THE LORD HIMSELF IN DEFENSE OF ZIONISM

My favorite rabbi and Lord (NOT) once again reaches at straws to defend the undefendable.

The problem for Sacks is that his attempt at historical inversion ignores Zionism’s founding fathers. The early Zionist leaders knew their project was a colonial enterprise and knew they needed the support of imperial powers to achieve their aims.

Jonathan Sacks dumbs down Jewish history in order to defend Zionism

To remind you, Sacks is the ultimate Jewish establishment figure. He was Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth from 1991-2013; he was made a member of the British House of Lords in 2009; he’s the author of more than 25 books on Judaism such as To Heal a Fractured WorldThe Dignity of Difference, and Not in God’s Name. He’s also written a multi-volume Torah commentary and edited prayer books. Sacks is highly-respected within the Jewish world and well beyond it. When he talks, people of all faiths, and none, stop and listen.

I’ve read much of his work over the years, but over time I’ve become increasingly disenchanted. In the abstract, Sacks is a great moral educator who can draw on Jewish scripture to make universal observations about justice, kindness, compassion, tolerance and political leadership. But when it comes to the greatest moral issue facing Jews and Judaism today, Israel and the Palestinians, he offers nothing but dumbed-down history and a version of Judaism that sells it short and denies another people their heritage and story.

All of this is on show in the Rabbi’s latest video. It’s one of several he’s made and they’re all designed to reach a broader audience than his books. I dealt with his animated distortions and untruths about BDS in an earlier post.

This new video is more significant. It’s an attempt to make any critical debate about Zionism impossible.

Sacks’ international standing means even his cartoon capers will be taken seriously no matter how dumbed-down and prejudiced is his presentation of Judaism and Jewish history.

A Closed Debate

Notice in Sacks’ opening narration that his question is not “Is Anti-Zionism the new antisemitism?” but “How is anti-Zionism the new antisemitism?”.

The starting point is the assertion that anti-Zionism can be nothing other than antisemitism. Counter to the tradition that two Jews will always produce three opinions, Sacks makes clear that this particular subject is not open to the usual rabbinical rigour applied to the interpretation of matters of Jewish law or indeed any other subject of Jewish interest. When it comes to Zionism, only one interpretation is kosher.

Remember, Sacks doesn’t make these videos for a Jewish religious audience. He makes them for the secular world of politics in which he knows that Zionism is becoming a highly contested ideology because of its consequences for the Palestinian people.

Here’s an extract from the video which anyone who follows Sacks’ writing in recent years and his theory of “mutating antisemitism” will be familiar with:

In the Middle Ages Jews were hated for their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century they were hated for their race. Today they are hated for their nation state, Israel.

It’s a tidy summation, easy on the ear and the brain. It uses the truth of antisemitism down through the centuries to set up a lie about Zionism.

The underlying assumption is that the creation of the Jewish State of Israel was an innocent, noble endeavour and certainly without victims. Therefore, the only possible explanation of the new “hate” is that it’s driven by age-old antisemitism.

Aside from being unbelievably simplistic and devoid of context, Sacks pretends to be talking history and religion while in fact he’s being deeply political. Imagine you are a Palestinian watching this video. Or maybe you are a Palestinian and have unfortunately stumbled across it. According to Sacks’ rhetorical construction of events, despite your home being destroyed, your farmland confiscated and your family sent into exile, the only possible reason for your objection to Zionism must be antisemitism.

Sacks needs to be told that he cannot make statements about Zionism without first thinking how they would sound to Palestinian ears. The ideology that Sacks defends has impacted the lives of every Palestinian alive today. Zionism is part of their history too.

Unbroken Connections

Sacks sketches out his dumb-down Jewish history emphasising the 3,000 year unbroken connection between Jews and the Biblical Land of Israel. I have no wish to deny this connection. But this telling of our story wipes out millennia-long connections to places elsewhere in the word, places which have shaped Judaism, as we recognise it today, just as much as Ancient Israel.

Our Jewish ‘exile’ has not been an historical aberration. Our wanderings have not been an unfortunate detour from our true destination. We are the product of a scattered existence of which there is nothing to be ashamed of and much to celebrate.

The construction of the Talmud, the wisdom of Midrash, the philosophy of Maimonides, the Hasidic masters, the Jewish Enlightenment, the paintings of Chagall, the stories of Bernard Malamud, the plays of Arthur Miller, the music of Bernstein and Gershwin, the songs of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan – these are the products of Jewish experience too and they happened well beyond the Land of Israel. Frankly, this inheritance is more recognisable to me as ‘Jewish’ than the modern State of Israel, built as it is on an unhappy cocktail of secular nationalist identity and extreme religious orthodoxy that could only be achieved through the displacement of another people.

If Zionist thinking has always been such a central tenet of Jewish life, why was it such a contentious idea among Jews for the first 50 years of its existence? But this has been erased from the whiteboard of Jewish history. Apparently, we’ve all been Zionists for 3,000 years.

Strangers

But it’s not just my history that Sacks ignores.

Jews are the only people who ever created a nation state there. At all other times in the past 3,000 years it was merely an administrative district in an empire whose centre was elsewhere: the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Alexandrian, Roman and Byzantine empires, the Crusaders of the Holy Roman Empire, the various Muslim empires such as the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Mamluks and Ottomans, and finally the British.

Never mind the empires whose centres were “elsewhere.” Why is it of no relevance who was actually living on the land, apart from the minority Jewish population? Why does Sacks make these people invisible in his narrative?

Sacks talks of Jews as:

the only people who have maintained a continuous presence in the land. They are its indigenous, original inhabitants.

So how long does anybody else have to be around before they stop being squatters, interlopers and off-comers? Five hundred years? A thousand? Two thousand? When can anyone else claim a “continuous presence”? The chances are that today’s Palestinians carry the same amount of first century Jewish DNA as I do. Perhaps more.

Historical Revisionism

Then comes another shameless piece of historical revisionism.

The November 1947 United Nations vote to bring Israel into existence was a momentous reversal of imperialism. It gave back to the Jewish people the home taken from them by empire after empire.

The problem for Sacks is that his attempt at historical inversion ignores Zionism’s founding fathers. The early Zionist leaders knew their project was a colonial enterprise and knew they needed the support of imperial powers to achieve their aims. Herzl and Weizmann both imagined the Jewish State as a Western Imperial outpost – good for Jews, good for the ‘inferior natives’ they would displace, and good for their imperial sponsors. The idea that it was a “reversal of imperialism” is absurd, especially from a public intellectual like Sacks.

613 Commandments

Sacks seems remarkably relaxed about cancelling out the contribution of his own rabbinic ancestors. He reminds us that many of the 613 commandments identified in the Torah relate only to living in the Promised Land. He fails to mention that the majority of those commandments refer to Temple practice including animal sacrifice.

The genius of rabbinic Judaism was not only to make Jewish observance ‘portable’ but also to move it forward in its theological understanding. For most of our history, possession of the Land has not been necessary for the maintenance and development of Judaism. Leaving the land made Judaism better not worse.

Cognitive Dissonance

It’s when Sacks brings his just and compassionate telling of Jewish theology into the whiteboard frame that I’m most struck by the scale of the cognitive dissonance that must be at work in the Rabbi’s head.

Read the Hebrew Bible and you’ll see immediately that it isn’t about the salvation of the soul. It’s about creating in the holy land a society based on the biblical ideas of justice, welfare, the sanctity of life – and caring for the stranger “because you know what it feels like to be a stranger.”

This is my idea of Judaism too. Except, the story of the Jewish people has been the story of applying these values to every country in which we found ourselves. Judaism became our home and we carried it with us.

If Sacks believes what he’s saying about the grand project of Jewish life in the Holy Land, then where is his criticism of the modern State of Israel?

At best, I would expect Sacks to see the Palestinians as the “stranger” of Jewish theology. For any Palestinian, calling them strangers in their own land is deeply insulting as well as historical nonsense, but let’s put that to one side for the moment. How is stealing land and water; destroying homes; imprisonment without charge; snipers at the Gaza fence, “caring for the stranger”? Why does Sacks have no Torah commentary on any of this?

A Political Agenda

I have no problem with using Jewish myths to explain and illustrate our  religious understanding and to shape our ethical outlook. But that’s not how Sacks uses religious mythology. Sacks is applying Jewish myth, scripture, and ancient history to a highly political Jewish agenda that’s become enthralled to secular ideas of power. Calling anti-Zionism antisemitism is not a lesson in Jewish history, it’s an exercise in the delegitimisation of another people’s historic experience. In using his global reputation as a moral leader to defend Zionism, Sacks ends up not defending Judaism but undermining it.

We don’t need dumbed-down Jewish Studies or a whiteboard whitewash of Zionism to resolve the  greatest moral challenge facing Jews and Judaism. Zionism cannot be a ‘no-go area’ for debate in either religious or academic discussion. The sooner that admirers of Jonathan Sacks (both Jewish and non-Jewish) grasp this, the sooner we can progress toward a version of Judaism that takes seriously the meaning of justice, welfare and the sanctity of life.

More photos at Source

OCCUPATIONAL FUN IN PALESTINE CAUGHT ON VIDEO

Watch Israeli soldiers laugh and cheer after one of them shoots a Palestinian protester in the village of Madama

ZION STILL REELING AT THE (FINAL) TRUTH IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Look at THIS post before you continue reading …

We are delighted here at the site that Michelle Alexander’s excellent long New York Times column is getting huge attention. 

Michelle Alexander

Why Michelle Alexander’s ‘NY Times’ column is having such a huge impact

We are delighted here at the site that Michelle Alexander’s excellent long New York Times column is getting huge attention — and we are also a little puzzled. The Times has previously run occasional opinion articles critical of Israel and sympathetic to Palestinians, but none of them has had the reverberating impact of Professor Alexander’s January 20 piece. Her article is already clearly a watershed moment, with arguably even more impact on mainstream U.S. opinion than Israel’s onslaught last spring against Gaza’s Great March of Return, which left more than 150 Palestinians dead and another 5800 wounded by live ammunition.

Israel’s Hasbara Central has already recognized the danger. The Israel lobby’s usual suspects struck back immediately, calling Alexander’s measured article “a rant,” with “countless outrages,” that even amounts to “a strategic threat” to Israel.

Why has Alexander prompted such a huge reaction? I have some tentative explanations.

  * First, Alexander reveals an open secret — that many mainstream American progressives have been afraid to speak out against Israel because they fear losing funding for their other important causes, or they fear being smeared by the pro-Israel forces. Alexander bravely includes herself in this category, hinting that she worried that her pathbreaking research and writing into systemic racial discrimination in America could be jeopardized if she came out decisively for Palestine. Her headline told the story: “Time to Break the Silence About Palestine.”

* The U.S. political climate is changing, to be steadily more sympathetic to Palestinians. Young people, Jews and others, no longer uncritically accept the Israel lobby’s propaganda. For the first time, two members of the U.S. Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, outspokenly favor the nonviolent program of Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS).

* Michelle Alexander is a respected and experienced scholar, who won sufficient renown in her field to be offered a regular New York Times column. (Hasbara Central must be panicking that she will continue to speak out regularly, now that she has broken the ice.)

* We in the alternative press forget how successfully the Times and other mainstream media have protected themselves inside a pro-Israel propaganda fortress. You have to set the occasional pro-Palestine opinion article in the Times alongside the paper’s chronically biased news coverage, day after day, year after year. So when Michelle Alexander says straightforwardly that Israel has “adopted some practices reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States,” her view will come as no surprise to regular visitors to Mondoweiss, but those who read the Times on the 7:17 train down from Westchester into New York City may jump out of their seats.

* That Michelle Alexander is a distinguished African-American academic may also be a factor. Many black Americans have for decades seen certain parallels between their situation and the oppression that Palestinians face, a comparison that is surely giving the Israel lobby nightmares.

* Finally, Alexander’s article is extraordinarily eloquent and moving. You expect well-crafted pieces in the Times, but she has written a masterpiece. Here is how she ended: “In this new year, I aim to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom. My conscience leaves me with no other choice.”

Her article will surely appear in eventual histories about the liberation of Palestine, marking a turning point in history.

ZIONISM …. ‘NO GUILT, NO ATONEMENT’

While Palestinian rights are rarely taken into account, the “Jewish state” has increasingly established itself as the only power in Palestine.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The road to apartheid

Zionism knows no guilt and no atonement

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

 

Zionism and the Zionist state terror have only one goal: the sole claim to power on Palestine and the enforcement of this claim by all means. Are they so sure that they can always rely on state European and US support?

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is a crime against humanity

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is a crime against humanity, unpunished until today, and leads from Deir Yassin to Gaza. (1) (2)

Fortress Bundestag or Chancellery

In fact, this Zionist colonial policy is losing more and more support in the German, European and American populations. But what does that do to the rulers? Have you ever seriously dealt with citizens’ interests and ideas?Why? Are you so sure in their fortress Bundestag or Chancellery. Seldom did one see so run-down politicians across all parties. They aimlessly give interviews and travel the world, always with the transatlantic alliance in sight, human rights or not. Just do not offend or annoy the “US friend”.

German human rights hypocrites

Let’s see how devastating this kind of subservience affects our politics and economics. Last summer, Foreign Minister Maas had boldly promised in the face of new US-Iran sanctions, to work intensely to ensure that the trade with Iran would be possible and secured support for companies.What was left of it? On Monday, the Federal Government announced its decision to withdraw its operating license from the Iranian airline Mahan Air, which flies three times a week from German airports to Tehran. The Gro / Ko goes beyond sanctions imposed by the EU in early January. The reasons were dubious findings, 

I remember all too well friends and relatives in the Netherlands, who were horrified when the Boeing 747 crashed on October 4, 1992, the El-Al, which crashed on an Amsterdam block of flats and an unknown number of residents to death crack. Three crew members and a passenger also died in the crash. As the Israeli magazine Shiva Yamim reported, the machine had Yamin missiles and military goods aboard that exploded so that the stabilized uranium burned into the wings and spread throughout the area because of the heat Inferno arranged. Since the crash, until today, many residents who had the misfortune to live at the crash site fell ill. Everything was immediately seized by the secret service and covered up. I also know through Dutch acquaintances of Jewish agents who accompanied from Amsterdam via Poland regularly dangerous military supplies in El Al machines, over Poland. was and will the “Jewish state” be deprived of the permission to fly? (3)

To this end, I would like to remind all the human rights hypocrites, especially the Germans, that the Jewish state itself, killing countless of its opponents from its “shadow warriors”, also abroad, to which it is also equipped by his willing German helpers with false passports , It goes without saying that the Jewish state has never been held responsible for the murder policy, at least not for its accomplices. (4) (5) (6)

Worldwide accomplices governments of the “Jewish state”

Where the dubious accusations against Iran come from, we can imagine.The US government has been pressing its allies for many years to withdraw the Iranian line, which has been on the US sanction list since 2011. The ban is also seen as a sign to the Americans. Promptly came the poisoned praise of US Ambassador Grenell, who otherwise excelled only with extortion attempts and undiplomatic poison arrows and isolated in Berlin. All just on the day when the “Jewish State” bragged about attacks on Syria and Iranian fighters and announced further attacks as part of a “permanent policy”. Israel will not allow an “aggression” by Iran, said Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is constantly committing aggression terror himself. The “Jewish state” flew countless attacks against Syria, but even Putin was silent. Not to mention world accomplice governments of the “Jewish state”.

Foreign bodies in the Middle East

What this “permanent policy” looks like, we have been experiencing since the founding of Israel. Regardless of the native Palestinian population, Zionist colonization and Judaization were brutally enforced. The sovereignty of neighboring states has been murderously violated and they have managed, by eternal state of war, to establish themselves as foreign objects in the Middle East. Completely condoned by the international community for decades, they are certain that otherwise the unique trump card of “anti-Semitism” will be drawn from the Zionist sleeve, with which the everlasting role of Jewish victims can be instrumentally exploited – and the guilty conscience for their own failure.

The Holocaust does not justify every means

How many Zionist murders, massacres, occupation crimes and the constant land grabbing took place until today the international community? While Israel is constantly ranting about sanctions against Iran as archenemy and painting a new holocaust on the wall, the international community is reacting with rash subservience. Although the “Jewish state”, armed to the teeth, possesses nuclear weapons, it always feels “threatened” and grotesquely pretends to protect only the security of its citizens. Thus, they use state terrorist methods to legitimize every crime against humanity. Therefore one can not repeat it enough and shout to the submissive politicians: the Holocaust does not justify any means, and a genocide remains a genocide remains a genocide, even if it happens under Jewish state direction!

The antisemitism club is always in use

Meanwhile, the “Jewish State” has built a worldwide sayanim-supporter system that is unique. Especially in the US, Jews have taken strategically important positions in politics, the arts and the publishing industry, as Norman Finkelstein, author of the “Holocaust Industry” writes. Why should it be anti-Semitism when Finkelstein points out? In fact, a lot has changed today. Previously, the Israel lobby was not concerned with Jews being routed as such. Today it is completely different, it is explicitly pointed to the Judaism and put this in the foreground, especially when it comes to celebrities. It ruthlessly turns citizens into Jews who have long since reneged on this religion or been baptized for generations. Escape from this moral extortion is as good as impossible, because everything serves the instrumentalization. The anti-Semitism club is always in use, even if it is getting duller.

No reckless “Jewish exaltation” over nationality

Why do not nations finally defend themselves against the ruthless “exaltation of the Jews” over nationality, as it was also celebrated by various Israeli state and prime ministers. Let us only think of France and Germany, where this method was tried on Jewish citizens in order to lure them into the “Jewish state” as the “homestead” of all Jews. This is a crime and contradicts all state laws of a country. Thus, Jews are the “fifth column”, sitting repeatedly on packed suitcases. If Turkish President Erdogan tried that, there would certainly be a media outcry.

Distraction maneuver to distract from the Zionist crimes

This is just as targeted as the ongoing anti-Semitism campaigns, as we are currently experiencing more and more massive, and the move across Europe. What better than distraction to distract from Zionist crimes? How long can and should this policy be good and tolerated? (7)

Legitimate Palestinian resistance is not terror

While Palestinian rights are rarely taken into account, the “Jewish state” has increasingly established itself as the only power in Palestine. While the Zionist state and occupation terror is unchecked, any Palestinian legitimate resistance is branded as terror. Here, too, we experience this method when Islam and Islam merge into a concept, into terror, just as Muslims became the new enemy. It seems that the “Christian-Jewish value alliance” has finally found its common enemy image. This behavior is a fatal reminder of the Nazi past.

Together with the Jews against Muslims

The “never again” became a “again and again”, this time only with new protagonists. This policy is fatal to the right-wing populists and benefits the AfD. All sit in a boat with the Jews and the “Jewish State” and join forces against the Muslims.

US Jews are rethinking

While in Germany and Europe time and again the “values ​​policy” is endeavored, a rethinking takes place in large parts of the USA and among US Jews. Everything that becomes a controversial taboo subject is allowed in the US. (8) (9)

Enemy images constructed as in the Cold War

Despite a US president who overreached everything and supported the “Jewish state” with all his might. While Israel blatantly supported Syrian al-Nusra terrorists, who were able to do their mischief in Syria and thus brought the Syria war to blaze, it flies undaunted attacks against Syria and tomorrow, perhaps against Lebanon or Iran. Everything is possible with this new power strategy, which increasingly binds us into the US-NATO doctrine. This aggressive policy, which only constructs images of the enemy as in the Cold War, can only end in disaster in the long run. (10 (11)

In the US, thanks to the Trump policy and the “state shutdown”, more and more people, including government officials, are sinking into poverty, unable to pay their rent, installments and food, all thanks to the brutal Trump First policy. (12)

The BDS campaign is becoming increasingly successful internationally

But there is a small ray of hope. More and more young Jewish US citizens refuse that the “Jewish state” holds them liable and speaks and acts for them. They oppose openly, even if that can lead to fatal consequences in universities and in professional life. The BDS campaign is becoming increasingly successful internationally. (11)

In this country, there is a lack of critical Jews

Why was so much silence when it comes to Palestine? Because in the US in particular the political system is based to a large extent on sponsoring and donations. Also, the Mc Carthy times are not forgotten and dirt and slander campaigns are therefore not missing their effect. So it is doubly admirable, as more and more Jewish US citizens abandon the fatal Israel-dependent mainstream. While the Israel lobby and its media and political supporters have long since started to provoke dirty defamation campaigns here, critical Jews who are finally campaigning for respect for human rights and finally refusing to embrace the policy of “loyalty to the Nibelung” to an occupied state are lacking to support. Getting up for freedom Palestine should finally be the maxim. Silence wrongfully means being guilty. (13)

We who stand up for Palestinian freedom know, unlike the Zionists, what guilt and punishment mean.

 

(1) https://www.marx21.de/das-massaker-von-deir-yassin/

(2) https://www.fluechtlingsrat-hamburg.de/content/Flugblatt_GAZA_100109.pdf

(3) https://electronicintifada.net/content/1992-el-al-bijlmer-crash-cover-chemical-inferno/5250

(4) https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/dubai-mord-in-zimmer-230-1577373.html

(5) https://www.daserste.de/information/wissen-kultur/ttt/ttt-der-schattenkrieg-buch-von-ronen-bergman-about-the-mossad-100.html

(6) http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/iran-der-lange-arm-des-regimes-in-europa-a-1249128.html

(7) https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=45356

(8) https://amchainitiative.org/us-jews-renounce-their-right-of-return-and-support-bds/

(9) https://connectiv.events/jerusalem-post-israel-supported-syrian-receives-with-weapons-munition-and-medicaments/

(10) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestine-israel.html?fbclid=IwAR1Rw0Ub60d213vbcuEEdj3j2jUqjNYHX-iYDJRn93OES3i3oqQZREGXbwE

(11) http://www.witf.org/news/2019/01/for-the-poor-the-safety-net-in-a-shutdown-doesnt-feel-safe.php

(12) https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/listen-las-israel-lobby-fails-ban-conference-palestinian-rights

(13) https://mondoweiss.net/2017/02/dependence-pressure-hostility/

RESISTANCE AS A SYMBOL OF LIBERATION

Is not the desperate struggle of many young Palestinians against the decades-long Zionist occupation of their country a symbol of resistance?

Resistance as a symbol of liberation

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

If the liberation of Auschwitz was thought of 74 years ago in the German Bundestag on January 31, one could also think about a changed commemoration owed to today’s politics. It would be a start if this year’s guest speaker, Prof. dr. Saul Friedländer, a Prague-born historian whose parents were murdered in Auschwitz, who survived the Holocaust hidden in France and who emigrated to Israel after the end of the war, would shed light on all facets of the symbol of “Auschwitz and Liberation”. Especially after the ceremony, an exhibition of the United States Holocaust Museum entitled “Some were neighbors” is opened.

Parallels from the Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza

 

Would not it be an important gesture, if Friedländer would dare, what would never come to mind German politicians and friends of Israel, namely parallels from the Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza or the illegal occupation of Palestine by Holocaust victims and their descendants?

2 million imprisoned people in the Gaza concentration camp accuse

 

Is not the desperate struggle of many young Palestinians against the decades-long Zionist occupation of their country a symbol of resistance?And why are they criminalizing this unequal and desperate struggle while Jewish resistance is being heroized? Is not it necessary to put an end to this kind of “Christian-Jewish values ​​alliance”? Do not nearly 2 million imprisoned people protest in the Gaza concentration camp, especially in memory of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto? (1)

Is not the Warsaw Ghetto the symbol of Jewish resistance to German occupation 76 years ago on 19 April 1943?

Under unspeakable conditions, more than 380,000 Jews had to live in the Warsaw Ghetto since 1940, including my mother. On April 19, 1943, a few hundred of them opposed a superior force of two thousand German occupiers. They knew this fight was hopeless and impossible to win, but they wanted to resist, upright with the gun in hand.

If on January 15 on Arte and on January 22 in the ARD “The Secret Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto” TV premiere and worldwide film screenings in more than 200 locations around the world, u. A. is shown on big screens in Australia, Brazil, Nepal, South Africa and the USA and in various cities in Germany, this is a major project which is unparalleled.

“I did not survive Auschwitz to keep silent on new injustice”

 

And for me, the life motto of my father after his liberation by the Red Army was: “I did not survive Auschwitz to remain silent on new injustice”, always a drive, not to mention wrongly and to campaign for the freedom of Palestine.

Not in the name of “all Jews”

 

Therefore, I will never understand that German politicians are silent in the face of the crimes committed by the “Jewish State”! Especially those who repeatedly talk about Auschwitz as a symbol of politics should be ashamed.How cynical must one be to close one’s eyes to racism, apartheid, human and international crimes, all committed to the justification of the eternal role of victims and an infamous instrumentalization of the Holocaust, given the state of the “Jewish state” and the occupied territories certainly not in the name of “all Jews”!

“Apartheid Road” symbol of racism

 

Last Thursday, a new road was opened in the middle of the occupied West Bank, with an eight-meter-long wall separating Jewish and Palestinian people. This “Apartheid Road” connects the illegal Jewish Geva settlement, southeast of Ramallah, with Route 1, a major road that runs through the occupied West Bank and into occupied East Jerusalem. The occupiers are doing everything they can to make the Palestinians a normal daily life with checkpoints, controls and humiliations. There are already dozens of separate racist apartheid streets built only for Jewish settlers. However, Route 4370 is the first of its kind to have a special feature, namely a wall – half concrete, half fence – that separates Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. If that’s not a symbol of racism and apartheid, it’s even worse than it ever was in apartheid South Africa. Everything is done to cement the demographic demarcation so as to make the West Bank more and more economical and undermine the prospects for the Palestinians. So it goes on piece by piece on the way of expropriation and in the final solution of the Judaisierung. Everything is hoping for the “Greater Jerusalem”, the de facto annexation of the three large settlement blocks, adjacent to Jerusalem City – Gush Etzion in the south, Ma’ale Adumim / E-1 in the east and Givat Ze’ev in the north. Everything is done to facilitate the Jewish settlers free travel to the illegally occupied Jerusalem, claiming the claim to the whole of Jerusalem as an eternally undivided capital of the “Jewish state”.Everything presented by the Trump USA with the breach of international law of a move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (2)

If implemented, the southern West Bank would be completely cut off from the north, making a future coherent and viable state of Palestine forever impossible, but would make it all belong to this Jewish territory from Jerusalem to the Jericho border. All of these plans are based on the ideas of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the notorious warmonger known as the Butcher of Lebanon.

Netanyahu’s visions of wall construction and apartheid streets

 

2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank are faced with perfected facts by 500,000 Jewish settlers. These are the political visions of Netanyahu: Walling and apartheid streets, modeled after US friend Trump, who now holds large sections of US officials and workers willing in brutal hostage to enforce his construction of the wall to Mexico. This is what the ethnic cleansing of Palestine looks like – the German Foreign Minister, who has gone into politics because of “Auschwitz”, is silent on it!

Housing units on the site of the massacre of Deir Yassin

If soon plans are also enforced to let 2,300 residential units built just on the site of the massacre of Deir Yassin, then this is incredible and can not be beaten at tasteless Geschichtsklitterung! At the moment, the Jewish National Fund is grandly announcing how much it is doing to strengthen the ecology of Israeli forests. However, the sad truth is that with the green washing of the occupation and land expropriation everything is to be veiled, which reminds of the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland.

The illegal expropriation of Palestine by the JNF

Many of the forests originated only to cover the ruins of the Palestinian villages, which were destroyed and violently depopulated during the Nakba in 1948. According to Zochrot, an important and worthy non-profit Israeli organization committed to exposing and commemorating the Nakba crimes. Finally, among more than two-thirds of the forests and sites of KKL Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (the one with the blue can), as part of the JNF, 46 out of 68 forests are buried on the ruins of the former Palestinian demolished by the “Jewish State” villages. Thus, the illegal expropriation of Palestine by the JNF continues and is just the big illegal settlement blocs in Palestine to good. In this context, it is also particularly reprehensible when German politicians, from left-wing politicians Bartsch to Steinmeier and Nahles (SPD) plant again and again “German forests” on stolen land, mind you! (3) (4)

Speaking of Andrea Nahles, the former “Juso” blue shirt and Israel supporter has once again turned entirely to SPD-Art. The SPD leader said last November in a speech in Berlin, it was “likely” that the former SPD politician Gustav Noske (1868-1946) in the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg “his hands in the game” had. Now, however, as the anniversary approached the murder of her former party member, Nahles declined to take responsibility for the assassination of the future KPD co-founder Rosa Luxemburg, despite the call of the Luxembourg researcher Klaus Gietinger and other SPD left intellectual. No wonder,

Nahles anti-Semitic?

 

Rosa Luxemburg was a heroine, women’s rights activist, Jewish and martyr of the November Revolution. So is Nahles anti-Semitic even if she now rejects the responsibility and complicity of the SPD?

Terrifying SPD parallels

 

Frightening parallels can be drawn to this day: Rosa Luxemburg then founded an anti-war group on the attitude of the SPD in August 1914 and, in contrast to the “war-friendly” SPD, remained faithful to her pacifism until her assassination. (5)

What has the SPD to this day failed to adhere to its principles and to vote against arms and war missions? The radical decree and the NATO double decree are also no fame. (6)

Who betrayed us? Social Democrats!

Anyway, with this kind of politics, the SPD will not win votes. “Who betrayed us? Social Democrats, “is a saying that is undoubtedly underlined by a large number of former voters. Especially I would like to recommend the newly published Rosa Luxemburg biography of Ernst Piper. (7) (8) (9)

The freedom of dissenters, but was not in the GDR

 

But even the former GDR has certainly not acted in the sense of Rosa Luxemburg, if she took this woman for herself. Was not it precisely Rosa Luxemburg who demanded “the freedom of the dissident?” No wall construction and stasis methods. Were not GDR citizens, like the songwriter Stefan Krawczyk arrested and deported to the West, because they participated in a demonstration on January 17, 1988 “Liebknecht -Luxembourg”, which called for “freedom for dissenters”? (10) She was a woman of character and charisma, which is lacking today’s women politicians. It was good that many real leftists remembered them and the assassination of Karl Liebknecht and did not forget the Stalin victims. Again, the SPD has missed a chance of the historical work, which sadly connects them with the “Jewish state”, who does not want to know anything about Nakba history, except for his own Holocaust memory. Under these conditions, I plead for a memorial service in the German Bundestag in memory of the Nakba as a result of the Holocaust and the founding of the “Jewish State” on the backs of the Palestinians. As a speaker of the speech, the Israeli historian Prof. Ilan Papp would be considered, author of numerous groundbreaking books on this subject.

So we never forget the resistance as a symbol of liberation.

(1)https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20181122_over_5800_palestinians_wounded_in_7_months_of_protests?fbclid=IwAR0lX6wRbKJkf8UIuNZMn8kSzIkx2ea9gp3kUjjUycJd0YyHnJBy-ta6U1o

(2) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/israel-opens-apartheid-road-occupied-west-bank-190110051605433.html

(3) https://www.jnf-kkl.de/d/spdwald.htm?neuer-spendenanlass-490

(4) http://www.taz.de/!5069433/

(5) https://www.zeit.de/2013/29/berufsverbote-radikaleerlass-1972/komplettansicht

(6) https://www.zeit.de/2013/29/berufsverbote-radikaleerlass-1972/komplettansicht

(7) https://www.zeit.de/2014/08/rosa-luxemburg-erster-weltkrieg-pazifismus?print

(8) https://www.zeit.de/2019/03/kpd-100-jahre-linke-spd

(9) https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/ernst-piper-ueber-seine-neue-rosa-luxemburg-biografie-yhre.2162.de.html?dram:article_id=438175

(10) https://www.mdr.de/damals/archiv/luxemburg-demonstration100.html

TRYING TO GO TO SCHOOL IN PALESTINE

Just imagine if this was your son …..

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And still, friendship survives under the occupation …

THREE AGAINST TWO MILLION …. AND YET THEY ARE WINNING

In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.

 

Image by Marina Grechanik.

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Khalid Amayreh responds to the Three Zionist shapers of  Trump’s Palestine policy 
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In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.
 
The three Zionist supremacists, whose loyalty is first and foremost to international Zionism and only second to   Donald Trump,  accused the Palestinian Islamic Resistance group, Hamas, of producing “misery for the people of Gaza”, saying that unless Hamas unilaterally recognized Israel, abided by previous agreements and renounced resistance to Israeli aggression “there is no good option.” The trio, who ostensibly adopt the political views of the Israeli far right, including the Jewish settlement movement, offered to give humanitarian aid to Palestinians in return for recognizing Israel and terminating all forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation army.
 
 The 11-year draconian siege is apparently meant to punish Gazans for electing Hamas which refuses to recognize Israel for religious and moral reasons.
 
This writer is thoroughly familiar with a long list of US diplomats and peace envoys to the Middle East  ever since William Rogers who initiated the Rogers’ peace plan  in the late 1960s, which Israel rejected. But frankly I have never  been affronted by such brazenly and fanatically one-sided diplomats who so shamelessly adopt the manifestly fascist views of the Israeli right while pretending to maintain a semblance of neutrality between Israel and her enduring victims.
 
 The trio seem, at least from this writer’s vantage point, so lacking in rectitude and scandalously ignorant of the basic issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict We are talking about a group of  ideological fanatics who tend to think  the 100-year conflict began yesterday. For example, they miserably fail to understand that the almost desperate but determined Palestinian resistance to unmitigated Israeli oppression is made inevitable by incessant Israeli aggression as well as concerted efforts to subjugate and humiliate one of the most ancient peoples of the Middle East whose only “crime” is its resilient quest for freedom and independence..  Kushner, Greenblat and Freidman simply don’t know that the Palestinians are putting up a last-ditch defense for their very survival in the face of powerful and immensely callous Zionist movement which succeeded in having the US government at its beck and call.
  
Kushner and Grerenblat, it is manifestly clear, are accustomed to dealing with corrupt Arab despots who have little moral credibility  and who  virtually view America as their God on Earth. Well, Gentlemen, I have some news for you:  There are Arabs of a different mantle who are not eager to be America’s puppets or agents.
 
The three morally bankrupt Zionist officials urged Hamas to recognize Israel just like other Arab countries in the region did. Well, since when were these undemocratic and grossly dictatorial entities a role model for the Palestinian people to adopt, emulate or imitate?
 
Moreover, the three Jewish-American diplomats conveniently forgot to tell us which Israel they were asking us to recognize? Is it Israel according to the UN partition plan of 1947? Is it Israel with the pre-`1967? Is it Israel with Jerusalem and the Haram Sharif? Or, indeed, is it Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates?
 
More to the point, the three Zionist fanatics shamelessly demanded that Hamas  ought to recognize Israel, even  in the absence of  a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian  state with East Jerusalem as its capital!
 
As we all remember, the PLO did recognize Israel in the context of the hapless Oslo Agreement. And we saw and endured (actually continue to endure) the bitter harvest of that scandal called the Oslo Accords. Hence the question: Must we repeat  the same blunder to appease and  please Israel firsters?
 
The PLO gave Israel everything the Zionist state demanded. It gave Israel  a free  and solemn recognition, it gave up legitimate armed resistance which is perfectly lawful under international law. It gave up our national honor and dignity, all in order to demonstrate our good will and sincere commitment to peace. And what did we get from Israel in return? Well, we got  150 new colonies, and a police state without a state called the Palestinian Authority.. 
 
As to Israel itself, it has been growing bolder and bolder in denying us our most  basic rights as human beings living in our ancestral homeland.
 
It would be misleading to think that the Nazificaion of Israel has been consummated and completed with the adoption by the Israeli Knesset  of the so-called Nationality Bill into a law.  Nay! Much is still coming up, and just as the Nuremburg laws in Nazi Germany were only a stage, the Nationality Law will be proven sooner or later  a mere small detail in the Nazification of Israel.  I am not a Prophet of doom and gloom, but the writing is on the wall and I would be utterly foolish to pretend that I am just having a nightmare.
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Mazin Qumsiyeh adds ….
de facto and now de jure racism/apartheid
 Finally, the Israeli Knesset puts it into words/law and is now de jure as
well as de facto racist/apartheid "Jewish nation-state" . The new "law"
violates international treaties and norms (including the 1976 International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid).
But on the bright side no one can now defend Israel as a "democracy" since
it is now not by practice alone but by clearly worded "law" that it is an
apartheid racist state for and by the Jewish people (imagine if a similar
law about "whites" or "christians" was instituted in any other country). 
See the following links

israel-adopts-racist-jewish-nation-state-law

israels-nation-state-law-apartheid-is-a-process/

israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill

Images by Latuff

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MUST WATCH DOCUMENTARY ON HOW I ESCAPED FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST OPEN AIR PRISON

I recall my personal experience back in 2010 when I was stuck in Gaza unable to peruse my higher education in Spain due to continued closure on Gaza borders. Mind the Strip, is a documentary tracking my story as a student denied basic right to education and the struggle to reach my Spanish school after medical advocacy campaign.

I think of those who are still locked off in the open air prison, Gaza, unable to exercise the basic right to education.

“Mind the Strip” tells the story of Ayman Quader, a young Palestinian from the Gaza Strip. As a humanitarian worker, he decides to leave his country to study a master in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies in Spain. All his papers are ready: the student Visa, the acceptance letter from the University and even an scholarship.

Leaving the Gaza Strip, though, will be not easy. Stuck in a country under a horrible siege, Ayman will have to sort his way out.

MUST SEE IMAGE OF THE DAY ….

Ain’t this the truth?

Is this what we have to wait for?

ISRAEL AT 70 ~~ A DARKNESS UNTO THE NATIONS

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

Artwork by Sliman Mansour.

Israel at 70

A Darkness unto the Nations

Several years ago, the late Polish mathematician from Youngstown State University (my alma mater in Ohio), Dr. Zbigniew Piotrowski, walked up to me at the Youngstown Arab-American Community Center and shared a bold observation after I delivered a talk on the Palestinians’ desire for freedom and independence. He said the silver lining of the WWII tragedy, and in particular the Jewish loss thereof, was that the world reset how it operates; post-WWII, international law became the order of the day to avert a repeat of history. It was as if all the nations of the world pressed the reset button and rebooted with this new operating system, one that obligated all states to respect a set of collective rules and regulations. Dr. Piotrowski rightly questioned how Israel, which claims to be built on Jewish values, could be so utterly disrespectful of this new reference point.

U.S. Letter of Recognition of the State of Israel, with the words “Jewish state” crossed out by President Truman.

 

This disrespect was exemplified by one of Israel’s founding ministers of education and culture, Professor Ben-Zion Dinur (1954), when he boldly claimed: “In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.”ii With this theme as the explicit backdrop of the newly established state, it is no wonder that Israel, 70 years later, has had little chance of being a normal member of the community of nations, let alone a light unto anything.
Individual Israeli achievements in fields such as science and technology are impressive. However, for all modern intents and purposes, the State of Israel, as a state-building model, is a failed experiment – ideologically, religiously, politically, socially, and, if US-favored-nation status were removed, possibly economically as well. Without immediate and decisive intervention from the international community to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression towards Palestinians, Israel’s intransigence and US-equipped regional hegemony will not only fuel another generation of Palestinians willing to sacrifice their lives to achieve their freedom and independence but will also further jeopardize Israel’s future as a state.

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

It was totally in the hands of Israel – the occupying power – at the time of the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, as it is today, to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territory and start the bitter process of reconciliation.

The lead-up to the establishment of Israel witnessed the expulsion of well over half the indigenous Palestinian population by May 1948, not to mention the scores murdered in the process. Ever since, Israel has assumed a policy of structural discrimination, political imprisonment, torture, deportations, beatings, collective punishment, political assassinations, settlement building, economic dominance – the list is endless; and measures were intensified after the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in 1967. This “empty” land that was filled with Palestinians overwhelmingly complicated the efforts to implant a Western state in the midst of the Middle East.

Since its inception, Israel has arrogantly refused to address the most crucial prerequisite of its establishment as a conventional state: accepting the Palestinians – those people who just happened to be inconveniently living in that “empty” land. As a matter of fact, Israel’s membership in the UN was pre-conditioned on respecting past UN resolutions, including the one calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return home, as well as the one calling for Israel to define its borders.iii

To date, Israel has respected neither, to its own detriment.

After nearly seven decades of conflict, and after two decades of explicit Palestinian political recognition of Israel on part of their lands, Israel continues to choose to sustain the conflict. The Palestinians, those who were forcefully expelled from their homes in 1948, 1967, and more recently, have ever since been living in squalid refugee camps throughout the region. Those Palestinians who did not flee Israel proper in 1948 are today fourth-class Israeli citizens. The Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem who have lived under Israeli military occupation for 50 years, and counting, will continue to haunt the international community until justice is served and the Israeli occupation is ended, in its entirety.

As recently reported in the Associated Press,vi Israel’s leading demographics expert, Sergio Della Pergola, a demographer at Hebrew University, defended Israeli military figures indicating that the number of Arabs will soon equal that of Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Thus, any Israeli illusion that Palestinians will one day vanish into thin air is merely a hallucination of a people driving drunk on power.

Today, Israel seems more determined than ever to forcefully prove the original fallacy of its statehood – an Israel with expandable, unilaterally defined borders and a Jewish-only population. Twelve Israeli prime ministers before Netanyahu, six of them after the signing of the Oslo agreements, all failed. If Israel cannot produce a leader to move the country from a rogue state to a member state of the Middle East, no one but Jewish-Israeli citizens themselves will be to blame for the consequences, no matter how severe.

It should be no surprise that the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rushed to sign the infamous Oslo Peace Accords after calculating the historic ramifications of the political earthquake that took place when the late Palestinian representative, Yasser Arafat, politically recognized the State of Israel. Rabin paid for that signature with his life, which was taken by one of his own citizens, a fanatic Jewish student. This was as close as Israel has ever been to overcoming its never-ending birth pangs.

Every step of the way, the United States has rewarded Israel as it further entrenched its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory. Israel has been propped up financially, politically, and diplomatically by every single US administration at the expense of US taxpayers. The entire US political system has been fully obedient to the far-reaching Israeli lobby and narrow electoral and commercial interests. What started as a US strategic ally in one of the most sensitive spots in the world during a Cold War that marred common sense has rapidly digressed into a liability in an age of globalization that the United States alone is spearheading.

Today, on the 70th remembrance of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), Israel must choose between continuing an illegal occupation and preserving itself as a state. To think that both can peacefully co-exist is utter ignorance of history and human development. Also, for Israel to believe that the United States will always be willing to jeopardize its own strategic interests for the sake of fulfilling an Israeli illusion of Palestinian submission is a miscalculation to the nth degree.


i Truman: Timeline, Truman Library Institute, available at http://www.trumanlibraryinstitute.org/truman/timeline/.
ii Cited in Jeff Halper, “Palestinian displacement: a case apart? – The message of the bulldozers,” Forced Migration Review, FMR 26, August 2006, available at http://www.fmreview.org/palestine/halper.html.
iii https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/0B3AB8D2A7C0273D8525694B00726D1Band https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/83E8C29DB812A4E9852560E50067A5AC.
iv Aron Heller/AP, “Israeli demographer: Arabs nearly equal Jews in Holy Land,” Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2018, available at http://www.latimes.com/sns-bc-ml–israel-palestinians-20180327-story.html.

 

Originally posted AT

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ISRAEL AT 70

Celebrating 70 years of… oppression and apartheid?

THE HIGHEST FLAG IN THE WORLD

Jarah, a 22-year-old Palestine refugee cancer survivor and amputee, climbs Mount Everest Base Camp to save his UNRWA school in Jordan

When he was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 15, he didn’t give up.

When his right leg was amputated, he didn’t give up.

When 9 of the 11 climbers were medevaced, he didn’t give up.

When it dropped to -14 Celsius and he couldn’t feel his face, he didn’t give up.
Jarah reached Everest Base Camp on Saturday, April 14 because he never gave up.

And to mark 17,500 steps up Mt. Everest, he raised a flag.

He raised a flag to help refugees like him have the chance to get a quality UNRWA education.

He raised a flag to show fellow cancer survivors and amputees that nothing is impossible.

He raised a flag to show solidarity with 5 million Palestine refugees.

Weather permitting, Jarah will be climbing down the mountain over the course of the next week.

For live updates, follow #MyFirstStep as well as his personal posts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

 

Show Jarah that you’re willing to take your own step to save his UNRWA school and others like it.

WHEN ‘THIS’ DOESN’T JUSTIFY ‘THAT’

Whenever Israel is criticized for it manifestly criminal repression of Palestinians, Israeli officials and Zionists apologists cite Arab regimes’ repression of their own peoples as a convenient “red herring” or defensive reflex  to divert attention away from Israel’s  crimes against humanity, especially in the Gaza Strip.

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Assad’s Nazism against his people doesn’t justify Israel’s low-combustion holocaust against the Palestinians
 
By Khalid Amayreh
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Whenever Israel is criticized for it manifestly criminal repression of Palestinians, Israeli officials and Zionists apologists cite Arab regimes’ repression of their own peoples as a convenient “red herring” or defensive reflex  to divert attention away from Israel’s  crimes against humanity, especially in the Gaza Strip.
 
 They argue that Israeli repression of Palestinians, however, brutal and criminal, , can not be compared to the level of genocidal crimes perpetrated by some neighboring Arab regimes  against their own masses  as in  Syria.
 
They  correctly  argue that  the Tyrant of Damascus Bashar Assad, , in tacit or explicit coordination with Russia and Iran, has murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people and forced more than 15 million Syrians to leave their homes. More to the point, they add,  the brutal dictator, reduced the bulk of Syrian towns and villages into rubble thanks to his and Russia’s  sustained and unmitigated campaign of aerial bombing and artillery bombardment.
 
Well, I have no doubt whatsoever that Assad and cohorts are evil criminal thugs who belong to the same category of evil creatures that Hitler, Eichmann, Stalin, and Pol  Pot, etc. belonged to.   
 
No doubt about that. But this is not the issue I am discussion here.
 
The point I am raising in this article is that the greater Nazism carried out by the likes of Hitler, Eichmann, Stalin,  Pol Pot, and Assad  should in no way  justifies the lesser Nazism committed by Israel and her allies.
 
True Israel didn’t use deadly chemical agents against the Palestinians as Assad did against his own people in Khan  Shichon  and elsewhere. But Israel did use White Phosphorus and one-ton bombs to  destroy and flatten multi-story buildings packed with innocent civilians including children in Gaza.
 
Besides, we all know that Israel had asked the Obama  administration on several occasions to make sure that the Assad regime remain  intact since its collapse or disappearance wouldn’t  be in Israel’s interests.
 
Moreover, it is very important to keep in mind  that Israel’s hair-raising crimes against the Palestinians,  gleefully cheered by Christo Nazis such as Mike Pence and odious neo-cons like Nikki Haley, are mere side effects of the over all slow-motion, low-combustion holocaust the Zionist movement has been waging against the Palestinians since a hundred years.
 
In the final analysis, Israel arrogated the Palestinian people’s ancestral homeland, massacred untold numbers of them, destroyed their homes, demolished their villages and hamlets and then dispersed them to the four winds on the ground that some Jews lived  in Palestine some 4000 years ago.
 
Well who amongst you would give up his or her home if someone came up from nowhere,  demanding you leave your home for him because some of  his ancestors allegedly  lived at the location 4 or 5 thousand years ago?
 
I’ve decided to pose this question because in a certain sense it summarizes and epitomizes the entire Palestinian plight.
 
Finally, the Jews claim to follow the Torah which taught humanity the Ten Commandments including “thou shall not kill,” thou shall not oppress” and thou shall not steal.
 
Hence, the likes of  Bashar Assad, Stalin’s precocious student, should never ever be the Jews’ role model….that is if they are serious and sincere  about claiming to be  a light upon humanity!
 

MLK SPEAKS OF THE NECESSITY OF NONVIOLENT GADFLIES

There is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. . . . we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

 

A symbol of resistance for all of humanity

What MLK’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ tells us about Ahed Tamimi in a cold Israeli cell

In recent weeks, several people have said that the liberal indifference to Ahed Tamimi’s detention in an Israeli prison for slapping an occupying soldier on December 15 is reminiscent of the white liberals in Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, written in 1963. Today, you can give yourself no better political lesson than rereading that inspiring document of the American movement  for freedom.

King’s letter is an explanation of the need for “direct political action.” King addresses a group of white liberal ministers and rabbis who have said they’re against segregation but times are changing, so why do “extremist” black clergy have to risk a backlash with provocative demonstrations? King answers that time is neutral and won’t do anything on its own; blacks have waited for hundreds of years for some modicum of justice and learned that the privileged will never give up privilege without pressure. White businesses promised to remove humiliating signs directing blacks to segregated water coolers and bathrooms and never followed through, and meantime anti-colonial struggles in other countries have outpaced American change, and inspired blacks to dream of an equal future.

We need to ratchet up political tension so as to precipitate a crisis, King explained:

[T]here is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. . . . we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

Liberal ministers and rabbis were a bigger obstacle to this process than outright racists, King said, because they defused that tension among progressives with “lukewarm acceptance.” In the distant past the church had ended infanticide and gladiators’ fights to the death, but now the church was ineffectual. King warned:

It is so often the arch supporter of the status quo [as to]. . . be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I meet young people every day whose disappointment with the church has risen to outright disgust.

Some whites had walked in black people’s shoes and understood the “urgency of the moment,” King said, but the moderate ministers were blindly supporting order, however unjust.

You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I don’t believe you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its angry violent dogs literally biting six unarmed, nonviolent Negroes.

And he warned that the black community now includes many nationalists who advocate violence against Jim Crow.

The analogies of King in the Birmingham city jail to 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi in an Israeli jail are many. Occupied Palestinians have waited decades for justice as other struggles in the world have been successful. Palestinians have long been promised sovereignty and never gotten it. “Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber,” King writes, but Palestinians have seen their lands robbed year after year with no enforcement mechanism from the world. Many in the Palestinian community now advocate violence. But in their little village the Tamimi’s are part of a non-violent struggle against a violent occupation.

Ahed Tamimi caused tension– and a “crisis-packed” situation– when she slapped the soldier in her tiny village of Nabi Saleh on December 15, just hours after her cousin was maimed by another Israeli soldier.

But her weeks in jail are greeted with indifference or contempt by leftwing Israelis and American liberal Zionists, who tell us there must be equal sympathy for the Israeli soldiers and the Palestinian children. While the U.S. press writes articles about Tamimi’s choice in clothing, suggesting her encounters were staged. These people rationalize Israel’s brutal policy of a “managed conflict” forever with “lukewarm acceptance.”

Some will say, what about Ahed’s slap? Wasn’t that violent? It was not. Violence entails the possibility of producing injury to another. Tamimi’s slap of a towering, heavily-armed soldier was merely an insult, and a resonant one. “We must see the need of having non-violent gadflies.” (And as for throwing stones, even the New York Times Magazine has justified that as a legitimate response to occupation).

King’s letter is a challenge to the indifferent who rationalize the status quo. Moral people — church people, political people — must either take action or support it, he said. Geography is no barrier. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” is the most ringing line in the letter (which one of us used as an epigraph in his book againstSouth African apartheid).

Today we revere King for precipitating radical political change in the U.S. and sacrificing his life to do so. The letter speaks to all who cherish the hope of ending other injustices. It is NOT meaningful as a nostalgic signpost of a huge battle our society won 50 years ago. It is ONLY meaningful as a signpost for what actions we should take today.

King ended his letter with a prayer. It is consciously a spiritual statement. Birmingham 1963 is the “eternal now of the letter, and the message passes from King’s soul to the reader right now. It addresses the struggle we all feel inside ourselves: It calls to the idealistic and motivated parts of our nature that see a way to address injustice, and against the lukewarm, timid despairing acceptance we feel in the face of huge odds.

For people who care about the Middle East, the letter can have only one meaning, to look on the lives of our brothers and sisters in Palestine and to hate the occupation and anything that rationalizes it. King tells us to be with Ahed Tamimi in her cold cell, and fight for her freedom.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was released from the Birmingham jail after 11 days. Ahed Tamimi, 16 years old, is still in an Israeli jail — 27 days later, and counting.

Here is the last speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. …..

“I may not get there with you. But we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” He was shot the next day.

THE MAKING OF THE PALESTINIAN MANDELA

Portrait of a boy with the flag of Palestine painted on his face

Recently, the struggle for Palestinian human rights gained international attention surrounding a new icon of resistance–16 year old Ahed Tamimi. While in the West Bank in late 2016, Abby Martin interviewed Ahed Tamimi about her hardships and aspirations living under occupation and it becomes clear why her subjugators are trying to silence her voice. Her brother Waad and father Bassem also talk about their experiences with Israeli soldiers harassing their village and targeting their family. In this exclusive episode, Abby outlines the Tamimi family’s tragic tale and unending bravery in the fight for justice and equality in Palestine and how the story of their village of Nabi Saleh is emblematic of the Palestinian struggle as a whole.

 

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The proud Father …..

FEAR THEE NOT!

Do not be afraid, as the right and the facts concerning Palestine are on our side, and Zionists fear nothing more than the truth.

Do Not Be Afraid!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

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This Angels’ speech from the Gospel of Luke even impresses me as an Atheist because it expresses something that involves us all. We should not be afraid to say the truth, even if it is about the “Jewish State”; the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine; and the new laws are being prepared to philosemitically put the Jews on a higher level, on a pedestal of uniqueness and special status and to designate all criticism against the Jewish occupation politics as “hatred toward Jews.”
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The aim pursued by the representatives of the Israel Lobby and its active supporters in politics and media is to refer to us as Anti-Semites. However, the problem is not about the legitimated rallies against Trump’s “Jerusalem Decision” and the burning Star of David symbols. Schuster, the President of the Central Council of German Jews asking Europe and Germany to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the “Jewish State.” The impudence of this representative of the Jewish community in Germany calling with shameful openness for the violation of international law, takes your breath away! Does he not feel committed to the German Constitution, or has he lost any sense for law since he has become a famous spokesman for the “Jewish State”? What he says is an affront against the German government which should immediately and unequivocally reject his speech. Or is the Merkel government afraid of responding? Merkel who is a “Bible-friendly Christian Zionist” should follow the imperative of the Gospel of Luke without being afraid to duly react.
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If he behaves like this, Schuster should not to wonder if Jews outside the “Jewish State” are blamed for Israeli politics. And exactly the Central Council and other organised Jews who support the Israeli occupation regime with all this commitment are perceived as “secondary ambassadors.” In addition, there is the impudence of affirming that Judaism and Zionism are exactly the same so that they can denounce anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism.
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President Schuster, if you do not see the connections and you do not understand that the burning the Star of David is the burning visible symbol of the illegal occupation of Palestine and you think that it is the Israeli right for existence burning, there is no remedy for you. You lack any ability to feel empathy for the Palestinian population which has been suffering for decades because of the arbitrariness of Zionist occupation. I do not know if you lost this empathy as descendant of racially persecuted people, of if you never had it. Finally, we should never forget that the Palestinians – who have not committed the crimes of the Holocaust – have been the victims of the Nazi regime and its consequences up to now. Their land has been stolen from them, hundreds of thousands of their people have been displaced, and thanks to the hypocritical politics of the so-called “community of values” any chance to find a “two-state solution” has been lost because Israel does not want two states, and Israel does not want peace. Israel just wants an empty country, a country without people.
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If Schuster also calls for a legislative change to declare the burning of pseudo flags and flags as criminal offence, then he should be stopped in his overbearing eagerness since he should first of all start to deal with international law and human rights. We do not have to focus on the right of existence of the “Jewish State,” but on the recognition and the creation of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital.
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Against this background, it is hardly surprising that among the 9 small states depending on the USA and which have voted for Trump’s Jerusalem decision there was also Guatemala, whose President Jimmy Morales unfortunately follows the USA and wants to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In this context, I remember that Israel was a well-known engaged arms smuggler delivering weapons to the former dictator’s regime to destroy the native population of Guatemala. “Israel, whose role in the dirty war in Guatemala, which caused more than 200.000 deaths, is well-documented was not brought to trial.” The “Jewish Apartheid Regime” is an expert in the field of export of its tested arms. (1) (2)http://www.gegenfrage.com/israels-buergerkrieg-guatemala/https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/52236-israel-fast-100-prozent-waffenexporte/
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For what concerns the “Golden Calf Jerusalem” I would like to recommend to read the exceptional guest article by Omri Böhm on “Zeit online”. He gets rid of the “enthusiastic identification of the Israelis with their capital, as it is more about the opposite, an idolatrous messianism”. (3) http://www.zeit.de/2017/53/israel-jerusalem-hauptstadt-theologie
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Schuster also plays a more than dangerous role in the refugee crises because he early on accepted the CSU position of a “maximum limit” and warned against the allegedly “imported” Muslim anti-Semitism. The consequences of the Islam hatred and the Islamophobic atmosphere against Muslims have been experienced for a long time now. Schuster shares the position of the right-wing party AfD and imitates “Gauland!” In contrast to the Christian representatives still keeping their moderate position, the Central Council of Jews and the other Jewish officials play a more and more dangerous role stirring up prejudices.
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While for Schuster Christmas is “not a complicated” event, because Jesus was born as a Jew, and then started to see Judaism from a critical point of view, so Schuster, for me Christmas is a symbol of the fact that Jesus was the first dissident and Palestinian who would not fear to criticise the actual illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine.
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Pope Francis expressed my thoughts when he compared Jesus’ parents with the actual refugees. Then the question came into my mind, whether Maria and Joseph would have reached the occupied Bethlehem by going through the Israeli checkpoint, and what would have happened to Jesus. (4)http://noch.info/2015/12/wenn-maria-und-josef-heute-auf-den-weg-nach-bethlehem-waehren/
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The “Jewish State” denying Palestinians their legal right to return and deporting black refugees into their countries of origin, has lost any right to be recognised as a model. However, President Schuster does not deal with these subjects and prefers the glorified image of the “Jewish State” and calls for the “Judaisation” of Germany which we have to oppose.http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-11/israel-benjamin-netanjahu-fluechtlinge-abschieben-asylpolitik
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Do not be afraid, as the right and the facts concerning Palestine are on our side, and Zionists fear nothing more than the truth. This is why they want to avoid any kind of discussion. They fear that their poor statements will be unmasked.
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On Christmas Eve I had the chance to express my music desire in a short conversation in the SWR2 classic broadcast. It was the song by Mahler “Verfolgten im Turm” with the text “Die Gedanken sind frei,” and would like to dedicate it to all persecuted friends in Palestine for this Christmas. (6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA2YgL4mvdc
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On Christmas Eve I contacted many Christian-Palestinian friends in the occupied Bethlehem, in Beth Sahour and Beth Shala, and in particular my friend Mazin Qumsiyeh, and author of the book „Kanaan: Ein gemeinsames Land. Menschenrechte und der israelisch-palästinensische Konflikt,” published in the German translation with my preface by Zambon, an important and highly recommended book. (7) http://zambon.net/index.php?id=38
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For me, Mazin Qumsiyeh is an illuminating example and model for a socio-political work in the illegally occupied Palestine. He dedicated all his life to the struggle for a free Palestine and for a Palestinian State. And Mazin is not afraid! (8)http://www.schattenblick.de/infopool/politik/redakt/intv0003.html
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Christmas 2017 was a sad symbol of the on-going occupation and the arbitrary separation of families living in Gaza from the families living in the remaining occupied Palestine. Many Christians and also Muslims tried to get travel authorisations from Gaza to Bethlehem, in most cases without success. In the past, it was easier to reach Ramallah or Bethlehem from Gaza. But now, because of increasingly worse harassment by the Netanyahu regime this has become impossible. Frustration and hopelessness are voluntarily promoted to force all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, to give us and to support the planned “Eretz Israel” to gain the “final victory.” This is what we have to avoid all together!
Do not be afraid!
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Die Gedanken sind frei (Thoughts a free)
Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten, sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten. Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen mit Pulver und Blei: Die Gedanken sind frei!
Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket, doch alles in der Still‘, und wie es sich schicket. Mein Wunsch, mein Begehren kann niemand verwehren, es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!
Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker, das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke. Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken und Mauern entzwei, die Gedanken sind frei!
Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen entsagen und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen. Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!
Ich liebe den Wein, mein Mädchen vor allen, sie tut mir allein am besten gefallen. Ich bin nicht alleine bei meinem Glas Weine, mein Mädchen dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!
Old traditional song
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Originally posted AT

PALESTINIAN CHILDREN CAUGHT IN ISRAEL’S ‘CAT AND MOUSE’ GAME

It is  commonly said that the all worst nightmares move silently in the dark and wear military uniforms and escaping with light steps along the asphalt street. This night in the village not even the engine sound of the armoured vehicle distracts. The vehicle remains there, without moving, in the night, and next to it there is a street light with a faint light. The man is watching, and with each movement he seems to be counting  steps, three forward, one to the side, and again three paces backwards, without taking his eyes off the houses, with his rifle under his arm, and the barrel kept at eye level, ready to interrupt the silence. It is totally silent, and the silence seems almost begging to be interrupted by a roar, a scream, or a lament, while from behind a curtain a child, one of the numerous children, records the scene with his cell phone.

Palestine, the cat and the mouse, and the trapped children

By Antonietta Chiodo, Translated by Milena Rampoldi and edited by John Catalinotto, Tlaxcala.

He is careful to cause not the least noise, to keep his hand steady, hoping that nobody will see him. This child is afraid, it is afraid of what it will document unconsciously. The soldier lowers his mitre and approaches the gate by opening it easily without causing the least noise.

From the dark of a street disappearing behind the corner of a big, white house another two soldiers appear suddenly, walking speedily. Under their arms they hold a handcuffed boy who is trying to keep up with them. They push him into a vehicle, lowering his head with the palm of the hand, and a couple of seconds later the car’s tailgate closes violently.

Like cats in the night they move lightly, with the gesture of an arm. One of them makes a gesture to a second patrol next there, that everything is OK. The silence is interrupted by the roar of the engines, and the cars disappear along the asphalted streets and then vanish, taking with them another fragment of freedom, a splinter of life who has just become 13 years old.

In the West Bank, what seems to be the plot of an action movie is every day realityd. Here children are the first ones being arrested by Israeli soldiers without any official trail and without any logical reasoning.

Tonight it was his turn, tomorrow it could be mine, everyone thinks here. The project “Pace dei Bimbi” (Peace for Children) has chosen to care about a village between Bethlehem and Hebron, where the incursions and abductions of children are part of their all day lives.

For two months we have written stories invented by us by considering the initial limitations of these children who do not feel free and are afraid of being put on trial. In the context, the mediation offered by their teacher Omar revealed itself to be fundamental. Being in front of a journalist was difficult for them at the beginning, because on one hand they wanted to trust me, and on the other hand they did not think this trust was possible. The days passed by, and their smiles started to take shape, and so did the smile of the small and thin Raiyed, arrested a couple of days ago without charges, dragged from his home, and wrenched away from the arms of his family.

Like many other children, Rayied spent 24 hours in jail, only because his family name is connected to a tradition of resistance against Israeli occupation. I remember that during my encounters the child who is only 13 years old talked about stars. For me, his smile is unforgettable, while he imagined a fabulous story talking about an azure light taking him to another planet. A planet full of peace and magic animals.

Raiyed knows very well that this will not be his only trip to jail, and many other visits like this will follow during his life. However, we perfectly know that psychologically destroying a child by obligating him to live in fear is much more lethal than any bullet. During my stay the moments were not rare where the teacher Omar and I were forced to use makeshift roads because of the blocks around the village because stones had been thrown from under the shadow of the olive trees surrounding the houses. Here people live like trapped mice, while deceitful cats, protected from their own violations of human rights, play dice with these lives and the fear of their victims fuels their thirst for power and injustice.

Shraeh, a Palestinian man, tells us that during the last three days three children between 11 and 13 years were arrested at their homes and also about his brother. He has been in Israeli jail for 16 years now, without authorisation for family visits. And being visited in jail is an undeniable right. It is just the right to look at his eyes, the right to smile at him, and to check his health situation, as we usually do in a so-called “democratic” country.

There are places in this world more oppressed than others, but sometimes here young boys are labelled inattentive. They are said to play with their lives. However, here it is completely normal to imagine a soldier shooting into the chest of a young boy because he threw a stone and to hear words of support for the soldiers. And all this is a sign of the tragic end of human rights. Our world has chosen globalisation, thus replacing the real value of life and innocence with money.

IN IMAGES ~~ REMEMBERING A PROUD LAND THAT ONCE WAS

Remembering the Nakba

Seventy years on from the Nakba, Palestinians seem to move from one cycle of oppression to another

A Palestinian man walks front of graffiti that reads “Returning” as Palestinians attend “camp of return” to mark refugees’ ties to lands lost in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during a gathering to mark the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (catastrophe). Nakba means “catastrophe” in reference to the birth of the state of Israel 69 years ago in British-mandate Palestine, which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who either fled or were driven out of their homes during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

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I didn’t sell my house they stole it ..

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69 yrs later, we are still here, all over the world, keeping our keys & hope that every day passes we are getting closer to return

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To our homes in Palestine, we will return!

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69 yrs of dispossession, forced exile and oppression
We still resist & We Will Return

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Latuff adds the following

Their creation was our Nakba!

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“al-Nakbah” means “catastrophe”. Nakba Day when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homeland

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Free Palestine!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Silverman Condemns Occupation in Passover Haggadah

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

Judy Maltz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, In Israel today …..

Click on link to read post from the archives

CLEANSING THE LAND OF BREAD AND ARABS

ANTI APARTHEID VIDEO GONE VIRAL

Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid in Palestine

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‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act

The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago.

“Ever since the right-wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages,” Harel said.

More HERE

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