TRYING TO GO TO SCHOOL IN PALESTINE

Just imagine if this was your son …..

*

And still, friendship survives under the occupation …

8 DAILY CRIMES AGAINST PALESTINE CAUGHT ON VIDEO

First video obviously censored by zion

Controlling and confiscating Palestinian land and movement, and broadening apartheid.

And THIS too ….. (Number 9)

Israeli soldiers and border police take Zeid Taha (6 years old) to a checkpoint in Hebron. November 25, 2018

Via B’tselem (trim from longer video which included the detainment of an older child of 15 who was arrested)

CANADA ~~ NOT AS PROUD AND FREE AS YOU MAY THINK

How does one explain Canada’s contradictory foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel?

Trudeau’s ‘human face of neoliberalism’ is nothing but a carefully-constructed mask meant to hide the hypocritical and militant policies that Canada continues to lead.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) in a meeting with with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: via Rabble.ca, file)

The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s New Jews?

By Ramzy Baroud

How does one explain Canada’s contradictory foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel?

On December 4, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, praised Canada’s commitment not to follow the footsteps of the US Donald Trump Administration by transferring its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But there is little worth praising here. Respecting the internationally-recognized status of Jerusalem is a legally-binding commitment to international law. The fact that the US chose to violate the law, hardly makes the opposite act heroic in itself.

Only five days earlier, on November 30, Canada joined a tiny minority of states, including Israel, the US, Australia, and the Marshall Islands to vote ‘no’ against a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution titled, “Peaceful Settlement on the Question of Palestine.”

The Canadian government that is keen to present itself as a model, neoliberal, progressive country, even the antithesis to the US’ hawkish policies, voted against a resolution that calls “for intensified efforts by the parties … to conclude a final peace settlement.”

If you find such behavior confusing, then you are not paying attention. Canada has not changed at all. It is our understanding of Canadian foreign policy that has almost always been marred with a genuine lack of understanding.

And there is a good reason for that. The Canadian government has mastered the art of political branding. The only period in modern American history that is comparable to Canada’s successful political propaganda was the presidency of Barack Obama.

Obama has deported 2.5 million immigrants, compared to the 2 million deported by his predecessor, George W. Bush; he dropped more bombs and did his utmost to bail America’s most corrupt financial institutions; yet somehow many liberals thought of him as the ideological marriage of Che Guevara and Malcolm X, with the refined eloquence of James Baldwin.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau – seen as the ‘human face of neoliberalism’ – is an even more successful brand than Obama. Unlike the former US president, there is very little discussion about Trudeau’s undeserved credentials.

While positioned as the political opposite of former conservative Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, they are both committed to the ideology of neoliberalism.

Trudeau’s ‘human face of neoliberalism’ is nothing but a carefully-constructed mask meant to hide the hypocritical and militant policies that Canada continues to lead.

Nothing exemplifies Trudeau’s duplicitous policies than his horrific record on Palestine.

And before the Trudeau fan-club impulsively reacts to the above assertion, marvel at this fact: In the first 18 months of his mandate, Trudeau voted against 16 UNGA resolutions that were critical of Israel.

It has been argued that Canada’s foreign policy and its UN voting records are often inconsistent. This, however, seems to apply only to the Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

When Trudeau defeated Harper, many breathed a sigh of relief, particularly because of the latter’s blind support for Israel.

So is Trudeau really different, deserving of this much affection, to the point of adoration?

Let’s consult the facts.

The page on Trudeau government’s website entitled, “Canadian Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict” is almost an exact replica of Harper’s, with one notable exception. On Trudeau’s page, his government recognizes “experience of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, who were displaced after 1948.”

The above is a misconstrued version of history that has been injected by Zionists whenever the rights of Palestinian refugees – who were displaced by Jewish militants during the 1948 ethnic-cleansing of Palestine – is brought up.

The very first ‘key issue’ for Trudeau’s government is “Support for Israel and Its Security.”

Trudeau claims that his government’s assessment of UN resolutions is guided by “its merits and consistency with (Canadian) principles.”

Harper seemingly defied these ‘principles’ on numerous occasions, notably when his government voted against UN Resolutions critical of Israel: 66/17 in 2012; 67/23 and 68/15, in 2013, 69/23 in 2014.

But Harper’s exit did not usher in a new moral age for Canada. On the contrary, Ottawa’s love affairs with Israel intensified.

Aside from carrying on with the same anti-Palestinian attitude at the UN, on November 24, 2015, the Trudeau government even voted against UNGA Resolution 70/15, which reaffirmed the “illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including East Jerusalem.”

Such a vote even goes against Canada’s own declared position on the illegal Jewish settlements.

This should not come as a surprise, though. Hypocrisy and double-speak have become a prominent feature of Canada’s foreign policy. Take Ottawa’s stance on terrorism, for example.

In its ‘key issues’ on Israel and Palestine, the Canadian government “condemns all acts of terrorism”, but it later qualifies what that means in actuality.

“Canada has listed Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and other groups as terrorist organizations,” it elaborated. Not only did it fail to link any Jewish group as terrorist, or, at least, emphasize the need to prosecute war criminals (in this case, Israeli leaders), it linked Palestinians and Arabs only to acts of terrorism.

According to this logic, only Arabs seem capable of carrying out acts of terror.

But what if Palestinians decided to use popular, non-violent and democratic means to display resistance? They did and were still condemned for it.

In 2016, with much personal enthusiasm by Trudeau himself, the Canadian Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a motion that condemned the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Since then, Trudeau has made his anti-BDS policy a fixture in his government’s attitude towards the Palestinians.

Last month, he sank to his lowest point yet when, in a speech he made to apologize for Canada’s immoral act of rejecting Jewish refugees escaping Nazi atrocities in 1939, he directly linked BDS with anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is far too present,” he said, as “Jewish students still feel unwelcome and uncomfortable on some of our colleges and university campuses because of BDS-related intimidation.”

Linking BDS with his country’s disgraceful anti-Semitism against refugees decades ago might have been a masterful stroke by his pro-Israeli speechwriters. However, swapping historic hate for Jews with modern hate for Palestinians shows that Canada has learned nothing from its sordid past.

Trudeau and his government will certainly be judged by future generations, as his predecessors were judged for their past sins, for choosing, despite the passage of time, to stand on the wrong side of history.

NOT A WAY TO TREAT A CHILD

IDF soldiers terrorize the Palestinian civilians during the night, especially children.

Shocking video

WHEN A DUTY IS NOT A CRIME

Images by Latuff

 

There are consequences if the duty is a challenge to zion …

Another victim of the Israel Lobby: Academic and activist Marc Lamont Hill was fired by CNN after making statements in support of Palestinian liberation at the UN.

IMAGE OF THE DAY …. THE LATEST MAP OF DESTRUCTION

THE LATEST FROM BANKSY — HOW MUCH THE IDF LOVES PALESTINE

Banksy gives us this poster highlighting the absurdity of the Israeli occupation. The Palestine travel poster type says “The Israeli army liked it so much they never left!”

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM PALESTINE

Mahatma Gandhi correctly identified seven blunders of the world: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.”

Thoughts at 3 AM

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

We face unprecedented challenges that require unprecedented human
responses.Here are some now well characterized challenges that require not
so-well discussed solutions: 1) human population shooting up from 7 billion
to 10 billion soon, 2) consumption of non-renewable resources at an all
time high, 3) climate change accelerating thanks to human activities, 4)
water shortage in most of the planet, 5) politicians and other greedy
individuals pushing wars and arms-deals that ends-up in  genocides like
what is happening in Gaza and Yemen. We witness the mass of refugees
walking north towards the US border or those refugees in Gaza being shot at
the border as they try to return to their homes and lands taken from them
by force in Palestine in 1948. These and others resulted from a combination
of these factors (though mostly politics driven factors) but they are only
a harbinger of much worse things to come. Estimates range from 100 to 500
million "climate refugees" in the next two decades. The violent/repressive
response of those in political power will only exacerbate the problems.
Borders, racism, and repressive politics as usual will no longer contain
hundreds of millions (nay billions) of people who have no or scarce access
to clean water, food, healthcare or education.

How do we address this? First we must understand what faces us honesty.
Killing and dismembering one journalist or using white phosphorous ion
civilian populations of Yemen and Gaza are symptoms of something far deeper
and far more troubling.  Second we must rebel against the status quo while
in parallel work to create innovative alternatives. Each of us can and must
start to address these challenges. It is hard work and it is not easy.
Burying our head in the proverbial sand will no longer be feasible, We
can't be neutral on a moving train. The work we are doing locally (e.g. at
palestinenature.org) needs to go to a much higher level and far more
urgently than most people think. We must at least start a more serious
conversation and apply more serious work towards solutions. It is perhaps
the last test of our humanity. The choices are stark. We can continue down
this unsustainable path that could destroy us and our planet. Or we can
push hard to get our act together quickly as fellow human beings to care
for each other and for this planet. The stakes were never more stark.

Mahatma Gandhi correctly identified seven blunders of the world: wealth
without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character,
commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without
sacrifice, politics without principle."

Defend Lucy Peterson & John Cheney-Lippold - Support Academic Freedom &Right to Boycott


Palestine Future: Righteous Jews versus the new Afrikaners by John
Mearsheimer 

The Jamal Khashoggi I knew: mentor, bridge between cultures

Cook says Twenty-five years on, analysts say Oslo didn’t fail: it offered
Israel a formula to block the emergence of a Palestinian state


“One difference between South Africa and Israel is that Israel is stronger,
more sophisticated and better connected to the world. And it has done a
better job obscuring its apartheid. It’s big, strong and nondemocratic.
Israel oppresses the Palestinians through various means with one result:
There isn’t a single free Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Their
fate is determined by the Israeli government in Jerusalem and the Defense
Ministry in Tel Aviv, and they have no rights at either one. Is this not
apartheid? Is it democracy?” Gideon Levy, Haaretz.

FROM JAIL CELL TO VIP SUITE

Ahed Tamimi is out of prison and on tour in Europe and the Middle East speaking out against Israeli occupation and Israeli officials are unhappy about it.

[Ahed] highlights to the world both how unjust the occupation is and how absurd their legal system is,” said Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Israel instead wants subservient Palestinians who simply stay quiet in the face of the denial of freedom. Ahed shows that won’t happen — including not with this generation.”

Tamimi gained international attention last year when she confronted an Israeli soldier in front of her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She kicked and slapped him, and then took a swing at a second soldier in a videotaped incident that spread quickly on social media.

On Wall Street … Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Palestinian protest icon goes from jail cell to VIP suite

When Israel locked up Ahed Tamimi for slapping a soldier last year, it hoped to finally silence the teenage Palestinian activist. Instead, it created an international celebrity.

Less than three months after walking out of prison, Tamimi is on a victory tour, crisscrossing Europe and the Middle East as a superstar of the campaign against Israeli occupation. She has spoken to throngs of adoring fans, met world leaders and was even welcomed by the Real Madrid soccer club.

The VIP reception has dismayed Israeli officials and is prompting some to ask if Israel mishandled the case.

“We could have been smarter,” said Yoaz Hendel, a media commentator and former spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tamimi gained international attention last year when she confronted an Israeli soldier in front of her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She kicked and slapped him, and then took a swing at a second soldier in a videotaped incident that spread quickly on social media.

Tamimi’s extended family has long been on Israel’s radar screen. Nabi Saleh is home to some 600 people, most of them members of the clan. For years, they have held weekly protests against the expansion of a nearby Israeli settlement, gatherings that sometimes turn to stone-throwing, prompting Israeli troops to respond with tear gas, rubber bullets or live fire.

For Israelis, the Tamimis are a group of provocateurs intent on manipulating the media to hurt the country’s image. One cousin, Ahlam Tamimi, was an accomplice to a suicide bombing. Among Palestinians, they are seen as brave heroes standing up to Israel.

But neither side anticipated the fallout from last December’s standoff, which occurred during one of the weekly protests.

The military said it moved in after villagers began throwing stones at troops. In the video, Tamimi and her cousin, Nour, walk toward the two soldiers. Tamimi tells the soldiers to leave, pushes and kicks them and slaps one of them.

As the cousin films the scene on her mobile phone, Tamimi’s mother, Nariman, arrives. At one point, she steps between Ahed and the soldiers, but then also tries to push back the soldiers, who do not respond. Ahed Tamimi later said that she was upset because a cousin had been shot in the face by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli troops.

As the video spread, Palestinians celebrated Ahed as a hero. Cartoons, posters and murals portrayed her as a Joan of Arc-like character, confronting the Israeli military with her mane of long, dirty-blond curls flowing in the breeze.

In Israel, the incident set off its own uproar. While the army praised the soldiers for showing restraint, politicians felt the army had been humiliated and called for tough action against the young firebrand. Days later, in an overnight raid, troops entered Tamimi’s house and took her and her mother away. Both were given eight-month prison sentences.

Israel has traditionally been obsessive about defending its image — making the term “hasbara,” which roughly translates as public relations, part of its national lexicon. But as the country has moved toward the right under the decade-long rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, charm has been replaced increasingly with confrontation.

Netanyahu, an admirer of President Donald Trump, rarely speaks to the media anymore and often lashes out at reporters for what he believes is unfair coverage. Under his watch, Israel has tried to weaken liberal advocacy groups critical of his policies, detained Jewish American critics at the airport for questioning and banned people who boycott the Jewish state from entering. It attempted to expel an American woman who will be studying at an Israeli university, accusing her of being a boycott activist. She was held in detention for two weeks until Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the expulsion order.

While widely supported at home, these policies risk backfiring on the international stage.

Weeks after her release from prison, Tamimi began a tour that has taken her to France, Spain, Greece, Tunisia and Jordan. At nearly every stop, she has been welcomed by cheering crowds.

“I don’t like living as a celebrity. It’s not an easy life to live. I’m exhausted,” she said in a telephone interview from the Jordanian capital, Amman. “But what I like more is delivering the message of my people. That makes me feel proud.”

She kicked off her tour on Sept. 14 in Paris, where she participated in the Communist Party’s “Humanity” rally. The popular weekend festival attracts rockers, rappers and other entertainers and celebrities. On the festival’s last day, she spoke to thousands of cheering supporters. She traveled to other cities around France at the invitation of the France Palestine Solidarity Association.

In Greece, she was a headliner for the 100th-anniversary celebration of the country’s Communist party, KKE. Addressing a crowd of thousands, she was interrupted by several long ovations and chants of “Freedom for Palestine.”

“Your support means a lot to me. It gives me a big push to return to my homeland and continue my struggle vigorously against the occupation,” she told the crowd. “Free people unite to face capitalism, imperialism and colonization … We are not victims. We are freedom fighters.”

Her family was invited as official guests of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Israeli bombing of what was then the Palestine Liberation Organization’s headquarters. At the ceremony, Essebsi gave her a statue of a silver dove with an olive branch.

Meetings with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in the works, said her father, Bassem Tamimi, who has been accompanying her.

“On the Champs-Elysees in Paris, we were surrounded by hundreds of people who wanted to talk to Ahed and take pictures with her,” her father said. “The same thing happened in every other city we visited.”

In a sign of her mainstream appeal, Tamimi recently wrote a first-person account of her time in prison for Vogue Arabia, a Middle Eastern edition of the popular fashion magazine.

“I want to be a regular 17-year-old. I like clothes, I like makeup. I get up in the morning, check my Instagram, have breakfast and walk in the hills around the village,” she wrote. “But I am not a normal teenager.”

Israeli officials have remained silent throughout her tour — with one exception. Tamimi’s reception at Real Madrid, where she met the legendary striker Emilio Butragueno and received a team jersey with her name on it, was too much to bear.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the team’s embrace of Tamimi “shameful” in a Twitter post. “It would be morally wrong to stay silent while a person inciting to hatred and violence goes on a victory tour as if she is some kind of rock star,” he said.

Israel faces a dilemma — wanting to respond but fearing criticism will attract even more attention.

Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to the United States, learned a bitter lesson when he acknowledged earlier this year leading a secret investigation into whether the Tamimis were “real” Palestinians.

He said their light features, Western clothes and long history of run-ins with Israeli forces suggested that they were actually paid provocateurs out to hurt the country’s image. The investigation concluded that the family was indeed real — prompting mockery and racism accusations from the Tamimis.

Tamimi is reflective of changing Palestinian sentiment. Where an older generation of political leaders sought either armed struggle or a two-state solution with Israel, many younger Palestinians have given up on the long-stalled peace process and instead favor a single state in which Jews and Arabs live equally. Israel objects to a binational state, saying it is merely an attempt to destroy the country through a nonviolent disguise.

“Israel is unhappy because she highlights to the world both how unjust the occupation is and how absurd their legal system is,” said Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Israel instead wants subservient Palestinians who simply stay quiet in the face of the denial of freedom. Ahed shows that won’t happen — including not with this generation.”

Hendel, the former Israeli government spokesman, said he initially supported Israel’s tough response to the slapping incident but now thinks it was an error. He said issuing a fine or punishing her parents for their daughter’s actions might have generated less attention.

He acknowledged there is a broader problem for which Israel does not seem to have a good answer.

“She’s powerful, part of a sophisticated machine that tries to delegitimize Israel by using photos and creating scenarios that portray Israel as Goliath and the other side as David,” he said. “It is much easier to fight terrorism than to fight civilians motivated by terrorist leaders. I think Tamimi in this story is a kind of a front line for a much bigger organization, or even a process.”

Tamimi could continue to frustrate the Israelis for many years to come. She completed her high school studies in prison and now hopes to study international law in Britain. She dreams of one day representing the Palestinians in institutions like the International Criminal Court.

“International law is a strong tool to defend my people,” she said. “We are under occupation and we have to rely on international law to get the world behind us.”

PROUD TO BE A CANADIAN …… HERE IS JUST ONE REASON WHY

Canada steps up aid for UN agency for Palestinian refugees following US cut.

The easiest way to shut down UNRWA is to let the refugees return home

UNRWA and Palestinian refugees are being treated unfairly – Cartoon [AlArabi21News/Twitter]

Canada pledges $50m to UNRWA

Canada has announced that it is contributing $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Some $40 million would be allocated over two years to assist the health and education efforts of the refugee agency, a statement said.

Another $10 million is aimed at helping 460,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Canada’s new contribution would improve lives and “protect the human dignity” of millions of Palestinian refugees.

“This new funding to UNRWA is urgently needed, and it will bring some predictability to the agency as the needs on the ground are increasing,” Bibeau added.

UNRWA has been suffering from a budget deficit resulting from the ending of US funding.

The easiest way to shut down UNRWA is to let the refugees return home

ISRAEL’S ILLEGAL NUMBERS GAME

I never really understood the ‘numbers game‘ in the States, but the following one is pretty easy to understand ….

THE TAMIMI FAMILY SAGA CONTINUES

Ahed Tamimi’s brother Waed to be jailed for over a year for throwing stones. He joins countless young Palestinians jailed for misdemeanors by the Israeli authorities.

DILEMMAS EXTRAORDINAIRE

What will Israel do with 7 million Palestinians, expected to double their current population in 3 – 4 decades?

 Israel’s existential dilemma
 
By Khalid Amayreh

What will Israel do with 7 million Palestinians, expected to double their current population in 3 – 4 decades?
 
Observers of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have come to realize that Palestinian demographic growth within mandatory Palestine (Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza Strip) now constitutes the most formidable strategic challenge facing the Jewish state and the Zionist movement as a whole. One Israeli strategic expert called this challenge “the mother of all problems and nightmares facing Israel.”
 
Israel doesn’t ignore the problem, of course, despite its awesome military might and the almost unlimited and unrestricted American backing. Thus the Palestinian demographic “threat” is a constant subject of often acrimonious arguments involving politicians, strategic planners as well as intellectuals, statisticians and  demographers.
 
Never the less, Israeli officials and spokespeople, especially those associated with the Benjamin Netanyahu government’s  harsh  policies toward the Palestinians, are often seen trying to dismiss the issue as just another banal challenge facing the Jewish state.
 
Israeli routinely publishes the latest demographic forecasts on the eve of major Jewish holidays, such as the Jewish New year. However these studies seem far from reliable as statistical manipulation of these studies raises the eyebrows of evenhanded professionals. For example The Palestinian population of Israel is subcategorized into Muslim Arabs,  Christian Arabs Bedouin Arabs, Druze Arabs, and Circassians.  No similar categorization  is listed or mentioned, even fleetingly, when dealing with the Jewish population, although there are many distinctive Jewish groups such as Eastern  Orthodox  Jews,  Haridi ultra-Orthodox, Western Ashkenazi Orthodox, Reform Jews, Conservative Jews,  Chabad Jews, etc.
 
It is widely believed that the ultimate aim of this tendentious manipulation is to present Jews as a united demographic bloc while portraying the Palestinians as a divided  and  heterogeneous population with many sects and sub-sects.
 
More to the point, Israel from time to time publishes politically motivated  reports about the growth of settler population in the West Bank as opposed to a purportedly dwindling Palestinian birth rate. 
 
Notwithstanding, the naked demographic facts seem so imposing and virtually udisputable   that no person valuing rectitude would deny.
 
Predictably, these facts leave a very narrow margin for optimism for Israeli expansionists and advocates of Greater Israel or the so-called biblical irredentism.
 
Last year, a group of veteran military officers raised large signs in Tel Aviv reading: “Israel is about to have an Arab majority” and “ when will Jews become a minority in the only Jewish state in the world”? The protesters, who included prominent former military commanders, also accused the Israel’s right wing government of taking the country to a bi-national state.”
 
The protesters were by no means phobic and the slogans they raised were by no means hyperbolic. They were simply voicing the views of many silent Israelis. And the driving motivation behind their activity was by no means their concern  for the Palestinians and their human or civil  rights but rather their concern for the future of Israel and Zionism.
 
Israeli intellectual Uri Avnery, who died this week at the age og 94, believes the government is hiding vital demographic data, pertaining to Jewish and Palestinian demography, from the Israeli public
 
Avnery pointed out in one of his articles several months ago that the  Palestinian population between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan was either equal to or slightly higher than the Jewish population.
 
For its part, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, a usually reliable think-tank, reported a few months ago that the Palestinian population in the West Bank. Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Israel proper was  nearly equal to the Israeli Jewish population in the same territories.
 
Palestinians will double their population in 3-4 decades
 
Palestinian as well as Israeli demographers calculate that Palestinians in mandatory Palestine will double their current population  figures within 3-4 decades due to their significantly  higher birth rate. In other words, Palestinians, baring an unthinkable  Israeli feat like expulsion  or some sort of genocide,  would become a numerical majority and Israeli Jews would become a numerical minority.
 
In addition, it is projected that in 50 years from now, Israel will be surrounded by 800 million-1 billion Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa. In other words, Israel would be reduced to  a small island in the midst of a huge sea of Arabs and Muslims.
 
Morbid dreams
 
Israel constantly  whishes  a miracle of some sort would occur and the Palestinian demographic “menace” would disappear or significantly subside. But we are talking about wishful thinking and day- dreaming which is more an expression of deep frustration than a realistic hope. It is also an expression of the deepening historical predicament facing Zionism.
 
True, Israel has always been trying to confine the largest possible Palestinian population within the smallest possible area of land. This is the reason Israeli bulldozers hasten to  destroy newly-built Arab homes in Area-C of the West Bank where Israel, according to the hapless Oslo Accords,  has full civilian and security authority. In the final analysis, Israel wants as much as possible of Palestinian geography and as little as possible of Palestinian demography. This is what Zionism is all about.  Nonetheless, this brashly racist  and manifestly fascist policy will eventually boomerang on Zionism and Israel  as Palestinians are already beginning to increasingly giving up the two-state solution and opting for one democratic and unitary state comprising  Israel and the Occupied Territories.
 
Israel has, whether we like it or not, has  already decapitated, once and for all, any remaining prospects for a viable and territorially contiguous state for the Palestinians. And the Palestinians would rather die than accept  a “dwarfed  state”, e.g., one  without East  Jerusalem, without the repatriation of refugees, and without ending the occupation that began in 1967. Needless to say, any Palestinian leader contemplating accepting such a scandalously dismal deal will most probably not live long enough to regret his folly.
 
Now, with the 2-state solution virtually dead, only two probabilities remain: 1- the one-state solution, which would spell  the end of Zionism, that is why it will be absolutely  rejected by Israel.
 
The other probability is open-ended conflict. That is the most logical scenario for the future.
 
But, once again, what would Israel do with, or more correctly to, 7 million Palestinians, who are expected to double their number in 3-4 decades which is not a long period?
 
Would Israel  poison them? Would it sterilize them to prevent them from procreation? Would it use against them secret but deadly  chemical agents that would make the death of millions look  quite natural? Would it withhold food and water from them? Would it banish them?
 
Or would it concoct some stark cause alibi like carrying out massive bombings of Israeli population centers and then blame the bombings on  Hamas? Or would it simply terrorize them into leaving their homes like Bashar Assad did to millions of “non-conformist” Syrians in active cooperation and collusion  with Russia, Iran and Hizbullah?
 
It would be utterly naïve and too gullible to rule out any of these hair-raising scenarios  especially in light of the likelihood that the US would almost certainly  support Israel, irrespective of the nefariousness  of Israeli actions including possible genocide in which millions would perish. ( some millenarian Messianic Jews are so eager to see an  evangelical president at the White House,  who would grant  Israel a total carte blanch to effect a final solution for the Palestinian issue as evangelical Christian Zionists are thoroughly convinced that Israel should be allowed to implement the Lord’s will)!.
 
In light, it is essential the Palestinians remain quite vigilant and steadfast because steadfastness  (e.g. preserving and consolidating  the demographic card) is the only winning card we possess and if we win it we win everything and if we  lose it we lose everything.
 
Finally, we must carefully refrain from giving Israel a pretext to take  draconian or unthinkable measures against our very existence.  Wining the demographic card is not only a matter of procreation. It is also a matter of wisdom, winning more friends, non-violence, resilience, and patience.

Related thoughts …

Israel is neither truly Jewish nor truly democratic
 
B Khalid Amayreh
*
The usual mantra Israeli spokespersons and PR spinners routinely invoke to bamboozle people unfamiliar with Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians  is that Israel is both Jewish and democratic.
 
The truth of the matter, however, is that Israel is neither truly Jewish nor truly democratic.
 
To be truly Jewish, one should adhere to the tenets of the Torah, the central scripture of Judaism.
 
Israel doesn’t do that, apart from occasionally paying lip service to holidays and religious symbols as well as some historical events whose authenticity is highly questionable.
 
Otherwise, Israel is a hotbed of all sorts of vices and immoralities, including murder, theft, adultery, sodomy, and idolatry.
 
I am confident that if Moses the Prophet  were to appear today and see what has become of the very people who claim adherence to him, and the Torah and Ten Commandments he received , he wouldn’t hesitate to say: “sorry, but I’m not a Jew!”
 
In fact, a deep and honest appraisal of Israel should unravel the clarion reality that the so-called Jewish state is not only far from encapsulating the true prophetic traditions of Judaism, but is in fact an idolater antithesis of Judaism. One Orthodox rabbi described Israel as “the modern Golden Calf.” His description is not far-fetched.
 
For example, the Torah exhorts Israelites to treat “strangers amongst you” respectfully and honorably… because you were strangers yourselves in the land of the Pharaohs.”
 
Another example is the “Golden Rule” many Zionist Jews love to quote when speaking to non-Jewish audiences: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary”.
 
This golden rule, established by the Babylonian rabbi Hillel HaGadol, or Hillel HaZaken,  purportedly treats all humans as equal.
 
Unfortunately, we often see that the very same Zionists who invoke Hillel’s golden rule happened to be amongst the most vociferous defendants of Israel’s fascist and evil  behavior, especially its manifestly criminal treatment of the Palestinian people. Israel actually is a sea of oppression and inequity as far as the Palestinians are concerned. Israel tried every conceivable act of savagery and barbarianism against a people whose only “crime” is that they don’t belong to the “holy tribe.”
 
 
Commenting on the ongoing and seemingly unending Palestinian plight, the great Spanish writer Santiago Alba-Rico wrote:   “Perhaps Palestinians are not the most punished people on earth, but they are indeed the most openly punished people on earth; perhaps they are not the people who have suffered the most but they are the people whose sufferings are the most uninterruptedly visible. Paradoxically, this visibility (beyond the lies) makes the victims even more vulnerable; it confers a kind of biblical dimension to the aggression.”
 
In truth, the gargantuan oppression meted out to Palestinians by Israel should compel all honest people under the sun to consider Israel as no less than a gigantic crime against humanity, a crime no less horrendous and no less diabolical than history’s worst.
 
The Democracy claim?
 
I don’t deny that Israel does have many democratic features, including regular elections, a vigorous media and a lot of checks and balances.
 
However, we can’t ignore the fact that Israeli democracy is plagued with many crippling flaws which very much eviscerate that democracy of its democratic essence, rendering it a sham democracy.
 
Take for example the definition of Israel as a Jewish state first and a democratic state second. This unequivocally means that “Jewishness” always comes first and that democracy always comes a distant second.
 
So, one really wonders: How can Israel be Talmudic and democratic at the same time? This is more than a procedural paradox. This is a pure eternal oxymoron.
 
This structural built-in scandal has been enshrined into a law. Dubbed as the Nationality Law, whereby only “Jews” in Israel have the right to self-determination. The fascist camp in the Jewish state , including the Likud, Bayt Hayehudi and Avigdor  Lieberman’s party, have been trying desperately to defend the brashly fascist piece of legislation. Netanyahu, who has the gift of gab, but suffers from conspicuous intellectual shallowness, challenged critics to name a single Arab citizen whose rights have been undermined or compromised by the law. One Arab Knesset member retorted, asking Netanyahu to name a single individual Jew who was targeted by the laws of Nazi Germany.
 
The moral here is that once you target an entire group of people, you effectively target every member of the group.
 
Besides, the Arab citizens of Israel are not new comers to the land. In fact one can safely claim that 99% of Israeli Arabs predated 99% of Israeli Jews in Israel\Palestine.
 
More to the point, there are a thousand evidences corroborating the view that Israel is more a real shamocracy than a real  democracy.
 
We who live in this country know too well that Jews and non-Jews who commit the same crime don’t receive similar punishments. The non-Jew receive an extremely harsh punishment whereas the Jew receives an extremely lenient punishment.
 
The Israel press have reported cases of Jews convicted of murdering rather premeditatedly African refugees and only receiving a few months in jail. There are Thousands of examples illustrating the inherently racist and scandalously duplicitous justice system in Israel.
 
A truly democratic state gives equal weight to lives of people, irrespective of their creed and race. In Israel, however, your life carries a weight and has sanctity only if you are Jewish.
 
In 2014, the Israeli army mercilessly murdered hundreds of innocent Palestinians in Gaza who Israel admitted were totally “uninvolved” in hostilities.
 
However, the Israeli Military Advocate General found no criminal wrongdoing in the  army’s conduct. Israel concocts all sorts of mendacities,  prevarications  and verbal juggling to conceal the truth and make it look nebulous.
 
However, we all know deep in our hearts that the real reason for Israel’s refusal or reluctance  to carry out a meaningful investigation into the Nazi-like  massacres of Palestinians, carried out knowingly and deliberately, has to do with Israel’s racist perception of   non-Jewish lives.
 
Hence, it would be a sort of fornication with truth to claim that Israel is a democratic state.  In fact, it is an insult to language to call Israel a democratic state.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ WHAT ISRAEL CAN NEVER DESTROY

Image by Carlos Latuff

BELLA CIAO URI AVNERY ~~ A TRUE FRIEND ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

Veteran left-wing journalist, lawmaker and peace activist Uri Avnery died Monday at age 94 in Tel Aviv.

The Gush Shalom founder was one of the first Israelis to actively seek a Palestinian state as a peaceful solution to the conflict: ‘The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective’

Uri Avnery, Veteran Peace Activist and Among First Israelis to Meet Arafat, Dies at 94

Ofer Aderet

 

Veteran left-wing journalist, lawmaker and peace activist Uri Avnery died Monday at age 94 in Tel Aviv. A founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement, Avnery was also one of the first Israelis to actively advocate for the establishment of a Palestinian state, more than 70 years ago.

As a youth he fought with the Irgun pre-state underground militia and later in life moved to the left of the political spectrum. He was also editor-in-chief of the iconic liberal weekly, Haolam Hazeh, for 40 years.

The eternal peace activist never shirked controversy and was involved in fateful events in the country’s history, some of which he documented and others he actively took part in shaping. But while Avnery’s supporters saw his ideas as groundbreaking, detractors denounced him as an enemy of the people.

Avnery asked to be cremated, for his archives to be donated to the National Library, and his money toward peace activism. He summarized his life by noting that while his ideals “won a resounding victory” theoretically, in practice they “were defeated politically.”

Avnery was born in Germany in 1923 as Helmut Ostermann. He grew up in Hannover as one of four offspring of a comfortable, bourgeois family. The family immigrated to British Mandatory Palestine in November 1933, a few months after Hitler rose to power. After a few months at Nahalal in the north, the family moved to Tel Aviv, where he lived until his death.

Avnery started his political career on the right side of the political map. He said that as a youth he admired Zeev Jabotinsky and saw himself as a Revisionist. In 1938, when he was 15, he joined the Irgun to fight the British forces “for the right to our own state,” as he put it. “I was convinced that we deserved independence, just like everyone else,” he recalled.

In an interview with Haaretz in April 2014, Avnery said of his activities with the Irgun: “I distributed leaflets [during a period when the Irgun killed many people], and as such I bear responsibility. The Irgun planted bombs in markets in Jaffa and in Haifa, which killed dozens of women and children, and I supported that.”

Vocation in life

In his Hebrew-language memoir “Optimi” (“Optimistic”), Avnery wrote that his service with the Irgun taught him political lessons for later on his career: “We were freedom fighters,” he wrote. “In my eyes, the British authorities were a terrorist organization. Back then, I learned that the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective.”

Three years later, he dropped out of the underground militia. “The Irgun’s war against the Arabs bothered me a great deal. I was very much opposed to their anti-Arab line,” he said. He later explained he believed that, just as the Jews had the right to a national life, “The Arabs in the country have the same right.”

His older brother, Werner, joined the British army at that time and committed suicide during his service. Afterward, Uri adopted the name “Avnery” as his surname for its resemblance to the name “Werner.”

From a young age, Avnery saw himself as a politician. As someone whose life had changed completely as a result of politics – Hitler’s rise to power in his homeland – he saw it as the most significant vocation in life.

Initially, Avnery favored the idea of a single state, one in which a new people would arise as a union of two peoples – the Arabs and the Hebrews. The idea was espoused by the movement he established in 1946 which was called Bama’avak (“The Struggle,” aka The Young Israel).

He believed at that time that the national Hebrew movement was a natural ally of the Arab nation, and advocated cooperation between both movements under a joint name. “This is an ideal built on a culture partnership of homeland and history,” he said.

Accordingly, Avnery was disappointed on November 29, 1947, when the United Nations ratified the UN Partition Plan. “I couldn’t accept the partition of the country. Tul Karm, Hebron and Nablus were my country,” he said, adding, “The joy over carving up the country into pieces angered me a great deal. I dreamed of a joint national movement based on a common love of the land.”

This ideal didn’t withstand the test of reality. During the War of Independence in 1948-49, he discovered that “the vision of joint life in the country had died.” He later said: “I was a peace activist before the war, but the war was existential – a matter of life and death.”

Avnery served in the “Samson Foxes” commando unit. He was seriously wounded during the final days of the war, while fighting in the Kiryat Gat region. The worldview he adhered to until his dying day was formed during the period in which he was hospitalized for his wounds. One of those beliefs was the two-state solution.

In his memoir he wrote: “The war totally convinced me there’s a Palestinian people, and that peace must be forged first and foremost with them. To achieve that goal, a Palestinian nation-state had to be established.”

In this sense, Avnery was a groundbreaker. “During that period, there weren’t even 10 people in the world who believed in that,” he declared. “But today, it’s a global consensus. Even Netanyahu – who doesn’t think of realizing it – has been forced to say he supports it,” he wrote, referring to the prime minister’s “two-state speech” at Bar-Ilan University in 2009.

Avnery published his impressions of the war in Haaretz and Haaretz’s evening paper, Yom, Yom, while the fighting raged. At the end of the war, he compiled them in his first book, “In the Fields of the Philistines, 1948,” which became a best seller and briefly made Avnery a national hero.

But he felt the book did not provide a full description of the war, so in 1950 he published a follow-up, “The Other Side of the Coin,” which described the war’s darker side. Its publication stirred outrage and turned Avnery from “a popular man to top of the list of hated people; from a beloved person to someone who smeared Israel’s name,” as he put it.

In 1949, at the young age of 25, Avnery was appointed chief editorial writer at Haaretz. He left soon after, though, citing political differences with the newspaper’s then-editor, Gershom Shoken.

In 1950, Avnery and his friends purchased the Haolam Hazeh weekly news magazine from its founder, Uri Cesari. Avnery became its editor-in-chief for the next 40 years, and under his stewardship Haolam Hazeh became antiestablishment, subversive, sensationalist and a consensus-breaker. It operated under the legendary slogan “Without Fear, Without Prejudice.”

Avnery expressed his worldview in a number of areas: Opposition to worship of the military; religious coercion; the absence of a democratic constitution; discrimination against ethnic groups; and David Ben-Gurion’s anti-Arab policy.

The weekly sought to crusade against establishment corruption. It published a list of hard-hitting investigative pieces and exposed public and political scandals. Then-Shin Bet security service head Isser Harel defined Avnery at the time as “Government Enemy No. 1.” Ben-Gurion dubbed the magazine “that certain weekly.”

Alongside its political and social agenda, Haolam Hazeh also dabbled in tabloid journalism, publishing trashy gossip stories and photographs of naked women. This combination was seen by many as a journalistic revolution, in terms of both writing style and the magazine’s approach. The weekly also proved controversial, with its editorial offices being bombed on several occasions and its archive completely destroyed following an arson attack in 1972.

Avnery received belated recognition for his journalistic endeavors in 2004 when he won the Sokolov lifetime achievement award.

Political movement

In addition to journalism, Avnery increasingly became more political. In 1965, after the Knesset passed a law against defamation – which Avnery saw as specifically targeting his news magazine – he established a radical protest movement called Haolam Hazeh – Koah Hadash (New Force).

The movement’s political platform incorporated the values of liberty, equality and peace. Avnery was elected to the Knesset on this platform in November 1969 and was reelected four years later. His parliamentary activities included tackling religious coercion, promoting civil marriage, denuclearizing the Middle East and gay rights.

In his eyes, his biggest political mistake was voting in favor of the unification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. He subsequently explained his vote as an attempt to prevent the restoration of East Jerusalem to Jordanian rule, based on the hope of realizing a two-state solution and turning a united Jerusalem into the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

Avnery later returned to the Knesset in 1979 as a founding member of the Sheli party (aka Left Camp of Israel). In a speech that year in favor of ratifying the peace treaty with Egypt, he said: “They say we will have a small country, but there is no greater mistake than this. Peace doesn’t reduce the size of the country. It enlarges it exponentially. In another year, we’ll get in our cars and drive on the weekends to Cairo and Alexandria. Two days later, we’ll take the train to Damascus and Aleppo, we’ll fly to Algiers and Baghdad, we’ll sail to Casablanca and Sudan. When you wake up in the morning to the sight of the pyramids outside your hotel window, as happened to me, it will be like a dream. Is this a utopia? That word doesn’t frighten us.”

In his valedictory Knesset speech in 1981 (as he relinquished his seat to an Arab lawmaker), Avnery was the first lawmaker to present the Palestinian flag alongside the Israeli one. “Those who couldn’t believe yesterday that Sadat would ever speak here will not be able to believe that someday Yasser Arafat will speak here,” he said.

Avnery was one of the first Israelis to have contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He had his first contacts with an Arafat envoy in 1974, which led to his founding the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace in December 1975.

In July 1982, at the height of the first Lebanon war, Avnery met with PLO chief Arafat in Beirut – the first time Israelis had met with the Palestinian leader. Avnery said at that meeting: “The fact that we are sitting here together in the middle of this terrible war is a sign that in the future our two peoples will find a solution to coexist. Palestinians and Israelis. I believe there will be a Palestinian state alongside Israel and both sides will live together in peace in two countries that, little by little, will develop good neighborly relations, and even better.”

Several cabinet members called for Avnery to be put on trial for high treason, but the attorney general decided no crime had been committed.
Avnery and Arafat met a dozen more times in the years that followed.

Human shield 

In 1993, months after then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin expelled hundreds of Islamic activists to Lebanon, Avnery established Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) – a movement that supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, making Jerusalem the capital of both countries and dismantling the settlements in Palestinian territory.

A year later, when Arafat returned to Gaza, he invited Avnery to his reception and sat alongside him on the podium. In 2003, during the second intifada, Avnery spent time at the presidential compound in Ramallah, operating as a “human shield” for Arafat – for fear Israel might attempt to assassinate him.

Avnery had many critics who opposed his politics and ideology. Extremists labeled him a traitor and slanderer of Israel. While editor of Haolam Hazeh, he was subjected to physical attacks and once had both his arms broken after being ambushed. In 1975, he was seriously wounded after an assailant stabbed him on his own doorstep.

Avnery, and many in his circle, admitted he had some difficulties when it came to people skills. A friend once said: “Avnery is disabled like Trumpeldor was. Trumpeldor lacked an arm; Avnery lacks feeling.” The activist wrote in his memoir: “There’s something wrong with my emotional relations with people. And the worst thing about it is, I don’t really care.”

He said he only ever told his wife, Rachel, he loved her when she was on her deathbed, and that he had never cried – not even during funerals for his comrades in arms. His rivals would delight in highlighting his deficiencies as expressed in his mother’s will. She left him no inheritance “since he didn’t take care of me and instead went to visit that murderer Yasser Arafat.”

Avnery published seven books and a vast number of articles in various publications, including in the pages of Haaretz. “Optimist” was published around the time of his 90th birthday. “I feel like an imposter,” he said at an event marking his birthday. “Someone wrote by mistake that I’m 90 – I feel half that age.”

Avnery ended his life with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he was convinced he had turned his political ideas – first and foremost his support for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel – into a “global consensus.” On the other, he admitted he had failed to realize these ideas politically. “Life goes on, the struggle continues. Tomorrow is a new day,” he wrote on the last page of his memoir.

His wife, Rachel, a teacher and ideological partner, died in 2011. They were partners for 58 years and chose not to have any children.

URGENT APPEAL FROM THE CHILDREN IN GAZA

‘When Israeli forces destroyed the cultural centre, they thought they would also destroy our dreams’

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BREAKING NEWS…
This is difficult to write. Gaza Children’s Cinema team is mourning the destruction of the Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center which was levelled to the ground yesterday after Israeli fighter jets struck the five-story building with 10 rockets. The second largest cultural centre in Gaza was a venue for theatre and music performance in the besieged and isolated Gaza Strip. This cultural centre was one of the main places where Gaza Children Cinema team organised movie screening for children. The Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center provided spaces of entertainment and joy for generations of children and young people in Gaza; it is in total ruins now.

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Dear Gaza Children Cinema friends and supporters,

First and foremost, we would like to repeatedly extend our sincere gratitude for your kind and generous support to our Gaza education community-based initiative: Gaza Children Cinema.

We have been silent in the last few months but invariably busy with organising fundraising events to extend the wonderful momentum of the project to further reach to children communities in Gaza. We also have been minutely working with our partner in Gaza, Tamer Institute for Community Education to plan for the second phase of cinema workshops implementation across the enclave Gaza Strip.

Children in Gaza need our help and support to heal. Please consider contributing to Gaza Children Cinema to provide spaces of fun, creatively temporary escapism through basic human engagement: watching a movie in a safe environment.

According to a recent study by Gaza-based university professors of psychological health, Dr Jamil Tahrawi and Dr Sanaa Abu-Dagga, “Drawings of Palestinian Children after the War on Gaza,” 82.3 percent of 445 children surveyed have drawn images related to war. These include: fighter planes, destroyed homes and mosques, Israeli rockets and missiles, dead Palestinians, various military vehicles, and fighters. The drawings showed fear, terror, and sadness over the those killed and wounded. The study is available in Arabic here.

But there is still hope. Dr. Tahrawi explained that art could be used as a bridge to a better future and that despite the gruesome content of many of the children’s pictures the drawings could help the children overcome their grief and move on.

“The children can relieve their stress by expressing their feelings instead of repressing them. I was surprised at the bright and cheerful colors used by certain children. I expected them all to use bleak colors such as black and brown. But the rainbow of colors is proof of their resilience,” according to Dr. Tahrawi.

“If they are given the chance and the same opportunities as other children they can overcome Gaza’s tragic history and circumstances. Unfortunately we don’t have sufficient people qualified in art therapy in Gaza,” added Tahrawi.

You can help in a number of ways, and all are greatly appreciated:

  • By sharing this update with your networks, you will increase the coverage of the work done by ‘Gaza Children Cinema,’
  • By donating via the crowdfunding link earlier in this page. Even the smallest contribution helps, and
  • By sharing contributing any special skills, time, energy or resources you may have. Please  feel free to get in touch!  Your input can help make the world a better place for some children who need it
Gaza’s children need consistent and age appropriate  interventions, in order to grow and flourish, is an environment of such severe ongoing conflict. Ahmed Ashour, the team leader of Gaza Children Cinema in Gaza, indicated that the impact of cinema sessions on children as “beyond description” and that children are always waiting for more screenings.

Through Gaza Children Cinema sessions, children are encouraged to draw their feelings and tell stories in images. Children are also encouraged to play out their experiences in supervised play sessions. These approaches enable the children to find ways to externalise the trauma, rather than letting it fester like an internal time bomb.

Thank you so much for making this initiative real.

Yours sincerely,
Ayman Qwaider

Here’s how YOU can help ….. Click HERE

PIRACY … OVER AND OVER AGAIN … WESTERN SILENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN

On Friday Israel attacked a Swedish yacht, in int’l waters exercising right of ‘innocent passage’ taking medical supplies to Gaza. All 12 people aboard kidnapped & illegally detained in Israel. Demand they be released to continue their journey.

Image by Latuff

Still little news of 12 people attacked & detained. Read account of 69yr old UK doctor, founder of re her similar experience when Israeli navy last week attacked . Their dehumanising experiences highlight what Palestinians face daily.

UPDATE ...

A second Gaza Flotilla boat named Freedom was hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) navy in international waters.  Freedom is sailing under a Swedish flag and its passengers and crew are from a number of nations. 

The whereabouts of the kidnapped participants is unknown.

Many boats in the past have been captured, however this should not be seen as normal. It is still violent and illegal. 

With your support the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement. Some people are doubling the size of their checks and sending them in for next year.

If you want to take action to protect the members of Freemom and future boats, you can contact the United Nations or the respective government officials from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/sos-just-future-for-palestine

 

Here’s an eyewitness account of the last hijacking …

The psychotic tenderness of being boarded by the Israeli navy at sea

 Yonatan Shapira

Yonatan Shapira was aboard the Al Awda boat in the Gaza Freedom flotilla when it was stopped in international waters by Israeli sailors three days ago and all on board arrested. His Facebook report in Hebrew was translated by Ofer Neiman, with the headline, “Israeli citizen and Palestine solidarity activist Yonatan Shapira on Israel’s dirty attack on the peaceful Gaza flotilla: יונתן שפירא מדווח מהמשט – עברית להלן” That translation follows.

So just as the IDF Spokesperson said: “The overtaking of the Al-Awda ship was carried out without violence and without exceptional events”.

And indeed, everything was as usual –

They slammed Herman the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.

A fist in the face of Arne Birge the old mechanic.

And the finest tradition: Electric shocks. This time we wore life vests of the type that covers the chest well. But don’t worry, the brave naval commando combatants just electrocuted [Tasered] Charlie, the first officer, in his head. And more electric shocks to Juergen the cook and to 60 year old Mike, a chair of a trade union and a human rights activist from New Zealand.

But at the same time, things were done with a kind of psychotic tenderness.

Like in a strange play, soldiers (men and women) with weapons and vests packed with munitions and personal cameras, but wearing white shirts with the national flag embroidered in a shiny blue color and wearing white masks on their faces. Last time it was all-black.

And let’s keep in mind: Had we been Gazan fishermen or children approaching the Gaza fence, they could have simply put a bullet in the head of each of us and that’s it.

The IDF Attorney unit has also confirmed that that there’s no need for an investigation.

A PALESTINIAN ICON … AHED TAMIMI

Ahed Tamimi is free, but she hasn’t forgotten the other 5,000 Palestinians still trapped inside Israeli prisons. AJ+ spoke to Ahed about life inside an Israeli prison.

Insightful and wise beyond her years.

IMAGE OF THE FIRST TASTE OF FREEDOM

Our dear heroine’s first taste of freedom …

A bittersweet moment in reality ….

After eight months in Israeli prison, 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi returned home on Sunday morning to a hero’s welcome in her village of Nabi Saleh, in the central occupied West Bank. Arm in arm with her father Bassem and mother Nariman, who was also released on Sunday along with her daughter, the teenager broke down in tears as she was embraced by her younger brothers, extended family, and fellow residents of Nabi Saleh.

 

 

FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS FROM PALESTINE ~~ AHED TAMIMI FREE AT LAST

 

Jail bars won’t silence the truth! Ahed Tamimi is FREE

Images by Latuff

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has been released from Israeli custody following eight months of incarceration. The renowned teen became a significant figure of the Palestinian resistance after standing up to Israeli forces.

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From Yahoo ….

Palestinian teenager jailed for slapping soldiers leaves prison

 Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi left prison Sunday after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, an episode captured on video that made her a symbol of resistance for Palestinians, a prison service spokesman said.

Assaf Librati told AFP Tamimi, 17, and her mother, who was also jailed over the incident, were being driven by Israeli authorities from a prison inside Israel to a checkpoint leading to the occupied West Bank, where they live.

“They just left the prison,” Librati said.

Israeli authorities provided conflicting information on which checkpoint they were being taken to.

They were first expected to arrive at a checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank, but there were later indications they would be taken to a crossing at Rantis.

Both Tamimi and her mother were sentenced to eight months in an Israeli military court following a plea deal over the December incident which the family said took place in their yard in Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.

Video of it went viral, leading Palestinians to view her as a hero standing up to Israel’s occupation.

Her now-familiar image has been painted on Israel’s separation wall cutting off the West Bank. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has praised her and social media has been flooded with support.

But for Israelis, Tamimi is being used by her activist family as a pawn in staged provocations.

They point to a series of previous such incidents involving her, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers widely shared online.

Many Israelis also praised the restraint of the soldiers, who remained calm throughout, though others said her actions merited a tougher response.

– Embassy protests –

Tamimi was arrested in the early hours of December 19, four days after the incident. She was 16 at the time.

Her mother Nariman was also arrested, as was her cousin Nour, who was freed in March.

Israel’s military said the soldiers were in the area on the day of the incident to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.

The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

Ahed Tamimi is the most aggressive of the two in the video.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.

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Ahed’s first statement upon release …..

 “My freedom is incomplete without the freedom of other detainees who stood beside me and supported me throughout my detention and I hope they will be freed soon.”

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Followed by a press conference

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