BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Children from Bethlehem’s Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps talk to Mondoweiss about their life in the camps. Filmmakers Sheren Khalel and Abed al Qaisi wanted to know exactly how much the children understood about the military occupation going on around them, and how normal they believed their lives were. With their parents permission, Khalel and al Qaisi asked five children from the streets of the two camps what they thought. All of the answers were spontaneous and unrehearsed, and as it turned out, the kids understood — and have experienced — quite a lot.

Many of the children talked about tear gas, soldiers, and being scared of going outside. All of the children have seen family members killed, injured and detained by Israeli forces — as is the life in the occupied West Bank’s many refugee camps. Still, the children have high hopes, telling Mondoweiss they want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers when they grow up.


As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.

Israeli soldiers praise each other for shooting Palestinians

This video is filmed from the perspective of Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian youths protesting the occupation.

Soldiers can be heard making lighthearted comments and congratulating each other as they shoot to maim young Palestinians.

At first, the camera focuses on a young Palestinian, apparently holding a sling used to launch rocks towards occupation soldiers (though not apparently in the direction of the camera).

“What about him, doesn’t he want to stand?” a soldier says in Hebrew.

“Standing … standing,” the soldier says, then the crack of a gun is heard and the youth falls to the ground.

“He took it!” a soldier says triumphantly, and adds “He took it in the ass!”

“Well done,” another voice is heard saying. As the soldiers praise each other, Palestinians rush to evacuate the injured youth to safety.

Moments later, the soldiers can be heard discussing targeting another Palestinian youth. “Be ready, on him,” a soldier, apparently in command, says.

He then gives the order to shoot. “He fell. Well done!” he exclaims after the gunshot rings out.

“What a hit!” “Beautiful!” soldiers say.

The video shows at least half a dozen Palestinians being methodically targeted in this manner before the camera briefly pans and captures the faces of two of the Israeli assailants.

One of the Israelis whose face is captured stretches out his hand to cover the camera lens.

The video reveals that the Israeli gunmen are in an armored vehicle or jeep and are in no conceivable danger from the Palestinians they are shooting.

According to the Ma’an News Agency, the footage was released on Facebook last week by Palestinian activists who say it was recovered from a camera dropped by one of the soldiers.

The copy of the video above was subtitled by Ronnie Barkan.

Lethal weapons

Similar videos published by Israeli soldiers themselves have shown soldiers expressing sadistic joy as they shoot Palestinians.

Last year, Israel expanded its permission to occupation soldiers to use lethal .22-caliber sniper guns against Palestinian demonstrators.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem noted in September that from the start of 2015 three Palestinians had been killed by .22-caliber bullets “during stone-throwing incidents in which members of the security forces were not in mortal danger.”

Israel’s policy of shooting Palestinians with live ammunition in order to suppress anti-occupation protests frequently causes devastating and lifelong injuries even when it does not kill.

Restrictions on the use of live fire to “mortal danger” situations exist only on paper.

“Experience gained through monitoring [.22] use in the West Bank shows that the restrictions placed on using this type of ammunition get eroded over time, and the result is a constant expansion of the [.22] use,” B’Tselem says.

As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.


Israeli army introduces a new system of identification numbers for the 30,000 Palestinian residents in the city.

Is this next?

Is this next?




In Hebron ‘even the kids have numbers’

Hebron, Occupied West Bank – Every sunset, 23-year-old Alaa stands in the balcony of her modest stone house overlooking Hebron’s Shuhada Street.

“I count the minutes until he [her husband] comes home. I wait by the window, and I tell him not to be late,” she said, requesting that her last name not be published.

Shuhada Street (Arabic for “Martyrs Street”) was once a bustling thoroughfare running through the heart of the West Bank’s largest city, connecting Hebron’s outdoor market to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Palestinians buzzed between busy shops and glass factories, and lived in apartments above the shops. The area is also home to 500 hardline Israeli settlers, and has long been a flashpoint for unrest between Palestinians and the Israeli military.

Over the past month, the few Palestinians, who still live on or nearby the street, are enduring a new set of army restrictions and security searches.

On October 30, the Israeli military announced a closed military zone over the area of Hebron under full Israeli security control.

“No one who can come to visit us. My father couldn’t come to see us,” Alaa said.

To enforce the closure, the Israeli army introduced a new system of identification numbers for the 30,000 Palestinian residents of the cordoned-off H2 district which encompasses about 20 percent of Hebron and includes Shuhada Street and a number of Israeli settlements.The remaining 80 percent of the city is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to presenting their identification cards at 17 internal checkpoints and undergoing security checks, Palestinians must now orally give soldiers their new ID number when entering and leaving the blockades that enclose Shuhada Street.

The army did not distribute paper documents with the new identification number. Once a soldier is told the number, he then cross-references it with a printed list.

“Anyone who does not have a number is removed or arrested. The Israeli army detained at least 20 international volunteers who monitor H2 area,” said Sohaib Zahda, of the Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlements.

Those who forget their ID numbers or chose not to register sneak in and out of the H2 area through fields, careful not to be caught in the heavily monitored region.

“Even the little kids have numbers,” said Anas Murakatan, 27, who lives in an apartment near a checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street. “I am 58; she is 59,” Anas said, pointing to his pregnant wife, Fadwa Murakatan. His children are 60 and 61.

“When the baby is born, she will get one too.”

Fadwa’s child was due four weeks ago – prompting her husband to joke that “the baby is afraid, so he does not want to come out”. Fadwa explained that when she goes into labour, she will have to walk down Shuhada Street and cross a checkpoint, and only then will she be able to enter an ambulance. She said she had to wait 30 minutes the last time she needed an ambulance.

Because of the new regulations, she said, “we are not allowed to bring any guests. When I give birth, they will not allow my family to come and visit me.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli army said in a statement to Al Jazeera: “Precautionary measures have been implemented in order to prevent future attacks and maintain the safety and well-being of residence of the area.” But the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said, in a statement issued last month, that the new measure constituted “a collective punishment of Hebron residents”.

“Anyone whose name is not on the list cannot cross the checkpoint and is forced to take a long, arduous detour to get home. Some neighborhood residents have not had their names put on the list to protest at being required to receive a permit to enter their own homes,” said the statement.

“In other cases, checkpoint personnel have erroneously left some residents’ names off the list, so these individuals cannot cross the checkpoint either.”

Beyond Hebron’s city centre, the Israeli army mounted a series of mobile checkpoints between Hebron and Bethlehem, causing lengthy delays for motorists at the same location where cars were regularly inspected during the second Intifada

In 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli military closed businesses and shops along Shuhada Street.

A decade later, at the end of the Second Intifada in 2005, the army shut down the glass manufacturing plants and prohibited Palestinian vehicles from using the street.

Hundreds of people were forced to move, and those who stayed often have to enter their homes through alleyways.

“Palestinians are barred from Shuhada Street. They are prohibited from even walking down part of it,” said Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

“This whole situation is meant to facilitate the presence of Israeli settlers. It’s an official policy called the ‘policy of separation’ that the Israeli government has adopted.”

Despite these changes, hardline Israeli politicians say the increased army presence in and around Hebron remains insufficient. Speaking to Army Radio last Monday, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the far-right Jewish Home party, called for a second Defensive Shield, referring to Israel’s large-scale military operation in the West Bank in 2002.

Bennett’s remarks reflect a growing desire among Israeli right-wingers to launch a full-scale advance into Palestinian cities.

While Hebron has long been the site of clashes between settlers and Palestinians, the Murakatans said their neighbourhood has witnessed about three settler attacks a week since it became a closed military zone.

They said the attacks always take place at night, and involve about a dozen settlers parading down Shuhada Street, often stoning Palestinian homes.

“One month ago our daughter, she fell on the stairs, and so my husband took her to the hospital,” recounted Fadwa. “When I came back from the hospital, a settler tried to attack me while I was holding Diala,” Anas said.

In another incident, Israeli soldiers accused Fadwa of concealing a weapon when she left her house to throw rubbish into a bin on Shuhada Street. “I asked, ‘Where is the knife, where is the knife?'” she said, motioning her arms from her chest outward.

As dusk fell, the family of four gathered on their rooftop – the only outdoor play space for the two children, who kicked spent tear gas canisters and a shipping box marked “hazardous”.

A packing slip on the box indicated that its contents were meant for the Israeli army. The container was lobbed on to their house during the near-daily clashes in Hebron between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military.

Below, two settlers strolled across Shuhada Street near a group of soldiers. No Palestinians were on the road.

Meanwhile, Anas reminisced about how different his neighbourhood used to be. “It was very nice; a lot of people were usually here,” he said. “At that time settlers were afraid of us – but now we are afraid of them.”



Both Israel and the US are guilty of misusing the claim of incitement in an attempt to justify their punishment of Palestinians.

As Israel and US wrongly claim ‘incitement’ to justify their actions against Palestinians, the oppressed may resort to new forms of struggle

As Israel and US wrongly claim ‘incitement’ to justify their actions against Palestinians, the oppressed may resort to new forms of struggle

Palestinians ‘have become unreasonably reasonable’

Sam Bahour

“Give me liberty, or give me death!” Patrick Henry declared in a speech he made to the Virginia Convention in 1775, at St John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. Fast forward 240 years, and if Israel and the US were able to pin those words to a Palestinian and decry incitement, they would do so in a heartbeat.

Like “terrorism,” “incitement” is a word that works great in conflict zones because it means everything and nothing at the same time. However, its misuse as a justification to perpetrate blatant human rights violations and maintain an illegal state of affairs that contributes to conflict being fanned, not diffused.

Both Israel and the US are guilty of misusing the claim of incitement in an attempt to justify their punishment of Palestinians.

For Israel to point to Palestinian incitement, which does exist, as the source of the present violence across Israel and Palestine is pathetic, at best. After dispossessing Palestinians numerous times and leaving more than half the population locked out of their homeland and scattered across the region to live a life of misery as refugees; after installing a system of institutionalized and structural discrimination inside Israel against the Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel who remained in the country after Israel’s establishment; after placing (and pressing) a boot of military occupation on the necks of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip for the past 48 years; after expanding an illegal settlement enterprise from 100,000 settlers to 580,000 settlers, all the while pretending to be engaged in bilateral negotiations to resolve the conflict; and while Israeli prime ministers and ministers continually claim that no Palestinian state will ever be allowed to emerge, while also claiming Palestinians are everything from snakes to subhuman, Israel has no right whatsoever to even hint at incitement as being a factor in this outbreak of violence.

For the US, be it Congress or the Administration, to ignore history and the facts on the ground and point to Palestinian incitement in a knee-jerk reaction to the current violence is criminal.

Secretary of State John Kerry, addressing the current deterioration of security in the region, tells NPR News: “There’s no excuse for the violence. No amount of frustration is appropriate to license any violence anywhere at any time. No violence should occur. And the Palestinians need to understand.” Really?

Palestinians need to “understand” when they are at the receiving end of all the violence mentioned above? And this coming from a country that underwrites Israel to the tune of $10.2 million in military aid each day, that has just completed the total destruction of two sovereign states in the region (Iraq and Afghanistan), and has been Addicted to War since its founding.

Indeed, “no violence should occur,” but regrettably Palestinians will not make world history by being the first people that falls under military occupation and wakes up one morning and accepts it by throwing roses and chocolate at their occupier. The longest military occupation in modern history will be resisted until it ends.

The challenge for everyone is how nonviolently to face the horrendous violence of the occupation, much of which is bloodless violence, violence that does not make the headline news but rather simmers on a slow burner, like the never-ending settlement enterprise or the suffocation of the Palestinian economy.

All of this is not to say that targeting civilians is justified. It is not. But all the stakeholders in this conflict know very well that there are two dynamics at play in this most recent Palestinian outbreak of frustration.

On the one hand, the level of loss of hope has pushed a very small number of Palestinians to undertake violent and horrendous acts against Israeli civilians, many targeting illegal Israeli settlers. This was totally predictable and I, for one, have been speaking in public about the fear of individual, lone-wolf, acts of violence for years.

On the other hand, an entirely new generation of Palestinians has reached a boiling point, and some have taken to the streets in an uncoordinated and disparate fashion to express their outrage at being locked into open-air cages, suffocated economically, and humiliated on a daily basis.

Some claim this latter dynamic is a new intifada, or uprising, but regardless of how it is coined or if it is sustainable or not its message is crystal clear: there is no status quo under Israeli occupation, only the facade of calm while Israel continues literally and figuratively to cement new facts on the ground that are in total violation of international law.

The US State Department, claiming Palestinians are engaged in almighty and undefinable incitement, has cut aid to Palestinians by $80mn as a “message” to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This funding cut will bring the US’s annual economic assistance to Palestinians from $370mn to $290mn, peanuts in the larger picture and, for many, a sore source of the artificial prop-up which maintains an expired Palestinian Authority.

So as the situation on the ground boils over, and the Israeli government’s intransigence and determination to “forever live by the sword” continues, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recently reported telling a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the US is making itself more and more irrelevant to the reality on the ground by blindly adopting Israel’s well-crafted incitement mantra.

Israeli adoption of the “incitement” claim to cover up its blatant and systematic violations of international law is not surprising; however, the US jumping on this bandwagon to lay blame on the Palestinian leadership for the current violence is more troubling than the violence itself.

Indeed, former Palestinian diplomat Afif Safieh puts it most succinctly when he says: “Palestinians have become unreasonably reasonable.”

I would add that if the US does not finally act, instead of paying only lip service to a two-state solution, no one in Congress should be surprised when Palestinians drop their bid for statehood and convert this struggle for freedom to a civil rights struggle.

Written FOR


Photo: Israeli security forces stand and Palestinians gather at the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after an alleged knife attack in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank (AFP).


Settlers gone wild in the wild, wild West Bank …

A video on YouTube showed a masked man lunging at Rabbi Arik Asherman (pictured) [Flickr/Trocaire]

A video on YouTube showed a masked man lunging at Rabbi Arik Asherman (pictured) [Flickr/Trocaire]

Peace activist rabbi attacked by Israeli settler

Video shows moment masked attacker beats Rabbi Arik Ascherman while brandishing a knife in West Bank.

A video has emerged of the moment a settler attacked and beat an Israeli peace activist near the Palestinian village of Awarta in the occupied West Bank.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who heads the Rabbis for Human Rights organisation, was part of a group of Israeli and international activists attending an olive harvest at a Palestinian farm on Friday when he was attacked.

The Israeli news outlet ‘+972 Magazine’ reported that Ascherman and other activists noticed Israeli settlers stealing olives and setting fire to plants on the hillside.

When Ascherman went to put out the fire he was set upon by a masked man swinging a knife at him.

The video shows the masked man shouting at Ascherman and then throwing punches at him. The man, who later runs off up hill, lunges at Ascherman with the knife but does not stab him.

Al Jazeera contacted the Israeli military, which occupies the West Bank, and the Israeli police force, which deals with incidents between Israelis in the territory. Both said they were unaware of the attack.

On its Twitter account, Rabbis for Human Rights said the attack was unprovoked and had happened on Palestinian-administered land and not in Itamar, a nearby illegal Israeli settlement.



Another report HERE

Rabbi Helping Palestinian Olive Harvest Attacked by Extremist

Was there a report of this crime in YOUR daily western press?

I doubt it



This week Israelis buried and mourned their victims with full press coverage in the West.

But there are mourners on the other side of the wall that you never hear about …

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist”


Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

“Son of Palestine” mourned by thousands

“If you grow up in the camp, fear doesn’t exist for you,” said Qassam Dweik, a resident of Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Qassam’s best friend, 14-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, was killed by Israeli soldiers on Sunday. He had been taking part in the ongoing confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth near the Beit El settlement colony.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist,” Qassam explained.

Built on Palestinian land, Beit El houses the Israeli Civil Administration, the bureaucratic arm of the military occupation, and its district office. The settlement has long been the flashpoint of confrontations between youth and soldiers, though the Palestinian Authority has previously prevented protesters from reaching the area.

Clashes there have intensified, occurring daily after noon prayers, since the beginning of the month, when Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Muhannad Halabi in Surda, a nearby Palestinian village, before dawn on 4 October. Halabi was shot dead by Israeli police the evening before after allegedly stabbing four people, killing two, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the month, and seven Israelis have been killed during the same period. As of Sunday, more than 1,300 Palestinians were injuredby live and rubber-coated steel bullets fired by occupation forces.

Committed to struggle

Ahmad and Qassam risked their lives each day by engaging in the clashes near Beit El. Ahmad had called on his friend to join him on Sunday.

Ahmad’s parents, Huda and Abdallah, desperately tried to prevent their son from attending the dangerous confrontations. He had been injured during previous encounters with the army, and the family is still reeling from the death of Ahmad’s uncle, Khalil Sharaka, at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the second intifada.

Ahmad quit school two years ago and his main focus became attending protests and confrontations in defiance of his family’s appeals.

“He was committed to the struggle from a very young age,” his mother told The Electronic Intifada.

Recalling the moment of his best friend’s killing, Qassam said, “We were together when the soldiers’ shooting intensified. I fled, but Ahmad insisted on staying and throwing rocks at the military jeep.”

“A soldier then chased Ahmad with his M-16 and shot him in his left ear,” he added.

“The army left him to bleed and only allowed the ambulances to take him after about 15 minutes,” he said.

Defence for Children International-Palestine reported that Ahmad was pronounced dead from a brain hemorrhage about an hour after he arrived to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Qassam was stuck near Beit El when he learned that his friend had succumbed to his wounds.

“I first read that he was injured but I wasn’t worried. He always got injured during clashes and quickly recovered. But I then read on Facebook that he was killed and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

He ran to the hospital in Ramallah and had to plead with security to allow him to see his friend and hug him for the last time.

“I already miss him. No one came to wake me up as he used to do every day,” he lamented.

Dreamed of return

Ahmad’s family hails from the ethnically cleansed village of Beit Nabala near Lydd, in present-day Israel, and like almost all refugees in the camp, he dreamed of returning to his ancestral home.

Haneen, his twin sister, finds it hard to accept that her other half is no longer alive. Ahmad’s friends are also struggling. But they show a composure and strength that belies their youth.

Despite political disagreements between Ahmad and Qassam, their friendship remained intact, a symbol of real unity — one that eludes their leaders. Ahmad had given Qassam a green wristband, a symbol for Hamas.

As Qassam buried his friend with his own hands, he laid the green wristband next to his body on Monday.

“He gave me this because he was a Fatah supporter while I support Hamas,” he explained. “He was wearing my shoes when he was killed yesterday. We always used to exchange our favorite things.”

Ahmad’s friends remember him as incredibly generous and funny. He used to take them to the swimming pool and pay the fees himself.

Ahmad taught himself to swim. That’s no small feat for someone living in the crowded camps where there is little space for recreation. While his friends would find it hard to swim, Ahmad would encourage them and push them to continue and do their best.

Instead of preparing for another swim together, Ahmad’s friends were left to stand at his graveside before quickly heading to another protest near Beit El.

“I regret that I left him alone. I wish that I stayed with him,” Qassam said about fleeing the confrontations just before the killing of his friend. “His killing will only push me to continue going to demonstrations.”

Passing the torch

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

Ahmad Sharaka knew Laith al-Khalidi, another child from Jalazone camp killed earlier this summer.

“He knew him and took part in his funeral. Here in the camps even children resist because it’s the only choice they have,” Ahmad’s mother said.

Ahmad’s funeral procession was massive, attended by thousands.

“In the funerals of martyrs, almost the entire camp comes to pay homage,” said a relative of Ahmad’s who was also present at the funeral.

Ahmad and his friends, despite their tender age, embody the spirit of the refugee camps. The first to rise up against Israeli oppression, they are the bulwark of the Palestinian cause and identity.

“Ahmad was not just the son of Jalzone refugee camp; he didn’t sacrifice his life for this or that political faction,” Qassam said. “He was the son of all of Palestine.”

Budour Youssef Hassan is a Palestinian writer and law graduate based in occupied Jerusalem.


It is amply clear that the chances for a new intifada are now greater than ever before in light of the deep anger and indignation generated among most Palestinians by Israeli provocations and crimes.

Are Palestinians on the verge of a new Intifada?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

Palestinians, especially youngsters, are taking to the streets in large numbers to protest increasingly determined efforts by Jewish fanatics to take over or demolish al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.

A number of protesters, including a child, have been shot dead by trigger-happy Israeli soldiers, instructed by the Israeli government to shoot to kill even peaceful protesters.

According to eyewitnesses, Abdul Rahman Ubaydullah, 12, was shot dead early Tuesday by an Israeli sniper as he was playing outside his home at the Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem.

Israel murdered thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children, in three devastating wars on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014.

On Monday, another Palestinian youngster named Huthayfa Suleiman was shot dead at the Shweika neighborhood near the town of Tulkarem, in the northern West Bank.

Palestinian medical sources have reported that as many as 600 protesters were injured in the last three days, 300 by rubber-coated bullets, and the rest as a result of suffocation from tear-gas inhalation.

The hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on Monday vowed to take “harsh” measures against “rioters.”

The measures include instructions to kill stone-throwers, and demolish the family homes of Palestinians accused of killing Israeli settlers as well as imposing hefty fines on their families.

The measures seem to represent a stark contrast to the extremely lenient measures adopted against Jewish terrorists responsible for murdering Palestinians.

Nearly two months ago, Jewish terrorists burned alive an entire Palestinian family at the village of Duma near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

The father, mother and a small toddler succumbed to their massive burns while a second and only remaining child of the family is still fighting for his life in hospital.

Israel vowed to catch the perpetrators. However, two months after the ugly incident, none of the murderers has been apprehended.

It is widely believed that the Israeli security agencies as well as justice system are reluctant to pursue the Talmudic settler terrorists who are backed by powerful political figures as and top-ranking army officers.

The Israeli justice system, which is rife with right-wing judges sympathetic to the terrorists, often treats Jewish suspects as “innocent even if proven guilty,” using the words of Israeli peace activist.

Al-Aqsa, the epicenter

The main reason behind current Palestinian protests is the recurrent and increasingly bold Jewish attempts to take over the Aqsa Mosque from Muslim hands in order to build on its site a Jewish temple.

Messianic Jewish groups, backed by powerful parties within the coalition government led by Netanyahu have been storming the Islamic sanctuary, nearly on a daily basis, under the protection of the Israeli security forces.

Muslims who tried to defend the sanctity of the place were severely beaten, shot at, or arrested and given hefty fines.

On Monday, crack Israeli soldiers expelled Muslim worshipers from the place.

Messianic Jews believe that the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque and building a Talmudic temple on its site would usher in the beginning of the so-called “redemption age” and appearance of a Jewish Messiah or redeemer, who will bring salvation for Jews and establish a world-wide Jewish empire.

Some Jewish circles, including religious Zionists, whose main political arm, ha-Bayt ha Yehudi, (Jewish home), is the second largest party in the current Israeli government, believe that bloodshed and violence on a very large scale must precede the redemption and appearance of the redeemer.

Believers in this  cataclysmic theology, who are in the hundreds of thousands and include most settlers in the West Bank, often seek to expedite these doomsday whims  by provoking violence in Occupied Palestine, especially by torching mosques and even churches and by committing outrageous acts of murder like what happened to the Dawabsheh family.

However, Messianic Jews know well that nothing would provoke the Palestinians like the recurrent storming of the Aqsa Mosque.

Life- and- death issue

In a certain sense, the millenarian Jews are correct.

Assaults on the Aqsa Mosque, even under the deceptive rubric of “innocent visits” do provoke Palestinians as nothing else would.

After all, the Aqsa Mosque is an integral part of the Islamic belief itself.  The Mosque is mentioned by name in Suratul Isra (Chapter- 17)

Most Palestinians actually believe that the majestic Muslim sanctuary, to which the Prophet Muhammed made his night journey from Mecca and subsequently flew from there to the seventh heaven in what is known in Muslim traditions as Israa and Mi’iraj, symbolizes their very existence in Palestine.

Hence, targeting the Mosque by Jews is viewed as a direct, brazen and flagrant attack or declaration of war on the very existence of the Palestinians, not only in Palestine, but also in the Levant region.

That is why; nearly every Palestinian considers the issue a matter of life and death even at the personal level.

A new Intifada

It is difficult to say with certainty whether an intifada or uprising is occurring or going to occur soon.

However, it is amply clear that the chances for a new intifada are now greater than ever before in light of the deep anger and indignation generated among most Palestinians by Israeli provocations and crimes.

Hence, it is probably logical to say that the evolution of the present protests in the West Bank into a full-fledged uprising depends very much on Israeli behaviors, especially at the Aqsa Mosque.

More to the point, the virtual death of the so-called peace process and the practical elimination by Israel of all realistic prospects for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state are likely to make the eruption of a third Intifada more likely if not inevitable.



Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

The Western Media has been going viral over the past few days over terrorist murders of Israelis.

What about the murders of Palestinians? That you won’t read about in the West ….

Below are the latest reports from the Palestinian Press (Click on links below the photos)


The myth …

Leaving for UN, Benjamin Netanyahu Blames Palestinians for Jerusalem Violence

See full report HERE


The reality … it’s not just the Temple Mount … (click on links)

Israeli forces cross into Gaza, level land


Nablus police chief, 3-year-old daughter injured by Israeli fire


Israeli forces continue entry restrictions to Aqsa compound


New clashes as Israeli forces raid Al-Aqsa Mosque compound


Israel imposes lockdown on East Jerusalem neighborhoods


There are more examples, many more …. none of which you will read about in the Western Media.

That’s why WE ARE HERE!


This brilliant poster was created by Shaul Hanuka Help us realise justice by circulating it widely

This brilliant poster was created by Shaul Hanuka
Help us realise justice by circulating it widely


In Memory of Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18-yo Palestinian Student murdered by Israeli Troops in Hebron


Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff


Related report FROM

Palestinian teen shot in Hebron by Israeli forces dies from injuries

A Palestinian teenager shot by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in Hebron died from her injuries on Tuesday, Israeli medical sources said.

The teenager, identified as 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon, was shot three times by Israeli soldiers after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack, Israel’s army said.

A spokesperson for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center where she was taken for treatment said the teenager was “terribly injured, and underwent surgery upon her arrival.

“She later died from her injuries, the spokesperson confirmed.

No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, and the Israeli army did not release photographs of a knife, as they have done on several other recent occasions.

The army spokeswoman said that the attack had been “thwarted.”

A local activist group Youth Against Settlements later released what it said were photos of the incident, appearing to show Israeli soldiers aiming their weapons at the woman, as first she faced them and afterward turned away from them.

Another photo appeared to show the woman slumped on the street, after she was shot and wounded.

Video footage from Palestinian news agency PalMedia showed al-Hashlamon left bleeding on the pavement, reportedly for up to 30 minutes before she received treatment.

The footage shows the woman being dragged out of camera frame, while soldiers and heavily armed settlers look on.

Al-Hashlamon’s death marks at least 25 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of 2015, according to UN documentation, not including Palestinian deaths caused by Israeli settlers.


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Tens of cattle owned by Palestinians died after Israeli water firm cut off water supplies for Palestinian village in Nablus. 



New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

12000802_872795769455129_3188029852836126768_o (1)
Thanks to Shaul Hanuka for the above


Why Israelis can burn Palestinians alive and get away with it

Watch this before YouTube removes it

By Maureen Clare Murphy

“I was on the balcony of my home. I heard Saad screaming, ‘Help me. They’ve killed me,’” explains Ibrahim Dawabsha in a new short documentary produced by the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq (watch it at the top of this page).

Ibrahim rushed out to find Saad Dawabsha and his wife, Riham, lying on the ground, their bodies on fire.

A masked figure stood near Saad, and another stood near his wife.

Ibrahim carried Saad and then Riham away from their burning home, and then rescued their 4-year-old son Ahmed from inside.

“I took him to my neighbor’s house. The neighbor told me that there was also another child inside the house. His name was Ali. I went back to Saad’s home. At that time, the whole house was on fire.”

While villagers waited for firefighters to arrive, they tried in vain to rescue baby Ali, who perished in the fire.

Violent cell

Six hours before the Dawabsha family home was set ablaze in the occupied West Bank village of Duma on 31 July, Israel’s Channel 2 aired an exposé on a group of settlers who had set fire to the historic Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes in the Galilee region of present-day Israel.

When they were arrested, Channel 2 reported, the members of the cell admitted that they had set fire to the church as well as to homes and mosques in the West Bank. Investigators found a CD they produced which describes how Arabs can be burned alive: break the windows of a home, throw flammable material into the rooms and set fire to the exits.

“This way Arabs are burned to death,” the instructions assure.

After the Dawabsha home was set on fire, the Israeli military held a press conference outside it.

Al-Haq’s documentary shows an army spokesperson stating, in Arabic, that Israel promises “to arrest those who did this and bring them to justice.”

No one knows the emptiness of such promises more than Hussein Abu Khudair.

His 16-year-old son Muhammad was abducted from outside his Jerusalem home and burned alive in June 2014, hours after a right-wing rally in the city during which protesters chanted “Death to the Arabs.”

“Those who abducted my son had participated in the demonstration, which provided moral support for them to kidnap and set my son Muhammad on fire,” Hussein explains in the documentary.

“For four days, the Israeli police claimed that my son had been killed on grounds of family disputes,” he adds.

“If it had not been for surveillance cameras that documented the abduction and the abductors, the Israeli police would have registered the case against unknown persons.”

“When the judge is your enemy”

The perpetrators of Muhammad’s murder are being brought to trial. But Hussein doesn’t believe that it will bring justice for his family.

“The Israeli judiciary is not impartial. When the judge is your enemy, who can you complain to? The Israeli judiciary is sympathetic to these criminals.”

Hussein insists that the people who killed his son should not have been able to commit the crime in the first place.

“The police cooperated with them in spite of the fact that they should have arrested them before they burned and killed Muhammad,” he says.

One can only imagine that Saad and Riham Dawabsha would say the same about those who murdered 18-month-old Ali.

But Saad died of his injuries one week after the attack, and then Riham succumbed to hers one month later.


Nearly two months since the attack, no one has been charged in connection with the crime, though the Israeli government knows who did it.

The Israeli army spokesperson’s promise to catch the Dawabsha family’s killers is cynical enough, given the long history of settlers attacking Palestinians and their crops, homes and places of worship without punishment.

But it is also totally insincere, as the army protects those settlers’ very presence in the West Bank through its violent occupation that robs Palestinians of their most basic rights.

Israel’s army exists in service to the settlers, who are a necessary component of the state’s settler-colonyenterprise.

Why would the army inflict worse punishment on settlers when its own uniformed soldiers routinely get away with murdering Palestinians at checkpoints, like they did 18-year-old Hadil Salah Hashlamoun on Tuesday?

To believe that a Palestinian family could obtain justice in Israel’s courts is to completely ignore the reality of the system and who it is designed to serve.


On this Eid al-Adha I present a poem that I wrote about 15 years ago  .. it is very fitting today as Palestinian families are divided both by an imposed closure and the wall itself.



© By Steve Amsel

A wall has been built,

I cannot see my neighbor

I know not when he needs my help

I know not when he is hungry.


My brother’s child cannot come for an afternoon snack

I cannot bring it to him

The wall is in the way

Dividing families and loved ones.


“They” told us the wall is for protection.

From what?

Must our children go hungry?

Must we be jobless?


“They” say we are the enemy.

Is going to work a crime?

Is going to school a crime?

Try to tell a child that hunger is a good thing.


If the wall stays up

There will be an enemy

Uneducation and hunger leads to resentment

Resentment will lead to revolt.


Learn from your history my friends

Learn that walls are not the solution

Learn that unity is strength

And learn that justice triumphs over evil always.


Ms. Thomas’ words of “Go back to Poland” are echoing loud and clear!

Why is Israel attacking Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque?

On Wednesday, I appeared on Al Jazeera’s news magazine Inside Story to discuss Israel’s assault on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The other guests were Akiva Eldar, senior columnist at Al-Monitor, and Matthew Duss, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

Today, dozens of members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party entered the compound accompanied by occupation forces.

This provocation came after days of violent Israeli assaults on worshippers and journalists in and around the mosque.

Palestinians view these incursions as part of an increasingly aggressive strategy aimed at an eventual takeover of the compound by Israeli groups intent on bringing down the mosque and building a Jewish temple in its place.

Watch the video above.


The meeting was sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the NY Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace

The meeting was sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the NY Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace

On the evening of September 15th Bassem Tamimi spoke to a packed room at the New School University in NYC.  The meeting was sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the NY Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Every seat was filled, people stood leaning on walls and sitting on every inch of floor space for 2 hours listening attentively to the story of resistance to Israeli occupation by the people of Nabi Saleh, a village of about 600 people living in occupied Palestinian territory on the West Bank.

Bassem Tamimi has been arrested 9 times and tortured while in Israeli prisons.  His wife was shot in the leg and has to use crutches to walk and his sister and brother-in-law were murdered.  The land belonging to the village has been stolen and their ancient olive trees, which many Palestinians are very attached to, have been stolen or destroyed.  Each week Israel gives them the equivalent of 24 hours worth of water which they must make last a week so it is stored in tanks on their roof.  When Israel sprays their land and inside their homes with ‘skunk water’, an extremely foul smelling liquid that is projected at high intensity from tanks on trucks, they also spray the water tanks which makes the water unusable.  This is done regularly and the odor remains 2-3 weeks.

The residents of Nabi Saleh have studied the non-violence taught by Gandhi and Martin Luther King as well as the South African model.  They do not want to maim or kill anybody but they do want to put an end to the occupation and the colonial project in Palestine.  They are focusing on the big picture.  They strongly support the freedom of women and consider the participation of women in the resistance to be very important.  Their only weapons are cameras.

After giving the audience an opportunity to answer questions Tamimi concluded by saying that their goal was having a country where there would be one-person, one-vote.  He doesn’t see the possibility of  a 2 state solution because of the theft of their land to build colonies.  Answering the question, what can we do to help, he said that the support of the international community was very important.  The US supports Israel to the tune of $10 million a day and an unlimited supply of weapons.  Americans should pressure their government and support BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions).  However, they should do so not with an attitude that they are helping the Palestinians but with the understand that they are doing this for themselves because they understand the importance of having a just world.

This was the first stop on a speaking tour for Mr. Tamimi.  He is a powerful speaker and has a lot to teach all of us.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee















Meet the Tamimi family in THIS post


Look at THIS post before you continue reading …..

The Holocaust of the Dawabsheh family

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

Reham Dawabsheh, 27, has finally succumbed to the critical wounds she sustained when Jewish settlers torched her home at the village of Duma south of Nablus in the West Bank about five weeks ago.

Initially, her toddler, 18-month- old Ali, was burned to death. Two weeks ago, her husband Saad died of injuries sustained in the same incident. Reham, a school teacher, was laid to rest next to her husband and child at her home village Monday 7/9/2015.

Now, her only remaining child is fighting for his life. His overall conditions have been described as “stable and improving.”

The nefarious crime was carried out by ostensibly Messianic Jewish settlers seeking to establish a pure Talmudic Jewish state, which the terrorists believe would expedite and accelerate the appearance of the Redeemer or Jewish Messiah who would usher the age of salvation for Jews and enable them to build a worldwide empire.

The Israeli government did denounce the crime. But many observers, Jewish and Arab alike, believe that condemnations of the crime by the Israeli  government were largely disingenuous and only intended to contain the public relations damage generated by the hair-raising crime.

Binyamin Netanyahu himself vowed to catch and punish the perpetrators. However, as of today, more than five weeks after the incident at Duma, no terrorist has been apprehended.

It is widely believed that the problem is unlikely to be related to a dearth of intelligence information that would lead to the arrest of the killers, but rather has everything to do with the reluctance of the Israeli security authorities to pursue the criminal terrorists.

One Israeli commentator alluded to this suspicious reluctance, saying “a venomous snake doesn’t bite its tail.”

The virtual annihilation of the Dawabsheh family is perfectly compatible with strategic Zionist goals, namely getting rid of the Palestinians by all means necessary.

Israel has failed to achieve this goal as Palestinian demographic growth seems to have thwarted nearly all Zionist designs to empty Palestine of its native people.

Indeed, Israel is now openly admitting that there are already more Palestinians than Jews in mandatory Palestine, e.g. between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Hence, it is highly likely that Israel is now trying to unleash its ultimate weapon against Palestinian existence, namely organized or unorganized terror.

Israeli officials believe that the Jewish state would be able to exonerate itself of this widespread terror, however genocidal it might be, by arguing that “civil wars happen and often lead to undesirable but inevitable results.”

To conclude, the willful failure of the Zionist state to catch the genocidal terrorists who carried out a holocaust against the Dawabsheh family shows that Israel is only trying to deceive the world public opinion.

It also suggests that the attempted annihilation of the Dawabsheh family was by no means an isolated act of genocidal terror by some religious fanatics and that the next genocidal act is only a matter of time.


Just the other day we ‘met’ this wonderful, brave Palestinian family …  

The Tamimi family

The Tamimi family

See THIS post


And THIS one that followed


This family was not as ‘fortunate’,  just a month after the blaze that killed their infant son and his father, the mother joined them in death yesterday.

The Dawabsha family (MaanImages)

The Dawabsha family (MaanImages)

Thousands of Palestinians mourn the death of slain infant’s mother

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians took part in the funeral of Riham Dawabsha, 27, who died overnight Sunday after succumbing to wounds she sustained more than a month ago in an arson attack on July 31 that killed her husband and 18-month-old son.

The funeral march set off from the entrance of Duma village in southern Nablus and proceeded to the village’s cemetery.

Dawabsha was given a military funeral as members of the Palestinian Authority security forces headed the march.

The 27-year-old mother of two was buried in the village’s cemetery, next to her husband and son who were laid to rest last month.

Dawabsha died hours after her birthday, on Sept. 6, while her husband died on Aug. 8, the couple’s wedding anniversary.

Mourners held Palestinian flags and the flags of Palestinian political factions in addition to signs demanding national unity, while others called for revenge and demanded the Israeli government find and hold the attackers accountable.

Dozens of students from Jurish School for Girls, where Dawabsha worked as a mathematics teacher, took part in the funeral in addition to hundreds of teachers, as the Nablus Directorate of Education suspended the school day to give students and teachers a chance to take part.

The governor of Nablus, Akram al-Rujoub, the PA Minister of Education, Sabri Seidam, and representatives of national and Islamic factions took part in the funeral, in addition to members of the national and legislative councils and heads of PA institutions.

Israeli settlers smashed the windows of two homes in Duma, before throwing flammable liquids and Molotov cocktails inside, killing infant Ali, who was trapped inside the house, and critically injuring the other family members.

Following the incident, Israeli authorities arrested a number of extremist settlers without charge, but later released nearly all the suspects.

The perpetrators of the attack have still not been arrested by Israeli authorities.

Israeli settlers have carried out at least 142 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks result in a conviction, the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din reported.

All that remains of this family ... A burnt photograph of the Dawabsha family. (photo credit:YESH DIN)

All that remains of this family … A burnt photograph of the Dawabsha family. (photo credit:YESH DIN)



In case you missed THIS post earlier, it’s a MUST READ

The following is an interesting perspective from an Israeli newspaper

The Tamimi family

The Tamimi family

Nebi Salah footage a reflection of Israel

 The images of a young girl and two women struggling with an Israeli soldier grasping a 12-year-old Palestinian boy’s neck illustrate not only what the occupation is doing to the Palestinians, but mostly what it is doing to the IDF and to the State of Israel.

By Nahum Barnea

Nine-year-old Salam Tamimi is a fair-haired child with blue eyes and a straight back – Palestine’s poster child. I met him on Tuesday afternoon in his house’s backyard in the village of Nebi Salah.

The next day I spoke to his father, Bassam, on the phone. Why did you name him Salam, peace, I asked. “For two reasons,” he replied. “First, when he was born I began changing my opinion about resisting the occupation. I thought that there may be another way. I believed peace could be reached.”

And what was the other reason, I asked.

“The other reason was that I had a friend named Salam. The Israelis killed him during the intifada.”

It’s almost a predestination: In the Israel-Palestine war, every act – even the birth of a child – has more than one reason. Sometimes the reasons complement each other; sometimes they contradict each other.

The demonstrations which leave the Hawajeh company’s gas station, at the entrance to Nebi Salah, every Friday have more than one reason too. One of these protests, last Friday, was documented on video. Muhammad Tamimi, Salam’s brother, raised his arm as if he were intending to throw a stone. A soldier jumped on him and tightly grasped the sobbing child’s neck. Several women, including the child’s mother and sister, attacked the soldier, exposed his face and began hitting him; the sister, Ahed, bit his hand.

The outcome could have been extremely grave, catastrophic, had the solder and his friends opened fire. But the footage was difficult, even shocking. It illustrated not only what the occupation is doing to the Palestinians, but also, and mainly, what it is doing to the IDF. What it is doing to the State of Israel. Whether we admit it or not, that soldier is us.

Nebi Salah is a relatively small village, with about 600 people. Most residents support Fatah; few support Hamas. The village sits on the top of a high mountain, east of Ramallah. The Tamimi family’s house is located at the southwestern end of the village. It overlooks a splendid view: The coastal plain and sea in the west, the Um Safa forest in the south, and a large settlement on its margins with two names – Halamish and Neve Tzuf. Road 465, which begins west of the Green Line and ends on the Ramallah-Nablus road, near the settlement of Ofra, passes through the valley between Nebi Salah and Halamish-Neve Tzuf.

After 1967 I used to hike in these mountains, the Gofna Mountains, quite often. The olive groves, the orchards, the villages stuck to the mountains, the wells, the springs – they all seemed as if they had been taken from the pages of the Bible.

We have grown stronger since then. Near the modest spring of Nebi Salah there is now a brown sign, similar to the guiding signs within the Green Line, but completely illegal. “Maayan Meir” (Meir’s Spring), the sign reads. Meir is the late Meir Segal, one of the settlement’s founders. A sign placed alongside the spring mentions the deceased, praises the place’s renovation and quotes a song by Israeli lyricist Yoram Taharlev: “I had a spring between the wild weeds… The small piece of God.”

The settlers got rid of the weeds and set up benches instead – one of them in the place where the spring comes out of the rock. Picnic tables were dispersed in the area, a pergola was built, fruit trees – pomegranate, fig, olive – and ornamental trees were planted and three small pools were dug for washing. A drizzle of water comes out of the spring and fills the pools.

When I was there this week, I saw a small flag of Israel on the ground. After picking it up, I realized why it had been covered with swarms of flies: Someone, likely a hostile person, defecated near the spring and covered his body wastes with the Israeli flag. That’s a type of protest too.

The battle over the spring

Why Nebi Salah, I asked an IDF officer who served in the area.

“The story,” he said, “starts with a plot of citrus trees, mainly lemons, near the spring, with beehives inside. In 2009, Jews set fire to the plot as part of ‘price tag’ activities. The plot belonged to a young man from Deir Nidham, a nearby village. And then the protests started.

“We asked the Nebi Salah mukhtar why the protests were going on. First of all the spring, he said. We checked: There are three large water pools down the road. Soldiers used to bathe in them. We asked the soldier to stop. The staff officer for archaeology issued demolition orders in 2012 for everything the settlers built around the spring. The orders have not been executed to this very day. I don’t know why.

“In 2011, we arranged for Nebi Salah’s residents to visit the spring on weekdays, apart for Friday because it creates a security problem for the settlers. The Halamish residents were very angry. The Palestinians would come and create provocations – place a flag of Palestine instead of a flag of Israel, cause damage.

“They also claimed that the settlers had erected a fence on their private lands. We checked: The fence was built without a permit. The Civil Administration’s supervision unit knocked down the fence, but left it on the ground. Both sides were angry – the settlers, because we knocked it down, and the Palestinians, because they couldn’t work their lands.

“With Deir Nidham we solved things: They received help from the Red Cross. But Nebi Salah kept making new demands. They demanded to return to small plots which were expropriated from them in the 1970s. We checked: The plots were in the heart of the settlement. A grocery store was erected on one of them, and a swimming pool on the other. How will we give them back?

“Nonetheless, we couldn’t understand why they were still protesting. Some said, it’s the money. They get money from Turkey. And some said, it’s the girls from the European protest organizations. They see a Swedish girl arriving to protest, so they go out too.

“Once we said, maybe we should ignore them. Let them protest. But then they continued walking down the road, reached the Halamish regimental policeman and threw Molotov cocktails into the community. We realized that there was no choice, we had to push them into the village.”

I asked Bassam Tamimi what was the reason for the protests. “It’s a long list,” he said. “The expropriated lands, the spring, the olive trees which have been cut off, the demolished homes, the occupation in general. The plot which was taken in 2009 led to demonstrations, but our battle began in as early as 2000, during the intifada.”

Ahed, his 14-year-old daughter, was documented three years ago scolding a soldier. The blonde, blue eyed, self-confident girl with the long braid became a media star. Have you received money to fund the protests, I asked.

He denied it. “We don’t receive money from anyone. There is a Palestinian coordination committee which occasionally funds a lawyer. That’s all.”

Nebi Salah is filled with blonde people, I said. I assume everyone asks where you came from.

He laughed. “We came here 100 years ago,” he said. “We came from Hebron. According to the stories, our forefathers were Europeans who converted to Islam. But those are just stories.”

Thanks to the video, the Tamimi family is now Palestine’s hero. On Thursday they were supposed to travel to Ramallah for a festive meeting with the rais, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Wipe them off the map

At the end of the War of Independence, the State of Israel sought to erase the Arab neighborhoods and villages which had emptied out. At first they even burned furniture. The fear that the Arabs would return to their homes sped up the destruction process.

Later on, when they remembered that there were hundreds of thousands of immigrants seeking a roof over their heads, they stopped destroying and began housing. But the effort to conceal the historical chapter didn’t stop. Names of streams, mountains, communities and streets were converted into Hebrew. It was a natural, almost necessary move: That’s how a nation acts upon reaching independence in its own state after 2,000 years.

For the hard core of the settlers, 1967 is like 1948, and what applies to the West Bank applies to the State of Israel as well. Several years ago, the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council launched a campaign to replace the names of all the springs in the area. It’s not based on any law, but the army’s hands are tied.

Ein Bubin, near the village of Deir Ibzi’a, turned into Danny’s Spring – named after Danny Gonen who was murdered there. A monument commemorating the murder was erected on private Palestinian land. It was inaugurated by Uri Ariel, a government minister. The sign pointing to the spring crosses a red sign placed by the State, which bans entry for security reasons (the red signs are a bluff in itself: They allegedly bar everyone from entering, apart from Palestinians, but they are in fact intended for Jews only. Israel’s Arabs are invited to enter. The settlers are not invited, but they enter anyway).

It’s all part of the “winking” culture, it’s all Israbluff. From a legal point of view, the IDF is the sovereign in the area. It is the supreme authority. In reality, the settlers are the sovereigns. The settlers’ leadership wants to do the Palestinians what it is doing to the springs – wipe them off the map. It’s its settlement vision; it’s its political vision.

The problem is not with Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) or with Minister Uri Ariel. They are acting according to their faith. We should not blame the person who steals, our forefathers said, but the hole which allowed him to steal. The hole is the IDF; the hole is the legal system; the hole is the government.

In the current government’s cabinet, the settler lobby holds a majority; the Bayit Yehudi ministers are theirs. The Likud ministers are with them. The leftist mark of the cabinet is Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri. He is the balancing factor. On issues related to the settlements, he is sometimes joined by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The settlers have insulted him, and he is finding it difficult to forgive.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks about a political horizon – but the horizon, as a horizon does, will never arrive. Everyone realizes that – and Abbas is now realizing it too. In the best-case scenario, the two-state solution has been given the life sentence; in the worst-case scenario, it has been executed.

The statement issued by Abbas last week, that he plans to resign from all his positions, has drawn mountains of interpretations. Netanyahu and Ya’alon are certain that it’s a musical chairs game: Abbas wants to dismiss a number of rivals and promote a number of associates. Israel shouldn’t be bothered by it.

This interpretation has been accepted by some Palestinian sources as well. It may be true, IDF sources warn, and it may not be true. There are contradicting signs. Abbas is deliberating: He hasn’t decided which direction he is headed in yet. The frustration, the anger and the desperation are real.

We should not rule out the possibility that he will turn his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in late September into a pivotal speech, a reality-changing speech. The 22nd anniversary of the Oslo Accords is coming up. He may announce the annulment of the agreements, some or all of them.

Only two promises remain from Oslo: The Paris Protocol, which regulates the economic relations, and the security coordination. He may cancel the first, and perhaps the second as well. He may announce the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority and place responsibility for its population on the Israeli government’s shoulders.

The concern many be exaggerated. The hunger for power, money, respect and the loyalty to the organization will keep Abbas in the Muqata’a in the capacity of the guardian of Israel.

But we are not just talking about differences in estimates. Netanyahu sees Abbas as an enemy, and the political battle as a war. He seeks to strengthen Hamas, because Abbas is threatening him in the international community and Hamas isn’t. Israel could pursue an Abbas-mediated ceasefire with Hamas. Netanyahu is saying no to that. He is pursuing a ceasefire with Hamas against Abbas.

MK Esawi Frej (Meretz) told me last week that Abbas was deeply impressed by the things President Reuven Rivlin said in the interviews marking his first year in office. Rivlin had raised the possibility of establishing a confederation between Israel and Palestine. “They only have to make me the offer,” Abbas said.

Who is the source, I asked. Frej replied: Nahi Mena, one of Abbas’ associates, a captain in the Palestinian airline. Mena is the Palestinian president’s personal pilot.


How’s this for twisted logic?

“SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if [the BDS movement] truly cared about the Palestinian people.”


THIS is what BDS is all about .... NOT the BS below

THIS is what BDS is all about …. NOT the BS below

SodaStream Boss Blasts BDS — as Firm Quits West Bank

SodaStream’s chief executive called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement anti-Semitic and maintained that his company gave West Bank Palestinian workers good pay and benefits.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, two weeks before the West Bank factory is set to close, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said his company’s critics did not have a grasp on the situation on the ground at the factory.

“It’s propaganda. It’s politics. It’s hate. It’s anti-Semitism. It’s all the bad stuff we don’t want to be a part of,” Birnbaum said. “SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if [the BDS movement] truly cared about the Palestinian people.”

SodaStream, a company that produces domestic soda-making machines, announced last fall that it would close its West Bank factory in the face of international pressure from the BDS movement, which seeks to hurt Israel’s economy over its policies towards Palestinians. The movement claimed that SodaStream discriminated against Palestinian workers and paid some less than Israeli workers.

Hundreds of Palestinian workers from the factory could lose their jobs in the company’s transition to a new plant in the Negev region because Israel will not grant them all work permits for security reasons. Up to 600 Palestinians worked in the West Bank, and Birnbaum said only about 130 have so far been granted work permits.

“All the people who wanted to close [the West Bank factory] are mistaken,” Ali Jafar, a shift manager from a West Bank told the AP. “They didn’t take into consideration the families.”

The commute for West Bank workers will now be a two-hour bus ride to the Negev plant that involves an Israeli border security checkpoint.

SodaStream’s revenue took a big hit in 2014. Birnbaum blamed the U.S. market’s movement away from sugary drinks, not the influence of BDS pressure.


Every Israeli has seen this footage many times by now. It has been shown again and again by all Israeli TV stations.  Many millions around the world have seen it on their local TV. It is making the rounds in the social media.

Israeli soldiers shoot guns, Palestinians shoot photographs

Israeli soldiers shoot guns, Palestinians shoot pictures

A frightened Palestinian boy vs the ugly face of the Israeli occupation

By Uri Avneri

The misdeeds of Napoleon’s occupation army in Spain were not photographed. Photography had not yet been invented. The valiant fighters against the occupation had to rely on Francisco Goya for the immortal painting of the resistance.

The partisans and underground fighters against the German occupation of their countries in World War II had no time to take pictures. Even the heroic uprising of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw was not filmed by the participants. The Germans themselves filmed their atrocities, and, being Germans, they catalogued and filed them in an orderly way.

“Soldiers shoot with guns. The Palestinians shoot pictures”

In the meantime, photography has become common commonplace. The Israeli occupation in the occupied Palestinian territories is being filmed all the time. Everybody now has cellular phones that take pictures. Also, Israeli peace organisations have distributed cameras to many Arab inhabitants.

Soldiers shoot with guns. The Palestinians shoot pictures.

It is not yet clear which are more effective in the long run: the bullets or the photos.

A test case is a short clip taken recently in a remote West Bank village called Al-Nabi Saleh.

Every Israeli has seen this footage many times by now. It has been shown again and again by all Israeli TV stations.  Many millions around the world have seen it on their local TV. It is making the rounds in the social media.

The clip shows an incident that occurred near the village on Friday, two weeks ago. Nothing very special. Nothing terrible. Just a routine event. But the pictures are unforgettable.

The village Al-Nabi Saleh is located not far from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. It is named in honour of a prophet (Nabi means prophet in both Arabic and Hebrew) who lived before the time of Muhammad and is said to be buried there. His extensive tomb is the pride of the 550 inhabitants.

Al-Nabi Saleh is build on the remains of a crusader outpost, which in its turn was built on the remains of a Byzantine village. Its history probably goes back to ancient Canaanite times. I believe that the population of these villages has never changed – they just changed their religion and culture according to the powers that be. They were in turn Canaanites, Judaeans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and finally Arabs.

The latest occupation (until now) is the Israeli. These new occupiers have no interest in converting the locals. They just want to take their land, and, if possible, induce them to go away. On part of the lands of Nabi Saleh an Israeli settlement called Halamish (“flint”) was set up.

The conflict between the village and its new “neighbours” started immediately. Between them is an ancient well, which the settlers have renovated and claim as their own. The village is not ready to give it up.

Like in many other villages in the area, such as Bil’in, on every Friday, right after the prayers in the mosque, a demonstration against the occupation and the settlers takes place. A few Israeli peace activists and international volunteers take part in them. The demonstrators are generally non-violent, but on the fringes teenagers and children often throw stones. The soldiers shoot rubber-covered steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, and sometime live bullets.

As in many small Arab villages, most inhabitants belong to one extended family, in this case the Tamimis. One Tamimi boy was shot dead in one of the demonstrations, a girl was shot in the foot. It is a Tamimi boy who features in the recent event.

“The clip that rocked the world”

The clip that rocked the world starts with one lone soldier, who was obviously sent to arrest a boy who had (or had not) thrown a stone.

The soldiers jumps across the rocky terrain, looks for the boy who is hiding behind a rock and catches him. It is 12-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, with one arm in a plaster cast.

The soldier puts his arm around the neck of the boy, who cries in terror. Soon his 14-year-old sister appears, and soon after that his mother and other women. They all tear at the soldier, who tries to push them away with his other arm. During the wild struggle, the sister bites the arm of the soldier, the one which holds his gun.

The soldier is masked. This is a new thing. Why are they masked? What are they hiding? After all, they are not Russian policemen who fear the revenge of the gangsters. When I was a soldier, long ago, masks were unknown.

During the melee, one of the women succeeds in ripping the soldier’s mask off. We see his face – just an ordinary young man, recently out of high school, who is obviously at a loss of what to do. There seem to be photographers all around. One sees their feet.

Would the soldier have used his gun if the photographers had not been there? Hard to say. Recently a brigade commander shot and killed a boy who had thrown a stone at his car. The army condones and even lauds such acts of “self-defence”.

For some minutes the scene goes on – the boy crying and pleading, the women pushing and hitting, the soldier pushing back, everybody shouting. Then another soldier approaches and tells the first soldier to release the child, who is seen running away.

We don’t know who the soldier is. It is hard to guess his background. Just a soldier, one of many who enforce the occupation, who face the demonstrations every week.

Another angle to the event is provided by one of the protesters off camera, so to speak, who was caught for a fleeting moment. He was recognised.

He is a teacher who bears the names of two illustrious persons – the Zionist founder Theodor Herzl and the composer Franz Schubert. Herzl Schubert is a veteran left-wing peace activist. I have met him in many demonstrations.

On the morrow of the showing of the footage on all Israeli television stations, the cry went up to dismiss him. What, a leftist peace demonstrator in the schoolroom?

Zionist McCarthyism

Schubert was not accused of preaching his opinions in class. His peace activities did not take place during working hours. The very fact that he took part in a demonstration in his own free time was enough. His case is now “being considered” by the Education Ministry.

This, by the way, is no exceptional case. A respected female educator who was chosen as headmistress of an art school was blocked upon the discovery that many years ago she had signed a petition calling on the army to allow soldiers to refuse service in the occupied territories. The petition did not call for refusal but only respect for the moral decision of the refusers. That is enough. The ministry, now led by a nationalist-religious demagogue, promised “to consider the matter”.

These cases of a new McCarthyism concern, of course, only leftists. No one demands the dismissal of the rabbi who prohibits the selling or renting of apartments to Arabs. Or the rabbi who wrote that under certain conditions it is permissible to kill non-Jews, including children. Their salaries are paid by the state.

Many millions around the world must by now have seen the Nabi Saleh footage. It is impossible to assess the extent of the damage.

It is not that this clip is especially revolting. Nothing terrible happens. It is the face of the occupation, the present face of Israel, that imprints itself on the minds of the viewers.

For many years now, almost all news footage coming out of Israel has concerned the deeds and misdeeds of the occupation. Gone and forgotten is the face of Israel as the progressive state created by the victims of the most hideous mass crime in modern history. The state of pioneers who “made the desert bloom”. The bastion of freedom and democracy in a turbulent region.

That picture has long been wiped out. The Israel that presents itself to the world now is a state of occupiers, of oppressors, of brutal colonisers, of soldiers armed to the teeth who arrest people in the middle of the night and persecute them during the day.

This face changes the perception of Israel throughout the world. Every TV clip and news item adds imperceptibly to this change. The attitude of ordinary people around the world, also including Jews, is changed. The damage is lasting and probably irremediable.

The terrified face of young Muhammad Tamimi may well haunt us for a long time to come.

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