IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THE ‘OTHER’ SIX MILLION

Image by Carlos Latuff

64-years-of-a-catastrophe-called-israel

Umm Akram and Amena are among six million Palestinians not living in Palestine. They are citizens of no country.

VOICES FROM THE NAKBA

Monday, May 2
6:00PM
NYU School of Law

On May 14, 1948, 18-year-old Mariam Fathallah, her family, and the rest of the Palestinian town of Al-Zeeb were forced out of their homes and into Lebanon. By the end of the year, their 4,000 year-old community was leveled and half of all Palestinians in Palestine had been killed or expelled. Palestinians know this event as the Nakba (“the catastrophe”). Mariam, now 86 years old and respectfully known as Umm Akram, has spent the last 68 years in crowded, makeshift refugee camps, where she has raised three generations of children who are waiting to return to their homes in Palestine. She has lived through 5 Israeli invasions of Lebanon and the 1976 Tel Al-Zaatar camp massacre which killed 2,000 refugees.

Amena El-Ashkar, 23, is the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Nakba survivors and has known no home other than a refugee camp.

Umm Akram and Amena are among six million Palestinians not living in Palestine. They are citizens of no country.

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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BEX ALERT ~~ HOW GREAT THE OCCUPATION IS FOR GAZA’S CHILDREN

“A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel,” the Tuesday post stated.

COGAT said the children “went for a walk through the #‎naturereserve Gan HaShlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country,” and wished them “a day full of fun and adventure.”

mage of Gaza children taken for a day out at a nature reserve by Israel’s COGAT occupation authority. COGAT posted the image on its Facebook page.

Image of Gaza children taken for a day out at a nature reserve by Israel’s COGAT occupation authority. COGAT posted the image on its Facebook page.

Israeli propaganda stunt exploits Gaza children

During the most brutal days of apartheid in South Africa, the racist regime produced reams of propaganda, including glossy magazines that “featured images of wonderful wild animals, sunsets and happy Black people on the beach.”

As South African author Ron Nixon documents in two books, Operation Blackwash and Selling Apartheid, such propaganda was often generated under the guidance of the regime’s intelligence agencies, with the aim of counteracting growing international criticism and pressure.

“Operation Heartbreak”

One scheme, part of a campaign backed by the racist government in the late 1980s, was cynically dubbed “Operation Heartbreak.” It involved a Black US pastor bringing a group of American children to deliver dolls to members of Congress.

“Each doll represented a child who would be harmed by the sanctions Congress had imposed on South Africa,”Nixon writes. “Organizers of the event also said the dolls represented children harmed by the tactics of the African National Congress and its all-out war against the apartheid government.”

These propaganda messages failed to stop the growing momentum for boycott, divestment and sanctions on South Africa – pressure that eventually helped bring down the white supremacist regime and usher in a non-racial democracy.

But similar tactics are now being revived by the apartheid government of Israel, as part of its all-out assault against the BDS movement.

Nowadays, the same type of bogus grassroots campaigns make the same type of claims that BDS hurts Palestinians more than it helps them.

These claims aim to distract from the devastating economic impact and human rights abuses directly caused by Israel’s occupation and illegal colonization of the West Bank.

Israel’s propaganda

The manipulative South African propaganda came to mind when I saw a Facebook post by COGAT, the Israeli military authority that rules the lives of millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel,” the Tuesday post stated.

COGAT said the children “went for a walk through the #‎naturereserve Gan HaShlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country,” and wished them “a day full of fun and adventure.”

LIVE: A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from #Gaza crossed #Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in #Israel pic.twitter.com/KsYncAERE0

— COGAT (@cogat_israel) April 26, 2016

The occupation authority posted photos of the children, including the one at the top of this article, with their faces blurred, on Facebook and Twitter.

“Cool,” commented Gaza writer Refaat Alareer sarcastically, “Now we Palestinians feel OK about the thousands of kids Israel has murdered and the seven decades of occupation, oppression and humiliation.”

It should be noted that this is the same COGAT that routinely blocks patients from Gaza, including children, from leaving the besieged territory for lifesaving treatment.

In the first 10 months of 2015, COGAT denied 1,035 Palestinians in Gaza exit permits to receive necessary treatment in the occupied West Bank, present-day Israel or Jordan. That represents almost twice as many denials as were issued the entire previous year.

And yet when it is helpful to Israeli propaganda, COGAT allows a few children out of Gaza for a single day.

Destroying children’s lives

Israel has tried to pull off a propaganda stunt with Gaza children for a while – an effort to use orphans from Gaza in a similar manner was foiled in 2014 when Hamas put a stop to it.

Palestinian media, citing Israeli media, reported that this time the trip was given the go-ahead by Hamas after the intervention of Qatar.

The defenders of such cynical gimmicks will undoubtedly claim that critics like myself, or Alareer, are against Palestinian children having fun; of course we are not.

I am against Israel imposing conditions that historian Ilan Pappe has termed “incremental genocide” against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, about half of whom are aged 18 or under.

I am against Israel massacring 551 children as part of its most recent war in Gaza and then claiming this as “self-defense.”

I am against Israel destroying vast swathes of Gaza then blocking reconstruction by maintaining a siege, which although devastating to Palestinians is very lucrative for Israeli companies.

According to a recent survey by the UN monitoring group OCHA, 44,000 Gaza children whose homes were destroyed in the 2014 Israeli attack are still displaced.

“Around 225,000 children in Gaza require psychosocial support and child protection services,” the report adds.

Will Israel allow them all to visit a nature reserve?

I am against Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including routine killings with no accountability and the fact that Israel is the only country in the world to annually prosecute hundreds of children (Palestinians only) in military courts.

I am against all this and I am also against Israel then using a very tiny number of children from Gaza in a photo-op to falsely portray itself as benevolent and caring.

Ironically, the propaganda – or hasbara – appears to have backfired, at least with many of the Israelis who reacted with outrage to COGAT’s post.

“Shame on you,” wrote Leat Bodenheimer in a typical comment, “There are lots of Jewish children who would have liked this and instead you went and took a murderous enemy in the hope that they will love you.”

Such pervasive attitudes toward Palestinians underscore that the children of Gaza are not victims of a natural disaster who just need a nice day out to forget their woes.

They are victims of Israel, its brutal wars, racism, occupation, settler-colonialism and siege. They need an end to Israel’s oppression and they need justice for what Israel has done and is doing to them.

Israel’s cynical exploitation of these children should cut no more ice with anyone who cares about Palestinian rights than the crude South African propaganda did with those committed to ending apartheid.

Update

Shortly after this article was published, COGAT appears to have deleted the Facebook post. Perhaps even they figured out that this propaganda would not fly.

EMPTY HEARTED APOLOGY FROM EUROVISION TO PALESTINE

First read the following from yesterday ….

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

Following the leaked flag-policy uproar, the EBU released a statement apologizing for hurting feelings and uploaded a new flag policy, under which the Palestinian flag remains banned.

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Eurovision organizers apologize, change nothing

Following the leak of document that banned the Palestinian flag, amongst others, from the Eurovision Song Contest on May 14, the organizers have apologized and released a revised wording of the policy. However, the new document continues to ban the same flags.

The original firestorm-provoking document was posted on the website of Global Arena, Eurovision 2016’s Stockholm venue. As only the flags of Eurovision-participating countries, UN member states, and the EU, only with rainbow flags, were permitted, all others, particularly those of disputed territories, were banned.

The original firestorm-provoking document was posted on the website of Global Arena, Eurovision 2016’s Stockholm venue. As only the flags of Eurovision-participating countries, UN member states, and the EU, only with rainbow flags, were permitted, all others, particularly those of disputed territories, were banned.

The document included a list of examples, and residents of the Basque Country and Kosovo took umbrage with their flags appearing above the ISIS flag (which was marked as ‘strictly prohibited’). The PLO even wrote to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Eurovision’s organizers, demanding an apology.

On Saturday, a new flag policy was published, this time on Eurovision’s website. This time, it is but one page, and no examples are given. The policy remains unchanged, however, though the wording is now more concise.

The flag policy explains in a preamble that it exists “to ensure the Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event.”

 

Source

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

After a document was leaked banning the flags of any non-UN member state, including the Palestinian flag, from the song contest, the PLO has denounced the ‘shameful, totally biased and unacceptable decision.’

Not good enough for Eurovision? The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the UN after being raised by  Mahmoud Abbas. [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Not good enough for Eurovision?
The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the UN after being raised by Mahmoud Abbas. [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

 

Palestinians demand apology from Eurovision

The Palestinians demanded an apology on Saturday from the organizers of Eurovision, who are already under fierce criticism after a document leaked forbidding certain flags, such as the Basque and Palestinian ones.

In a letter addressed to Jean-Paul Philippot, the president of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and obtained by AFP, Saeb Erekat, the number two of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), denounced a “shameful, totally biased and unacceptable decision” and demanded “its immediate cancellation.”

Erakat also called on the EBU “to apologize to Palestine and the millions of Palestinians across the world.” He added that the song competition will be held this year in Sweden, the first western country in the European Union to have recognized the state of Palestine.

On Friday already, the organizers had to apologize after the prohibition of the Basque flag caused uproar in Spain. They assured that the document, which also mentioned the flags of Kosovo and Crimea among others, should not have been distributed and that it was just a draft of rules regarding flags.

“The flag policy is not targeting any territory or organization,” a spokesman for the organizers explained.

Only the flags of member states of the United Nations are authorized—Palestine holds there the status of an observer state—, along with the rainbow pride flag and that of the European Union. Regional flags or those of federal states, along with those containing commercial or religious messages, are not permitted.

The document with concrete examples that provoked the polemic has since been removed.

 

Source

IT’S A MAD, MAD WORLD

It's a Mad, Mad World … and Getting Madder

It’s a Mad, Mad World … and Getting Madder


We have a choice of trains: greed and self-interest train
taking us over the cliff OR the train of collective work towards a
sustainable future.

               TRAINS AND MADNESS
               By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

When we watch the way the world currently works, we can get extremely
depressed. Just the last few days we saw Israelis in their thousands
celebrate the release of a murdering occupation soldier who was videotaped
executing a wounded Palestinian. While 12-year old Dima Al-Wawi was
just released from 3 months of Israeli gulags, hundreds of Palestinian
children are still imprisoned unjustly by an occupation that has gone on
far too long. We noted the vote rigging and rigged “election process” that
will ensure Americans have a choice between apartheid-supporting,
war-mongering and corporate-backed liar (Hillary Clinton) and an
apartheid-supporting, war-mongering, women-bashing, racist cheater (Donald
Trump). Both of those very wealthy individuals would tighten the noose on
Americans and Palestinians as they lick the boots of the Israel lobby. Both
would continue the wrecking process of the US economy that ensures the
elimination of the Middle Class and making the rich richer and the poor
poorer.

As I am in Italy now, I noted many people speaking out about the murder of
Giolio Regeni and the hypocritical western backing of genocidal governments
of Egypt, “Saudi Arabia”, and “Israel”. But the train of oppression
continues thanks in part to “mental occupation” of many people’s minds who
refuse to see the reality. Thousands are still drowning as they try to flee
the conflicts that are generated by Western Governments (it turn in
compliance with their Zionist lobbies). The American-Israeli- Wahhabi/Saudi
alliance is still hoping to “win” against local resistance in places like
Yemen and Syria. A whole generation of young people are lost and even if
peace would come soon (unlikely considering the array of greedy
billionaires getting enriched and the pervasive apathy of millions), it
will take many decades to recover from the devastation. Seven million of us
Palestinians are still refugees or displaced people and the number rises
weekly as Israel commits more ethnic cleansing. Our history of the past
seven decades is a history of accumulating atrocities by a racist genocidal
entity relentlessly focusing on transforming Palestine from a
multi-religious and multicultural society to a “Jewish state of Israel”.

As those elites divert energy of people towards fear of the other, endless
“manageable conflicts”, and basically begging for jobs that are essentially
slavery, the rich get richer while the earth is being pillaged at an
accelerated pace. I am reminded of the latter on earth day (April 22). On
April 22, 1970 over 20 million demonstrated in the US for a healthy,
sustainable environment. For 46 years, the people held events marking
“earth day”. However, greenhouse gas emissions have increased
uncontrollably and the Paris summit on Climate Change recently acted as a
feel good for governments that wanted to relieve the pressure via PR
efforts.  Occasionally lazy politicians utter words. Mahmoud Abbas for
example said that settlements damage the Palestinian environment. He was
challenged on it and his office seems reluctant to find environmentalists
and ask their opinions. His is actually an understatement of colonial
settlement impact on our environment.

Madness could come to any who contemplate this Orwellian world we came to
live in. Madness did come to many people we know and others decided to take
action. Some decided to take their own lives in striking back at the system
(in the 1960s it used to be “sticking it to the man”). Others took more
modest symbolic actions. Nearly five years ago, we were arrested as we
engaged in riding the bus: Palestine freedom riders. Push back is
coming in many shapes and forms against the neo-liberal, no-colonial world
order. Literary stars learned what is going on and are now writing more on
the occupation. Truth is coming out as more and more books are written
that expose Israeli crimes against humanity (even by Israeli authors)[8].
The BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) movement is picking up steam even
as Israeli apologists and lobbyists try to stifle it in Western Countries 
British Doctors Demand Israel’s Expulsion From World Medical
Association.  Truth is coming out even in unexpected corners like
Israel’s use of LGBT communities to pink-wash the occupation/colonization.

I guess one can summarize many things by saying that there is some pushback
from humans against the unfeeling and powerful machine that is grinding
humans and bringing humanity to the brink of collapse. Yes this struggle
(between greed and humanity, war and peace etc) has existed since the dawn
of human civilization. But never in our history were the stakes so high:
our own continued existence on this planet. That is why the pressure is
building and it stretches our resources and our abilities. Yet, humanity
must rise to this existential challenge. Indeed “you can’t be neutral on a
moving train” (Zinn). Many people are joining the struggle, millions more
are needed. The sane action we can do is to join the larger struggle. The
insane thing to do would be to be so focused on our own immediate needs
that we become like “consumerist robot slaves” while the elites lead us
like lemmings to the edge of the cliff.

BTW, my trip to Siena was very productive developing new partnerships for
peace and justice. As I prepare to go back to Palestine (last talk I give
is Tuesday), I am more determined than ever to pursue the course of
speaking truth to power and thinking globally while acting locally. While
we occasionally have pressures, occasionally see the betrayal of
individuals who decide to go over to that dark side (greed, selfish
interest etc), we are sustained by those who stay the course and the many
who join it. I see this even in the small scale projects that we do like
the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Botanical garden. Rare
people come and go thinking they need to watch their own interests
(actually damaging their long term interests) but more and more people
commit to join a bigger cause that actually helps all have a sustainable
future. Thus we have a choice of trains: greed and self-interest train
taking us over the cliff OR the train of collective work towards a
sustainable future. The choice has never been clearer and never been more
consequential. Please email us if you would like to switch trains. All
aboard!

				

#InIsrael ~~ WHERE MURDERERS GO FREE FOR THE FESTIVAL OF FREEDOM

Image by Carlos Latuff

CgrR35sWgAAT68n

Notably, on the same day as the rally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged leniency for Azarya.

See the following ….

Hebron shooter Azaria released from detention for Passover

Hero's welcome for a murderer

Hero’s welcome for a murderer

 

Inside Tel Aviv’s “Death to the Arabs” rally

Dan Cohen and David Sheen FOR

Thousands converged on Tel Aviv’s city hall this week to register their support for an Israeli soldier who wasfilmed last month executing a Palestinian youth as he lay on the ground, wounded and immobile, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

From across the country, Israelis descended upon Rabin Square, Tel Aviv’s premier venue for large public protests, to express their indignation over the army’s charges of manslaughter against the soldier, 19-year-old Sergeant Elor Azarya.

The rally featured speeches by Azarya’s mother, father and sister and a number of musical performances by popular Israeli artists.

At another rally which we filmed in the soldier’s home town of Ramle, rally-goers voiced harsh criticism for those who do not support Azarya’s action and for those who helped expose his deed – especially the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

They also expressed hostility for his victim, 21-year-old Palestinian Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, as well as for the Palestinian people in general.

Although he gave Azarya his full-throated endorsement, event organizer and former lawmaker for the hard-right Yisrael Beiteinu party Sharon Gal could scarcely contain the rage of some of the rally’s attendees and their anger boiled over into bursts of violence.

Although one of us was attacked by the crowd and removed from the area by police, the other still managed to film some of the event’s most poignant and frightening moments.

Notably, on the same day as the rally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged leniency for Azarya.

Israeli media reported on Friday that Azarya has been released from custody for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which began at sundown.

SOME 2,000 ISRAELIS GLORIFY MURDER IN COLD BLOOD

The actual murder caught on tape …

And changes to Israeli currency as well …

Israeli extremists stamp on the notes racist slogans "Death to the Arabs".

Israeli extremists stamp on the notes racist slogans “Death to the Arabs”.

About 2,000 Israelis rallied in central Tel Aviv on Tuesday night in support of soldier Elor Azaria, who shot dead a neutralized terrorist in Hebron.

Sergeant Azaria, 20, from Ramla, was charged on Monday with manslaughter for killing Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, who was lying on the ground seriously wounded after he and another Palestinian attacked IDF soldiers.

Signs at Rabin Square in support of Sgt. Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Signs at Rabin Square in support of Sgt. Azaria (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Some 2,000 come out in support of Hebron soldier

Protesters wave signs of support and flags, calling ‘Elor the hero’ and ‘Terrorists shouldn’t be neutralized – they should be killed,’ as Sgt. Elor Azaria’s parents and sister address the crowd.

About 2,000 Israelis rallied in central Tel Aviv on Tuesday night in support of soldier Elor Azaria, who shot dead a neutralized terrorist in Hebron.

Sergeant Azaria, 20, from Ramla, was charged on Monday with manslaughter for killing Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, who was lying on the ground seriously wounded after he and another Palestinian attacked IDF soldiers.

The protesters waved support signs and flags, some wrapping the Israeli flag around themselves. Many called for Azaria’s release, while some made racist jeers.

Among the slogans chanted by rally attendees were “Elor the Hero,” “Terrorists shouldn’t be neutralized – they should be killed,” and “Kill or be killed.”

Azaria’s parents, Charlie and Oshra, and his sister Etti, spoke at the rally, as well as journalist Sharon Gal, who was one of the rally’s organizers.

Family members of terror victims also spoke at the rally, including Dvora Gonen, who lost her son Danny Gonen, and Ruit Hasano, who lost her husband Avraham Asher Hasano.

Several musicians are scheduled to appear at the rally and perform, including singers Moshik Afia, Maor Edri and Amos Elgali, and rapper Subliminal.

Singers Eyal Golan and David Doar, who initially agreed to perform, withdrew at the last minute in the wake of public outrage.

“I would have liked to come to perform at the assembly in the name of art, and personally as a performer and as a human being. However, I’m sorry to say that there are those who will use this as a political spectacle,” Golan said.

Doar also decided against performing at the square, saying “I wanted to show my sympathy to the family of the soldier – not to say anything against the IDF or the IDF Chief of Staff, God forbid.”

He then went on to add that he didn’t know that “this was going to be an event with a political orientation.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the issue on Tuesday, saying that “As the father of a soldier and as prime minister, I would like to reiterate: The IDF backs its soldiers. I am convinced that an examination of the event in Hebron will be done responsibly and sagaciously.”

The prime minister also expressed his trust in the courts, saying “in my familiarity with the military justice system, I am convinced that the court will consider all circumstances regarding the incident. Our soldiers are not murderers. They act against murderers and I hope that a way will be found to balance between the action and the overall context of the event. In the meantime I suggest that everyone lower the flames.”

Due to the event, Ibn Gvirol Street will be closed to vehicular traffic between Shaul HaMelech and Arlozorov streets. Frishman Street will be closed to traffic between Masaryc Square and Ibn Gvirol Street, David HaMelech Blvd will be closed to traffic between Weitzman Street and Ibn Gvirol Street, Gordon Street will be closed to traffic between Shlomo Hamelech Street to Malchei Israel, and the eastern side of Malchei Yisrael itself will be closed to traffic between Sderot Chen to Ben Gurion Boulevard.

 

Source and more photos AT

ISRAEL NEEDS A GOOD CLEANSING

Not this kind ….
Image by Carlos Latuff
latuff-deportation
Jewish mothers used to go into a cleaning frenzy a week or so before the Festival of Passover. All traces of leaven (chametz) had to be removed from the home before the onset of the holiday.
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Modern folk have determined that dust is not chametz, so there is less madness involved in the cleaning process, but Israel has added a new dimension to the situation; Arabs must be removed as well as the leaven.
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CLEANSING THE LAND OF BREAD AND ARABS

My maternal grandmother was a simple Shtetel Jew. She came from a place not much different than the small town portrayed in Fiddler on The Roof.
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Traditionally the womenfolk from those areas were uneducated in matters of anything other than home making and child raising, while the menfolk studied their Holy Books for hours on end. Life was simple for them, and they themselves were basically a very simple folk.
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I remember my grandmother going through the frenzie of cleaning the house this time of year…. the traditional Passover cleaning. All traces of leaven had to be removed from the home before the start of the Holiday. To her, that process included the removal of any trace of dust or smears on the window panes. The house sparkled when she was finished. Most of our non Jewish neighbours were going through the same process, but simply called it ’spring cleaning’, ridding the house of all unwanted matter, including broken furniture and junk.
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I remember asking my grandmother why she was going through such a frenzie…. her answer was simple and to the point…. “If a Jew eats bread during Passover he will die!” That was what she was taught, that’s what she taught us….
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In Israel today, things are not much different than life in the Shtetel when it comes to Passover preparations. But today there is a growing number of non observant Jews as well as a growing number of non Jews. This is a threat to the lifestyle of the self imposed Shtetel Jew living here today.
 *
Christian Pilgrims from abroad, as well as local Christians are denied access to their Holy Sites. Where is the uproar against this?
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Where is the uproar against the Neanderthal rabbis that have recently called for the expulsion or the genocide of the Palestinians? WHERE??? As in previous years, the Palestinians living on the ‘other side’ of the great wall of apartheid will be sealed in for the duration of the Holiday (8 days), literally making the State of Israel Arabrein for that period of time. Where is the uproar against this? WHERE???
Israel does need a cleansing… a good one; not only of bread during the Holiday season but also of hatred. Both are violations of the Holy Teachings.
The above is a repost from the archives

GOING BEYOND CHUTZPAH

 chutzpah_1

Does Israel want the Palestinians to thank her for not exterminating them once and for all? 

Needless to say, this is a classical example of “going beyond Chutzpah” 

By Khalid Amayreh in Jerusalem

Khalid Amayreh challenges Jews to abide by the tenets of their religion:

 

Like apartheid South Africa did to Justify its repulsive approach toward its majority black citizens, Israel is making all sorts of similarly despicable arguments to justify its decades-old evil occupation  and systematic persecution of Palestinians. 

As some of us remember, the apartheid South African regime had argued that black South Africans ought to be grateful to the White regime for giving them employment and enabling them to have a semblance of decent life. 

The White regime’s PR machine would shamelessly argue that “Our black citizens have a higher standard of living than other fellow black people anywhere in the continent.” 

When I was studying in the states in the 1980s, I remember a visiting high ranking official from the apartheid regime boasting about the high living conditions enjoyed by blacks in South Africa in comparison to the rest of the continent. 

“Ask them (South African black majority): would they prefer to live in South Africa or in Zimbabwe,” the official said. 

What is wrong with this argument is that it doesn’t really distinguish between humans and animals. In the final analysis, humans, unlike animals, don’t live by bread alone. They are also entitled to freedom and dignity. This is the crux of the matter which fascist and racist regimes love to ignore. 

Today, apartheid Israel is making virtually the same arguments to justify and defend its manifestly criminal treatment of the Palestinians. 

Thus, whenever Israel’s sinister occupation is criticized, we see that big-mouthed Israeli officials and professional hasbara liars try to make black look white and the white look black by claiming that Palestinians are better off than most other Arabs. 

Now, as the BDS movement is gaining momentum to the chagrin of the Israeli establishment, Israeli officials and other hasbara mouthpieces are becoming more brazen in their defensive but mendacious discourse. 

And, yes, as usual, lying is their modus operandi. 

They are saying the Palestinians ought to be thankful to Israel for not treating them like Bashar Assad or Abdul Fattah Sissi are treating their own peoples. 

One Zionist pundit wrote recently that were Israel to follow Arab rules, all Palestinians would have been expelled from “the Land of Israel along time ago.” 

Needless to say, this is a classical example of “going beyond Chutzpah” 

After all, since when the Hitler of Damascus, who murdered half a million of his own people, and the virulent tyrant of Cairo, who usurped power from the only truly democratically elected regime in Egypt’s history, were role models for the world to be followed or emulated? 

So, Israel, “the purported light upon humanity” wants the Palestinians to thank Israel for murdering their children on the spot in the West Bank, and not burning them alive by way of dropping barrel bombs on their homes and schools as Assad is doing in Syria. 

Yes, Israel would like to see the Palestinians “thank” her for conducting slow-motion genocide whereas “human-rights unfriendly states” would pursue fast-motion genocide” and get rid of the problem once and for all. 

But it is only sick and depraved minds that are capable of making such nefarious   arguments. 

Otherwise, we should thank the Iberians Catholics for not playing by the rules of Old Testament and exterminating every Jewish man, woman and child during the inquisition!! (Israelis are embarrassed when explaining the Tsfarad Geroush” (the Spanish inquisition” because it reminds them of something they don’t like to remember, namely the golden age Jews had undergone in Islamic Spain!!! 

According to the morbid logic we hear from some Israeli officials, we should also thank the Nazis for building the concentration camps relatively later in the course of the Second World War, because had these death camps been established earlier, a greater number of Jews would have perished. 

Yes, sickening arguments are only the product of sick minds. 

Today, in its rabid reaction to the non-violent BDS movement, Israel and its hasbara shipyard dogs, from Sydney to California, are arguing that it is the BDS campaign, not the malignant occupation, that is hurting the Palestinians. That it is the BDS movement that is impeding the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, not the ubiquitous proliferation of settlements, inhabited by fanatic cutthroats who believe spilling more innocent blood would expedite and accelerate redemption and salvation!! 

I don’t what sort of Torah are those people reading and following: The Torah of Moses or the Torah of Satan? 

Well, in the Torah of Moses, Jeremiah 7:6, the God of Israel equated oppressing strangers living amongst Israelites with the greatest sin ever in Judaism, namely the unforgivable sin associating gods with God. 

And in Exodus 22:21: The Almighty commands the Israelites, telling them in straightforward manner” Do not mistreat or oppress a stranger, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” 

Don’t tell me I am being selective or quoting things out of context. For even the Talmud, who Orthodox Jews consider the verbal Torah, states that true Jews are not supposed to oppress non-Jews living in their midst: 

Let us consider the following Talmudic story which sums up the point I am trying to make: A heathen came to Shammai with the request to be accepted as a convert to Judaism on condition that he would be taught the whole of the Torah while he stood on one foot. The Rabbi drove him away with a yard-stick he was holding. The heathen then went to Hillel with the same request. Hillel said to the man what is hateful to yourself, don’t do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. “Go, learn it.” 

UPDATED POST ~~ VIDEO ~~ A JEW AND AN ARAB WALK INTO A BAR … AND THE REALITY IN ISRAEL TODAY

(See report below for today’s update)

From yesterday …..

We went out dressed in an Arab/Muslim and Jewish traditional outfit, walked hand to hand in public to see how people react.

The results are telling.

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Four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society

The two communities have separate societies, attending different schools, living in different cities and espousing different political ideals

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Bezalel Smotrich, perhaps the most right-wing member of the current Knesset, caused a storm when he endorsed the idea that Arabs and Jew should be segregated in Israel’s maternity rooms.
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Smotrich was responding to a report on the Israel Broadcast Authority that several hospitals practice de facto segregation of maternity rooms — placing Jews with Jews and Arabs with Arabs. Such segregation is prohibited by law.

“There are mental gaps, and it’s more comfortable for both sides to be with themselves,” Smotrich, a member of the religious Zionist Jewish Home party, tweeted on April 5. “It’s really not racism.”

In a subsequent tweet he wrote that it’s “natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie next to someone who just gave birth to a baby, who may want to kill her baby 20 years from now.”

Smotrich’s remarks were panned by lawmakers from left and right, including Naftali Bennett, the leader of Jewish Home. Responding to Smotrich, Bennett tweeted a rabbinic passage about man being created in God’s image, adding, “Every man. Jew or Arab.”

Jews and Arabs are afforded equal rights under Israeli law. But in many ways, the two sectors live in separate societies — attending different schools, living in different cities, reading different newspapers and espousing different political ideals.

Unlike the prescribed, top-down segregation supported by Smotrich, much of this separation stems from longstanding structural factors like language, culture and religion.

“In most places, there’s no problem. The Arab population lives in totally Arab villages,” said Nachum Blass, a senior researcher at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies.

But the divisions between Israeli Jews and Arabs, who represent 20 percent of the population, have also contributed to economic disparities between them. And despite laws meant to prevent discrimination, Arabs point to studies showing persistent disparities in education, social services, income and political participation.

“There’s definitely discrimination in every aspect” of Israel’s education system, Taub said.

Nongovernmental organizations and government bodies have worked to promote a “shared society” in economic development, higher education and the labor market.

Here are four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society.

Jews and Arabs attend separate schools.

Israel’s schools are separated by both religion and race. Jewish students attend either secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox schools, while the Arabs attend separate Muslim, Christian and Druze systems taught in Arabic. Of the 1.6 million total students in grades 1 through 12 last year, fewer than 2,000 attended the handful of joint Jewish-Arab schools.

The split education system, where students are taught in their own language and according to their own cultural norms, according to Blass, “answers the [Arab] community’s needs.” But it has also led to lower educational achievement among Arab Israelis.

In 2012, two-thirds of non ultra-Orthodox Jews qualified for university, as opposed to less than half of Arab students. Israel’s universities are more integrated, but Arabs make up a low proportion of students. In 2012, Arabs made up only 12 percent of bachelor’s degree students, and 4 percent of doctoral students, according to Sikkuy, an organization that aims to foster Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Jews and Arabs live in separate towns.

In addition to studying separately, Israeli Jews and Arabs mostly live in separate cities. Two of the country’s largest cities, Jerusalem and Haifa, have substantial Arab populations, but even those cities are often separated by neighborhood. Nearly all of Jerusalem’s Arab residents live in the eastern half of the city.

Aside from a handful of other mixed Israeli towns, most of the country’s cities are more than 90 percent Jewish or Arab. Though Arabs make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry, the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, Israel’s largest, is nearly 95 percent Jewish.

The Jewish-Arab division is also marked by economic gaps. Arab cities have higher poverty rates and, in general, worse municipal services than their Jewish counterparts. Eight of Israel’s 10 poorest towns are Arab. The richest 30 are Jewish.

“It’s not a problem in principle to live in different places,” said Rawnak Natour, co-director of Sikkuy. “There needs to be a possibility to live together, that there will be [cultural] symbols and the ability to encompass the different cultures.”

Their political leaders rarely work together.

Israel often points to its Arab-Israeli lawmakers as proof of the country’s democratic chops. Arabs hold 16 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, and the body’s third-largest party, the Joint List, is Arab. Arabs have also risen to the top of other branches of government, including sitting on Israel’s Supreme Court.

But Israeli Arabs’ political leadership perpetually sits in the Knesset’s opposition, and few politicians in the government are Arab, such that the two communities’ agendas rarely align. The only Arab in Israel’s political leadership is the deputy minister of regional cooperation, Ayoub Kara, who is part of the Druze minority.

Arabs are barely present in Israel’s mainstream media.

Lucy Aharish, the young Arab co-host of a morning show on a leading Israeli TV station, speaks accent-less Hebrew, has gained admirers for her forthrightness and was even honored with a role at the country’s official torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day.

But she’s one of the few Arab faces and voices Israelis will see and hear on their TVs and radios. Israeli Arabs have their own active press, but they are vastly underrepresented in mainstream Israeli media, comprising fewer than 3 percent of total interviews on leading Israel stations in January and February, according to a study by Sikkuy and the Seventh Eye, a media watchdog.

The number drops even lower when it comes to news segments not directly related to Israeli Arabs. Aharish’s Channel 2, for example, spoke to only 11 Arabs out of more than 5,500 total such interviews in January.

“You have low representation, and the moment you have it, it’s about specific topics and a very specific framing, which is crime and the conflict,” Natour said. “The way they’re interviewed is a negative framework that perpetuates the stigmas about the Arab population in the state.”

THURSDAY’S TOON ~~ GOLDMAN SACHS FUNDS HEBRON SETTLERS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a "clear pattern" of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn't criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn’t criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Goldman Sachs is funding Hebron settlers

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins FOR

For years American taxpayers have been bankrolling Jewish-only illegal settlements in the West Bank with hundreds of millions of dollars funneled through tax-exempt non-profit organizations (we’ve covered the issue on Mondoweiss since 2009). One of the organizations which is a frequent recipient of these donations is the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund which supports Hebron’s settler community.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund, including the notorious Jewish zealots in Hebron. 

From the article “Why Is Goldman Sachs Funding the Violent, Racist Jewish Settlers of Hebron?“:

So why did Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund, a foundation connected to the world’s most powerful investment bank and run by Goldman Sachs’ top executives, donate $18,000 to the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund that bankrolls this humanitarian nightmare?

On their IRS tax records, Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund declared the purpose of the gift was “International Humanitarian Program” to needy Hebron families. With revenues of $2,250,000 the Hebron Fund can deliver from hunger quite a few of the 700 Jewish settlers of the city.

Grants to the Hebron Fund are not an isolated occurrence. There is a clear pattern in the Fund’s giving to Israel rightwing groups or their American fronts. In 2012-2013 they gave $708,000 to the American-Israel Education Foundation, AIPAC’s educational arm; $15,000 to the American Jewish International Relations Institute, a right wing organization which “monitors, tracks, and combats anti-Israel voting patterns at the United Nations”; and $6,100 to the American Friends of the Likud Party.

Though the case of granting money to the Jewish community of Hebron is particularly striking, we should see the funding of the Hebron settlement as only one example in the context of hundreds of millions of dollars backing the full range of West Bank settlements.

Of course, Hebron settlers aren’t the only ones experiencing Goldman largesse. Bernie Sanders has made an issue of the $675,000 Clinton received in speaking fees from the investment house just in 2013. And no wonder. Simon Head writes at the New York Review of Books that the connection raises important questions about potential corruption:

These long-running ties with Goldman have paid off for the Clintons. According to a July 2014 analysis in the Wall Street Journal, from 1992 to the present Goldman has been the Clintons’ number one Wall Street contributor, based on speaking fees, charitable donations, and campaign contributions, the three pillars of what I’ve called the Clinton System. As early as 2000, Goldman was the second most generous funder—after Citigroup—of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, with a contribution of $711,000. In the early 2000s, Bill Clinton was also a Goldman beneficiary, receiving $650,000 from Goldman for four speeches delivered between December 2004 and June 2005. (The transcripts of these speeches do not appear to be currently available.)

By the winter of 2006–2007, however, Goldman and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein were becoming deeply involved in the collapsing housing bubble—and engaging in the practices that have since resulted in years of investigations and lawsuits….

As long as Clinton refuses to reveal the content of her Goldman speeches, the suspicion will remain that she has cast a blind eye on Goldman’s dark years and that her campaign pledge to “rein in Wall Street” cannot be taken seriously.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: IN DEFENSE OF BDS

Amnesty International is urging the Israeli government to end its threats and attacks against Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders, including leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

A European coalition is campaigning to protect the right to speak out in support of Palestinian rights. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler) / ActiveStills

A European coalition is campaigning to protect the right to speak out in support of Palestinian rights. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler) / ActiveStills

Amnesty condemns Israel’s threats against BDS activists

Amnesty International is urging the Israeli government to end its threats and attacks against Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders, including leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Meanwhile, European civil society groups are launching a new campaign to defend freedom of speech from efforts to curtail it by Israel and European leaders allied with it.

“An escalation of acts of intimidation by the government and attacks and threats by settlers and other non-state actors have created an increasingly dangerous environment” for human rights defenders in Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Amnesty said on Tuesday.

The group expressed particular concern for the “safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and other boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers.”

The threats were made at the “Stop the Boycott” conference held in Jerusalem on 28 March and attended by Israeli leaders as well as by EU and US diplomats.

“An especially alarming statement came from Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz who called on Israel to engage in ‘targeted civil eliminations’ of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence,” Amnesty stated.

It noted that the term Katz employed “alludes to ‘targeted assassinations’ which is used to describe Israel’s policy of targeting members of Palestinian armed groups.”

Amnesty also condemned statements by Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan that activists including Barghouti should “pay the price” for their work, although Erdan denied he was calling for physical harm.

Similarly, interior minister Aryeh Deri threatened to revoke Barghouti’s residency permit.

“Slightly safer”

Amnesty described these statements as the most serious examples of “threats and intimidation” to date, and called on Israeli ministers to uphold human rights and avoid “inflammatory public remarks” against Barghouti and other human rights defenders.

Israel should also “withdraw [the] threat to arbitrarily restrict his freedom of movement and cancel his permanent residency in Israel,” Amnesty added.

Barghouti has welcomed Amnesty’s public intervention.

“I already feel slightly safer, having received this clear position by Amnesty International,” Barghouti told The Electronic Intifada.

“It not only criticizes the Israeli government’s intimidation and violent threats against me and my BDS colleagues, it defends our right to engage in the nonviolent BDS movement to defend the rights of the Palestinian people under international law,” Barghouti added.

Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, also renewed his call for Israel to be isolated.

“The UN and all states must strongly reject Israel’s well-oiled attempts to delegitimize the BDS movement and support our right to BDS,” he said. “The most effective way for them to hold Israel’s regime of oppression accountable for its grave crimes against the Palestinian people is through imposing sweeping sanctions on it similar to those adopted against apartheid South Africa.”

In contrast to Amnesty’s stance, Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the top EU envoy in Tel Aviv who participated in the Stop the Boycott conference, has refused to condemn the Israeli threats.

Legislating silence

Amnesty noted that the threats against BDS activists come in the context of a broad assault on Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders by government and non-state actors aimed at suppressing freedom of expression and assembly.

Incidents mentioned by Amnesty include the death threats against Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, the Palestinian whofilmed the point-blank execution of a Hebron youth by an Israeli soldier on 24 March; the series of death threatsagainst the staff of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq; the arrests of Hebron anti-settlement activistsIssa Amro and Farid al-Atrash; the imprisonment of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and “vicious” invective and threats directed at Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that collects and publishes anonymized confessions of abuses by Israeli soldiers.

Amnesty also pointed out that in recent years, “the Israeli authorities have passed a number of laws that restrict the space for opposition to Israeli government policies and actions.”

Currently making their way through parliament are additional laws “that appear to be aimed at curtailing freedom of expression and freedom of association,” Amnesty stated.

These include the so-called transparency bill, a measure seen as an attack on groups critical of Israel’s human rights record.

Another is the “Loyalty in Culture” bill which would give the government the power to retroactively withdraw funding from cultural activities that “contravene the principles of the state.”

The right to BDS

This week a coalition of European civil society groups launched a new campaign to support freedom of speech and political action for Palestinian rights.

The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) is calling on human rights organizations, civil liberties groups, social movements, trade unions and political parties to sign a petition to the European Union “opposing government-led attacks on free speech and civil liberties that are being implemented in order to undermine civil society’s human rights initiatives in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

“As Israel is increasingly unable to defend its regime of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people and its regular massacres of Palestinians in Gaza, it is seeking supportive governments in Europe and the US to undermine free speech as a way of shielding it from criticism and measures aimed at holding it to account for its gross violations of international law,” ECCP states, citing recent repressive acts by authorities in the UKand France, as well as the threats by Israeli ministers.

“Regardless of their position on BDS, human rights organizations and citizens of the world who care about civil rights and human rights have to take a clear stand to defend the right to advocate for BDS as a matter of conscience and free speech and a nonviolent means of civil society to advocate the fundamental rights of the Palestinians,” ECCP adds.

#IsraelToday ~~ THE NEXT GENERATION — THE MIGHT OF THE RIGHT

A new poll has found that youth in Israel are increasingly right-wing in their political opinions, and are overwhelmingly Zionist and loyal to their country.

 Right climbs to 70+ seats in new Knesset

Right climbs to 70+ seats in new Knesset

Poll: 59% of Israeli youth are right-wing

Survey finds 82% of high-schoolers say there’s no chance of a deal with Palestinians, half oppose having Arab MKs.

A new poll has found that youth in Israel are increasingly right-wing in their political opinions, and are overwhelmingly Zionist and loyal to their country.

The survey, conducted by the New Wave Research institute for Israel Hayom and published in part on Wednesday, asked 11th and 12th graders to define their political position.

A full 59% defined themselves as right-wing, while another 23% said they were centrist, and only 13% identified as leftist. Another 5% said they have no position.

A whopping 82% said there is no chance of reaching a deal of some sort with the Palestinian Arabs, indicating their disillusionment with the peace process that has regularly led to waves of Arab terrorism.

When asked if Arab citizens of Israel need representation in the Knesset, 48% said they do not, while 52% said they do.

In a question relating to the recent case of a soldier who shot a wounded Arab terrorist, the students were asked if they thought a soldier should be put on trial for shooting a neutralized terrorist.

A resounding 60% said such a soldier should not be tried, while 30% supported the trial and 10% said they did not know.

Zionism appears to be strong according to the poll, which found that 89% said they see their future in Israel, and 85% said they love the state.

Of the high-schoolers 88% said they are preparing to enlist in the IDF, with over half saying there is no more ethical army in the world, and 65% believe in the sentence “it is good to die for our country,” which is a quote from Joseph Trumpeldor.

Another finding was that 75% of the students appreciate or greatly appreciate their teachers.

FROM

REMEMBERING THE TERROR THAT LED TO JEWISH STATEHOOD

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

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Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre

Palestinians on Saturday marked the 68th anniversary of the massacre of more than 100 Palestinians civilians carried out by Zionist paramilitary groups in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948 prior to the establishment of Israel.

Deir Yassin has long been a symbol of Israeli violence for Palestinians because of the particularly gruesome nature of the slaughter, which targeted men, women, children, and the elderly in the small village west of Jerusalem.

The number of victims is generally believed to be around 107, though figures given at the time reached up to 254, out of a village that numbered around 600 at the time.

The Deir Yassin massacre was led by the Irgun group, whose head was future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, with support from other paramilitary groups Haganah and Lehi whose primary aim was to push Palestinians out through force.
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Records of the massacre describe Palestinian homes blown up with residents inside, and families shot down as they attempted to flee.
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The massacre came in spite of Deir Yassin resident’s efforts to maintain positive relations with new Jewish neighbors, including the signing of pact that was approved by Haganah, a main Zionist paramilitary organization during the British Mandate of Palestine.
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An Israeli psychiatric hospital now lies on the ruins of Deir Yassin, the remainder of which was reportedly bulldozed in the 1980s to make way for Jewish housing and incorporated as a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Streets of the neighborhood hold names of Irgun militiamen who carried out the massacre.
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The massacre was one of the first in what would become a long line of attacks on countless Palestinian villages, part of a broader strategy called Plan Dalet by Zionist groups to strike fear into local Palestinians in hopes that the ensuing terror would lead to an Arab exodus, to ensure only Jews were left in the “Jewish state.”
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Thus the attack on Deir Yassin took place a month before the UN Partition Plan was expected to be carried out, and was part of reasons later given by neighboring Arab states for their intervention in Palestine.
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The combination of forced expulsion and flight that the massacres — what would later become known among Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe — precipitated left around 750,000 Palestinians as refugees abroad. Today their descendants number more than five million, and their right to return to Palestine is a central political demand.
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The anniversary of the deadly razing of the village comes as modern day Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to fight for their livelihood in the face of illegal Israeli settlement expansion, widespread detention campaigns, extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces, and a surge in housing demolitions — most recently leaving 124 Palestinians homeless in a single day.
The 97 known victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre committed by Zionist Terrorist  in Palestine

The 97 known victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre committed by Zionist Terror in Palestine

FROM

SAVE OUR CHILDREN BY SUPPORTING BDS

Don’t buy Israeli products.

Don’t allow Israeli firms to operate in your respective country.

Don’t invest in Israel. 

This is the very least you could do to save the Palestinian people from the clutches of diabolical Zionism.

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To the Peoples of the world: Please don’t kill our children 

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

In the past few months, especially since the beginning of the current wave of Palestinian resistance against Israel’s enduring brutal military occupation, about six months ago, the Israeli army and other security forces adopted a decidedly murderous policy against Palestinians, especially children. 

A shoot-to-kill policy was adopted by the Israeli political and military leadership, apparently for the purpose of terrorizing and “deterring” the Palestinian populace.   Consequently, dozens of young Palestinians were needlessly murdered on the streets of the West Bank on the pretext that some of the victims may have put the life of Israeli soldiers at risk. 

In some incidents, soldiers fired additional bullets at the heads of the already completely “neutralized” Victims. 

In the Israeli army lexicon, this is done for the purpose of verifying their death. 

The gruesome killings leave no doubt as to the nefarious behavior of the murderous soldiers. 

Israel has no credible justice system when it comes to dealing with the Palestinians. 

Jewish religious laws don’t ascribe real humanity to non-Jews in general. This disgusting mindset is applied to the fullest when dealing with the Palestinians. 

Occasionally, Israel does some PR work to mitigate anger wit regard to a specific crime that had its way to the world media, especial the social media. 

Israeli Hasbara would cite alleged extenuating circumstances such as claiming the murdering soldiers were under mental pressure, thought they were about to get killed or didn’t really intend to murder the Palestinian victim!! 

However, when protests get quieter and the specific crime fades away from memory, the specific murderer is shamelessly exonerated of any wrong-doing, celebrated as a hero, and given citations for valor. 

This shows that that Israel effectively encourages its soldiers to murder innocent Palestinians on the spot if there is the slightest suspicion that they might be planning to hurl a stone toward the soldiers or stab them with a small and virtually innocuous kitchen knife. 

In many verified instances, the murderous soldiers hastened to place a knife they carry with them, near the already murdered Palestinian lying on the ground. 

The purpose of this criminal behavior is to give the impression that the victim had sought to stab and kill Israelis. 

More to the point, Soldiers patrolling the streets of the West Bank receive hair-raising instructions, illustrating the evilness and brutal ugliness of the Israeli mentality. 

They are commanded to shoot first and ask questions later. . Of course we can all imagine how a young soldier would behave vis-à-vis the Palestinians, having been indoctrinated in school and synagogue that the life of a non-Jew in general and a Palestinian in particular has no sanctity because, according to the Talmud, he is not a bona fide human being.” 

Such soldiers are raised to be “Born to kill murderers.” That is why they murder children and innocent civilians without the slightest compunctions. They even would celebrate the murder with their comrades and superiors! 

As to the victim, he or she is treated as another number rather than a human being. 

Not only that, his home is often demolished in the quiet hours before dawn, relatives arrested and harassed. Israel has even threatened to deport families of Palestinians involved in the current mini-intifada to the Gaza Strip or elsewhere. The timeless principle of “innocent until proven guilty” has no existence in Israel, especially as far as Palestinians are concerned. 

Today, Israel is having a free season on helpless and unprotected Palestinians. Israel is ganging up on the Palestinians in what seems to be slow-motion annihilation. 

I am not saying that Israel is carrying a holocaust similar to the German holocaust 70 years ago. 

But even the German holocaust lasted for 3 years whereas the Palestinian plight has been going on for nearly 70 years. 

By the end of the Second World War, the West rose up to help the Jews by establishing a state for them at the expense of the native Palestinians. 

However, the international community is effectively abandoning the Palestinian people, granting evil Zionism a carte blanch to further torment the Palestinians and uproot them from their own ancestral homeland. 

This is why the peoples of the world must intensify their boycott and sanctions against the apartheid entity. 

So, we say to the peoples of the world, in all solemnity and seriousness: 

Don’t buy Israeli products.

Don’t allow Israeli firms to operate in your respective country.

Don’t invest in Israel. 

This is the very least you could do to save the Palestinian people from the clutches of diabolical Zionism. 

We are not making this outcry because we are anti-Jewish, God forbid. 

We are making these modest demands because buying Israeli products and doing business with Israel enable the apartheid entity to have more bullets to kill our children. 

Please, don’t kill our children.

#BDS ~~ WHY THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT IS GROWING

Israeli government is no “Champion” of freedom of expression

Over 100 Writers, Including Pulitzer Winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and Award-Winning Author Louise Erdrich, Call on PEN American Center to Reject Israeli Government Sponsorship

PEN Refusing to Drop Sponsorship, According to a
Letter to its Members

New York, NY, April 5, 2016 – In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. The seven-day Festival takes place from April 25 to May 1 in New York City. In promotional materials, PEN lists the Israeli Embassy as among the “Champions” of the Festival, and as a sponsor of one of the Festival’s panels.

The letter asserts, “It is deeply regrettable that the Festival has chosen to accept sponsorship from the Israeli government, even as it intensifies its decades-long denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people, including the frequent targeting of Palestinian writers and journalists.” The letter was sent to PEN privately on March 29 by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, with 62 individual and 11 organizational signatories. The list of signers has since grown to more than 100 individuals.

In addition to Díaz, Erdrich, Ford and Walker, other prominent writers who have signed the letter include Palestinian writer Dr. Ahmad Qatamesh, whose imprisonment without charge by the Israeli government was criticized by PEN International; writer and activistAngela Davis; American writers Russell Banks, Deborah Eisenberg and poet Eileen Myles; Palestinian-American novelists Susan Abulhawa and Randa Jarrar; former President and Vice President of English PEN Gillian Slovo and Kamila Shamsie; Egyptian British author Ahdaf Soueif; and South African writers Dr. Don Materra,Ronnie Kasrils and Breyten Breytenbach. Thirteen participants at the World Voices Festival have signed the letter, including Laura Flanders, Saleem Haddad, Laila Lalami, Solmaz Sharif, Yuri Herrera, Jordan Camp, Christina Heatherton, Arun Kundnani, Maaza Mengiste, Burhan Sönmez, Francisco Goldman, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, andLinh Dinh. Two other participants signed the letter and withdrew from the Festival.

Author Alice Walker commented, ”I signed the letter because, as a PEN member, I want this organization that is supposed to be a champion of writers’ rights to stand up for Palestinian writers, academics, and students who are suffering under a repressive Israeli regime that denies their right to freedom of expression. The last thing PEN should be doing is partnering with and promoting a government that denies Palestinians basic human rights.”

The letter is the latest effort to expose Brand Israel, a government public relations initiative launched in 2005 that uses cultural productions to distract from Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinian rights. Following a major Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009, the deputy director general for cultural affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairsexplained to The New York Times, “We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits… This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”

A few hours after the letter was sent to PEN American Center, the organization emailedsome of its members, justifying its decision to maintain Israeli government funding by citing a policy against subscribing “to cultural boycotts of any kind” and the need to “promote dialogue.”

“Even if PEN opposes all forms of boycotts, PEN should have policies and ethical standards in place forbidding partnerships with significant human rights abusers,” saidMarilyn Hacker, Recipient of PEN Voelcker Award for Poetry and PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. “On that basis alone, PEN should rule out a partnership with the Israeli government.”

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality, added, “We are disappointed and concerned that PEN is choosing to stand with Israel’s repressive government rather than with a civil society initiative for freedom and human rights. PEN’s response avoided the issues we raised. We focused on PEN’s partnership with the Israeli government and explicitly said we are not calling to boycott or deny the freedom of expression of individual Israeli writers. For years, Palestinians have been told to engage in ‘dialogue,’ but the stronger party, Israel, has used ‘dialogue’ as a smoke screen behind which it ramps up repression and denies Palestinians’ their fundamental rights.”

Novelist Ru Freeman, editor of an anthology on Palestine, Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine, commented, “PEN American Center’s leadership has repeatedly tarnished the World Voices Festival by accepting the sponsorship of an occupying force that oppresses our Palestinian peers, and refused to speak out against that oppression. The board of PEN should recognize that this violates the foundational principles of the organization. PEN has the resources to fund the participation of Israeli writers—which we support—without compromising its principles by associating with an apartheid government.”

PEN American Center, the Festival organizer, is a US branch of the writers’ freedom of expression organization PEN International. In 2015, over 200 writers wrote to PEN American Center criticizing the organization’s decision to give a freedom of expression award to the magazine Charlie Hebdodue to its racist content. Controversy has also arisen in past years over Israeli government sponsorship of PEN’s World Voices Festival.

CRITICISM OF ISRAEL ~~ WHAT’S ALLOWED? — WHAT’S NOT??

When Palestinians fight against occupying troops on their soil, they are denounced — and often killed — as “terrorists.” Meanwhile, nonviolent campaigns to end the occupation through a South Africa-style boycott are demonized as “anti-Semitism” and officially barred — censored — in all sorts of ways, in numerous countries around the world.

SO …

timetable

Fighting Israeli Occupying Forces Is “Terrorism.” Boycotting Is “Anti-Semitism.” What’s Allowed?

By Glenn Greenwald FOR

THAT “TERRORISM” IS a malleable term of propaganda, with no fixed meaning or consistent application, is now quite well-established. Still, its recent application to a spate of violence targeting Israel’s occupying soldiers in the West Bank is so manipulative and extreme that it’s well worth highlighting.

Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank for decades (it’s also still functionally occupying Gaza, as this two-minute video proves). The West Bank “occupation is illegal under international law and the United Nations has repeatedly told the country’s government to vacate Palestinian territory.” Even ardent defenders of Israel admit that “the West Bank is under a legal regime of belligerent occupation” and “Israel’s settlement enterprise is, and has always been, grossly illegal under international law.” Despite this world consensus, Israeli settlements continue to grow rapidly. Israel is not engaged in any meaningful efforts to negotiate an agreement to end the occupation, and leading Israeli ministers now openly oppose such efforts.

In response to this, there has been a series of attacks over the past year by Palestinians on Israeli occupying soldiers in the West Bank. In the Israeli and American press, the Palestinians attacking these occupying soldiers areinvariably calledterrorists” and their attacks are denounced as “terrorism” (“The two soldiers were stabbed while at a guard post at the Har Bracha settlement, located in the northern West Bank. … Troops were searching for the terrorists”).

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For those (such as myself) who have long contended that the term “terrorism” now has little meaning beyond “violence by Muslims against the West and its allies,” and no purpose other than to delegitimize violence by one side while legitimizing the other side’s, can there be any better proof than this?

There have been Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians of course (while far more Palestinian civilians have died at the hands of the Israeli army), but inthese specific cases, these Palestinians are attacking purely military targets, not civilians. Those military targets are soldiers deployed to their soil as part of an illegal occupying army. In what conceivable sense can that be “terrorism”? If fighting an occupying army is now “terrorism” simply because the army belongs to Israel and the attackers are Palestinian, is it not incredibly obvious how this term is exploited?

The U.S. has frequently done the same: invade and occupy countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and then label anyone who fights their occupying armies as “terrorists,” even putting some in Guantánamo for that. Similarly,attacks against military bases of the U.S., U.K., and other Western countries are routinely labeled “terrorism.

Needless to say, both Americans and Israelis (along with most others in the world) reserve for themselves the absolute right to fight against any foreign army that occupies their land. Indeed, Hollywood, in the 1980s, produced a film called Red Dawn, which imagined an occupation of the U.S. by the Soviet Union and its Nicaraguan and Cuban allies. It told the story of the heroic U.S. citizens, led by high school students, who waged a guerrilla war against the occupying troops, killing dozens upon dozens of them. Imagine the widespread confusion, and outrage, that would have resulted if someone accused the filmmakers of glorifying “terrorism” by demonizing the fictional American resisters as “terrorists”:

The film was updated in 2012 with a sequel depicting “one group of unlikely [American] heroes” who waged guerrilla warfare against North Korean forces who had invaded and occupied the U.S. (the film originally depicted these American heroes attacking and killing an occupying army from China, but, in post-production, the producers changed the identity of the occupiers to North Korean in order to preserve access to Chinese theaters):

When Americans resist military occupation by fighting against occupying troops on their soil, they are noble heroes. But when Palestinians do this, they are “terrorists.” This discourse, by design, equates Palestinians resisting occupation by fighting against an occupying army with al Qaeda and ISIS, and thus posits that any use of force by Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation — even when done on Palestinian soil, aimed exclusively at Israeli military targets there — is illegitimate.

So if violent resistance is illegitimate “terrorism,” what about other alternatives for resisting the decades-old, still-expanding illegal Israeli occupation? The nonviolent route embraced by Palestinian activists and their anti-occupation allies around the world is a campaign of boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) aimed at Israel, modeled after the campaign that helped end South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1980s (a regime that, just by the way, was a close ally of both the U.S. and Israel).

But there is a highly successful campaign by Israel and its U.S. allies not only to decree this nonviolent boycott campaign illegitimate, but literally tooutlaw it. Official bodies are enacting rules to censor and officially suppress it by equating the campaign with “anti-Semitism” even though, as fervent Israel supporter Eric Alterman wrote in the New York Times this week, “it is filled with young Jews.”

The Intercept and other outlets have repeatedly reported on official governmental and university actions to ban BDS activism by equating it with “anti-Semitism.” In California, the regents of the nation’s largest university system just enacted a resolution strongly implying that BDS activism is anti-Semitic and thus in violation of university rules. In New York last week, dozens of state legislators, from both parties, have demanded the de-funding of a pro-Palestinian group at CUNY, a move denounced by the campus free speech group FIRE. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, when running for office, announced that BDS “has no place on Canadian campuses.” In France, people are literally arrested as criminals under “hate speech” laws for wearing T-shirts advocating BDS. Measures in the U.K. have been enacted to legally bar support for such boycott movements. Laws and proposed bills in Israel ban advocacy of the movement and bar supporters from entering Israel.

So look at what has happened here. When Palestinians fight against occupying troops on their soil, they are denounced — and often killed — as “terrorists.” Meanwhile, nonviolent campaigns to end the occupation through a South Africa-style boycott are demonized as “anti-Semitism” and officially barred — censored — in all sorts of ways, in numerous countries around the world.

If fighting Israeli occupying forces is barred as “terrorism,” and nonviolent boycotts against Israel are barred as “anti-Semitism,” then what is considered a legitimate means for Palestinians and their allies to resist and end the decadeslong, illegal Israeli occupation? The answer is: nothing. Palestinians are obliged to submit to Israeli occupation in a way that none of the people demanding that would ever themselves submit to occupation of their land. All forms of resistance to Israeli occupation are deemed illegitimate. That, manifestly, is the whole point of all of this.

REMEMBERING JULIANO MER-KHAMIS ~~ A MURDER MOST FOUL

Juliano Mer-Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis, the 54-year old founder of The Freedom Theater in Jenin, was murdered five years ago today by unknown assailants.

The murder remains unsolved to this day but his memory lives on as does his dream for a Free Palestine.

Presented here is a post I wrote at the time of his assassination …

A PART OF ALL OF US WAS MURDERED IN JENIN

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The mourning period for Juliano Mer-Khamis will end soon, but what he dedicated his life to and symbolised will never end. It matters not to me who actually pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Juliano. In reality, he was killed by the occupation that he so despised. An occupation that is responsible for the creation of monsters on both sides of the wall, monsters so full of hatred and venom that any one of them could be the guilty party. A part of all of us was murdered that afternoon in Jenin by that monster.
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Juliano was the embodiment of the anti occupation. He could not hate Jews because he was one. He could not hate Palestinians because he was one. He was genetically designed to love. But, obviously he was hated by some for being one or the other. It is sad that a man such as this did not live to see his dreams become a reality. Two nations sitting side by each in PEACE. It will happen dear Comrade…. this we promise you.
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Juliano and I shared a special bond, his parents were Communists as were mine, as are my son’s, as were his. This unique background establishes a very special relationship. This is a concept that can only be felt  by those who grew up in similar circumstances. I am not implying that we were a part of an exclusive fraternal order, but am saying that unless one actually wore the proverbial ‘red diaper’, one could not share the sentiments that I am speaking of. His death affected me personally as if a close member of my family died. In the terms I spoke of, in fact, Juliano was my brother.
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Juliano Mer-Khamis was mourned on both sides of the wall, in the two nations that he so proudly belonged to.  If you haven’t watched the following video, you must. You will get a good idea what a special man Juliano was, what a special woman his mother Arna was, and the love that both had for their people. You will see how evil the occupation is and how good those that oppose it are. It’s truly a special video about a special situation.
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Bella Ciao Dear Juliano ….. Shalom Chaver
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Also see THIS post from the archives

HOUNDING THE MESSENGERS OF PALESTINE

Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers have been hounding and intimidating a Palestinian journalist who filmed the gruesome murder of an unarmed and badly wounded Palestinian at the hands of an Israeli police officer in Hebron a few days ago.

Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers have been hounding and intimidating a Palestinian journalist who filmed the gruesome murder of an unarmed and badly wounded Palestinian at the hands of an Israeli police officer in Hebron a few days ago.

Israel hounds Witness who  filmed gruesome murder

 By Khalid Amayreh in Hebron

 

Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers have been hounding and intimidating a Palestinian journalist who filmed the gruesome murder of an unarmed and badly wounded Palestinian at the hands of an Israeli police officer  in Hebron a few days ago. 

The film showed the trigger-happy Israeli officer fire several bullets on the head of the bleeding Palestinian, who then succumbed to his fatal wounds. 

Israeli army sources alleged that the wounded Palestinian had sought to stab Israeli soldiers. Palestinian eyewitnesses disputed the Israeli narrative. 

The hair-raising images of the crime generated angry reactions throughout the world. 

The Israeli foreign ministry reportedly privately complained that the brief sketch might further tarnish Israel’s image. 

Israel is already trying to fight a deepening international campaign aimed at boycotting Jewish settlements, viewed as illegal and illegitimate under international law.

The campaign, known as  (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) has already prompted many foreign firms to terminate their operations in the settlements. 

Earlier this week, the Israeli army briefly reprimanded the murderer for a few hours. 

However, the Hebrew media has pointed out that the symbolic detention and interrogation of the murderer was a purely public relations measure, which would mitigate angry reactions and  help Israel portray herself as law-abiding country unlike other countries in the Middle East. 

According to Palestinian and Israeli human rights workers, when Israeli soldiers are caught “red handed,” e.g. brutally murdering a totally  innocent Palestinian  and without the slightest provocation, the murderer or Murderers are rebuked, not for carrying out the murderous act itself, but for having failed to ensure that no one would    film the crime. 

On Monday, the Israeli occupation authorities briefly detained Imad Abu Shamsiyya for filming the event using his cellular mobile phone. 

However, it was apparently too late for the Israeli army to retrieve the film which had already found its way through  the world-wide web. 

Earlier, dozens of settlers surrounded Abu Shansiyya’s home in downtown Hebron, threatening to kill him if he “ ever did it again.” 

Abu Shamsiyya on Monday appealed to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmould Abbas to protect him and his family from settler attacks. 

“These people are barbarians and savages who could embark on the unthinkable.” 

Abu Shamsiyya added that the “Israeli army and government stand virtually powerless to rein in these  hateful criminals. The reason for this is that the government itself and the army, to a large extent,  are more or less controlled by the settler camp.”

In the past few years, settler terrorists crossed several red lines, including burning alive a Palestinian boy near Jerusalem, burning the home of a Palestinian family, the Dawabsheh family,  resulting in the death of both parents and their child, and vandalizing several Muslim and Christian places of worship. 

Last week, settler terrorists burned the home of a Palestinian witness who saw the deadly incident of burning the Dawabsheh family home. 

Many settlers apparently harbor a decidedly  genocidal mindset vis-à-vis Palestinians and non-Jews in general. They believe that the partial or complete physical extermination of the Palestinians, following the Biblical style,  would expedite the appearance of the Redeemer or Jewish Messiah> 

The Redeemer, according to Some Talmudic sages and Jewish mystics,  would then bring about lasting salvation to Jews and the world and create a worldwide empire ruled from Jerusalem. 

NO STATE NECESSARY IN PALESTINE AS THINGS STAND

In light, this writer recommends that the PA leadership abandon once and for all the illusive quest for Palestinian statehood and opt for a the creation of a democratic and unitary state (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean) where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality irrespective of religion and ethnicity.

A-man-stands-on-the-wall--011

Dear Palestinians: We don’t need a state under existing circumstances 

By Khalid Amayreh

 

I have no doubt in my mind that the establishment of a diminutive Palestinian state under existing circumstances would be a major historical disaster befalling the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.

 

Such a disaster would be greater in its magnitude than the Nakba of 1948, when Israel was created and the bulk of Palestinians were forced into exile.

 

There are numerous convincing reasons showing that the appearance of a Palestinian state (or statelet, or entity, or a confederate of Bantustans) would be more of a solution to Zionism’s problems than a solution for the Palestinian problem.

 

Indeed, if we internalize the meaning of politics as the “art of the possible,” we must accept in our minds that a Palestinian state established under present global geopolitical realities would have to be a state devoid of statehood, a deformed entity without a real substance, without sovereignty and without a future.

 

It would be a state without Jerusalem, without the repatriation of the refugees to the places from which they were expelled at gunpoint in 1948, without economic viability, and even without sufficient water resourced.

 

Today Israel is at its Zenith in terms of political, economic and especially military power. Israel is a nuclear power and more or less in control of the politics and policies of the United States. On the contrary, the Palestinians are at their nadir politically and economically. Indeed, the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip are virtually hostage to the Israeli mood. Our water supplies come from Israel. Our electricity comes from Israel. Our fuel supplies come from Israel.

 

Yes, we are hostage to Israeli criminality and depravity which Israel calls “good will.”

 

Israel views our very survival as an expression its “magnanimity.” Hence, any Palestinian state born out of the present circumstances would be inherently deformed, inherently precarious and almost totally dependent for its very survival and continuity on Israel.

 

We all Know that Israel wants the PA to be a kind of a Palestinian Judenrat” responsible and answerable to Israel, first and foremost. This is what is euphemistically referred to as “security coordination” between the PA and Israel. In short, any would-be Palestinian state under existing conditions would a vessel state that is completely subservient to Israel.

 

Indeed, we would exaggerate very little if we argued that the relationship between Ramalla and Tel Aviv has more in common with the relationship between Berlin and the various Judenrates (Jewish councils under the Nazis) than it does with the relationship between two normal entities, e.g. states.

 

Hence, it would be a great historical foolishness on the Palestinians’ part to pursue statehood under the current circumstances.

 

The PA continues to cling to a faint glimmer of hope called international legitimacy. But we all know deep in our hearts that international power politics, not legitimacy or international law, is what counts in the final analysis. The ongoing Syrian holocaust should serve as a striking example illustrating the moral bankruptcy of the world.

 

Nor would, or even could the US, let alone Europe be able or willing to force Israel to come to terms with even the very minimum of Palestinian rights acceptable to the majority of our people at home and in the Diaspora.

 

After all, the US and Europe have always been part of the problem, not part of the solution.

 

Indeed, Israel wouldn’t have reached this level of arrogance, insolence and intransigence had it not been for America’s unlimited supplies of advanced weaponry to the rebellious entity.

 

Palestinian advantage: Today, the Palestinians do have a clear demographic advantage over Israel.  Israel knows this fact too well but chooses to ignore it for political and psychological reasons as recognizing it openly would be an implied admission of the failure of Zionism.

In fact, we can safely claim that Israel is an apartheid state, par excellance, whereby a Jewish minority is ruling over and systematically persecuting a non-Jewish majority.

Let no one raise his or her eyebrow. Facts are facts.

In 2005, a US government report revealed that Palestinian population in Israel and the occupied territories exceeded the Jewish population. The following table shows the basic demographic data until the year 2004.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/ei-exclusive-palestinian-population-exceeds-jewish-population-says-us-government/5491

 

 

2004 Jewish, Palestinian and Other Minorities’ Populations of Israel/Palestine, according to the U.S. State Department’s Country 2004
Population Percentage*
Jewish 5,200,000 48%
Palestinian 5,337,185 49.3%
Other Minorities 290,000 2.7%
Total 10,827,185 100%
* Rounded to 1 significant figure.

 

Today (2016), and assuming the accuracy of the data mentioned, it would be safe to argue that the Palestinian population between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean (Israel proper, West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem) exceeds the Jewish population by at least 300,000 people.

 

We could also deduce from the data that the Palestinians would have a clear and   uncontestable majority within mandatory Palestine between two to three decades.

 

In light, this writer recommends that the PA leadership abandon once and for all the illusive quest for Palestinian statehood and opt for a the creation of a democratic and unitary state (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean) where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality irrespective of religion and ethnicity.

 

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