THE TEMPLE MOUNT ~~ ISRAEL’S MIGHT, BUT NOT ITS RIGHT

The claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The best cartoon to describe the Israeli brutality against unarmed Palestinians…

Temple Mount belongs to Israel……but only by the standard of might, not the standard of right
By Khaled Amayreh  in Occupied East Jerusalem
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An Israeli cabinet minister has repeated the stale Zionist propaganda claim that the “Temple Mount” belongs to Israel. He is correct in a certain sense. Israel has been in control of the Haram al- Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)  as well as the entirety of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the six-Day war of 1967.  This  means that the holy site, which has been an exclusively Muslim place of worship for the past 1400 years, now “belongs” to Israel by the standards of might, not by the standards of right  But right, not might, comes first because right is a constant whereas might is a variable.
 
In fact, the claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.
 
In fact, the historical and even religious claims often cited to prove that the holy  site belongs to Jews are dubious and erroneous.
 
Historical records show that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1100 BC.  The Jebusites, a Canaanite people believed to be, at least partly, the ancestors of modern-day Palestinians, had been in Jerusalem for some 2000 years.
 
Indeed, for fifty years of intensive excavations, Israeli archeologists  left no stone unturned   underneath  the Islamic shrine, but utterly failed to find  any credible evidence corroborating the gigantic canard that the Aqsa Mosque stands right on top of the Temple of Solomon.
 
 
A few years ago. George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, published a meticulously researched scholarly monograph titled “What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?” http://www.ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2014-Volume-47/In-Search-of-King-Solomons-Temple.aspx
 
 
According to the research, which this writer had the honor to translate into Arabic; archaeologists have discovered no ruins in the Haram area that might have belonged to the temple.
 
 “Instead they have found an image of a soldier on a horse, a brick with the mark of the 10th Roman legion on it, and an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 
“They have also found in the an inscription once carved over an arch, honoring Titus, Vespasian, and probably Silva for their leadership in the war of AD 66-72.”
 
 According to the scholarly monograph, published in the Journal “Americans for Middle East Understanding” (AMEU) in 2014, another inscription that was intended to fit on the interior wall of the Haram,  honored Hadrian, the Roman emperor who defeated Bar Kochba in the revolt that ended in 135 AD.
 
  In conclusion, Buchanan  asks the most  central question:  “Is there any evidence that the Haram was ever the Temple Mount?”
 
Here is his answer: (clearly, “No!”).
 
Finally, it is true that Jews were in control of Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago.  But so what?   Most of the cities of the world were then inhabited by peoples unrelated to their current inhabitants.
 
Today, the manifestly pyromaniac Israel government, made up of Talmudic fanatics and Zionist jingoists, is striving to set Jerusalem and the entire region on fire under the rubric of Jewish Messianism and millenarianism.  This madness must be stopped immediately because madness breeds madness and blood breeds more blood.

GLOBAL SILENCE ON GAZA MUST BE BROKEN

After 10 years of Israeli siege, the United Nations says Gaza is effectively unlivable.

Israel has consigned the people of Gaza to “living in abject poverty under practically inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world,” the human rights group B’Tselem said last month.

Video: Break the silence on Gaza with people power

In recent weeks the situation has deteriorated even further, as Israel has sharply cut the electricity supply, bringing available energy in Gaza to the lowest level ever.

Health, water and sewage treatment systems are breaking down, making life unbearable.

“This is not a natural disaster. This is a policy choice by Israel to do this to 2 million people, and it’s a policy choice the so-called international community are supporting,” I told Aaron Maté of The Real News.

“At best the so-called international community scrambles to do an appeal to various donor governments to patch up, to do palliative care,” for people in Gaza, I told Maté. “What they don’t do is challenge Israel and hold it accountable.”

By refusing to provide people in Gaza with basic health and other services, Israel, as the occupying power, is committing war crimes, I argued.

And it’s happening in silence – even Democracy Now, a flagship progressive outlet, has mentioned the situation only in brief and infrequent headlines.

The humanitarian catastrophe is also the result of collusion between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Abbas wants to put political pressure on Hamas, which governs the interior of Gaza, by inflicting additional suffering on the 2 million Palestinians who live there.

This pressure has included curtailing medicine supplies to Gaza and refusing medical referrals for hundreds of patients who need urgent treatment outside the territory, leading to more than a dozen deaths.

“It’s up to us to challenge the institutional complicity and silence,” I told Maté. If regime media don’t make noise about Gaza, “people should be demonstrating, holding protests at the UN and Israeli embassies, at Palestinian Authority embassies, because they’re all complicit in this siege.”

Watch the video above.

Image by Latuff

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ ‘THIS IS PALESTINE’

 

Nothing new here for anyone aware of ground zero in Palestine or has been awake the past 50 years, but footage of some heart-wrenching scenes reminds us all that there are real people behind the daily headlines and statistics.

Shared by Sam Bahour, with thanks

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ PALESTINIAN YOUTH GIVE A ‘WARM WELCOME’ TO INVADING FORCES

FROM

Israeli invading forces receive a ‘warm’ welcome from Palestinian youths.

BEX ALERT IMAGE AND VIDEOS OF THE DAY ~~ NETANYAHU’S DEFINITION OF PEACE

This is what he said recently …

I envision a middle east where young Arabs and young Jews learn together, work together, live together, side by side, in peace. Our region needs more tolerance, not less.

This is what he meant by “living together side by side”

And just this week ….

He obviously cannot speak of peace without making a fist …

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ THE BRAVEST LITTLE BOY IN PALESTINE

Good morning from Palestine!

AFTER 50 YEARS ISRAELIS MUST DISRUPT THE ‘NORMALCY’ OF THE OCCUPATION

One of the most disturbing aspects about the reality in Palestine is its normalcy.

It has become normal to see Palestinians shot and killed, even children. The faces of young Palestinians showing up daily on social media, boys and girls shot by soldiers, accused falsely of attempting to stab a soldier.

It has become normal to see Israeli soldiers shooting skunk water and tear gas, and snipers using live ammunition at unarmed protesters who want the land that was once theirs and the freedom they never had.

Image by Latuff

Why Israelis must disrupt the occupation

And it has become normal for us to engage in the endless, fruitless debate on whether Palestinians throwing stones at armed Israeli soldiers who invade their homes constitutes violence, or whether or not Zionism – which produced this violence – is a racist ideology. And all the while the suffering and the oppression of millions of Palestinians go on almost uninterrupted.

It is no secret that Israelis and Palestinians live two separate realities.

Even when we privileged Israelis go to the village of Nabi Saleh on a Friday to participate in the weekly protest, at the end of the day we are free to leave the village, leave the occupation and return to our safe, clean, well-paved spheres. Unlike the Palestinians we leave behind, our homes will not be raided, our roads will not be blocked and our children will not have to hide for days or weeks from the threat of being shot, arrested and tortured.

We return home sweaty and tired, covered in tear gas and skunk water and we feel we did our bit. But what bit did we do? What is the role of the privileged Israeli activists within the resistance and why are we accomplishing so little?

To begin with we need to admit that this is resistance and ask whether we are willing to take part.

On any given Friday there may be about 10 Israeli activists, be it in Nabi Saleh or Bilin, currently the two main locations for Friday protests in the occupied West Bank. Some Israelis walk in the back, some in the front.

Shadows?

Some like to say they are merely documenting. Most, like shadows, don’t seem like they know their place and don’t want to interfere. Few confront the Israeli forces. So the question that begs to be asked is, what are we accomplishing?

If we don’t use our privilege to push the envelope and to confront the Israeli authorities, then we are indeed mere shadows.

My latest visit to Nabi Saleh was on 26 May, exactly two weeks after Saba Abu Ubaid, 23, was shot and killed by Israeli forces during a protest there.

The march began, as always, with people walking down the hill from the mosque after noon prayer, carrying flags and chanting. There were about 30 or 40 people (though in the charges that would be brought against me, the Israeli police claimed there were 200 protesters), mostly Palestinians with a few regular Israelis and other foreigners.

After a few minutes we were confronted by the Israeli forces who informed us we were to disperse.

How does one begin to describe the outrage? Fully armed soldiers on occupied land telling the people whose village they invaded that they must disperse. But in Palestine, this is normal so there is little outrage.

“Shoot them in the legs”

The usual pushing and shoving began and was then followed by the firing of tear gas, skunk water and, before too long, live ammunition. Considering what had taken place there just two weeks earlier, seeing snipers take their positions and take aim at the kids on the hills was cause for serious concern. I heard someone whose name badge identified him as Raja Keyes order the snipers to “shoot them in the legs.”

Nabi Saleh residents began sitting in front of the snipers to block their sights. More tear gas, more skunk water and more snipers followed.

Keyes was right next to me when he walked to a group of women and children watching the events from the side of the road and, with a smile on his face, threw a tear gas grenade at them. One of the mothers ran up a terrace to interfere with the snipers and was pushed around by soldiers. I ran up towards her, went around a young officer who tried to stop me and by the time I reached her they came for me.

Four or five officers, including Keyes had me in a tight grip. The officers were from Magav – although often described as “border police,” Magav is a unit within the Israeli military.

By that time, the officers had good reason to resent me and want me out of the way.

The photos and videos of my arrest made their way to social media, so suffice it to say they were not gentle and I was not compliant. (My arrest is at about 12:10 in the video below of the day’s events, made by Palestinian activist Bilal Tamimi.)

At one point after I was arrested, Keyes introduced himself formally to me as “force commander” and asked for my ID, which I did not have.

Later on, when I was taken away in the armored vehicle, he was seated in the front and I proceeded to tell him that he was no “commander” and he was not heading any “force” but rather they were all a gang of armed bullies.

But this is not about me or any other single activist. It is about the role that we Israelis can play which is unique because Israeli law provides us with a shield that Palestinians and international activists do not have.

It is not our role to play unbiased spectators or to document, nor is it our role to just follow along. We can get in the faces of the commanders and the soldiers and disrupt their work. In fact, one of the comments made constantly by the commanders is that we are “disrupting their work, and will be arrested for that.”

My response is that this is precisely the point! Why show up if we let them go about their business? When we are arrested we are always charged with disrupting officers on duty, even when we don’t, but that is exactly what we must do.

Along Highway 443 – sometimes known as the “apartheid highway” – there is a sign in Hebrew that says: “By order of the commanding general, Israelis are prohibited from entering the villages along this road.” When activists do go to the villages to protest, they challenge this command. But still, the shield that our Israeli ID provides us can be used to disrupt the normalcy of the occupation everywhere.

Israelis, even dedicated, well-meaning ones, do far too little and we use far too little of our privilege to challenge and combat the injustice meted out against Palestinians. Most Israeli activists won’t even call for refusal to serve in the Israeli army because they consider that too radical.

No one likes to be arrested, particularly when it involves a night or two in jail, sharing a smoke-filled room with no ventilation and no company save cockroaches and two-bit criminals who hate activists even more than they hate Arabs.

If we are to play a role in the overthrow of injustice, and if we are to one day see an end to the oppression of more than half of the people with whom we live, then we must use our privilege and act to end the normalcy and the oppression.

#50YearsTooMany ~~ ‘CELEBRATING’ THE OCCUPATION IN IMAGES AND VIDEO

Bibi: “To commemorate 50 years since Unification of Jerusalem, we’ve decided to upgrade the Western Wall!”

How one American Jew views the situation …

How zion glorifies the occupation

The former Chief Rabbi of Britain adds the following …

The reality of the horrors faced daily by the victims can be seen here …. (Click on link)

50 STORIES OF PALESTINIAN LIFE
UNDER OCCUPATION

More photos and videos can be seen at the following Twitter Site (Click on link)

#50YearsTooMany

 

Kudos to Sears for the following …..

Sears offers ‘Free Palestine’ clothing line

One of the items offered*

Screenshot T-shirts with the slogan ‘Free Palestine’ available for sale on the Sears website, June 6, 2017. (Sears.com via JTA)

THANK YOU AMERICA FOR THE OCCUPATION

Israel’s guilty but America made it possible: Thanks to the U.S., we’re celebrating the first 50 years of the occupation – and probably not the last

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian during clashes following a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, West Bank, May 19, 2017. AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

Thank You, America
Gideon Levy

Thank you, America, for all of the good things that you have showered us with. Thanks for the money, the weapons and the support. Thanks also for the damage, the rot and the denial. Another American president will be arriving in Israel on Monday, one who is different and peculiar compared to his predecessors. But on one score, he won’t be any different. Donald Trump will continue to heap all of these good things upon us.

America will continue to be the senior partner in one of the basest of enterprises in the world at the moment: the Israeli occupation. Trump will provide financing and arms and defend Israel. Thank-you in advance, Mr. President, for all of these good things.

It is thanks to America that we have come this far, that we are celebrating the first 50 years of the occupation, and probably not the last 50. Israel is guilty but America has made it possible. It’s not just the money, the arms and the support. There is something else, something unforgivable overshadowing everything.

In a brilliant essay by the American intellectual Nathan Thrall that appeared last week on the website of Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, (“Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s no peace”) and that is excerpted from Thrall’s new book “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine,” the author puts his finger on the root of all of the reasons that there is no peace: The alternative to peace isn’t worth it for Israel.

The country has no rational reason to come to a peace agreement because the price that Israel will have to pay is higher than the cost of the occupation. And when it comes to that, America is a guilty party. The United States and its associate, Europe, are the ones that enable Israel to maintain the occupation at a bargain price.

America hasn’t lifted a finger to render the status quo intolerable for Israel, and as a result, Israel has no incentive to reach a peace agreement. So there won’t be a peace agreement, or even a “deal.” The only way to get to an agreement is by upping the cost of the existing situation, so that the status quo become too costly for Israel. Even the cliché that time has been working against Israel has not stood the test of reality, Thrall states. When the potential threats actually come to pass, Israel will always be able to end the occupation. Until then, it has no reason to rush into things.

America has repeatedly tried the “carrot” approach, without any results. Only on one occasion has an American president applied real pressure – and the results were immediate. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened economic sanctions against Israel unless it withdrew from Sinai, which it did within days. The last time that the United States attempted to apply any kind of pressure was in 1991, when Secretary of State James Baker pushed Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir into agreeing to the Madrid Peace Conference by withholding $10 billion in loan guarantees. Since then, although it’s hard to believe, more than 25 years have passed and the Americans haven’t even made another attempt.

 
On the contrary, the United States is doing everything to make the occupation more comfortable for Israel. It has funded and trained the Palestinian Authority’s security forces – Israel’s security subcontractors. The United States has also defended Israel in the UN Security Council; it has blocked debate on regional nuclear disarmament; and has maintained Israel’s total military superiority. At the same time, the Americans have paid hollow lip service in their criticism of the settlements — “a façade of opposition,” as Thrall calls it — a façade that has become a bulwark of defense for the settlements. With the appearance of being “punitive,” the regular condemnations have let off steam and have taken the place of genuine pressure. And of course, the settlement enterprise has not stopped its advance.

 
Even the artificial distinction between Israel and the settlements, an approach that the United States has led, has freed Israel of its responsibility for the occupation. As a result, one can currently be a liberal, enlightened American (or European) and oppose the occupation and support Israel. The settlements and Israel welcome that and continue on their way.

 
Washington has never attached conditions, amazingly enough, on its financial aid. “Listening to [the Americans] discuss how to devise an end to occupation is like listening to the operator of a bulldozer ask how to demolish a building with a hammer,” Thrall writes. “The former Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan once said: ‘Our American friends offer us money, arms and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.’”

 
Nothing has changed since and apparently nothing will change in the future. Thank you, America.

 

 

From Ha’Aretz

WHAT AWAITS TRUMP IN JERUSALEM ….

To ‘celebrate’ 50 years of Jerusalem’s illegal occupation, the following was prepared for Trump’s upcoming visit to the area tomorrow …..

Jerusalem Light and Sound Show

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

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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

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