan said.

 

Written by The Forward Staff

 

ISRAEL FINDS A WAY TO END THE OCCUPATION

Even worse than it was before ….

78% of Israeli Jews favor extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim. Land of Israel Lobby to propose annexation bill this summer.

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Israel to annex Maale Adumim?

A whopping 78% of Israeli Jews say they support the annexation of Maale Adumim even without a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, along the same lines as Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

The vast majority of respondents favored annexation even if Israel would be pay a steep political cost for the move, with 70% of Israeli Jews saying sovereignty should be applied to Maale Adumim regardless of the consequences.

The poll also found that 88% of Israeli Jews believe that residents of Maale Adumim deserve the same rights and benefits enjoyed by other citizens of the State of Israel, and therefore Israeli law should be fully applied to the area.

The Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, which includes 20 MKs from various right-wing and religious parties, has pledged to draw up a bill for the annexation of Maale Adumim during the upcoming summer session.

“The consensus view in the public is that Maale Adumim is an inseparable part of Israel,” a statement by the Land of Israel Lobby said, “and it has even become part of the political consensus from right to left, and it is clear that Maale Adumim will remain under Israeli control in any future status arrangement. The Land of Israel Lobby will work within the new coalition framework to advance legislation extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim.”

Lobby chairman Yoav Kish (Likud) said there were precedents for the move, citing Israel’s 1967 annexation of eastern Jerusalem and 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

“Just as the State of Israel did in the past in Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights, we must do so also today – the idea of applying sovereignty over Maale Adumim enjoys overwhelming support among the Israeli public that crosses party lines. We will work to realize the public’s will.”

 

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