HASBARA THREATS IN THE NAME OF ISLAM


When I see a ‘threat’ like the following one, I immediately suspect something not quite ‘kosher’ with the situation…..


All Muslims? Just who do these people think they are speaking for all Muslims?

And when FaceBook DID block the page did they boycott as threatened? NO….. they opened a new page. This ‘game’ has gone from Pac Man to Star Wars…. definitely not something to take seriously and definitely not the sentiments of All Palestinians or All Muslims….. seems more like another Hasbara false flag being raised to discredit the efforts of the real struggle.

Just my two cents….

~~~~~~~~~~

What is meant by Hasbara?

The truth does not need hasbara
truth-vs-hasbara-copy.jpg
by Sonja Karkar  

Hasbara is the Hebrew word for “explanation” and is used by Israel and its supporters to describe their efforts to re-shape public opinion and build up Israel’s image abroad.  In fact, it is simply a euphemism for propaganda.

Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza and the shockwaves reverberating around the world from the extent of its savagery has caused a drastic re-think in Israel of how to shape its image in the wake of such sudden uncensored exposure.  There was no doubt that Israel had a public relations disaster on its hands and spokespersons appeared almost robot-like as they tried to make their carefully crafted hasbara credible against the images emblazoned on front pages, the nightly television news and the spread of YouTube videos capturing the sickening detail of the death and destruction that Israel’s military arsenal rained down on the Palestinians.

Israel thought it had learned from its 2006 scorched-earth bombardment of Lebanon when it was having to explain away attacks on UNIFIL observer posts, Red Cross ambulances, TV transmitters, mosques and civilian areas.  This time, it calculated, no effort or expense would be spared to anticipate criticism and challenges once the military machine rolled into Gaza.  Eight months earlier, Israel had set up a National Information Directorate, which coordinated messages locally and around the globe.  By the time the bombs were falling, Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Andy David told Forward “the aim is to change the reality.” (1)    Such similar newspeak employed by a letter writer to The Guardian had Israeli Professor Avi Shlaim responding and calling it “truly Orwellian”.(2)

It seems Israel is the victim of its own chutzpah, so used is it to believing that it can fool all of the people all of the time. The reality which Israel faces  is the awakening of consciousness in a new generation increasingly used to living in multi-cultural societies in which racism is politically incorrect, if not actually eradicated. Controlling and manipulating the mainstream media is one thing, but the soft power of internet use in individual hands is almost impossible to control.  Aware that it is in danger of losing public opinion, Israel is spending some of its Foreign Ministry budget this year to establish a team of talkback writers who will flood the websites with pro-Israel messages. Ilan Shturman who will supervise the “Internet Combat Campaign” says that “the internet is an arena in every way in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must act here or otherwise we lose.” (3)

Every possible method of communication has been in play with teams of spokespeople, bloggers and diplomats all relaying the same message.  None of that helped though, as the number of dead rose dramatically over those three weeks in January and especially when some 40 Palestinian civilians were virtually obliterated in a school compound.  Israel’s hasbara became meaningless as thousands of images of human suffering flooded cyberspace.  Even CNN anchors were shocked into admitting that Israel had broken the ceasefire, and the normally pro-Zionist Time magazine published a front cover showing the Star of David overlaid with barbed wire and the heading “Why Israel Can’t Win”.(4)

Israel had barred international journalists from the Gaza Strip, but the truth got out from that besieged stretch of land anyway.   Palestinian journalists, bloggers and eyewitnesses inside Gaza found themselves inundated with requests for stories and photos and the electricity restrictions imposed by Israel on the beleaguered population only served to heighten the drama as reports were dashed off before power cuts intermittently interrupted communications.

Whatever the pros and cons of the internet’s Facebook, YouTube and now Twitter, in this case, these networks had a way of exposing the truth that trumped the most artful sophistry as Israel’s propagandists found out to their chagrin.  For all the successes on Facebook of QassamCount which allowed some 70,000 members to get updated messages on where rockets landed in Israel (5)  and the 76,000 members who joined the I support the Israel Defense Forces in Preventing Terror Attacks from Gaza group, (6)  it was the appeal to users to support the Palestinians in Gaza that saw the biggest response with over 531,000 signatures. (7)

Never before has the world been more available to the Palestinians.  If Israel can use Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, so too can the Palestinians and their supporters.   The internet is the perfect medium for Palestinian stories, photographs and videos and the place to network a global movement against Israel’s lies and disinformation.  Already, the increasing acceptance of Palestinians into social circles and communities when Palestinians were once barely recognised, has Israel so worried that it has even set up an international educational organisation – StandWithUs.com – that is disseminating information in schools, universities, churches and libraries and facilitating conferences and missions to Israel.

But, people are not buying Israel’s narrative like they once did out of guilt for remaining silent during Hitler’s genocide against the Jews of Europe. Nor are they attracted to the pioneering image that had Jews and non-Jews spend time on a kibbutz in search of some socialist utopia. Under-estimating people’s intelligence and ability to make their own judgments on issues is a common error in this era of instant news and knowledge on tap. Israel’s hasbara worked in the past because people generally could not be bothered looking for alternative views.  This phenomenon was observed by economist and social theorist J A Hobson in the editors of jingo journals writing on the Boer War who “felt quite safe in continuing to repeat the most audacious falsehoods long after they have been exposed, simply because they knew that their readers, though perfectly aware that journals existed which gave another side, would not look at papers which opposed the war.” (8)

However, information today is no longer something for which we have to go looking and it is very difficult to ignore a truth that is self-evident.  That is precisely where new technology has been able to turn public opinion even amongst people who have the greatest affinity with Israel.  It is why we are seeing so many Jews worldwide speaking up against Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.

People who accept Israel’s unbridled use of military power are being dishonest if they choose not to see the Palestinian narrative.  Whether out of expediency, empathy with Israel, or still clinging to the last vestiges of imperialism, they have compromised themselves and the very way of life they claim to defend if they do not make an informed judgment.

The genie is out of the bottle and governments may try to force it back in, but instant information is too alluring for people to accept a return to life without it.  No matter how sophisticated Israel’s information technology or how slick its public relations, Palestinians and their supporters have a chance now to even up the score in the public opinion stakes.   Unlike the Israeli government-funded hasbara brigade, people advocating for Palestine do not need to be paid to defend human rights and justice.  Israel may have the military power, but it is unlikely to ever control the “soft” power of truth.

Taken from the archives of Uruknet

ISRAEL BOYCOTT OPTIONS

I’m an advocate of a two-state solution. I believe that non-violent opposition to the Occupation is gaining traction and has shown itself to be powerful. I would like to believe that a boycott movement could be directed against the Occupation without at the same time shunning the concept of two states.

Boycotting Israel, boycotting Macy Gray, and a third option

As I ride the hurtling down-elevator, while my Zionist life flashes before my eyes, I’d like to take a moment and seek a fresh take on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions effort.

By Bradley Burston

Macy Gray
Photo by: AP

Macy Gray AP

 

That familiar sinking feeling in the air, the elevator quietly plummeting at breakneck speed, has a great deal to do with Al-Jazeera’s publication of the potentially game-changing Palestine Papers.

No one can yet know to which floor or sub-basement we’re now descending, nor how shattering our landing. While we’re on the way down, though, this might be a good time to consider the range of options available to that majority in the Holy Land and abroad who want to see occupation end and peace between Palestinians and Israelis finally begin.

Specifically, at a time when Israel is going to be increasingly under the gun as the rejectionist party to the Mideast conflict – and at a time when Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Avigdor Lieberman and Eli Yishai, who may all be in the midst of their final term, seem all too ready to take the whole ship down with them as long as they can still be at the wheel when Israel takes its final dive – there’s at least one thing that can be reasonably foreseen: Calls to boycott Israel will only increase.

Accordingly, on this, the hurtling down-elevator, while my Zionist life flashes before my eyes, I’d like to take a moment and seek a fresh take on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions effort.

A sensible place to look is the shrewd and determined band of revolutionaries at +972 Magazine, who continue to carve their way through the deafening white noise of Israeli journalism by never taking the expected for an answer.

A raft of pieces of particular note landed just at the weekend, among then Dahlia Scheindlin’s discussion of the possible upsides – for Israel and America as well as the Palestinians – of a UN condemnation of settlements, and Roi Maor’s thoughtful response to right-wing U.K. journalist Melanie Phillips’ recent, web-shaking appearance on Israel television.

With the Al-Jazeera reports threatening to reinvent the Mideast as we know it, a piece by +972’s Noam Sheizaf was particularly prescient. In combining radicalism and a helping of common sense, Sheizaf’s out-of-the-box proposal on the fascinating, at times hostile, at times hallucinatory Macy Gray-Israel boycott controversy, has set off new streams of debate on the issue.

The case of the pop-soul singer attracted worldwide attention when Gray asked fans to weigh in on her Facebook page over calls that she boycott Israel, where she’s appeared to warm receptions in the past. “What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting,” she wrote on her Facebook site, “but I wana (sic) go. I gotta lotta fans there I dont want to cancel on and I …don’t know how my NOT going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?”

The discussion, which effectively pitted anti-Occupation respondents – some pro-boycott, some anti-boycott – against one another, turned ugly when Gray announced her decision to appear for the two scheduled shows next month.

Departing from standard debates over the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, Sheizaf proposed that artists who oppose occupation and who do choose to appear in Israel, should insist that a percentage of the tickets be sold to Palestinians in the territories, who suffer from severe, Israeli-imposed travel restrictions.

“If the Israeli organizers of the show refuse or if they are unable to deliver – it will become much harder for them to claim that there is no political problem with the gig, or that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians shouldn’t be compared to Apartheid,” Sheizaf observes. “And if they deliver, the artist gets to play a real part in bringing down the walls between Jews and Arabs. In any case, everyone would know where they stand.”

What follows, in reader responses to the piece, points to one of the primary, and peculiar, elements of the ongoing debate over BDS. Much of the most heated discussion of boycotting Israel – and I am as guilty of anyone of this nastiness and misplaced anger – places a fault line between anti-Occupation activists who favor a one-state solution and anti-Occupation activists who favor two. In this instance, the debate even pits supporters of BDS against one another.

One reader writes, “it’s an interesting idea Noam, but I think it defeats the purpose of the boycott, which should attempt to isolate, marginalize and cut off the Israelis from the rest of the world. That means no international academics, no book tours, no theater, no music, no conferences. Israel must be treated as a pariah state until the Occupation ends. Allowing a few Palestinians to hear Macy Gray is not good enough.”

“Further, we should enhance the effectiveness of the boycott by turning up the heat on those who break it,” the reader continues. “The Macy Grays of the world should be subjected to a concerted campaign of boycott as well. Don’t buy her CDs or attend her shows and spread the word she is persona non grata among conscientious members of the public …”

In this regard, one fundamental question is whether Occupation refers specifically to the land Israel captured in the 1967 war, or if pre-’67 Israel, as a Jewish state, is also viewed as occupied territory. Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem, all of it.

The BDS boycott call to Macy Gray hints at this issue, referring to UN Resolution 194, the basis for demands for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes.

“In 1948 Israel expelled and confiscated the land and property of about 800,000 Palestinians. They and their descendants are still denied return and compensation as sanctioned by the UN General Assembly Resolution 194.”

The Palestinian United Call for BDS against Israel, the ideological underpinning of the boycott movement, goes further in hinting at a goal of a single Palestine replacing a Jewish state. It declares that boycott should continue until Israel ends “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and respects and promotes “the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. ”
An overwhelming majority of Israelis, including the vast majority of the left in Israel, believes that the Palestinian right of return would spell the end of a Jewish state of any kind in the Holy Land.

“The good news for Israelis is that they maintain a monopoly of violence in the region,” the +972 reader states. “Thanks to the largesse of the United States and its generous donations of fighter jets, armored bulldozers and napalm, no one can militarily challenge Israel. The bad news for Israel is that other than technologies of violence and oppression, it doesn’t produce anything. It has no native culture, so food, music, architecture, literature, film, philosophy…..everything must be imported from the outside world. Cut off this flow of information and the country dries up.”

While I’m still in the reading-while-falling mode, I’d like to add a reader response of my own:

I believe that opposition to Occupation has never been more vital. I’ve seen boycotts work in the past. I understand that the reader quoted above reflects his own opinion alone. Personally, though, I have some questions for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions people.

I’m an advocate of a two-state solution. I believe that non-violent opposition to the Occupation is gaining traction and has shown itself to be powerful. I would like to believe that a boycott movement could be directed against the Occupation without at the same time shunning the concept of two states.

I want two states here. Tell me, please. Does that now mean that I no longer have any place on the left?
 

Source


 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

BLAMING THE ‘LEFT’ THAT ISN’T THERE

The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.

The Phantom Left

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power–masked, ruthless and unexamined–happily devour the state.

The loss of a radical left in American politics has been catastrophic. The left once harbored militant anarchist and communist labor unions, an independent, alternative press, social movements and politicians not tethered to corporate benefactors. But its disappearance, the result of long witch hunts for communists, post-industrialization and the silencing of those who did not sign on for the utopian vision of globalization, means that there is no counterforce to halt our slide into corporate neofeudalism. This harsh reality, however, is not palatable. So the corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.

The phantom left took a central role on the mall this weekend in Washington. It had performed admirably for Glenn Beck, who used it in his own rally as a lightning rod to instill anger and fear. And the phantom left proved equally useful for the comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who spoke to the crowd wearing red-white-and-blue costumes. The two comics evoked the phantom left, as the liberal class always does, in defense of moderation, which might better be described as apathy. If the right wing is crazy and if the left wing is crazy, the argument goes, then we moderates will be reasonable. We will be nice. Exxon and Goldman Sachs, along with predatory banks and the arms industry, may be ripping the guts out of the country, our rights–including habeas corpus–may have been revoked, but don’t get mad. Don’t be shrill. Don’t be like the crazies on the left.

“Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own?” Stewart asked. “We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is–on the brink of catastrophe–torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done. But the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don’t is here [in Washington] or on cable TV.”

The rally delivered a political message devoid of reality or content. The corruption of electoral politics by corporate funds and lobbyists, the naive belief that we can somehow vote ourselves back to democracy, was ignored for emotional catharsis. The right hates. The liberals laugh. And the country is taken hostage.

The Rally to Restore Sanity, held in Washington’s National Mall, was yet another sad footnote to the death of the liberal class. It was as innocuous as a Boy Scout jamboree. It ridiculed followers of the tea party without acknowledging that the pain and suffering expressed by many who support the movement are not only real but legitimate. It made fun of the buffoons who are rising up out of moral swamps to take over the Republican Party without accepting that their supporters were sold out by a liberal class, and especially a Democratic Party, which turned its back on the working class for corporate money.

Fox News’ Beck and his allies on the far right can use hatred as a mobilizing force because there are tens of millions of Americans who have very good reason to hate. They have been betrayed by the elite who run the corporate state, by the two main political parties and by the liberal apologists, including those given public platforms on television, who keep counseling moderation as jobs disappear, wages drop and unemployment insurance runs out. As long as the liberal class speaks in the dead voice of moderation it will continue to fuel the right-wing backlash. Only when it appropriates this rage as its own, only when it stands up to established systems of power, including the Democratic Party, will we have any hope of holding off the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party.

Wall Street’s looting of the Treasury, the curtailing of our civil liberties, the millions of fraudulent foreclosures, the long-term unemployment, the bankruptcies from medical bills, the endless wars in the Middle East and the amassing of trillions in debt that can never be repaid are pushing us toward a Hobbesian world of internal collapse. Being nice and moderate will not help. These are corporate forces that are intent on reconfiguring the United States into a system of neofeudalism. These corporate forces will not be halted by funny signs, comics dressed up like Captain America or nice words.

The liberal class wants to inhabit a political center to remain morally and politically disengaged. As long as there is a phantom left, one that is as ridiculous and stunted as the right wing, the liberal class can remain uncommitted. If the liberal class concedes that power has been wrested from us it will be forced, if it wants to act, to build movements outside the political system. This would require the liberal class to demand acts of resistance, including civil disobedience, to attempt to salvage what is left of our anemic democratic state. But this type of political activity, as costly as it is difficult, is too unpalatable to a bankrupt liberal establishment that has sold its soul to corporate interests. And so the phantom left will be with us for a long time.

Politics in America has become spectacle. It is another form of show business. The crowd in Washington, well trained by television, was conditioned to play its role before the cameras. The signs –“The Rant is Too Damn High,” “Real Patriots Can Handle a Difference of Opinion” or “I Masturbate and I Vote”–reflected the hollowness of current political discourse and television’s perverse epistemology. The rally spoke exclusively in the impoverished iconography and language of television. It was filled with meaningless political pieties, music and jokes. It was like any television variety program. Personalities were being sold, not political platforms. And this is what the society of spectacle is about.

The modern spectacle, as the theorist Guy Debord pointed out, is a potent tool for pacification and depoliticization. It is a “permanent opium war” which stupefies its viewers and disconnects them from the forces that control their lives. The spectacle diverts anger toward phantoms and away from the perpetrators of exploitation and injustice. It manufactures feelings of euphoria. It allows participants to confuse the spectacle itself with political action.

The celebrities from Comedy Central and the trash talk show hosts on Fox are in the same business. They are entertainers. They provide the empty, emotionally laden material that propels endless chatter back and forth on supposed left- and right-wing television programs. It is a national Punch and Judy show. But don’t be fooled. It is not politics. It is entertainment. It is spectacle. All national debate on the airwaves is driven by the same empty gossip, the same absurd trivia, the same celebrity meltdowns and the same ridiculous posturing. It is presented with a different spin. But none of it is about ideas or truth. None of it is about being informed. It caters to emotions. It makes us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge. And in the end, for those who serve up this drivel, the game is about money in the form of ratings and advertising. Beck, Colbert and Stewart all serve the same masters. And it is not us.


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

 

TERRORISM: THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES

Isn’t Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies.

They hate us for our occupations

By Glenn Greenwald*


AP

In this Sept 11, 2007 file picture, plumes of fire and smoke fill the sky after a suicide car bomb explosion hit fuel tanker trucks on the main highway south of Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies”:  specifically, “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan” (the full report is here).  Now, a new, comprehensive study from Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer, substantiates what is (a) already bleedingly obvious and (b) known to the U.S. Government for many years:  namely, that the prime cause of suicide bombings is not Hatred of Our Freedoms or Inherent Violence in Islamic Culture or a Desire for Worldwide Sharia Rule by Caliphate, but rather.  . . . foreign military occupations.  As summarized by Politico‘s Laura Rozen:

Pape. . . will present findings on Capitol Hill Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.

Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defense Department’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a publicly available database comprised of some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times – the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 U.S. Marines.

“We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns, … and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign,” Pape said in an interview last week on his findings.

Pape said there has been a dramatic spike in suicide bombings in Afghanistan since U.S. forces began to expand their presence to the south and east of the country in 2006. . . . Deaths due to suicide attacks in Afghanistan have gone up by a third in the year since President Obama added another 30,000 U.S. troops. “It is not making it any better,” Pape said.

Pape believes his findings have important implications even for countries where the U.S. does not have a significant direct military presence, but is perceived by the population to be indirectly occupying.

For instance, across the border from Afghanistan, suicide terrorism exploded in Pakistan in 2006 as the U.S. put pressure on then Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf “to divert 100,000 Pakistani army troops from their [perceived] main threat [India] to western Pakistan,” Pape said.

Imagine that.  Isn’t Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies.  Therefore (of course), the solution to Terrorism is to interfere more in their countries by continuing to occupy, bomb, invade, assassinate, lawlessly imprison and control them, because that’s the only way we can Stay Safe.  There are people over there who are angry at us for what we’re doing in their world, so we need to do much more of it to eradicate the anger.  That’s the core logic of the War on Terror.  How is that working out?

* * * * *

Akbar Ahmed, the Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, was on Bloggingheads TV yesterday with Robert Wright discussing convicted attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and said this:

Take the case of Faisal Shahzad.  He seems to be, if you put him in a category . . .  he grows up with the reputation of being a party guy, a party boy in the tribal areas [in Pakistan]. . . . He then comes to America and all the pictures are of a modern young man. . . . He changes, but he changes, again, for interesting reasons. The media would have us believe that it’s the violence in the Koran and the religion of Islam.  But hear what he’s saying.  He’s in fact saying:  I am taking revenge for the drone strikes in the tribal areas.  So he’s acting more like a tribesman whose involvement in Pashtun values . . .  one of the primary features of that is revenge, rather then saying I’m going to have a jihad or I’ve been trained by literalists . . . .

That is confirmed by mountains of evidence not only about what motivated Shahzad but most anti-American Terrorists as well:  severe anger over the violence and interference the U.S. brings to their part of the world.  The only caveat I’d add to Professor Ahmed’s remarks is that a desire to exact vengeance for foreign killings on your soil is hardly a unique attribute of Pashtun culture.  It’s fairly universal.  See, for instance, the furious American response to the one-day attack on 9/11 — still going strong even after 9 years.  As Professor Pape documents:  “when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns . . . and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign.”  It hardly takes a genius to figure out the most effective way of reducing anti-American Terrorism; the only question is whether that’s the actual goal of those in power.

* I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. I am the author of two New York Times Bestselling books: “How Would a Patriot Act?” (May, 2006), a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, and “A Tragic Legacy” (June, 2007), which examines the Bush legacy. My most recent book, “Great American Hypocrites”, examines the manipulative electoral tactics used by the GOP and propagated by the establishment press, and was released in April, 2008, by Random House/Crown.

Source

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

WHEN YOU SAY ZIONISM, WHAT DO YOU MEAN?


When You Say No (or: Poisonous Mushrooms)
By Uri Avneri

BEFORE THE victory of Feminism, there was a popular Israeli song in which the boy asks the girl: “When you say No, what do you mean?”

This question has already been answered. Now I am more and more tempted to ask: “When you say Zionism, what do you mean?”

That is also my answer when asked whether I am a Zionist.

When you say Zionist, what do you mean?

LATELY, ASSOCIATIONS for the defense of Zionism have been springing up like mushrooms after rain. Poisonous mushrooms.

All kinds of American Jewish multi-millionaires – many of them Casino kings, brothel moguls, money launderers and tax evaders – are financing “patriotic” Israeli groups in Israel, to fight the holy war for “Zionism”.

The assault takes place along all the fronts. Jewish organizations aim at cleansing the universities of post-Zionists. They threaten to induce other donors to withhold their donations, they terrorize presidents and rectors and frighten professors and students.

Americans may be reminded of the sinister era of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who blighted the life of thousands of intellectuals and artists, pushing many of them into exile or suicide. Europeans might be reminded of the days when “Aryan” professors informed on their treasonous colleagues, and students in brown shirts threw their Jewish colleagues out of the windows.

This is only one sector of the broad offensive. One group has proudly announced that it is teaching hundreds of professional Zionists how to cleanse Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, of post-Zionist items and plant Zionist ones in their stead.

THE TERM “post-Zionism” is starring in the propaganda of all the dozens – and perhaps hundreds – of the associations financed by the Las Vegas multi-millionaires and their likes in the United States in order to restore the Zionist glory of old.

Why this term, of all others? They mean the leftists, but those who attack the “leftists” are liable to be called “rightists”. However, the members of the extreme right want to be seen as belonging to the patriotic center. Nor is it nice or enlightened to speak out against “liberal” or “progressive” professors. “Post-Zionists” is the Israeli equivalent of the “Reds” of Senator McCarthy or the “Jews” of his predecessors in Germany.

BUT WHAT is “post-Zionism”? Why not simply “anti-Zionism”?

As far as I know, I was the first to use this term. That was in 1976. I was testifying in a libel case that my friends and I had lodged against a publication that had accused the “Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace”, that we had just founded, of being “anti-Zionist”. In trying to explain my view to the judge, I said that Zionism was a historic movement, with both light and shadow, which had fulfilled its role with the establishment of the State of Israel. From then on, Israeli patriotism has taken its place. “Post-Zionism” means that with the founding of the state, a new historic era began. A “post-Zionist” can admire the achievements of Zionism or criticize them. He is not by definition an anti-Zionist.

The judge accepted my arguments and found in our favor. She awarded us handsome compensation. Now I am the only living Israeli who has a judicial confirmation that he is not an anti-Zionist – much as only a person released from a psychiatric hospital has an official confirmation that he is sane.

Since then, the term “post-Zionist” has acquired wide currency in academic circles. It has also acquired many shades of meaning, according to the people who use it.

But in the mouths of our new mini-McCarthys, it has become a simple denunciation. A post-Zionist is a traitor, an Arab-lover, a lackey of the enemy, an agent of the sinister world-wide conspiracy to destroy the Jewish State.

SHLOMO AVINERI, a respected professor of philosophy, recently published an article in which he fervently argued that Israel is a Jewish state and must remain so. The article has already stirred up a vivid debate.

I have received some protests from people who mistakenly thought that it was I who wrote the piece. That happens from time to time. Years ago the respected British weekly, The Economist, printed my name instead of his, and next week published “an apology to both”.

But the difference is considerable. Avineri is an eminent professor, a student of Hegel, an expert on Zionist history, a former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Office, and a devout Zionist. I, as is well-known, am not a professor, I never even finished elementary school, I never was a government spokesman and my attitude towards Zionism is very complex.

In his article, Avineri argued passionately that Israel is a Jewish state “as Poland is a Polish state and Greece is a Greek state”. He was responding to a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Salman Masalha, who had asserted that there cannot be a “Jewish state”, much as – he says – there cannot be a “Muslim state” or a “Catholic state”.

How can one compare, Avineri cried out. After all, the Jews are a people! Israel belongs to the Jewish people, whose religion is Judaism.

Logical, isn’t it?

BY NO means. The analogy does not fit.

If Poland belongs to the Poles and Greece to the Greeks, Israel belongs to the Israelis. But the Israeli government does not recognize the existence of an Israeli nation. (The courts have not yet decided upon the petition by some of us to be recognized as belonging to the Israeli nation.)

If Avineri had demanded the recognition that Israel belongs to the Israelis as Poland belongs to the Poles, I would have applauded. But he argues that Israel belongs to the Jews. This immediately raises some basic questions.

For example: Which Jews? Those who are Israeli citizens? Clearly, this is not what he means. He means the “Jewish people” dispersed all over the world, a people whose members belong to the American, French, Argentine nations – and, yes, also to the Polish and Greek nations.

How does a person become an American? By acquiring American citizenship. How does a person become French? By becoming a citizen of the French republic. How does a person become a Jew?

Ah, there’s the rub. According to the law of the State of Israel, a Jew is somebody whose mother is Jewish, or who has converted to the Jewish religion and not adopted any other religion. Ergo: the definition is purely religious, like that of a Muslim or a Catholic. Not at all like that of a Pole or a Greek. (In Jewish religion, it’s only the mother, not the father, who counts in this respect. Perhaps because one cannot be quite sure who the father is.)

There are in Israel hundreds of thousands of people who have immigrated from the former Soviet Union with their Jewish relatives, but are not Jewish according to the religious definition. They consider themselves Israelis in every respect, speak Hebrew, pay taxes, serve in the army. But they are not recognized as belonging to the Jewish people, to which, according to Avineri, the state belongs. Like the million and a half Israeli citizens who are Palestinian Arabs. The state does not belong to them, even though they enjoy – at least formally – full civil rights.

Simply put: the state belongs, according to Avineri, to millions of people who do not live here and who belong to other nations, but does not belong to millions of people who live here and vote for the Knesset.

WHO HAS decided that this is a Jewish state? Avineri and many others assert that the character of the state was decided upon by the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of November 29th, 1947, which partitioned the country between a “Jewish state” and an “Arab state”.

Not true.

The UN did not decide upon a state which belongs to all the Jews in the world, any more than upon a state that belongs to all the Arabs in the world. The UN commission which investigated the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs in the country then called Palestine decided (very sensibly) that the only possible solution was to allot to each of the two national communities a state of its own. Nothing more.

In short: the words “Jewish” and “Arab” in the UN resolution have nothing to do with the character of the two states, but only define the two communities in the country that were to establish their states. They have no other meaning.

BUT A professor who comes to this conclusion would be hounded as a “post-Zionist” who must be expelled from his university. According to our little McCarthys, even the debate is absolutely verboten. Verboten to think. Verboten to write. Strictly verboten to speak. In every university there would be Zionist overseers to receive reports about the lectures of professors, check their publications, report what they hear from students who inform on other students, and safeguard ideological purity. Much like the “politruks” – political commissars – in the Soviet Union. Much like the cadres of the “cultural revolution” in China, when thousands of professors and other intellectuals were sent to labor camps or remote villages.

But the results of their labors may be very different from what they expect. Instead of making the term “post-Zionism” a synonym for treason, they may make the term “Zionism” a synonym for fascism, gladdening the hearts of all those around the world who preach a boycott of the “Jewish state”. When the Israeli universities are cleansed of non-conformist thinkers, it will indeed be easy to boycott them.

When you say Zionism, do you mean the humanist vision of Theodor Herzl or Avigdor Lieberman’s Jewish fascism?

Source

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

JUST WHAT IS ‘HALLOWED GROUND’?

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

The crowded streets around the World Trade Center site feel deeply ordinary: Commuters pour in and out of the subway stations; shoppers pour in and out of Century 21, the popular discount department store; tourists pour in and out of the Millennium Hilton. The Pit, glimpsed through gates and holes in the fence, looks like a construction site because it is a construction site.

Which is odd because, as President Obama said when he voiced support for the right of a controversial Islamic cultural center to be built nearby, “Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.”

From Gettysburg to Ground Zero, ‘Sacred Space’ Debated

A Centuries-Long Search To Define Hallowed Ground

On Site: Above, construction workers at an entrance to the Pit.

GETTY IMAGES
On Site: Above, construction workers at an entrance to the Pit.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

On a recent afternoon, a group of puzzled Italian tourists gathered beneath a scaffold at the corner of Greenwich and Liberty streets as a light rain fell over Lower Manhattan.

“We want to find a way just to see Ground Zero and we only have this site, and we were wondering, is there another place with a better point of view to see?” asked Stefania Lamendola, the group’s ad hoc spokeswoman. The tourists were looking at the sprawling Pit through a closed gate, but they couldn’t see much. In fact, Lamendola’s vantage point was one of the best. The trouble is, there’s not much to see.

The crowded streets around the World Trade Center site feel deeply ordinary: Commuters pour in and out of the subway stations; shoppers pour in and out of Century 21, the popular discount department store; tourists pour in and out of the Millennium Hilton. The Pit, glimpsed through gates and holes in the fence, looks like a construction site because it is a construction site.

Which is odd because, as President Obama said when he voiced support for the right of a controversial Islamic cultural center to be built nearby, “Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.”

In the face of the banality of the everyday commerce and work that surround and fill the Pit, what can such a statement mean? One might think that with all the other examples of hallowed ground carved onto American soil during the past two centuries — the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg; the Texas School Book Depository, from which President Kennedy was assassinated; the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, target of the Oklahoma City bombing — the nation would have by now made up its mind as to how to observe the sanctity of such a place. But conversations with academics show that the debate is hardly settled.

“The question of where to define [as] sacred ground is still very current for events that occurred a hundred years ago or more,” said Kenneth Foote, a professor of geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Disputes continue for generations at places like Gettysburg and Manassas, over boundaries of nearby development and the propriety of commerce near the sites.

Blog posts published in recent days by Talking Points Memo and other websites offered an object lesson in the particular difficulty of drawing sacred boundaries in Lower Manhattan. The posts detail the sacrilege that can be found within two blocks of the Pit: a strip club called New York Dolls; an off-track betting parlor; a couple of fast-food joints, and at least one Irish pub — all as close to Ground Zero as the proposed site of the future Islamic cultural center.

But while these challenges may be particularly acute in New York, they are by no means unique. If Gettysburg, the site of the decisive Union victory and Abraham Lincoln’s famous address, is the pre-eminent example of America’s hallowed ground, it is also an example of the way notions of how best to respect a site’s sacredness can radically change. The first tourists to visit the battlefield observed it from a distance, climbing towers to take in panoramic views of the wooded hills. To actually approach the site would have been inappropriate, said John H. Summers, a visiting scholar at Boston College’s Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life. “Sniffing around and petting the trees where people died seemed tasteless,” Summers said. Meanwhile, homes and businesses were built nearby.

President Obama spoke in support of the mosque at an Iftar dinner held at the White House on August 13.

GETTY IMAGES
President Obama spoke in support of the mosque at an Iftar dinner held at the White House on August 13.

Over the years, the boundaries shifted. Today, tourists walk freely throughout the site. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, which oversees the battlefield, has undertaken a process of reverting it to its 1863 state, removing trees, developed areas and a 300-foot observation tower built in the 1970s.

Gettysburg and Ground Zero are the sites of very different tragedies, but both are complicated by the fact that some victims’ bodies have never been recovered. The rains that followed the Civil War battle ensured that some of the dead would never be found, just as many families of September 11 victims never received the remains of their loved ones. Those sites, then, are both seen by some as burial grounds, adding a further level of complication.

The sanctification of the site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by domestic terrorists was, by contrast, relatively straightforward. Just five years after the attack, President Clinton presided over the opening of a memorial site near the former footprint of the building. “People talked about that area as sacred ground, but there were no human remains left,” said Edward T. Linenthal, professor of history and religious studies at Indiana University, and author of the 2003 book “The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory.” “It could become memorial ground fairly quickly. It was never seen as a place that people could not walk.”

The process of sanctification, however, usually takes more time. The Texas School Book Depository, where the shot that killed Kennedy was fired, was nearly torn down. “There was a sense that this was a shameful, shocking thing to happen in Dallas,” Foote said. “There was an effort to try and get rid of the book depository, to not mark the events very much in Dallas. And yet now, through time, people see that as a very important site that’s been saved from deconstruction and turned into, I think, quite a powerful reflection on the assassination and its consequences.”

For Foote, America’s hallowed grounds fall into three general categories: those made sacred through the death of a martyr, like the sites of the assassinations of Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.; those made sacred through ethical heroic moments, like Gettysburg, and those made sacred through community disasters, like the site of the Johnstown Flood.

Ground Zero appears to be somewhere in between. “I think people would like to cast it as a heroic moment,” Foote said. But ethical heroes need to have died for a reason, and the reason behind the deaths of the victims of September 11 remains unclear. “That sense of defining the ethical or heroic reason why those deaths occurred is still all in limbo, and it’s even more so now because of the wars, which are just continuing,” Foote said. “What seemed at one point to be a heroic cause has turned into this absolute mire.”

With the meaning of the attacks still up for debate, the project of maintaining the sanctity of Ground Zero seems fraught. The new World Trade Center will eventually include five office buildings — including one tower, which will be the tallest building in the United States — and a variety of retail spaces. Will Ground Zero remain hallowed when the new tenants move in? Will the arbiters of sacredness have a say in what sort of businesses and government agencies rent space there, and what sort of work they do?

Perhaps it’s the challenge of control that fuels the instinct to sanctify. Linenthal says that he thinks of sacred sites as being surrounded by “commemorative membranes” inside of which “only a certain kind of speech and reverential action is possible.” At Ground Zero, Linenthal said, an attempt to sanctify the place is an attempt to mark it as separate in the face of the tumult of the city. “People want to build [a commemorative membrane] because it’s in the center of the busiest place in New York,” he said. “Because it’s there, you have to be extra sensitive to a kind of purity of place.”

Source

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

CONSENSUAL RAPE or UNCONSENSUAL RACEMIXING … WHICH IS THE CRIME UNDER APARTHEID?

Sabar Kashour. Convicted of rape  Photo: Gil Yohanan

There has been much ado in the Israeli press about a Palestinian man being charged with rape after the Jewish woman involved found out he was an Arab.

There was less ado about the fact that the man is married …. a fact that makes this incident quite ugly in my opinion. Does the sanctity of marriage mean nothing today? Are the vows one takes merely words?

This raises just one question: What would the court decide had a Jewish, married man falsely presented himself to a woman in order to get her into bed? For example, what if someone like that told a woman that he is a wealthy single man, while he was in fact poor and married? Would he too be convicted of rape?

The entire incident indicates the complete deterioration of morals in a most immoral country, one run by criminals and murderers.

He knew that he had no chance with the Jews, so he adopted another name for himself, Dudu. He didn’t have curly hair, but he went by Dudu just the same. That’s how everyone knew him. That’s how you know a few other Arabs too: the car-wash guy you call Rafi, the stairwell cleaner who goes by Yossi, the supermarket deliveryman you know as Moshe.

Granted, this entire incident stinks of racial profiling, it would most likely never had hit the courts or the press if an Arab wasn’t involved. But, that is not the only thing that is is wrong with this very sick society of ours, the fact that the man is married is not considered a crime in itself. Regardless of his race. It should be!


And if he were Jewish?

Arab man’s rape conviction raises disturbing questions about our legal system

Sima Kadmon

This past week, the Jerusalem District Court slapped an 18-month prison sentence on an Arab man who impersonated a Jew and had consensual sex with a Jewish girl.

The 30-year-old Arab man, Sabar Kashour, was convicted of rape because he falsely presented himself as Jewish and single, while he was in fact Arab and married.

In the framework of a plea bargain agreement, Kashour was convicted of a rape offense as well as a charge of performing an indecent act. In addition to the prison term, he was also slapped with a 30-month conditional sentence and a NIS 10,000 (roughly $2,800) fine to be paid as compensation to the complainant.

Notably, the judges did argue that this was not a “classic case of rape,” as the sexual relations were consensual. So what was this act all about then? According to the judges, the sexual act was elicited via fraudulent means and reliance on false information.

Or in other words: This is about sex elicited through lies. Had the girl known the man was not a Jewish single interested in a meaningful romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated with the accused, the judges ruled.

Hello? Are we getting this straight? If any married man who has ever lied in order to get sex would be charged with rape, there would be no room in our prisons. It appears that the court had a problem with Kashour being Arab, rather than with him being married.

This raises just one question: What would the court decide had a Jewish, married man falsely presented himself to a woman in order to get her into bed? For example, what if someone like that told a woman that he is a wealthy single man, while he was in fact poor and married? Would he too be convicted of rape?

Source

Gideon Levy wrote about this as well…..

He impersonated a human


Sabbar Kashur wanted to be a person, a person like everybody else. But as luck would have it, he was born Palestinian.

By Gideon Levy

Sabbar Kashur wanted to be a person, a person like everybody else. But as luck would have it, he was born Palestinian. It happens. His chances of being accepted as a human being in Israel are nil. Married and a father of two, he wanted to work in Jerusalem, his city, and maybe also have an affair or a quickie on the side. That happens too.

He knew that he had no chance with the Jews, so he adopted another name for himself, Dudu. He didn’t have curly hair, but he went by Dudu just the same. That’s how everyone knew him. That’s how you know a few other Arabs too: the car-wash guy you call Rafi, the stairwell cleaner who goes by Yossi, the supermarket deliveryman you know as Moshe.

What’s wrong? Is it only fearsome Shin Bet interrogators like “Capt. George” and “Abu Faraj” who are allowed to adopt names from other peoples? Are only Israelis who emigrate allowed to invent new identities? Only the Yossi from Hadera who became Joe in Miami, the Avraham from Bat Yam who became Abe in Los Angeles?

No longer a youth, Sabbar/Dudu worked as a deliveryman for a lawyer’s office, rode his scooter around Jerusalem and delivered documents, affidavits and sworn testimonies, swearing to everyone that he was Dudu. Two years ago he met a woman by chance. Nice to meet you, my name is Dudu. He claims that she came on to him, but let’s leave the details aside. Soon enough they went where they went and what happened happened, all by consent of the parties concerned. One fine day, a month and a half after an afternoon quickie, he was summoned to the police on suspicion of rape.

His temporary lover discovered that her Dudu wasn’t a Dudu after all, that the Jew is (gasp! ) an Arab, and so she filed a complaint against the impostor. Her body was violated by an Arab. From then on Kashur was placed under house arrest for two years, an electronic cuff on his ankle. This week his sentence was pronounced: 18 months in jail.

Judge Zvi Segal waxed dramatic to the point of absurdity: “It is incumbent on the court to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth, sweet-talking offenders who can mislead naive victims into paying an unbearable price: the sanctity of their bodies and souls.” Sophisticated offenders? It is doubtful that Dudu even knew he was one. Sweet talk? He says that even his wife calls him Dudu.

The court relied, as usual, on precedents: the man who posed as a senior Housing Ministry official and promised his lover an apartment and an increased National Insurance pension, and the man who posed as a wealthy neurosurgeon who promised free medical care and other perks. Dudu had nothing to offer but his good name, Dudu, and still his fate was sealed, just like those who promise apartments and perks. Not only fraud, but rape, almost like the convicted serial rapist Benny Sela.

Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein had, after all, defined the test of conviction for rape on “false pretenses”: “if in the view of an ordinary person this woman would have agreed to have sexual relations with a man who did not have the identity he invented.”

In tune with the public, Kashur’s judges assumed, rightly, that the woman would not have gotten into bed with Dudu were it not for the identity he invented. She also might not have gotten into bed with him if he had told her in vain that he was available, that he was younger than he really is or even that he is madly in love with her. But people are not prosecuted for that, certainly not on rape charges.

Now the respected judges have to be asked: If the man was really Dudu posing as Sabbar, a Jew pretending to be an Arab so he could sleep with an Arab woman, would he then be convicted of rape? And do the eminent judges understand the social and racist meaning of their florid verdict? Don’t they realize that their verdict has the uncomfortable smell of racial purity, of “don’t touch our daughters”? That it expresses the yearning of the extensive segments of society that would like to ban sexual relations between Arabs and Jews?

It was no coincidence that this verdict attracted the attention of foreign correspondents in Israel, temporary visitors who see every blemish. Yes, in German or Afrikaans this disgraceful verdict would have sounded much worse.

Source

THE SWASTIKA AND THE STAR OF DAVID

One of my readers submitted the following response he wrote to THIS article that appeared in the New York Times.

Hakenkreuz and Davidstern

The Swastika and the Star of David

A public response to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen

By Alvin Alexsi Currier

On June tenth, 2010, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen posted a poignant meditation, weaving his personal joy in the ancient melodies of Judaic tradition, occasioned by the Bat Mitzvah of his daughter, with his personal pain over the staccato rhythms of international news and reaction occasioned by the Israeli interception of the Freedom Flotilla off Gaza.

It was a beautifully written piece. I felt for him.

Suddenly in this sorrowful contrapuntal flow, a cacophony exploded. The cause of this drum roll of rage was a comment by the Turkish Prime Minister who said that now the world perceived the Swastika and the Star of David together.

Ach, ja, I thought in German; Hakenkreuz und Davidstern.

Instantly I knew his rage. I felt his pain.

You see, I was a Pastor in the German Church. I know the pain of seeing the Fatherland I loved go feral. I may have been young and distant when it all started but I have tasted the rage of watching the Swastika gather to itself all things German and then carry them to ignominy in Auschwitz.

Dear Roger, if I have to contradict you, please try to understand that I do not write because I hate Jews. I write because I am an old man who has seen much and wants to save others from the bloodshed I have tasted. Today you rage against what others see. Rage blinds. One cannot reason with it, but one day the warmth of common humanity will evaporate it and you will see four things that are now so clear to so many others.

First of all, Israel does not have a “right” to exist as an exclusively Jewish State, any more then our German Reich had a “right” to exist for Aryans only.

Secondly, Israel is not a democratic country. A democracy does not have two classes of citizens with two sets of laws. An apartheid state does.

Thirdly and most tragically, fed by fear, Israel has conjured up a military might and mentality that like the Golem of mediaeval Prague, has now taken on a life of its own, wildly smashing, trashing, and sowing destruction, in the name of defense and security. I have seen it before. I’m sorry.

Finally, Israel as an exclusive theocracy will crumble. The Palestinians will return. Liberty and justice will be established for all. Jews and Arabs will again live together in peace.

Yet even while watching with horror these last days of Zionism, I have a certain peace because I know that this hell is the beginning of the end. The era of arguing Hakenkreuz or Davidstern is over. The issue of my Holocaust verses your Nakba is passé. The Stars and Stripes, the Hammer and Sickle, the Swastika and even the Star of David no longer flies crisp in winds of zeal and allegiance. Again something beyond banners, nations, courts or creeds has been awakened. The human heart is on the move. As the blood of Jewish freedom riders marked the beginning of the end of the siege of segregation in the Southern United States, so the blood of Turkish martyrs marks the beginning of the end of the siege of Gaza, the occupation of the West Bank, and the apartheid state of Israel. See how the ranks are swelling from every people, nation, color and creed. See the flotillas forming in wave after wave. Hear the strains of “We shall overcome” in the air.

Dear Roger, don’t be afraid. After the end, hand in hand, we shall go together up to Jerusalem, not singing the Hatikva, but hymning the common prayer that: “every man ‘neath his vine and fig tree, shall live in peace and unafraid”.

THERE ARE JEWS WHO KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG

This man speaks for many Jews throughout the world who have so far remained silent…

Not in My Jewish Name

By Rob Kall *

I am a Jew and I am outraged and ashamed by the acts Israel has perpetrated. I am not a self hating Jew, not an anti-semite, as some religious extremist Jews have accused me and other Jews who criticize Israel.

I am a Jew who knows right from wrong, who can see that the band of evil idiots in Israel who are making decisions are doing the wrong thing, doing things that are bad for the Jewish people. I stand up now declaring that Israel does not act in my name. AIPAC, the lobbying group for Israel does not act in my name.

I was ashamed and outraged when Israel attacked Gaza, killing over 1000 innocents. I told my son it would be like him throwing a balled up peice of paper at me and me coming back with a hammer smashing him in the head and face repeatedly.

There’s no other way to explain it. The Israeli leadership have become psychopaths, without conscience. I know that there are Jews who are bigots, who see the Palestinians as less than human. These are usually the same racist haters who listen to Rush Limbaugh like the Christian racist haters who treat all Muslims and blacks the same way. It’s not a Jewish or Zionist thing. People who like to hate Jews tend to think that way. Sorry, It’s not the case.

Israel is now controlled by a small minority of extreme, ultra-orthodox Jews. They have the power because they have small minority power bases in the Knesset that they use to help larger groups to gain power– as long as these fringe groups get specific things they want. These ultra-orthodox are extremist fundamentalists, just like the crazy, rabid right wingers we have here in the USA.

It is time for the US to deal with Israel, facing the reality that these extremists are controlling too much. The US should tell AIPAC that the curtain has been lifted, it no longer will be paid attention to and it should go away.

There are a few million Jews in the US. They’re a powerful voting bloc and they tend to vote liberal– about 75-80 percent. An awful lot of them are very unhappy today. If you know any, talk to them. If you are one, speak out, as a Jew, that you refuse to allow Israel to act as though it represents the Jewish people. Demand it. NOT IN MY NAME!! Tell them.

The members of congress are terrified of Israel’s main lobbying arm, AIPAC, and jump like frightened puppies when AIPAC barks. I’ve written about this before, thatAIPAC IS Bad for Israel, but it is also bad for the Jewish people. Israel’s crimes against humanity have done more to increase anti-Semitism in recent years than any other cause.

AIPAC’s reign of fear over congress must stop. It will only end if constituents show that they care. Whether you are Jewish or not, tell your representatives that Israel’s actions against the Palestinians and Humanitarians aiding the Palestinians must not stand. I wrote some ideas on how to fight back against AIPAC here. One thing that is still true, attacking Jews and going into anti-zionist rants will only help AIPAC. This is about Israel, not Zionism. Attacking Zionists or Israeli Jews in general does smack of anti-Semitism and serves the Israeli propagandists, even if it may make some who hate Israel feel good. If you want to help the people of Gaza talk Israeli crimes. If you want to vent your spleen and help Israel and AIPAC, talk Zionists and Zionism.

We are facing terrible times, with the possibility that Gulf could become a dead zone and a president who does not have what it takes to call what the Israelis did wrong.

That must change. We need to go to the local offices of the members of the House of Representatives and show them, with big numbers, that Israel does not have a blank check. It is time to pull the plug on the bottomless money we’ve been sending to Israel. Force them to change their policies by voting out the insane leaders who believe that they can commit the CRIMES they’ve committed and the US will do nothing.

It is time. It is past time.

*Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), President of Futurehealth, Inc, (more…)


MUCH ADO ABOUT A JEW

Did you hear the one about the Jewish guy that sells ties in the desert? In the past few days it has become the most popular joke throughout the world thanks to the likes of Abe Foxman.

Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman called the joke “inappropriate,” saying, “It’s stereotypic,” he said. “Some people believe they need to start a speech with a joke; this was about the worst kind of joke the head of the National Security Council could have told.”

Taken FROM

Foxman doesn’t get offended when Israel slaughters over 1,400 innocent civilians…
or starts proceedings to deport Palestinians from their Homeland…
or illegally evicts Palestinians from THEIR homes…
or acts illegally throughout the world carrying out assassinations…
ALL of the above is OK in his book… but a joke that just happened to have a Jew in it as a key player is cause for alarm. If the merchant was a Greek or an Italian it would be overlooked….. but a Jew???? OY VEY!! That’s anti-Semitism!

National Security Adviser James L. Jones doesn’t necessarily come across as the amusing guy at policy events. Rather, the veteran general is known for his measured and careful wording, and his somewhat monotonic delivery.

Maybe that is why some were surprised when Jones decided to open his remarks at the 25-year anniversary gala of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy with a joke. Not just any joke — a Jewish joke that some say was in poor taste.

And here is how it goes:

A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”

The joke drew a wave of laughs and applause from participants, many of whom are Jewish. The Washington Institute, an independent think tank widely seen as being pro-Israel, was founded by Jewish donors who are now on the institute’s board.

Taken from The Forward

Jones apologised for the joke saying:
“I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it. It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct.”

Also from The Forward

So don’t worry Foxy…. the checks will continue to come…. your job is secure for the next few years. That’s all that really matters to you, right?

Here’s the joke on camera….. you be the judge if it is cause for alarm….. or ‘Much Ado About NOTHING’.

ISRAEL IS A ZIONIST STATE …. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT

(Take notice of the name of the newspaper…. the zionists always claim there never was a Palestine…. but there was a Palestine Post? Today it’s called the Jerusalem Post)

In the Name of Zionism
By Uri Avnery

ISRAEL IS a Zionist State. Everybody knows that.

There is no (Jewish) politician in Israel who misses an opportunity to repeat this.

Last week, when we celebrated the 62nd Independence Day, we were flooded by a deluge of patriotic speeches. Each of the Ciceros, without exception, declared his total commitment to Zionism.

By the way, when it comes to the Zionist character of Israel, there is complete agreement on this between the leaders of Israel and their enemies. The Iranian big-mouth declares at every opportunity his conviction that the “Zionist regime” will disappear. Arabs who refuse to utter the name of Israel speak about the “Zionist entity”. Hamas and Hizbullah condemn the “Zionist enemy”.

But no one of them – friends and enemies alike – spells out what it means. What makes the state into a “Zionist” one?

FOR ME, this is Chinese. I mean, everybody knows that China is a “communist” country. Friends and enemies speak about “Communist China” as something that is self-evident.

But what does this mean? What makes it communist?

When I was young, I learned that communism means the nationalization (or “socialization”) of the means of production. Does this describe the reality in China? Or rather the exact opposite?

Communism aimed at creating a classless society, leading in the end to the “withering away” of the state altogether. Is that happening in China? Or is a new class of capitalist tycoons coming into being, while hundreds of millions vegetate in utter poverty?

The Communist Manifesto declared that the proletariat has no fatherland. But China is as nationalistic as any country on the globe.

So what remains of communism in China? Only the name, which serves as a cover for a group of powerful rulers who use the communist party as a means for maintaining a despotic regime.

And, of course – the ceremonies, symbols and banners. Karl Marx would have called them “opium of the people”.

AND BACK from the Manifesto of Marx and Engels to the “Jewish State” of Theodor Herzl, the official “Visionary of the State”.

Herzl’s Zionist vision was quite simple: the Jews, all the Jews, must go to the Jewish State. Those who do not will be Germans, Britons, Americans or members of any other nation, but definitely not Jews.

In the Zionist school in Palestine we were taught that the essence of Zionism is the negation of the Diaspora (called Exile in Hebrew). Not just the physical negation, but the mental, too. Not only the demand that every single Jew come to the Land of Israel, but also a total repudiation of all forms of Jewish life in Exile, their culture and their language (Yiddish/Jewish). The absolutely worst thing we could say about anybody was to call them an “Exile Jew”. Herzl’s own writings exude, in places, a strongly anti-Semitic odor.

And lo and behold, “Zionist” Israel is embracing the Diaspora, loving the Diaspora, kissing the Diaspora. The Zionist Executive is sending emissaries to the Jewish communities throughout the world in order to reinforce their “Jewish culture”.

The leaders of the “Zionist State” depend to a large extent upon the Diaspora and use it for their own purposes. The Exile-Jewish AIPAC ensures the subjection of the US Congress to the will of the Israeli government. The “Anti-Defamation League” (which should more properly be called the “Defamation League”) is terrorizing the American media in order to prevent any criticism of Israeli policy. In the past, the United Jewish Appeal was essential for the economic wellbeing of Israel.

For years, the foreign policy of Israel has been based upon the power of the Jewish “exile” community in the US. Every country, from Egypt to Uzbekistan, knew that if it wanted aid from the American Congress, it had first of all to acquire the support of Israel. In order to get access to the American Sultan, they first had to get past the Israeli gate-keeper.

WHAT HAS all this to do with Zionism? What has remained of Zionism, except the historical fact that the Zionist movement has given birth to Israel? Empty platitudes, and an instrument for achieving quite different objectives.

Inside our political system, Zionism serves various and contradictory aims.

If one speaks in Israel of “Zionism”, one means “not Arab”. A “Zionist” state means a state in which non-Jewish citizens cannot be full partners. Eighty percent of Israel’s citizens (the Jews) are telling the other twenty percent (the Arabs): the state belongs to us, not to you.

The state constructs settlements in the occupied territories because it is Zionist. It builds in East Jerusalem because it is Zionist. It discriminates against its Arab citizens in almost every field because it is Zionist. It mistreats African refugees who manage to reach its borders because it is Zionist. There is no dastardly act that cannot be wrapped in the Zionist flag. If Dr. Samuel Johnson were living in Israel today, he would say “Zionism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

THE “ZIONIST Left” is also waving this flag in order to show how patriotic it is. In the past, it used it mainly to keep its distance from the radical left, which was fighting against the occupation and for the two-state solution. Nowadays, after the “Zionist Left” has itself adopted this program, it continues to wave the Zionist flag in order to differentiate itself from the “Arab” parties (including the Communist Party, 90% of whose voters are Arab).

In the name of Zionism, the “Zionist Left” continues to reject any possibility of including the Arab parties in a future government coalition. This is an act of self-mutilation, since it prevents in advance any possibility of the “Left” returning to power. That’s simple arithmetic. As a result, the “Zionist Left” has practically disappeared.

THE WAY the Israeli Right is using the Zionist flag is far more dangerous. In their hands, it has turned into a banner of pure hate.

For years now, the plague of “talkbackists” has been spreading. Unidentified persons are filling cyberspace with their outpourings. Here and there a liberal citizen posts some interesting remarks. But the immense majority of the talkbackists belong to the extreme Right and express themselves in a style reminiscent of the darkest periods of the last century. The appellation “traitor” for leftists is the most moderate in this lexicon, and the demand for their execution has become quite commonplace.

(When my name happens to be mentioned on one of the websites, it routinely draws behind it a train of dozens, and sometimes more than a hundred talkback epithets spewing pure hatred. All this in the name of Zionism.)

The public has become accustomed to this phenomenon and tends to ignore it or to shrug it off. They think that the talkbackists belong to the political underworld, together with the fanatical settlers and assorted marginal rightist groups.

But are they still “marginal”? Or are they closing in on the center of the stage?

RECENTLY, THE public has been exposed to a song that lit red lights all over the place.

A popular singer by the name of Amir Banyon has decided to tell those Leftists exactly what he thinks of them. Here are some choice samples:

“I defend the children / I risk my life for your family / And you spit in my face. / After the enemies outside did not succeed in killing me / You are killing me from the inside.”

“I am storming the enemy lines / With my back exposed to you / And you sharpen the knife.”

“I am your brother, you are the enemy … When I weep, you laugh behind my back … You are handing me over to the foreigner … You are killing me!”

By the way, those who distributed this masterpiece forgot to mention that the author, he who “risks his life” and “always storms forwards”, has never served in a combat unit. Actually, he was released from the army after three days (!) because of drug problems. Later he became a pious Jew and joined Chabad, the sect of the ultra-nationalist Lubavitcher rabbi who never visited Israel.

THE WORDS “handing me over to the foreigner” are the most serious accusation in Jewish tradition. “The moser” (he who hands over) was a Jew who betrayed another Jew to the gentile authorities and deserved death. It was precisely this accusation that sealed the fate of Yitzhak Rabin.

Lately, this has become the main accusation hurled by Israeli fascists against the Left. Recently, an extreme campaign of incitement was launched against the New Israel Fund, a US-based institution that supports many leftist NGOs in Israel. The fund is accused of financing organizations that “helped Judge Goldstone”, the “anti-Semitic Jew” who is spreading despicable lies against the Zionist State. (Disclosure: the organization I am active in, Gush Shalom, which is also uncovering war crimes, never received a dime.)

Anat Kam, a soldier who “stole” secret documents from the army command and helped Haaretz to exclose a war crime, was also accused of “serving the enemy”. She has been indicted for “aggravated espionage”, a crime bearing a life sentence.

“Traitors”, “Enemy Agents”, “Destroyers of the Fatherland”, “Knife in the back” – these epithets are becoming part of the mainstream discourse in Israel. One should not dismiss them.

Not so long ago, just such language led to historic tragedies in Europe.

Source

THE US HAS TO REPAIR A LONG HISTORY OF MISTRUST

Opinion

Open Letter to Obama’s Envoy to the OIC

The US Has to Repair a Long History of Mistrust

By Khalid Amayreh

Journalist — Occupied Palestine

Our problem with the United States stems from hostile American policies that are killing us and murdering our children. (Reuters Photo)

Dear brother Hussein, like many Muslims around the globe, I am glad that President Obama has appointed you as his Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Needless to say, the repair of American-Muslim relations require, first and foremost,  honesty, integrity, and good will — characters I am sure you exemplify as an Islamic scholar and Hafez of the Book of God (Qur’an). Hence, I think that you are probably one of the best people qualified for this difficult job, because, for several decades, the relations between the United States and the world of 1.6 billion Muslims have been marred by tension, lack of trust, and a lot of bitterness.

Hence, I urge you to go about carrying out your mission with utmost care, wisdom, and sagacity. I also want to remind you that several American envoys to the Muslim world have effectively failed to achieve what they were supposed to achieve, namely fostering healthy relations between Muslims and America that would be based on mutual trust, respect, and friendship.

It is my firm belief though that these people, whose efforts should never be underestimated, failed in their missions, not because of the lack of trying nor the absence of good will and rectitude.

My impression, which I believe is shared by many Muslims, is that these honorable men and women did not correctly diagnose the serious ailments plaguing America’s relations with the Muslim world. In truth, past American envoys to the Muslim world acted very much as Public Relations emissaries, whose central concern was that Muslims misunderstood America.

In short, they thought that America was only having an “image problem” in the Muslim world, and that if only the United States worked a little bit harder in terms of presenting itself and its policies more skillfully, that tarnished image would be rehabilitated and Muslims would fall in love with Uncle Sam.

History of Wrong Deeds

My Brother in Islam and humanity: From our vantage point, the real problem besetting America’s relations with Muslims goes far beyond the image problem. We truly feel that the US government is “tormenting” Muslims in many parts of the world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq , Pakistan, Lebanon to mention some examples.

In occupied Palestine, America has been enabling and empowering Israel — a state that has much in common with Nazi Germany — to kill us, destroy our homes, steal our land, and banish us from our ancestral land. Moreover, whenever we sought to redress that bad situation at the UN Security Council, America would just veto any resolution that would have given us a modicum of justice.

This brazen alliance with the oppressors on America’s part frustrated many Muslims and Arabs, prompting them occasionally to embark on doing things they probably should not have done. You know, people to whom evil is done, often do evil in return.

Even today, the United States, which was as silent as a graveyard during Israel’s manifestly criminal onslaught against the helpless people of the Gaza Strip last year, is trying now to kill the Goldstone report, which exposed Israeli criminality and called for the possible prosecution of suspected Israeli war criminals.

The United States has had more than fifty years to make peace in Palestine. However, instead of forcing Israel to give up the spoils of war and grant Palestinians the right to freedom from the shackles of occupation and racism, America has always made sure to further strengthen Israeli militarily and bolster its arrogance of power.

Eventually, this unrestricted embrace of Zionism enabled Israel to irreversibly kill the two-state solution, leaving us with the ominous, but realistic alternative of open-ended conflict.

One Palestinian intellectual, Walid Khalidi, once referred to the United States as “the tormentor of the Palestinian people.” Khalidi’s words are not an overstatement. In fact, the opposite may well be true.

In Lebanon, a few years ago, Israel blanket-bombed Lebanon, annihilating and maiming thousands of innocent people whose only “guilt” was their weakness and military inferiority vis-à-vis Israel.

In fact, the Israeli air force dropped more than 2 million cluster-bomblets on Lebanon, enough to kill two million children, including people yet to be born. Instead of hearing the United States saying: “Stop it”, we heard American officials from the president downward singing the songs of praise for Israel as if these innocent victims were children of  lesser humanity.

Iraq and Afghanistan

Moreover, In Iraq, one is really frustrated as to where to begin and where to end when talking about America’s crimes and days of infamy in Iraq. America invaded, occupied and destroyed that Arab country based on the mendacious claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  True, Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but are America’s Arab puppets paragons of virtue and democracy?

A few years before the American occupation of Iraq, former secretary of state Madeline Albright made some telling remarks about the death of nearly a million Iraqi children as a result of US-led sanctions against the Arab country. She said, “If it is good for America, it is worth it.”

I am sure you understand that only a human devil can reach this level of depravity and evil.

Regarding Afghanistan, American and other NATO forces are raining death on Afghan people in the Helmand province, killing many civilians. US military officials would claim it happened by mistake. Well, but mistakes are done a few times, and when made nearly on a daily basis and thousands of people are killed, it means “mistakes” are actually “the real policy”.

In any case, when the number of civilian victims is so high as in Afghanistan and Palestine, even intent becomes irrelevant.

I am sure that had these unwept, helpless civilians been Jews or Christians, the NATO pilots would have been much more careful.

Dear Brother: Muslims want a relationship with America based on honesty and fairness, and above all on justice. I am saying so because the US policy toward Muslims has been almost completely devoid of honesty and fairness.

Nearly every new American administration declares from the outset that fostering democracy and human rights in the Arab world would be at the top of its agenda. However, the truth is that the policy pursued then represents the exact antithesis of America’s declarations.

In the past few years, the United States actually encouraged certain Arab states to torture their own citizens by transferring “terror suspects” to these police states, where they underwent all sorts of physical and psychological torture. The so-called “renditions” were a stigma of shame at the forehead of both America and the Arab regimes.

In fact, the United States has effectively transformed several Arab regimes into agents helped by the American intelligence to serve America’s illegitimate global interests.

Conflicting Interests?

These regimes do not represent the free will of the Arab-Muslim people. They are more answerable to Washington than they are to their own masses. In addition, they value the “legitimacy” that comes from America’s acceptance more than that which comes from their own people’s acceptance.

For example, the American-envisaged steel wall being built along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is rejected by up to 99 percent of the Egyptian people. Yet it is being imposed, thanks to America’s approval of the evil structure.

Does not the United States realize that this wall amounts to passing a death penalty on more than 1.5 million innocent human beings, whose only “crime” was that they elected a political party that Israel and America did not like?

To be sure, America has the right to protect its interests. However, America has no right, moral or legal, to murder and starve people because they exercised their democratic right and elected a political party called “Hamas”.

Besides, why is it that Israel has the right to elect clear-cut thugs and certified war criminals, such as Avigdor Lieberman, Ehud Barak, and Benyamin Netanyahu, just to name a few, while the Palestinian people are not supposed to elect a party like Hamas?

Do terror, criminality, and racism become kosher when assuming a Jewish face? Is Israel above the laws of God and man?

Muslims all over the world, including in Palestine, have no inherent hostility toward the people of the United States.

We have no problem with the American First Amendment and civil liberties. We are not against the United States because we hate the American life style. Our problem with the United States stems from hostile American policies that are killing us and murdering our children.

In short, America must reconcile what it preaches with what it does, because otherwise, America cannot just keep lying to Muslims (and non-Muslims) as if  our people were blind, deaf, and dumb.

Finally, I hope and pray that you will have the courage to communicate our grievances to the White House, as I am sure you will communicate its concerns to us.

Furthermore, I would advise you to be always mindful of the Qur’an’s eighth Aya (verse) of Surat Al-Ma’idah:

“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” [Al-Ma’idah, 8]

I have chosen this verse because justice is not only a Muslim value; it is actually a universal value, without which life on earth is corrupted.

Once again, I call on the Almighty to help you carry out your mission in the best way.

LOOKING BACK AT THE ‘COUP’ IN GAZA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

OPINION PIECE

THE “COUP” IN GAZA
By Dr. Ellen Rosser, President
Friendship and Peace Society

From September 2006 to June 2007, I had an office in Gaza and was
witness to some of the events that led to Hamas’ takeover of Gaza.   Did
Hamas stage  a coup, a planned overthrow of the Palestinian Authority
in Gaza?  The answer is definitely  no.  What then did happen?


My first experience of the conflict between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza
occurred the first day that  I arrived in Gaza City  by taxi from the
Erez border crossing,  I needed to use an ATM to get shekels, and the
driver took me to a bank next to the central park.  But  people were
running away from the area and at the bank the men  waiting to use the
ATM were flat against the wall.  Bullets were flying a little farther
down the street.  I  ran from the taxi to the ATM, where the men
politely put me at the front of the line, as they always do for
women,.  I  took the shekels, and ran back to the taxi, looking down
the street to see where the bullets were coming from that I should
dodge.


Some months later, the next events that I personally  was aware of
in the tragic series occurred when the  Hamas minister of the
Interior, Siam Siyad, wanted a video tape showing who had killed a
Palestinian Authority soldier and wounded two others. It had been in
the possession of  Jad, who was killed, and then in the possession of
Major  Baha Balouja of Fatah, who  refused to give it up.


Subsequently, Major Baha was threatened, and a few days later his two
young sons were  killed when gunmen opened fire on the car with dark
windows in which the children were being driven to school.

I went with a Fatah friend to offer condolences to Major Baha, and while we were there,  a man  came from Prime Minister Haniyeh, who was waiting at the  Rafah border to return from Egypt,  and said that the Prime Minister wanted to come to offer his condolences and wanted to know if that would be alright. Major Baha said “yes.”    In other words,  Prime Minister Haniyeh knew nothing about  who killed  the two little boys and wished to express his sorrow at the tragedy.   A few days later, however, he may have heard Indications that Hamas members were involved,  for on television he said that if  “we,” i.e. Hamas,  have done anything wrong, we will pay “diwa,” (blood money, a traditional Palestinian way of resolving such an issue)..


However, that night when Haniyeh was entering Gaza after being
held at the border for eight hours  while Egypt decided what to do
about the millions of dollars he was bringing with him,   there was an
assassination attempt on his life by some men who guarded the border,
Mohammed Dahlan’s men.   Haniyeh  was not hit by the bullets shot from
the roof of the border crossing terminal, but his son and Ahmed Yusef
, who were next to him, were wounded.     Haniyeh did not dwell
extensively on the attempt, saying merely on television that he was
willing to be a martyr.  President Mahmoud Abbas,  I am sure,  was not
aware of the attempted assassination of Haniyeh any more than Haniyeh
was aware of  who killed the two boys.    Indeed, after the Fatah and
Hamas men began attacking each other in the city every day, the two
leaders both called for peace and an end of the fighting several
times, and after a joint call for peace, the fighting would stop for a
day or two,  but then it would resume.


A number of  times I  had to wait in my office/apartment until
the shooting moved away from my area,  then  hurry down to the street
to go to the nearby bakery and vegetable  stores to stock up on food
for a few days.  Usually an armed man on the corner–I  never knew
whether he would be Hamas or Fatah–would look up and down the street
for me and then wave me across.   Both sides were courteous and
helpful to the  old, American woman.


At one point, while the  bullets were volleying back and forth
down the main streets in Gaza City and elsewhere, the US or more
precisely, I’m  sure,  Gen. Keith Dayton, tried to intervene on behalf
of Fatah, by  sending in a truckload or more of weapons.   Hamas
learned of the shipment, however,  seized it and used it.


But it is important to note that the anger of the Hamas men on
the street was not directed against the Palestinian Authority nor
President Abbas but rather against the Fatah leader who had
arrested—and tortured—Hamas men during the second intifada: Mohammed Dahlan.     One night I heard from my office window someone reciting through a very loud speaker what sounded like a poem.   But in the middle of it I heard  “Mohammed Dahlan,  Israelian, Americaniya”   In
other words,  Dahlan because of his previous actions was considered to
be an Israeli and an American—not a Palestinian nationalist.  One
wonders what would have happened if Dahlan had not been the Head of
Security for the P.A.; would the conflict in Gaza  have happened?


The people of Gaza and all the other political parties were very angry at Fatah nad Hamas for fighting and disrupting the lives of all the people.  However, I must emphasize again that it was not the leaders—Abbas and Haniyeh—who were responsible.   Indeed, one day the Gaza director of the Friendship and Peace Society, who is neither Fatah nor Hamas,  and I organized a children’s demonstration against the fighting.   Forty children in white shirts and white caps with signs saying in Arabic:: “ Peace Fatah and Hamas”; “Stop the Fighting”;  and a quotation from
the Koran—“If Muslim kills Muslim of set intent,  he has eternal punishment.”   When the bus full of children drove up to Haniyeh’s office,  his office director welcomed us and thanked us, saying he agreed with us.  And when the bus drove up to Abbas’ office, his office manager welcomed us and thanked us, saying he agreed with us.


Then we went to the central park to join the other political parties and civil societies who were protesting the fighting.


Since the leaders were unable to prevent the fighting on the street and gunmen were shooting down the boulevards and from the tops of tall buildings,  it was a relief for the people of Gaza when one party won, the fighting stopped and people could resume their lives without fear of becoming a civilian casualty.


Was there a “coup” in Gaza?   I don’t think that is the proper word for what happened.There were some people on both sides who wanted to overthrow some individuals on the other side.   Mohammed Dahlan was
hated by Hamas, though he was not present in Gaza then,  and there was
an attempt on the life of Haniyeh by  Dahlan’s men.  However,  I think
one might call what happened more a  vendetta than a coup.   And  I
think everyone should emphasize that the leaders—Haniyeh and Abbas—were  not responsible for the fighting and indeed tried to stop
it several times.


In other words,  it would be appropriate for  Abbas and Haniyeh
to continue their peacemaking roles.    Abbas could emphasize to the
world, especially to Gen. Keith Dayton, that Hamas is not a
“terrorist” organization, it should not be on the “terrorist” list,
and its members should not be in prison for belonging to Hamas.
Moreover, Abbas could encourage the EU and US to talk to Hamas, which
is currently being unjustly  boycotted just as the PLO was boycotted
from l987-1991, during which time Arafat was calling for peace just as
Hamas is calling for the two state solution now.   And Haniyeh could
reciprocate by becoming part of the peace-loving unity government and
by calling for elections so that the Palestinian people can exercise
their right to freely choose a new government.

WILL PEACE BE THE DEATH OF ISRAEL OR THE DEATH OF THE ISRAELI RIGHT?

Opinion…..

Fear of Peace will be the Death of Israel
by Bradley Burston

SHEIKH JARRAH, Jerusalem – As the grandson of anarchists, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for fanatics. Expressions of extremism, and passionately reasoned, exquisitely twisted world views make me feel, how shall I put this, at home.

So it was with a certain relish that I approached the

cover story of a recent issue of Commentary, “The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace,” written as it was by a talented colleague and friend, Evelyn Gordon.

The thrust of the piece, which Commentary Editor John Podhoretz understandably calls “groundbreaking,” is that Israel’s international standing has plummeted to an unprecedented low – and the number of Palestinians killed by Israel has concurrently soared – specifically because of Israel’s having done much too much for peace.

“The answer is unpleasant to contemplate, but the mounting evidence makes it inescapable,” she writes. “It was Israel’s very willingness to make concessions for the sake of peace that has produced its current near-pariah status.”

The essay has the seamless, compellingly elegant, hyper-lucid, parallel universe logic of a hallucination – or a settlement rooted in the craw of the West Bank. Until I read it, it was difficult for me to comprehend the current runaway-freight recklessness of Israeli authorities and a certain segment of the hard right, bolstered by shady funding from abroad.

It was hard to fathom why Israeli police in this quiet hollow of the Arab half of Jerusalem, would choose to openly flout and violate the rulings of an Israeli court. I was unable to grasp why they would manhandle and arrest non-violent demonstrators – among them the executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel – for protesting the official expulsion from their homes of more than two dozen Palestinian families here, driven out and into the street, so that subsidized and sheltered settlers could move in.

It was beyond my understanding why an Israeli government which views the idea of a Palestinian Right of Return as tantamount to annihilation of the Jewish state, would set a legal precedent that

paves the way for just such a right.

Just as I was clueless as to why the Knesset was to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make aiding asylum seekers fleeing African genocide, granting them shelter, medical care, food, a crime subject to up to 20 years in prison.

Or why there were vigorous new campaigns to increase gender segregation at the Western Wall and on public buses, and why women have been arrested and interrogated on suspicion of having worn prayer shawls while praying on their side of a barrier raised so that they would no longer be able to watch their sons’ bar mitzvah on the mens’ side.

Or why a sudden and ferocious campaign against human rights organizations and charity work agencies in Israel is coinciding with new human rights outrages against Palestinians and foreigners, some of them unable to leave, others forced to.

It was not until I saw the title of the Commentary piece that it all made sense.

The right is terrified of peace. And, in the end, the right’s fear of peace will be the death of Israel.

They are afraid of peace, in part, because it threatens the core of what has come to replace other values as the goal of Judaism: permanent settlement of the West Bank. But that is only a part of it.

They are afraid of peace because they are afraid of the world. They dismiss fellow Jews who want to see a two-state solution – a majority of Israelis – as unrealistic, as living in a bubble. The name of the bubble these moderates live in, however, is planet Earth.

The right, meanwhile, wants to wall off Israel as the world’s last remaining legally mandated Jewish ghetto. A place where all the rules are different, exit and entry, citizenship and human rights, because the residents within are Jews. A place where non-Jews, dehumanized as congenital Jew-haters, are rendered invisible. A place which, if suffocating and insufferable, still seems safer than the scary world outside.

A place which, because of its walls and its politics and its cowardice, is losing its ability to function as a part of the world, reveling in cheap-shot humiliations of key foreign ambassadors, deliriously proud of its sense that of all the world, including most of its Jews and Israelis – only the right sees the real truth.

This braid of thought was venomously endorsed this week both by an uncharacteristically Kahane-sounding Alan Dershowitz, and the obscenely infantile Im Tirtzu movement. According to them, where Cast Lead was concerned, the real war criminals are Richard Goldstone and Naomi Chazan – two people who are open about their love of Israel, and who have worked their whole adult lives for its well-being.

The fears of the right are not mere devices of rhetoric. The risks of making peace are real. Every bit as real as the risks of failing to make peace.

It all comes down to belief. It comes down to the kind of country the believer wants Israel to be. And for that reason, there is a civil war going on for Israel’s soul.

It will not be weaponry that decides this war, but courage. People who care about the direction that Israel is moving, and whose watchword is moderation, would do well to choose one facet of the fight, and join. One place to start, is to support the New Israel Fund and the groups it supports.

Another place to start is this one. At the weekend, challenging the threats of rightist thugs and law-scorning police, the weekly demonstration on behalf of the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah doubled in size. The police backed down on their vow to break up the protest, and the Kahanists barely showed.

If non-violent peace activism scares the right to this extent, there must be a great deal of power in it.

After all, most Israelis can sense that if peace is to be the enemy, more dangerous even than the threat of war, this is one doomed ghetto.

Things have reached such a devastating point, that for the first time in recent memory, even Ehud Barak is beginning to get it: “The simple truth is, if there is one state” including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, “it will have to be either binational or undemocratic,” Barak told the Herzliya Conference Tuesday.

“If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

The fear of peace has left Israel as a country which is prepared for nuclear warfare but not for non-violent protest on behalf of Palestinians. The fear of peace, and the blackmail of the right on behalf of settlement, has contorted Israel into a body which, unable to countenance the perils of treating the sickness of occupation, will eventually be killed by it.

Israel’s defense minister, for one, is

convinced: “The lack of a solution to the problem of border demarcation within the historic Land of Israel – and not an Iranian bomb – is the most serious threat to Israel’s future.”


Source

ISRAEL’S NEW DILEMMA ….. HAMAS ACCEPTS ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST…. WILL ISRAEL ACCEPT PALESTINE’S RIGHT TO EXIST?

UPDATE……

Hamas responds…. click on below.

Dweik: Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Hamas is prepared to abandon their charter calling for the destruction of Israel. Israel has been actively involved in the destruction of Palestine since 1948, are they prepared to abandon this ‘unwritten’ charter of theirs?

It is the intention of Hamas to gain recognition in the world community. This seems very unlikely to happen in the States with AIPAC standing guard and Obama’s zionist cabinet dancing to their every tune.

The European Community is much more likely to engage in discussions with Hamas…. hopefully leading to a change in America’s policies as well.

It should be an interesting few weeks to come, watching how this develops…. Let us hope for the best and and the establishment of a Just and Lasting Peace in Israel/Palestine, and the establishment of a Palestinian State!

‘Hamas accepts Israel’s right to exist’

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Hamas has accepted Israel’s right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Aziz Dwaik, Hamas’s most senior representative in the West Bank, said on Wednesday.

PLC Speaker Aziz Dwaik (right...

PLC Speaker Aziz Dwaik (right) meets UK millionaire David Martin Abrahams in Hebron, Wednesday.
Photo: Khaled Abu
Toameh

Dwaik’s remarks are seen in the context of Hamas’s attempts to win recognition from the international community.

Dwaik is the elected speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.

The rest of this report can be read HERE

PALESTINE…. WHERE COMEDY ISN’T ALWAYS FUNNY….THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SATIRE AND IGNORANCE

Image FROM

In the past, I enjoyed reading the posts of an American-Palestinian comedian named Ray Hanania. His works have appeared on many pro Palestinian sites for years. But today, his latest piece of dribble appears in the zionist Jerusalem Post.

For a Palestinian to write what he did is nothing but a disgrace. He is literally spitting in the face of a million and a half of his own brothers and sisters that live in Gaza today, not to mention the thousands of internationals that have been dedicated to help alleviate their suffering. The zionists obviously love his words as they published them, another indication of how vile they are.

SHAME ON YOU RAY HANANIA!

Read below to see why….

Pro-Hamas media bias and Gaza activists block peace

By RAY HANANIA

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas complained recently in Qatar that the media there was pro-Hamas, and that tis bias was threatening the ability to achieve peace, he struck a chord that many Palestinians know is true.

A member of Free Gaza Group...

A member of Free Gaza Group hangs up a Palestinian flag on the ship last week in Larnaca port, Cyprus.
Photo: AP

It isn’t just the mainstream Arab media that is pro-Hamas, branded a “terrorist organization” by many nations, but it’s also the groups that support Hamas that slowly dominate the Middle East landscape unchallenged that are threatening peace.

A good example of this is the issue of the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians complain they are under an oppressive military and economic Israeli siege and where Israelis counter that radical elements there continue to target their civilians with Katyushas and Kassam missiles.

Gaza is a very complicated issue, but not that hard to really understand.

The area has been controlled by Hamas and radical Muslims since the 1970s. Although Hamas’s parent organization, the Islamic Association, did provide health and social care to its citizens, that care was only given to those who embraced its hard-line religious ideology.

Hamas opposes genuine peace with Israel, and used the most pernicious form of violence – suicide bombings – throughout the 1990s to destroy the peace process and prevent compromise. Its mission is not to achieve peace based on compromise, but to pursue the impossible dream – more a nightmare for everyday Palestinians – of destroying Israel and returning Palestine to what it was in 1917, before it came under British colonialism.

THAT HAMAS desire is not only shared by the religious extremists who continue to grow, but by those who are secular fanatics yet also oppose peace based on compromise. Most of those activists are based in Western countries, where it is easy to chant for the destruction of not only Israel but of Abbas’s secular Palestinian government which does support compromise based on two-states.

These are strange bedfellows in the Palestinian extremist camps, religious fanatics shoulder-to-shoulder with secular extremists like the Popular Front and the rejectionists led by the activists and fawned on by the Arab media that mistakenly believe “freedom” means embracing the most extremist activists.

The Arab media, which glorify religious extremism and even violent attacks, don’t realize, of course, that under a Hamas-run government, it wouldn’t just be Jews, Christians and secular Muslims who would be oppressed. The media in a Hamastan would be among the primary targets, stripped of the “freedoms” they enjoy today – of criticizing Abbas, two states and peace based on compromise.

THE ISSUE for the Free Gaza protesters is not about bringing freedom to the 1.3 million Palestinians there or lifting Israel’s “oppressive military and economic siege.” It’s about their long-term goals. By “freeing” Gaza, they mean declaring Hamas the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” But that’s not their goal.

The purpose of many of the protesters is to strengthen Hamas. They know that Israel is forced to deal first with the threats rather than the compelling cases for peace. And Hamas is a threat not only to Israel but also to the Palestinians, secular Arab countries like Egypt and Jordan, to Christian and Jewish religious independence and, more importantly, to the goal of achieving a peace based on nonviolent compromise.

The activists continue to cling to the false and irrelevant claims that Hamas won one election in 2006 and ignore the fact that Hamas was ousted from political leadership in the same way it was installed. It was a corrupt election that was poorly constructed, allowing the divisions of the majority of Palestinians to be merged with Hamas’s faith-based reticence. In Western nations with elections, they separate the two processes, allowing individual parties to select their candidates from internal battles before putting them up against candidates from the other parties.

Hamas and the activists have allowed the Gaza Strip to fester in economic squalor because it suits their purpose. They can’t rally support based on their ideals because they have no realistic ideals. They call for the destruction of Israel and the destruction of a secular two-state Palestine, and also for the destruction of Egypt and pretty much anyone who doesn’t agree with their extremist agendas.

Rather than help the besieged people of the Gaza Strip achieve freedom and build the first steps of a secular Palestinian state that would lead to the creation of full Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, the protesters have helped to encase the Palestinians there in continued suffering.

THE PROTESTERS seeking to enter Gaza have closed their eyes to the oppression and brutality that is the true Hamas. They have limited their criticism to Egypt.

More importantly, this bizarre alliance between the religious fanatics and the secular extremists which today is focused on the Gaza Strip is silent on the campaign of terror that Hamas continues to wage against secular Palestinians.

Hamas has made it easy for some to oppose Palestinian statehood, and is the main obstacle standing in the way of peace.

The Arab media are going through an internal struggle no different than the one now dominating Arab and Palestinian politics. It’s one between extremists who see the media as an instrument of activism and those of us who believe the media must remain objective witnesses to the truth.

Truth means that not all of today’s tragic events can be blamed on Israel, Egypt, Abbas or on the failure, so far, to achieve peace.

Source

ONE DAY WE’LL ALL BE TERRORISTS

AP / Mary Altaffer
The image of Uncle Sam is seen behind shattered glass at the military recruitment center in New York’s Times Square.

By Chris Hedges

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements—who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism—have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day,  this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.

The case against Hashmi, like most of the terrorist cases launched by the Bush administration, is appallingly weak and built on flimsy circumstantial evidence. This may be the reason the state has set up parallel legal and penal codes to railroad those it charges with links to terrorism. If it were a matter of evidence, activists like Hashmi, who is accused of facilitating the delivery of socks to al-Qaida, would probably never be brought to trial.

Hashmi, who if convicted could face up to 70 years in prison, has been held in solitary confinement for more than 2½ years. Special administrative measures, known as SAMs, have been imposed by the attorney general to prevent or severely restrict communication with other prisoners, attorneys, family, the media and people outside the jail. He also is denied access to the news and other reading material. Hashmi is not allowed to attend group prayer. He is subject to 24-hour electronic monitoring and 23-hour lockdown. He must shower and go to the bathroom on camera. He can write one letter a week to a single member of his family, but he cannot use more than three pieces of paper. He has no access to fresh air and must take his one hour of daily recreation in a cage. His “proclivity for violence” is cited as the reason for these measures although he has never been charged or convicted with committing an act of violence.

“My brother was an activist,” Hashmi’s brother, Faisal, told me by phone from his home in Queens. “He spoke out on Muslim issues, especially those dealing with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His arrest and torture have nothing to do with providing ponchos and socks to al-Qaida, as has been charged, but the manipulation of the law to suppress activists and scare the Muslim American community. My brother is an example. His treatment is meant to show Muslims what will happen to them if they speak about the plight of Muslims. We have lost every single motion to preserve my brother’s humanity and remove the special administrative measures. These measures are designed solely to break the psyche of prisoners and terrorize the Muslim community. These measures exemplify the malice towards Muslims at home and the malice towards the millions of Muslims who are considered as non-humans in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The extreme sensory deprivation used on Hashmi is a form of psychological torture, far more effective in breaking and disorienting detainees. It is torture as science. In Germany, the Gestapo broke bones while its successor, the communist East German Stasi, broke souls. We are like the Stasi. We have refined the art of psychological disintegration and drag bewildered suspects into secretive courts when they no longer have the mental and psychological capability to defend themselves.

“Hashmi’s right to a fair trial has been abridged,” said Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Much of the evidence in the case has been classified under CIPA, and thus Hashmi has not been allowed to review it. The prosecution only recently turned over a significant portion of evidence to the defense. Hashmi may not communicate with the news media, either directly or through his attorneys. The conditions of his detention have impacted his mental state and ability to participate in his own defense.

“The prosecution’s case against Hashmi, an outspoken activist within the Muslim community, abridges his First Amendment rights and threatens the First Amendment rights of others,” Ratner added. “While Hashmi’s political and religious beliefs, speech and associations are constitutionally protected, the government has been given wide latitude by the court to use them as evidence of his frame of mind and, by extension, intent. The material support charges against him depend on criminalization of association. This could have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of others, particularly in activist and Muslim communities.”

Continue reading HERE

Source

WHAT’S GOING ON IN EGYPT TODAY….. AND WHY

The Iron Wall
By Uri Avneri


SOMETHING ODD, almost bizarre, is going on in Egypt these days.

About 1400 activists from all over the world gathered there on their way to the Gaza Strip. On the anniversary of the “Cast Lead” War, they intended to participate in a non-violent demonstration against the ongoing blockade, which makes the life of 1.5 million inhabitants of the Strip intolerable.

At the same time, protest demonstrations were to take place in many countries. In Tel-Aviv, too, a big protest was planned. The “monitoring committee” of the Arab citizens of Israel was to organize an event on the Gaza border.

When the international activists arrived in Egypt, a surprise awaited them. The Egyptian government forbade their trip to Gaza. Their buses were held up at the outskirts of Cairo and turned back. Individual protesters who succeeded in reaching the Sinai in regular buses were taken off them. The Egyptian security forces conducted a regular hunt for the activists.

The angry activists besieged their embassies in Cairo. On the street in front of the French embassy, a tent camp sprang up which was soon surrounded by the Egyptian police. American protesters gathered in front of their embassy and demanded to see the ambassador. Several protesters who are over 70 years old started a hunger strike. Everywhere, the protesters were held up by Egyptian elite units in full riot gear, while red water cannon trucks were lurking in the background. Protesters who tried to assemble in Cairo’s central Tahrir (liberation) Square were mishandled.

In the end, after a meeting with the wife of the president, a typical Egyptian solution was found: one hundred activists were allowed to reach Gaza. The rest remained in Cairo, bewildered and frustrated.

WHILE THE demonstrators were cooling their heels in the Egyptian capital and trying to find ways to vent their anger, Binyamin Netanyahu was received in the president’s palace in the heart of the city. His hosts went to great lengths to laud and celebrate his contribution to peace, especially the ‘freeze” of settlement activity in the West Bank, a phony gesture that does not include East Jerusalem.

Hosni Mubarak and Netanyahu have met in the past – but not in Cairo. The Egyptian president always insisted that the meetings take place in Sharm-al-Sheikh, as far from the Egyptian population centers as possible. The invitation to Cairo was, therefore, a significant token of increasingly close relations.

As a special gift for Netanyahu, Mubarak agreed to allow hundreds of Israelis to come to Egypt and pray at the grave of Rabbi Yaakov Abu-Hatzeira, who died and was buried in the Egyptian town of Damanhur 130 years ago, on his way from Morocco to the Holy Land.

There is something symbolic about this: the blocking of the pro-Palestinian protesters on their way to Gaza at the same time as the invitation of Israelis to Damanhur.

ONE MAY well wonder about the Egyptian participation in the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The blockade started long before the Gaza War and has turned the Strip into what has been described as “the biggest prison on earth”. The blockade applies to everything except essential medicines and the most basic foodstuffs. US senator John Kerry, former candidate for the presidency, was shocked to hear that the blockade included pasta – the Israeli army in its wisdom has designated noodles as a luxury. The blockade is all-embracing – from building materials to school children’s copy books. Except for the most extreme humanitarian cases, nobody can pass from the Gaza Strip to Israel or the West Bank, nor the other way round.

But Israel controls only three sides of the Strip. The Northern and Eastern borders are blocked by the Israeli army, the Western border by the Israeli navy. The fourth border, the Southern one, is controlled by Egypt. Therefore, the entire blockade would be ineffective without Egyptian participation.

Ostensibly, this does not make sense. Egypt considers itself as the leader of the Arab world. It is the most populous Arab country, situated at the center of the Arab world. Fifty years ago the president of Egypt, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, was the idol of all the Arabs, especially of the Palestinians. How can Egypt collaborate with the “Zionist enemy”, as Egyptians called Israel then, in bringing 1.5 million brother Arabs to their knees?

Until recently, the Egyptian government had been sticking to a solution that exemplifies the 6000-year old Egyptian political acumen. It participated in the blockade but closed its eyes to the hundreds of tunnels dug under the Egyptian-Gaza border, through which the daily supplies for the population were flowing (for exorbitant prices, and with high profits for Egyptian merchants), together with the stream of arms. People also passed through them – from Hamas activists to brides.

This is about to change. Egypt has started building an iron wall – literally – along the full length of the Gaza border, consisting of steel pillars thrust deep into the ground, in order to block all tunnels. That will finally choke the inhabitants.

When the most extreme Zionist, Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, wrote 80 years ago about erecting an “Iron Wall” against the Palestinians, he did not dream of Arabs doing just that.

WHY DO they do it?

There are several explanations. Cynics point out that the Egyptian government receives a huge American subsidy every year – almost two billion dollars – by courtesy of Israel. It started as a reward for the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The pro-Israel lobby in the US Congress can stop it any time.

Others believe that Mubarak is afraid of Hamas. The organization started out as the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, still the main opposition to his autocratic regime. The Cairo-Riyadh-Amman-Ramallah axis is poised against the Damascus-Gaza axis that is allied with the Tehran-Hizbullah axis. Many people believe that Mahmoud Abbas is interested in the tightening of the Gaza blockade in order to hurt Hamas.

Mubarak is angry with Hamas, which refuses to dance to his tune. Like his predecessors, he demands that the Palestinians obey his orders. President Abd-al-Nasser was angry with the PLO (an organization created by him to ensure Egyptian control of the Palestinians, but which escaped him when Yasser Arafat took over). President Anwar Sadat was angry with the PLO for rejecting the Camp David agreement, which promised Palestinians only “autonomy”. How dare the Palestinians, a small, oppressed people, refuse the ”advice” of Big Brother?

All these explanations make sense, yet the Egyptian government’s attitude is still astonishing. The Egyptian blockade of Gaza destroys the lives of 1.5 million human beings, men and women, old people and children, most of who are not Hamas activists. It is done publicly, before the eyes of hundreds of millions of Arabs, a billion and a quarter Muslims. In Egypt itself, too, millions of people are ashamed of the participation of their country in the starving of fellow Arabs.

It is a very dangerous policy. Why does Mubarak follow it?

THE REAL answer is, probably, that he has no choice.

Egypt is a very proud country. Anyone who has been in Egypt knows that even the poorest Egyptian is full of national pride and is easily insulted when his national dignity is hurt. That was shown again a few weeks ago, when Egypt lost a soccer match with Algeria and behaved as if it has lost a war.

“Consider that from the summit of these Pyramids, forty centuries look down upon you,” Napoleon told his soldiers on the eve of the battle for Cairo. Every Egyptian feels that 6000 – some say 8000 – years of history look upon him all the time.

This profound feeling clashes with reality at a time when Egypt’s situation is getting more and more miserable. Saudi Arabia has more influence, tiny Dubai has become an international financial center, Iran is becoming a far more important regional power. Contrary to Iran, where the Ayatollahs have called upon families to limit themselves to two children, the Egyptian birthrate is devouring everything, condemning the country to permanent poverty.

In the past, Egypt succeeded in balancing its internal weaknesses with external successes. The whole world considered Egypt as the leader of the Arab world, and treated it accordingly. No more.

Egypt is in a bad situation. Therefore, Mubarak has no choice but to follow the dictates of the US – which are, in fact, Israeli dictates. That is the real explanation for his participation in the blockade.

WHEN I spoke today at the demonstration in Tel-Aviv, after we had marched through the streets to protest against the blockade, I refrained from mentioning the Egyptian part in it.

I confess that I liked the people I met during my visits to Egypt very much. The “man in the street” is very welcoming. In their behavior towards each other there is an air of tranquility, an absence of aggression, a particular Egyptian sense of humor. Even the poorest keep their dignity in crowded and often miserable conditions. I have not heard them grumble. In all the thousands of years of their history, Egyptians have risen in revolt no more than three or four times.

This legendary patience has its negative side, too. When people are resigned to their lot, this may prevent economic, social and political progress.

It seems that the Egyptian people are ready to accept everything. From the Pharaohs of old right down to the present Pharaoh, their rulers have faced little opposition. But a day may come when national pride will overcome even this patience.

As an Israeli, I protest against the Israeli blockade. If I were an Egyptian, I would protest against the Egyptian blockade. As a citizen of this planet, I protest against both.

Source

WHEN THE OPPRESSED BECOMES THE OPPRESSOR ~~ TAKING KOSHER RACISM TO THE POLLS

A rabbi that has enjoyed fame as the author of a controversial book known as ‘Kosher Sex’, has transformed himself into one of America’s most unkosher politicians.

Taking his pro Israel and anti Arab sentiments to the polls is just one more example of how the oppressed becomes the oppressor.

Without sounding paranoid, it’s time that we in the Jewish community face some facts. Across the globe it’s open season on Israel and the Jews. Why? Some would say that antipathy toward Jews is a law of physics. I disagree. It is happening because we allow it.

We are a powerful global economic market and we must seriously consider boycotting the products of countries whose shameful behavior mistreats Jews. For example, the situation in Britain is out of control: There have been attempts to ban Israeli professors from academic conferences; a magistrate issued an arrest warrant against Israel’s former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, and the government issued an advisory allowing retailers to label products originating from the West Bank as being produced in Israeli settlements or by Palestinians. A serious conversation about whether or not to vacation in Britain or buy its products should now occur.

Our community must make it clear to our Catholic brothers and sisters how upset we are that Pope Pius XII is being considered for sainthood. Calling a man a saint who lost his voice while 6 million Jews died will irreparably harm Catholic-Jewish relations.

Here in the United States we have had to contend with the Obama administration’s canard that Israeli settlements are a major obstacle to Middle East peace. And it’s more than a little disappointing that the Netanyahu government has endorsed this fraud by instituting a 10-month freeze on settlements, thereby unjustly identifying some of Israel’s most patriotic citizens as its most intransigent.

In the face of such developments, more committed Jews must begin considering running for office. Rather than merely relying on friends to represent us, we must also begin representing ourselves.


The above is taken from the following ‘opinion piece’…..


Let the JTA know what your opinion is by creating a ‘trackback’ Trackback URL: http://jta.org/trackback/1009965/

STEALING BODY PARTS IS A LESSER CRIME THAN GENOCIDE IN GAZA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

When it was first revealed that Israel was involved in harvesting body organs from dead Palestinians, it was denied….. with accusations of anti-Semitism, not with facts. But now, just a short time after the ‘expose’ in a Swedish newspaper Israeli doctors are admitting that it was true.

Could the revelations in the Goldstone Report have anything to do with this change of heart (pardon the pun)? Could Israel be using some sort of sick logic that this crime is not as bad as the continuing genocide in Gaza? Is this Israel’s sick way of shifting attention from what is happening? Is this a new method used to whitewash the war crimes that are still going on?

Reports are now being circulated about the events in the 90’s…. but let’s not lose focus on what is happening today. Below is one of the latest reports including a video….. followed by a local report.


Israel Admits Harvesting Organs from Dead Palestinians

The Israeli military has admitted harvesting organs from dead Palestinians after an interview conducted over the issue in 2000 was broadcast again.

Over the weekend, Israel’s Channel 2 TV broadcast an interview conducted in 2000 with the then-head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr. Jehuda Hiss who revealed that forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinian corpses in the 1990s, the Associated Press reported.

“We started to harvest corneas … Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family,” said the doctor.

According to the report, the forensic specialists harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without seeking permission from relatives.

Hiss also described how his doctors would cover up the removal of corneas from bodies.

“We’d glue the eyelid shut,” he said, adding that “We wouldn’t take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids.”

In response to the broadcast, the Israeli military confirmed the report in a statement but said, “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.”

The report was released after an article by Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, accusing Israel of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs, caused a huge controversy.

The article, entitled They plunder the organs of our sons, published by the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, sparked outrage among Israeli officials, who called it “groundless,” “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”

Bostrom, however, said the purpose of his opinion article was to call for an investigation into numerous claims in the 1990s that such activity was going on.




Originally posted AT


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And the following from the local Palestinian Press, Al Quds

The Palestinian Authority demands international investigation into the theft of the Palestinian organs

The Palestinian Authority demands international investigation into the theft of the Palestinian organs

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Health said that harvesting organs – such as corneas, bones and skin – from Palestinian martyrs, without the consent of their families, is a moral crime that contradicts to all international laws.

Minister Fathi Abu Mughli said, commenting on what was confirmed on Israeli television, that official Israeli bodies steal organs of Palestinian martyrs and implant them in the bodies of injured Israeli soldiers.

Abu Mughli said that the Israeli Ministry of Health’s response to the Yehuda Hiss interview is unacceptable. In a 57-minute interview conducted with Yehuda Hiss, the head of Israel’s forensic institute, Hiss spoke about how workers at the institute had harvested Israeli organs.

Dr. Abu Mughli emphasized that it is not allowed to take anything from the bodies of the dead without the written consent from their families, and in the presence of law representatives.

Abu Mughli described the response of Israeli hospitals – which commented on the case saying the subject is so old and there is no reason for talking about it now, as “shameless and immoral.”

He said that the Palestinian health ministry “strongly condemns the attack on the sanctity of the dead, dismembering their bodies and taking their organs without parental consent.  It calls upon the Israeli government to provide a response to this shameful act, and demands an immediate investigation on the subject.”

Abu Maghli asked the international community, humanitarian organizations and human rightists to have an international inquiry into the subject and to present to justice all those involved in assaulting the bodies of Palestinian martyrs and stealing parts of their bodies.

Source

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