PALESTINIAN ‘SELFIE’ ON THE RUN ~~ FUN AND GAMES UNDER THE OCCUPATION

Notice the use of the word ‘PALESTINIAN‘ …. could this be a ploy to garner their votes in the upcoming Israeli election?

… If that’s the case, it won’t work!

 

Everyone Thinks This Is A Real Selfie By A Palestinian Running From The Israeli Defense Force

This image appears to show Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar being pursued by Israeli Defence Force members.

This image appears to show Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar being pursued by Israeli Defense Force members.

Fake selfie of Palestinian being chased by IDF soldiers goes viral

Palestinian rap group DAM allegedly behind fake selfie showing Palestinian running from two IDF soldiers.

A fake selfie showing Palestinian being chased by IDF forces went viral on Twitter Tuesday. The selfie, which was staged and does not depict real IDF soldiers, was taken by Palestinian rap group DAM and shared by unwitting internet users who took it to be real.

According to Buzzfeed, an associate of the DAM rap group confirmed that the photo was staged but did not want to be quoted on record because he and his band mates have enjoyed watching the reaction to the picture online.

When closely examined, there are several hints the picture is a fake – from the sneakers the two “IDF soldiers” are wearing (not part of official IDF uniforms) to the posing of the two soldiers.

However, for those unfamiliar with the IDF, the picture seemed real and it was shared on the internet as an act of defiance by the Palestinian man.

The three people in the photo are DAM members Tamar Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri, according to Buzfeed.

According to the group’s website, DAM is the first Palestinian hip hop group, it was formed in the ’90s after the three Palestinian men were struck by the resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video that look similar to the streets in their neighborhood of Lyd.

One of their best hits is a song called “Min Irhabi” (“Who’s the terrorist) and was downloaded over a million times after its internet release in 2001. Rolling Stone in France distributed the song for free in one of their issues, according to the DAM website.

 

Source

NYT FINALLY PUBLISHES NEWS FIT TO PRINT

WAIT TILL ZION SEES THIS ;)

hatereagle

Has the New York Times finally joined the human race?

NEVER SAY NEVER!

But better late than never. I feel like I’m reading a normal report in a normal newspaper. We salute Kershner.

Now let’s brace for the backlash. This is the kind of thing that will get hasbara worked up, and the full-scale counterattack on the Times is probably already under way. I cannot recall ever reading a news article in the Times that is so clear about Israeli human rights violations.

Surprise– ‘NYT’ publishes straightforward report on Israeli human rights violations in Gaza

James North FOR

In today’s New York Times, reporter Isabel Kershner devotes a substantial article to a new report from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, saying that Israel likely committed war crimes in its attack on Gaza last summer.

An Israeli human rights group said Israel’s attacks on residential buildings in Gaza during the 50-day war against Hamas last summer appeared in at least some instances to violate the provisions of international law and raised grave legal concerns in others, according to a report to be published on Wednesday…

[B’Tselem] investigated 70 cases in which more than 600 Palestinians were killed inside homes, a majority of them — children, women and men over the age of 60 — considered unlikely to have been involved in the fighting.

Simple as that. How much clearer can you be?  A few paragraphs down, we get the denial from Israeli authorities. But then it goes back to the charges. The bulk of the story is what B’Tselem says in its 49-page report, which is titled “Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014.” There’s even an interview with B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad. And a paragraph that begins, “The B’Tselem report contains wrenching testimonies from the survivors of 13 houses that were hit.”

Of course the Times should have been doing this all along. As I reported last summer, the Times’s failure to quote B’Tselem’s reports has been a serious omission in its coverage.

In the past two years, B’Tselem has been mentioned only 20 times — and 9 of those appearances were in “The Lede,” a blog by Robert Mackey that is not part of the printed newspaper.

But better late than never. I feel like I’m reading a normal report in a normal newspaper. We salute Kershner.

Now let’s brace for the backlash. This is the kind of thing that will get hasbara worked up, and the full-scale counterattack on the Times is probably already under way. I cannot recall ever reading a news article in the Times that is so clear about Israeli human rights violations.

THE ZIONISATION OF MLK? …. NOT QUITE!

Based on this one quote …

Best they look at the whole picture to see the truth …

King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

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Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

On MLK Day, lots of folks are talking Palestine

It’s nighttime now on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the day has not gone by without a lot of folks talking and thinking about Palestine.

USA Today has a big piece on how King’s legacy is being carried on today in the U.S. by leaders of #BlackLivesMatter, including Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders (which was founded after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012). Reporter Rick Hampson notes one of King’s strengths, and Agnew’s:

  • The internationalist. His ability to elicit support from abroad – and shame Americans with segregation’s inherent contradictions — resonates with Agnew, who recently traveled to Palestine with other activists.

Dream Defenders lately held an action in Nazareth.

Speaking of King’s internationalism, Jamil Dakwar writes:

“If you wonder what #MLK’s position on #BDS would be read this newly found 1964 London speech.”

BDS is of course the international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel. Dakwar links to this speech reported on DemocracyNow today in which King addressed racial injustice at home and abroad in 1964 and called for boycotting South Africa:

Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.

Electronic Intifada reported that speech excerpt some years ago, as well as a letter that King wrote in 1962 along with Albert Lutuli, a leader of the African National Congress. Key sentence:

The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.

Israeli supporters are promoting the fact that King also said nice things about Israel– calling it one of the outposts of democracy in the world (youtube clip here). Avi Mayer also tweets this photo of MLK Street in central Jerusalem.

MLK Street in Jerusalem

But Dakwar is surely on target here. King was martyred when Israel was still Plucky Israel in the eyes of the west, before the occupation took real form. And it is the treatment of Palestinians under occupation that has driven the BDS movement in the west. There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with that movement. Besides, think of how far America has come since King’s death. Diversity is today widely celebrated, and some establishment institutions are actually fostering diversity.

[Update: King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

Brooklyn for Peace urges folks to support negotiations with Iran– “Dr. King knew that war abroad means misery at home”– and is pressing activists to get on the campaign to pressure that NY City delegation to Israel not to go. From NYC2Palestine’s Facebook page:

Join us on Thursday, Jan 22nd at 1pm in City Hall Park to tell New York City Council members – Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel!

New Yorkers are outraged by 15 New York City Council members’ decision to take an all-expenses-paid propagandatour of Israel, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council and United Jewish Appeal in February 2015.

Multiple social justice groups and organizations participating in a press conference on the steps of City Hall this past Monday told the New York City Council: #DontTourApartheid. We, the people of NYC, need to do the same.

Also, on Fresh Air today, Eric Foner spoke of the importance of solidarity to the antislavery movement, whites and blacks joining together. What was a difficult thing that was to achieve in the 1850s:

You know, the barriers between black and white were far higher than they are today. And overcoming that in order to work in a collaborative way, cooperating with each other in a, I think, noble cause of trying to assist people who were escaping from slavery and trying to undermine the institution of slavery and, eventually, bring about its abolition. And I – you know, I think on Martin Luther King Day, it should lead us to remember that the civil rights movement had antecedents in our history. It had, you know – that this was a great social movement of the mid-19th century and that these are the things that inspire me in American history – the struggle of people to make this a better country. To me, that’s what genuine patriotism is.

Of course Martin Luther King built that sort of coalition with considerable care in the 1960s, and today we should be thankful for the transformative coalition that we and so many others are building across racial and religious and national lines to free Palestinians (and Israelis), and lift a glass to MLK.

Thanks to Annie Robbins, Allison Deger and Alex Kane.

#JeSuisCanadien ~~ OY CANADA

harper-az
Canada Post has reached a new low by issuing a postage stamp honouring the dishonourable!
Oy Canada!

Oy Canada!

See THIS related report
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The following is from the archives
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Despite the 30 Billion a year that the US taxpayers send to Israel, Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today’s world leaders, and to be a wholehearted supporter of his government’s policy.
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Neither seem aware of the Canadian Government’s policy …
On the eve of Harper’s visit to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa issued an updated policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although many on the right believe the Harper government to be a full-fledged supporter of Israeli policy on the Palestinian issue, the policy paper states that Canada believes the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.
AntiZionism (1)

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And being anti-Harper is not being against Canada!

And being anti-Harper is not anti-Canadian!

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The Palestinian view …

“We regret the Canadian government’s decision to stand on the wrong side of history by blindly supporting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies.”

“Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has contributed to Israeli violations of Palestinian inalienable rights, including our right to self-determination, by systematically lobbying against all Palestinian diplomatic initiatives.”

“The Palestinian people as well as the rest of the Arab and Muslim countries deserve an apology from the Canadian government for years of systematic attempts at blocking the right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own.”

Angry Palestinians Hurl Eggs at Canadian Minister

The motorcade of Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird was struck by eggs as he left a meeting with PA counterpart Riyad al-Malki.

USA/PALESTINE ~~ STUDENT SOLIDARITY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POND

If you're a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well. 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

If you’re a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well.
‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

In America …. read THIS fantastic book review

IOP_thumb__03148.1412111906.450.800

And in Palestine …

Birzeit students hold solidarity event with Black struggle in US

By Alex Shams

Nearly 100 students at Birzeit University in the central West Bank on Wednesday took part in a solidarity event with the African-American community in the United States in the wake of spiraling rates of deadly police violence there.

Entitled, “Similar Struggles: Racism in Palestine and Abroad,” the event was organized by the Right to Education Campaign at the university and featured lectures from professors as well as a number of students who recently returned from a tour of the United States where they visited Ferguson, Missouri — the site of months of protest against police violence — and met with community organizers across the nation.

Organizers said the activity was one of the “most successful” events organized by the campaign, highlighting how the topic spoke directly to the experiences of Palestinian students.

“Following the uprisings of Black communities across the US, a lot of us here in Palestine began to see the similarities between these communities’ oppression by the militarized state and our own oppression as Palestinians under Israeli colonialism,” organizer Deema al-Saafin told Ma’an in an emailed statement.

She said that the event was part of an effort to “create and sustain solidarity with other struggles,” adding: “We aimed to emphasize that change begins with liberating the mind first, and to build solidarity we need to actively resist derogatory terminology and stereotypes between each other and the way we address other people of color.”

She said the event featured three professors, Ahmad Abu Awad, Rana Barakat, and Hanada Kharama, who addressed racism as an ideology, the institutionalization of racism, and how racism becomes embedded in linguistics, respectively.

In addition, students who took part in the recent Right to Education tour shared their experiences meeting with activists from communities of color in the United States and “how deeply connected our struggles are against the same systems of oppression,” al-Saafin said.

Another organizer, Reema Asia, stressed that the event was important for educating students about struggles faced by their peers abroad: “Through the discussion that took place, the students at the university will have a better understanding of the situation of Black communities not just in America, but around the world. You simply cannot be an ally to a people without having an idea of what it is they are fighting against.”

Al-Saafin told Ma’an that the event was part of the larger effort of building solidarity through knowledge, and that the Right to Education campaign hoped it would help bolster their work to create linkages between the struggles faced by Palestinians and other marginalized communities around the world.

“We hope that this event and those in the future will emphasize the fact that as Palestinians and as students, we have to actively fight injustice everywhere … Our liberation is simply incomplete without the liberation of all oppressed peoples,” she said.

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It’s all ONE STRUGGLE!

Also by Latuff

Also by Latuff

STORMY WEATHER DOMINATES HEADLINES IN ISRAELI PRESS

OR …. THE TEMPEST WE KNOW AS ZIONISM

img73964

Editorial cartoon AT

The almost ‘non-storm’ even made it to YouTube

What a great opportunity zion has found to avoid publishing REAL news about the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine …

Instead of reporting

Israeli troops raid West Bank, shoot teenager

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In 2014, 80% increase in Israeli detentions of Palestinians

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Israeli forces demolish shops in Bethlehem-area village

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Palestinian man crushed to death inside overcrowded Israeli checkpoint

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All of the above are from the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency …. more of the same can be found HERE

BUT,, considering that Palestine does not exist as far as Israel is concerned, reports on weather conditions take priority in their press…

Winter storms hit Israel; snow in Jerusalem, north

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Even in HaAretz…

Jerusalem to close itself off as major snowstorm expected to blow in

Marom Golan, Jan. 7, 2014. Photo by Ilan Hadar

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Pretty pathetic if you ask me

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond in New York, the snow did not stop  life from going on as normal. Even the demonstrations against killer cops continue.

ny1*

ny2

THE COST OF PALESTINIAN JUSTICE ~~ IN TOONS

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

Israel will stop you by hook or by crook!

Israel will stop you by hook or by crook!

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Nobody will touch or war criminals!

Nobody will touch our war criminals!

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Related (Click on link)

Israel freezes Palestine tax funds over ICC bid

IN PHOTOS ~~ SANTA BRINGS HOPE AND CHEER TO PALESTINE

Palestinian activists dressed in Santa Claus outfits on Thursday sprayed graffiti demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestinians on the Israeli separation wall in the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem.

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Santa Claus sprays graffiti on separation wall in Bethlehem
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian activists dressed in Santa Claus outfits on Thursday sprayed graffiti demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and freedom for Palestinians on the Israeli separation wall in the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem.

Activists handed out candy to passing vehicles in celebration of Christmas and the New Year as others wrote slogans on the eight-meter high concrete wall that cuts Bethlehem off from neighboring Jerusalem.

One of the youths involved in the activity said the aim was to pass on good wishes to those celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem and hopes for a new year full of happiness for Palestinian children.
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The activity took place at a major intersection in Bethlehem where the Israeli wall reaches into the heart of the city to cut off the tomb of Biblical matriarch Rachel from the city around it.

Once a shared Jewish, Christian, and Muslim place of worship, the annexation of the area by Israel’s wall has also meant that non-Jews are no longer allowed to enter it. Instead, they are confronted by the wall’s watchtowers on every side, while access is only allowed from the Israeli side through a checkpoint forbidden to non-Jews.

Local activist Mazen al-Azza told Ma’an that the activists hoped to draw attention to the “danger” the wall represents for Bethlehem, particularly at Christmas since international attention is focused on the city and tens of thousands of foreign tourists pass through.

Al-Azza added that the activist was a message to the whole world that there should be no ambiguity regarding the Palestinian cause in the face of the Israeli occupation.
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Israel began building the separation wall in 2002, and the route has been the target of regular demonstrations by border towns whose land is cut off by its path.

Israel has regularly confiscated large plots of Palestinian land in order to build the wall. When the 435-mile barrier is complete, 85 percent of it will have been built inside the occupied West Bank.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the separation wall was illegal and “tantamount to annexation.”

The wall also prevents Palestinians from moving freely in the West Bank between Palestinian villages, towns, and cities, increasingly trapping them in small pockets of Palestinian control.
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ICONOCLAST OR TRAITOR?

You tell me …

“Just because I was born in the Jewish state doesn’t mean a Jew is better than me,” Haskia recently told The Associated Press in Hebrew. “I sent the children to war, and nobody can tell me that I, Anett, the Arab, am second class.”

Iconoclast Arab

supporter of IDF seeks

Knesset seat

Anett Haskia, a Muslim kibbutznik, is a candidate with the right-wing national religious Jewish Home party
BY ALON BERNSTEIN AND ISAAC SCHARF 

Anett Haskia at her house in Kibbutz Yehiam, Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)

Anett Haskia at her house in Kibbutz Yehiam, Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)

 

KIBBUTZ YEHIAM, Israel (AP) — An Arab-Israeli Muslim woman is running for a parliament seat as a member of a hard-line religious Jewish party aligned with the West Bank settler movement and opposed to Palestinian independence.

The bid by iconoclast Anett Haskia, a 45-year-old hairdresser and mother of three, comes after she gave a series of bombastic television interviews in support of Israel’s military this summer during its war against Hamas in Gaza. Now she is the lone Arab vying for a spot on the Jewish Home party’s list ahead of its January primary.

Arab citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the country’s population, strongly identify with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They generally oppose Israeli military actions, do not serve in the Israeli army and complain of deep-seated discrimination.

Haskia’s children, however, voluntarily enlisted in the Israeli army — including one son who served in an elite unit in Gaza during the summer war.

“Just because I was born in the Jewish state doesn’t mean a Jew is better than me,” Haskia recently told The Associated Press in Hebrew. “I sent the children to war, and nobody can tell me that I, Anett, the Arab, am second class.”

A self-described nonconformist, Haskia opposed her family’s wishes and broke cultural taboos by divorcing her husband and getting a collection of body piercings and tattoos.

Born in the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Akko in northern Israel, she lives with her children on an Israeli kibbutz, a rare Arab in one of Israel’s cooperative living communities. Her organization called Real Voice represents Arab high school graduates who want to serve in the Israeli army or in national service, like volunteering in hospitals. Such activities are required of Israel’s Jewish youth. The Israeli military puts the total of Israeli Arabs serving in its ranks at “several hundred.”

“On one hand they want to be soldiers or to do national service, and on the other hand they are scared of hostile attacks, not only from their families but from society,” Haskia said.

She opposes the Palestinian goal of establishing an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel won in the 1967 war from Jordan, saying it would only prolong the conflict with Israel. She encourages investment in Israel’s Arab community instead.

“Today, I can’t say that the settlements are a blow to Israel, no. The settlements are a blessing for Israel,” she said.

It remains unclear whether Haskia will win a seat in parliament. Opinion polls forecast the Jewish Home winning some 16 seats, which would make it one of the largest factions in the 120-member Knesset. But party officials say competition in the upcoming primary will be fierce, making it difficult for her to secure a place high enough on the party’s list to guarantee a seat.

Haskia says her unorthodox views have cost her some clients, while gaining her some unlikely supporters.

“Those who embrace me, the extremists who used to write me, ‘We hate Arabs’ or ‘We don’t want Arabs,’ today call me their sister,” she said.

NEW YEAR SPOOFS

All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Despite all the carnage committed by Israel, Palestine will live to fight again!

Despite all the carnage committed by Israel, Palestine will live to fight again!

 

 

I can’t make any prediction for 2015…EXCEPT that the struggle in Palestine will continue!

I can’t make any prediction for 2015…EXCEPT that the struggle in Palestine will continue!

 

Happy New WHAT?! #Syria #Iraq #Ukraine #Gaza #Afghanistan

Happy New WHAT?! #Syria #Iraq #Ukraine #Gaza #Afghanistan

 

ANOTHER LETTER THE NEW YORK TIMES WOULD SURELY DEEM UNFIT TO PRINT

Be sure to read Sam’s unpublished letter to the NYT which I posted yesterday

I started writing this as a Letter to the Editor, but my anger could not be conveyed in only 150 words, so I am posting this open letter instead

Open Letter to the Editors of the New York Times 

By Sam Bahour

A view of Gaza City

Re “Gaza Is Nowhere” (By Roger Cohen, Dec. 30, 2014):

I started writing this as a Letter to the Editor, but my anger could not be conveyed in only 150 words, so I am posting this open letter instead:

Readers expect greater accuracy from New York Times columnists.

How dare Mr. Roger Cohen suggest that Gaza, a part of my homeland, is “nowhere!”

If Mr. Cohen is at a loss to know where Gaza lies, allow me to guide him. The Gaza Strip, as well as Gaza City, were both part and parcel of Historic Palestine, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Following the colossal injustice that resulted in the displacement of more than half of the Palestinian people, and then the creation of what we know today as the state of Israel, and the subsequent military occupation of the remaining Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Gaza Strip become part and parcel of an Israeli-militarily-occupied territory. It is this military occupation under which many of my friends and colleagues were born and live to this day.

Despite the bitter life Gazan Palestinians face, they know exactly where they are and who they are. To Mr. Cohen’s possible disappointment, I will not sugar-coat reality with euphemisms or attempt to bury the international community’s disgraceful failures by dwelling on internal Palestinian political dynamics.

What Mr. Cohen terms a “high-tech Israeli facility,” is, in reality, an Israeli military garrison and checkpoint that is equipped with U.S. technology aimed to keep Palestinians locked into the world’s largest open-air prison called Gaza.

The Palestinian road worker who impressed Mr. Cohen is not “among the more productively employed of Gaza’s 1.8 million citizens.” The Gaza community is alive, albeit not well. If he had taken the time to look again without his biased lens, he would have seen an entire society struggling to be productive in a reality where electricity is a luxury, clean water is a distant thought, and having the ability to travel freely is a foreign concept to yet another generation of Palestinians.

Mr. Cohen claims that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is “the only dust-free environment” in Gaza. Spare me, please. Has he forgotten that Gaza has been on the receiving end of three major Israeli military operations within the past six years, which left scores dead and wounded and the rest traumatized for life. If he had only taken the time to visit Palestinian homes he would have found other “dust-free environments,” if dust was of such major concern to him. He would have experienced the generosity of a people battered for decades yet miraculously finding a way to go on educating their war-affected children, sustaining themselves economically, continuing to love, and stubbornly maintaining hope for a better tomorrow, even as they are forced to live in imposed darkness. Indeed, as retired Palestinian diplomat Afif Safieh has famously said, Palestinians have been “unreasonably reasonable” given what has fallen upon them.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Cohen assumes the role of spokesperson for Palestinians, claiming the utmost urgent matter in Palestinian lives is the need “to end the lockdown of Gaza.” Lockdown, Mr. Cohen, is a move used to keep prisoners in their cells. Ending the lockdown is allowing the prisoners to interact among themselves and visit the prison yard. Thank you Mr. Cohen, but no thank you. We have the right to be free from the prison imposed on us by Israel and bankrolled by your country. Our utmost urgent matter is that Israel end its nearly five-decade-long military occupation and allow Palestinians to return to their homes, after which we will take care of ourselves.

I can go on, but you are not interested in Palestine or Palestinians. Your career requires you to feed the stereotypes about my home, me, and my people, and for that, you are part of the problem, not the solution. That, Mr. Cohen, is what is truly “shameful.”

Sincerely,
Sam Bahour
Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine
www.ePalestine.com

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH WAITING FOR THE UN TO GIVE PALESTINE STATEHOOD

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

Let’s not kid ourselves: The UNSC will not give us a state

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

It is really lamentable that the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to manage the Palestinian Question disastrously.

The latest failed effort to get the UN Security Council (UNSC) to designate a time-ceiling for ending the decades-old Israeli occupation is an expression of the disastrous mismanagement of our just cause by the PA.

It simply shows that the PA neither learns from others’ mistakes nor from its own.

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

This fact has not changed ever since the creation of the UN following the Second World War. It is not expected to change in the foreseeable future, at least in our lifetime.

I know the Palestinian establishment in Ramallah is too fully aware of this fact. Yet, it continues to walk in the same path.

A few weeks ago, this writer wrote that it was futile for the Palestinians to count on the United States to restore Palestinian rights from Israel. I argued that the US lacked the will and inclination as well as the moral power to challenge Israel due to the Zionist domination of American political life.

In this article,  I want to pen down my conviction that it is equally pointless to rely on the UNSC to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

We all know that the UNSC is firmly dominated by the US, whose government and Congress are at Israel’s beck and call.

Hence, it is absolutely futile to rely on this entity (UNSC), to do justice or even a semblance of justice for the Palestinians. Thinking otherwise would be like seeking safety in a snake’s hole or searching for justice at a thieves’ den.

I realize the Palestinian leadership of Chairman Abbas is facing a very frustrating situation, having been repeatedly deceived and betrayed by successive American administrations ever since the 1960s.

But the Palestinians should have a sound plan to follow lest they continue to run around in a circle.

I am not necessarily against diplomatic efforts at the UN. But I am decidedly against employing the same failed tactics that have proven their utter failure ad nauseam.

In short, the Palestinians must have a “de fault strategy” that would maximize their “national assets” while minimizing their national liabilities.

What should be done?

Without making a short story unnecessarily long, I believe the PA should do the following today, not tomorrow.

1-      The PA should immediately or as soon as possible dismantle itself. The very creation of the PA nearly 20 years ago was meant to expedite the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Now, it has been made amply clear that the PA has become one of the biggest obstacles impeding Palestinian statehood. Israel continues to patrol and control every street and neighborhood of the West Bank. So let the occupation return to what it was before the scandalous Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians a police state without a state.

2-      Since Israel has effectively killed any remaining chances for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, it is futile to cling to the two-state solution strategy. Such a strategy is simply dead, thanks to the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements. Moreover, awaiting the rise of a peace-minded Israeli government is an exercise in futility and stupidity, as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward xenophobia, racism and even Jewish Nazism. Indeed, a fleeting glance at what is published In Israeli newspapers and posted on Jewish sites would leave no doubt in this regard.

3-      The PA and all Palestinian factions should mobilize all their efforts toward enabling the Palestinian people to be steadfast and withstand Israeli oppression and repression. Palestinian steadfastness has been the most effective Palestinian weapon against the Zionist enterprise. A few decades ago, we were viewed as a small minority with a precarious future. Today, we are more or less a demographic majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Needless to say, this has always been the prospect the Zionist dreaded most. It has now become a reality.

4-      Hence, the Palestinian leadership must abandon, once and for all, the strategy of demanding a small Palestinian state or state-let beside Israel and adopt instead a new strategy based on the one-state solution whereby Palestinians and Jews live in peace and equality as citizens in a unitary state encompassing mandatory Palestine. True, Israel would reject this scenario outright since it would make Israel lose its Jewish identity. However, Israel and Israel alone would be blamed for destroying the possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

5-      Finally, the PA should immediately stop playing the role of the Judenrate by repressing Palestinians on Israel’s behalf. The PA had thought that coordinating with Israel would earn it a certificate of good conduct from the insolent Israeli leadership. But, far from making Israel moderate its Nazi-like repression of the Palestinians, the PA subservience to Israel actually emboldened the Jewish state even further as evident from the genocidal Israeli blitz on Gaza last summer.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist living in Occupied Palestine.

 

NEW YORK TIMES ~~ A LETTER NOT FIT TO PRINT

'All the Pro Israeli News that's fit we print'

‘All the Pro Israeli News that’s fit we print’

In line with their pro Israeli, anti Palestinian polices, the New York Times found the response to THIS Editorial unfit to print …

We present it here!

To the Editor:

Re “The Embattled Dream of Palestine” (By The Editorial Board, Dec. 19, 2014):

Readers expect greater accuracy from NYT’s editorials.

To deem Palestinian’s frustration with nearly 50 years of Israeli military occupation as, “resentment of Israeli rule that leads to unrest” is a pale attempt to dilute the horrific reality on the ground. Employing such language outright ignores the fact that, except for Israel (the occupying force) the entire world (U.S. included) has deemed the state of affairs as a “military occupation.”

Likewise, when the Editorial claims that, “successive Israeli governments, including that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have long negotiated on the basis of a two-state solution,” one is led to believe that fact checking has lost its role in journalism. Not only has Prime Minister Netanyahu made multiple, recent public statements defying any notion of a solution based on two states, his party, Likud, has yet to insert its support for two states into its political platform.

Another deep flaw in this piece is stating that Israel “withdrew from Gaza in 2005.” They did nothing of the sort. Even Israel itself did not call it “withdraw,” but rather “Unilateral Disengagement.” The international community has made it clear, over and over, that Gaza today is just as militarily occupied as Ramallah or East Jerusalem.

Sincerely,
Sam Bahour
Policy Advisor, Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ISRAEL? ~~ HERE ARE THE ANSWERS

‘People Are Questioning Israel’

Interview with Dr. Mads Gilbert

mads_gilbert_interview_jaz

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Norwegian surgeon Dr. Mads Gilbert speaks of his experiences in Gaza and the changing international perception of Israel.

Related post FROM

Questioning Our Special Relationship with Israel

By Stephanie Westbrook

A “regional economic power.” That’s how ANIMA, the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Investment Promotion Agencies encompassing 70 governmental agencies and international networks, described Israel in its January 2010 Mediterranean Investment Map. The report analyzed the economies of the 27 European Union countries as well as 9 “partner countries.”

And who can argue. Touting an annual GDP growth rate around 5% for the years 2004 to 2008, Israel was also ranked 27 out of 132 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report last fall. It ranked 9th for innovative capacity.

In the 2008 World Competitiveness Yearbook by IMD, Israel comes in 2nd for the number of scientists and engineers in the workforce. No other country in the world spends more on research and development as a percentage of GDP than Israel. Since the year 2000 it has hovered around 4.5%, or twice the average of OECD member countries.

I am not an economist, but I have to wonder why US taxpayers are doling out $3 billion a year in direct military aid to a “regional economic power.” In August 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel was signed committing the US to give, not loan, $30 billion to Israel over 10 years. US taxpayers are directly funding close to 20% of Israel’s annual defense budget. No wonder Israel is able to invest in R&D!

To help put these figures into perspective, a new web site was launched last week that illustrates how your state is contributing to the Israeli defense budget, and what could have instead been done with the money. At www.aidtoisrael.org I learned that my home state of Texas will give more than $2.5 billion over the ten year period. For the same amount, over 2 million people could have been provided with primary health care.

At the 2007 signing ceremony for the $30 billion giveaway, then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, stated, “We consider this 30 billion dollars in assistance to Israel to be an investment in peace.” But peace isn’t exactly what we’ve gotten for our money.

Instead our tax dollars continue to pay for advanced weaponry used to maintain an illegal occupation, culminating a year ago in the Israeli attack on Gaza with US-made F-16 fighter jets, US-made Apache helicopter gunships, US-made naval combat ships, US-made hellfire missiles, US-made tanks and armored personnel carriers, and US-made white phosphorus shells.

Every cent we give Israel is in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act, which specifically prohibits aid to countries that “engage in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” Sales of US weaponry made to Israel are in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, which restrict their use to legitimate self-defense.

But weapons we do continue to sell, and aid we do continue to give. And if that weren’t enough, we also provide Israel with special conditions. Unlike all other countries receiving military aid from the US, Israel receives its entire bundle in a lump sum during the first 30 days of the fiscal year. The money sits in an interest bearing account at the Federal Reserve, the interest going to Israel, of course, until 74% of it is funneled back to US weapons manufacturers in the way of purchases for the Israeli Defense ministry. Israel is free to use the remaining 24% to purchase “in house” weapons systems, an arrangement afforded to no other recipient of US military aid.

While we may hear some calls to freeze (or limit or curb) settlement construction, and as of late, for an end to the siege of Gaza, one subject no one on Capitol Hill dares to touch is this massive military aid package given to Israel. The new self-proclaimed “pro-peace pro-Israel” lobby, J-street, has said the subject is not up for discussion.

But some are starting to question our “special relationship” with Israel.

On February 9, Intelligence Squared, the British debate forum, held a debate in New York City – home to the country’s largest Jewish community – asking if the “US should step back from its special relationship with Israel.” Prior to the start of the debate, audience members cast their votes electronically, with 39% in favor, 42% against and 25% undecided.

Arguing for the motion were British author and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen and Colombia professor and author Rashid Khalidi. Former US ambassador to the EU Stuart Eizenstat and former Israeli ambassador to the US Itamar Rabinovich argued against. Cohen spoke of US aid to Israel:

“What also makes the relationship special is the incredible largess that the United States shows towards Israel, over the past decade, $28.9 billion in economic aid. And on top of that, another $30 billion in military aid, that’s almost $60 billion. That’s 10 times the GNP of Haiti that is being gifted to a small country. Now, I ask you, to what end is this money being used. Ladies and gentlemen, we would submit that it ends often inimical to the American interest.”

Following the debate, the audience once again voted on the resolution, this time with a slight majority in favor, 49% for, 47% against and 4% undecided.

The “special relationship” is hereby up for discussion. Pass the word.

HOW THE NEW YORK TIMES HIDES THE TRUTH ABOUT PALESTINE

'All the lies that fit, we print'

‘All the lies that fit, we print’

Those wishing to shield themselves from such truths should continue reading The New York Times.

How New York Times conceals Israeli violence against Palestinians

The massive upsurge of Israeli violence against Palestinians is invisible to The New York Times. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Two recent stories in The New York Times involve violence against Palestinian and Israeli children. But it is striking how differently the stories are treated based on the identity of the victim.

The first, from today, is headlined “Israeli Girl Severely Wounded in Firebomb Attack in West Bank.” The second, from November, is headlined “Palestinian Shot by Israeli Troops at Gaza Border.” Both are by Isabel Kershner.

Today’s report begins:

JERUSALEM — An 11-year-old Israeli girl was severely wounded on Thursday when a firebomb was thrown at the car in which she was traveling with her father in the West Bank, the Israeli military said.

Troops were searching for the assailants, believed to be Palestinians, in the area of the attack, near the Jewish settlement of El Matan.

The report names the girl – Ayala Shapira – and describes “third-degree burns on her face and upper torso” and says that her wounds were “life-threatening.”

Note how Kershner says the assailants are “believed to be” Palestinians – belief, not evidence. She also names the girl’s father and says he suffered light injuries, and quotes her mother.

The report then provides this, presumably as context:

There has been an uptick in Palestinian attacks against Israelis in recent weeks, including deadly assaults in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The violence has been fanned in part by a dispute over a revered holy site in Jerusalem.

Nowhere does the report state that there has been relentless violence by Israeli occupation forces and settlers against Palestinians.

The mention of a “revered holy site” also suggests the violence is religious and irrational in nature. It also erases the fact that Palestinians are subject to systematic Israeli violence, including ongoing home demolitions, forced displacement and land theft.

The tension over the “revered holy site” – Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque – is the consequence of incursions by Israeli extremists, backed by the government, whoseultimate goal is to destroy it.

Huge surge in Israeli violence

In fact, though you wouldn’t know it from The New York Times, there has been a huge surge in violence against Palestinians.

“Palestinian civilians across the [occupied Palestinian territories] continue to be subject to various threats to their life, physical safety and liberty,” says the United Nations monitoring group OCHA in a year-end summary.

This year “witnessed the highest Palestinian casualty toll since 1967, primarily due to hostilities in Gaza,” OCHA adds.

But in the West Bank, too, there was a huge increase in Israeli violence: this year to date 49 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, almost double the number from last year, OCHA reports.

Ten of those killed in the West Bank were Palestinian children shot with live ammunition by Israeli occupation forces.

A staggering 5,771 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank this year, two thousand more than last year.

According to OCHA, Israel carried out an average of 96 “search and arrest” raids every week during the year, up from 75 per week in 2013. These assaults often take the form of night raids on homes, terrorizing entire families and communities.

This huge “uptick” in Israeli violence is invisible to The New York Times.

Boy shot in face

On Wednesday, a Palestinian boy aged five was shot in the face by Israeli occupation forces with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing serious injuries.

The shooting occurred when Muhammad Jamal Ubeid and his fourteen-year-old sister were getting off a school bus in the eastern occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh.

This tweet by Russia Today correspondent Paula Slier shows the boy in hospital with his parents, following surgery:

Tears and heartbreak few hours after surgery

Tears and heartbreak few hours after surgery

Just as this post was about to be published, Kershner filed a second report today, on an alleged stabbing of two Israeli police by a Palestinian in occupied Jerusalem.

It repeats the assertion that there has been a “recent increase in Palestinian attacks against Israelis.”

But Kershner found no room to mention the shooting of Muhammad Jamal Ubeid. (Update: shortly before this post was published, the Times published an AP report on its website about the stabbing of the Israeli police – the second on the same topic – which does mention the shooting of Ubeid. But it still does not appear in Kershner’s reports.)

“Palestinian” shot

Now let’s look at the other New York Times headline. It dates from 16 November: “Palestinian Shot by Israeli Troops at Gaza Border.”

Kershner’s report begins:

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces patrolling the border with the Gaza Strip shot and wounded a Palestinian as he approached the border fence on Sunday and took him to an Israeli hospital, according to the military. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the Palestinian was a 10-year-old boy.

Israel’s border with Gaza has remained tense but relatively calm since Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that dominates the Palestinian coastal enclave, agreed to an open-ended cease-fire in late August after a 50-day war.

When you read the report, you learn that the “Palestinian” is reported to be a young boy. But the headline doesn’t say “Palestinian boy” the way today’s headline states “Israeli girl.”

Kershner relays the myth – or lie, if you will – that the situation in Gaza had been “relatively calm” since the 26 August ceasefire. In fact, Israel has been violating the ceasefire and firing on Palestinians there almost every day.

The boy is anonymous and we do not hear from his mother or father. But we learn he was taken to a hospital in Israel. The report continues:

A military spokeswoman, speaking on the condition of anonymity under army rules, said the troops spotted “a suspicious figure” approaching the fence, called on him to stop, and when he ignored the warnings they fired in the air and then at his lower body.

Here’s what Kershner provides, again presumably, for context:

A number of Palestinians have been arrested after crossing the border in the months since the cease-fire came into effect, including one in September who was found to have a knife.

In Jerusalem on Sunday, the police said they were searching for the assailant who stabbed a 32-year-old Israeli man with a screwdriver. The Israeli was being treated at a hospital.

Searching in the weekly reports from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, I found this incident on 16 November, which seems to most closely match the New York Times report, except that the age of the boy is 15, not ten:

 At approximately 14:15, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Atiyah Fathi Atiyah al-Nabahin (15) living in the camp when he tried to infiltrate into Israel via the border fence. As a result, he was hit by a bullet to the neck and taken to Soroko Hospital in Beersheba. His injury was described as serious and he is still at the hospital receiving treatment.

Why Palestinians flee Gaza

It’s very likely al-Nabahin was trying to get across the fence to find work, or simply escape the dire situation in Gaza.

But The New York Times report places the entry attempt in the context of threats to Israel and attacks on Israelis and not the catastrophic and unprecedented violence that Israel has visited on Palestinians in Gaza.

The massive death and destruction and the economic depression caused by the ongoing siege are forcing Palestinians to risk their lives to flee Gaza in ever larger numbers, as the Israeli daily Haaretz has reported.

They risk their lives to flee by sea, where hundreds have perished or been deliberately drowned this year.

And increasing numbers risk their lives to flee across the Israeli fortifications – where like other escapees from history’s ghettos and internment camps – they risk being shot from watchtowers and patrols.

Indeed, reports state that two more Palestinians were shot trying to escape Gaza today.

None of this context was mentioned in The New York Times’ report.

The Times has to keep telling itself and its readers that Palestinians in general and those in Gaza in particular are the “threat” and Israel is playing defense.

That an entire population is being kept in a ghetto in Gaza, sealed off from the world and subjected to an incremental genocide, just to protect Israel’s alleged Jewish character, is, for many, a reality too awful to contemplate.

Those wishing to shield themselves from such truths should continue reading The New York Times.

FOR PALESTINIANS, GETTING TO WORK IN ISRAEL IS A JOB IN ITSELF

Just another day. Palestinians on their way to work go through an army checkpoint near Jenin. Photo by AP

Just another day. Palestinians on their way to work go through an army checkpoint near Jenin. Photo by AP

The next time an Israeli with a conscience refrains from buying sneakers or a cellphone made in Asian sweatshops, he or she should remember: The most brutal sweatshop is next to their homes. Just look once at the sad face of the worker building your home; try to imagine what he went through and put yourself in his shoes. He too is a human being.

The plight of the Palestinian laborer

Poverty and unemployment in the West Bank – a direct result of the occupation – drive Palestinian laborers to endure the pain and humiliation of working in Israel.
By Gideon Levy

Israelis see them and they don’t see them. They are on the scaffold of the building going up next to ours. We see them and we don’t see them. We have no idea what they endure and we don’t care. The people who build our homes and pave our roads left their own homes at around 2 A.M. last night. They will return in the evening, after a long, exhausting day of work, nearly 24 hours of hard labor, hard traveling and humiliation. Tonight they will again leave their homes for jobs in Israel. While some Israelis come to work bleary-eyed because their baby woke them up two or three times during the night, these people know no day or night.

They are divided into the lucky and the unlucky. A few tens of thousands have work permits for Israel — 47,350 as of March — and a few tens of thousands sneak in without permits. Those with permits travel this Via Dolorosa each night; those who sneak in will stay at the construction site for two or three weeks, passing long, cold nights in fear of getting caught. They are the illegals. If caught they will be treated like hunted animals. After a few hours of questioning they will be dumped on the other side of the checkpoint, like garbage. Sometimes they will be arrested or fined. They will return. They have no choice. Some pay with their lives for this journey in search of work.

They come to Israel on account of the poverty and unemployment of the West Bank, which are the direct result of the closure and the occupation imposed by Israel. Their working and living conditions are worse even than those of sweatshop workers in the Far East. There once can at least fall asleep at one’s machine, the (miserable) quarters are next to the factory and there are no “illegals.” It is doubtful that Chinese workers are humiliated the way their Palestinian counterparts are, even if the Palestinians are paid much more.

Israel needs them and knows how to exploit their weakness. They pay thousands of shekels to makhers who arrange work permits for them every few months and they are willing to suffer any hardship because they have no choice. Last week they stood tall for a moment: Around 5,000 Palestinians who work in Israel went “on strike” to protest the intolerable conditions at the Irtah (Sha’ar Ephraim) checkpoint, west of Tul Karm, which is being renovated. The next day conditions improved and they returned to work and to humiliation.

But Irtah is not alone. Every crossing has the same terrible overcrowding in narrow, barred passageways that resemble cattle chutes more than they do crossings for people: with shoving, hitting and fainting, the only human contact in the form of the voices, of those who see and are unseen, on the public address system. I saw this with my own eyes at Bethlehem’s Checkpoint 300, and again last week in a disturbing Channel 1 television report last week by Yoram Cohen. “Nobody knows the system like we do,” said Machsom Watch – Women for Human Rights volunteers Rachel, Riki and Amira in their report on the Irtah checkpoint. “The system is to oppress, humiliate and make things worse so that the subjects will be more afraid.”

To reiterate: These are people with work permits, who have passed all the security checks, most of them relatively old.

That’s the way it is night after night, and the ritual of security excusing everything. It is difficult to understand how all this does not explode. How the hatred that accumulates at night does not burst into terrible violence. How they agree, night after night, to endure this — and keep quiet. And how most Israelis do not care.

The next time an Israeli with a conscience refrains from buying sneakers or a cellphone made in Asian sweatshops, he or she should remember: The most brutal sweatshop is next to their homes. Just look once at the sad face of the worker building your home; try to imagine what he went through and put yourself in his shoes. He too is a human being.

ISRAELI JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSE TO BE SILENCED

Unless your name is Gideon Levy ;)

Unless your name is Gideon Levy ;)

They say that the truth will set you free …. but that’s the last thing Israel wants for the Palestinians ….

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

False arrests won’t stop us covering Israel’s occupation

The allegations against us: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist.

*
Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier

Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier, ahead of crossing through the Qalandia checkpoint. February 9, 2014. Photo by AFP

On Monday of this week we drove to the village of Artah, south of Tul Karm, to report yet another story of the evil of the occupation, this one particularly infuriating and sad. The photographer Alex Levac and I were in Artah, intending to return home to Tel Aviv. The soldiers at Checkpoint 407 were surprised to see Israeli Jews leaving from the direction of Tul Karm. We showed our press cards and told them that we had been accustomed to going everywhere in the West Bank for more than 25 years.

Thus began an episode in the theater of the absurd that lasted until evening. The Israeli army and the Israel Police kept us in custody for about the next nine hours. The soldiers confiscated our car keys and identity documents lest we run for our lives. We were not allowed to get out of the car, even for a moment. One insolent soldier was insulted on account of nothing and the police were summoned on account of nothing. The police did not even ask us what had happened – and just like that, we were “detained.”

We were put inside a “Caracal” – an armored, reinforced metal monster with barred windows – and we drove for about an hour to the Ariel police station. There we were questioned and fingerprinted. Mug shots were taken of us for the criminals’ photo album, and we were subjected to humiliation. On the way there, I thought about the Palestinian children whom these police arrest and place in this same metal monster and what they endure. The police officers said we were being “detained” – a euphemism for arrest. When we asked to go to the bathroom, the duty officer barked: Not without an escort. The detective said we were endangering national security.

The police station in Ariel is a place to see. There is a photograph of a rabbi on the wall of the interrogation room, and a thick-bearded man walked freely around the station, offering Hanukkah donuts to the police officers and asking if they had put on tefillin that day.

The allegations: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist. Even as we were on our way to Ariel, we heard the false accusation that came from the army, and then the official statement of the Judea and Samaria District Police: We had spat at the soldiers. First the “murdering” pilots (which I never wrote), and now the “spitting libel” (I never spat on them). If we were suspected of having spat at soldiers, it is easy to imagine the intolerable ease with which the soldiers could say, falsely, that a Palestinian had pulled a knife at a checkpoint or threatened them a moment before they shot him dead.

This could have been a negligible story if it did not signal the ill wind that is blowing in the Israel Police and in the army: journalists are a nuisance (in the best case) and a hostile element (in any other case). Israeli press cards from years ago bore the following sentence: “The Israel Police is asked to assist the bearer of this card.”

It never occurs to the police in the territories to assist journalists; they usually try to sabotage their work, with the army beside them. Even the sanctimonious concern that IDF Spokesman’s Office personnel express for journalists’ safety – the explanation given for why any entry into Area A must be coordinated with that office – is flawed by a basic lack of understanding. Some professions are dangerous, and journalism is not doing its job by “coordinating” with the authorities. The authorities’ intention is clear: to close the West Bank to scrutiny, or at least to make it hard for journalists to work there. Gaza has been closed to Israeli journalists for about eight years – a scandal in itself – and journalists bow their heads in surrender. That must not be allowed to happen in the West Bank too, even if only a tiny group of people still shows the slightest interest in what goes on there.

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

Here’s an example of the reporting Israel wants silenced …

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

Jews vs. Palestinians, landowners vs. trespassers

Israeli security forces have descended over and over again on Ali Moussa’s family compound in the West Bank and demolished the houses he built. Across the way the settlement of Efrat expands, unchecked.

*
Ali Moussa

Ali Moussa. Photo by Alex Levac

The numbers speak for themselves: four demolitions, six razed houses, one husband, two wives, 17 children, 17 grandchildren.

The story behind the numbers: Ali Moussa, a farmer who lives in the West Bank, has clung stubbornly to his land for more than 30 years. Repeatedly, forces of the Civil Administration, Israel’s governing body in the occupied territories, have demolished the houses Moussa has built. Repeatedly, he has rebuilt them. His applications for a construction permit have been ignored, but this is his home, this is his family’s land.

The compound of Moussa’s ramshackle dwellings lies on a hill overlooking the valley through which Highway 60, linking Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Hebron, passes. On the hill across the valley rise the homes that are part of one of the unchecked expansions of the settlement of Efrat. They are a lot less legal than Moussa’s houses – the land does not legally belong to the settlers – but they, of course, are not under threat of demolition at the hands of the Civil Administration. Those dwellings are inhabited by Jews.

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

A short drive from Jerusalem reveals a scene of squalor that seems to have come out of a different time and place. The repeated demolitions force Moussa to rebuild his hovels with the cheapest materials he can find so that he can house his extended family – until it’s all tumbled down again by the Israel Defense Forces.

It makes for a pitiful sight: eight children huddling in one room whose tin roof is leaking and where bone-chilling cold prevails even on a sunny, late-fall day. Mildewed walls through which rain drips in, bare rooms without closets, without beds, only a stack of mattresses, and sacks to hold the clothes.

Kittens and children prowl about aimlessly outside; the women’s clothes are tattered. Five shacks plus a heap of ruins from the last house that was demolished, and pervasive neglect. Welcome to the compound of the Moussa family on the edge of the village of Al-Khader, outside Bethlehem. Next to the latest pile of ruins is a column of gray bricks, awaiting the next demolition and the rebuilding that will inevitably follow.

Farmer Moussa is 61, and he has 17 children – the eldest 37, the youngest six months old – by two wives, as well as 17 grandchildren, most of whom live here. He has always made a living from his land, but part of it has been plundered over time for the nearby settlements and for construction of the separation barrier. And the security barrier has prevented his access to another area, in which he has olive groves.

Moussa sold his flock of sheep some time ago to finance his obsessive rebuilding efforts. To date, they’ve cost him between 300,000 and 400,000 shekels ($75,000 – $100,000), he says, adding that the Civil Administration has offered him alternative land and compensation if he’ll leave. What did he tell them? He’s surprised at the question. He didn’t consider the offer for a second, he says.

Moussa has been living here since 1982. There was a different atmosphere in the territories when he built his first house in the compound – the only one that still stands intact and has never been demolished. The government agreed to the project, at least tacitly, back then. But things change. The first demolition came in 1995 – the house he had built for a married son. At the time, the authorities cited security reasons: There was an IDF post in the valley below, where the pillbox that overlooks Highway 60 now stands, just a few hundred meters from the house.

Moussa married his second wife in 2000 and built her a house. It too was swiftly demolished. In addition, the army tore down a house that he had built for his second son and his new family. The official reason: It was illegal.

He explains that he spent 30,000 shekels ($7,500) on building plans, which he submitted to the Civil Administration at its request – he displays the maps – but nothing came of them. There was a third round of demolition in 2011, and a fourth last June 14. The heap of ruins remaining at present comes from that most recently razed dwelling, belonging to Moussa’s second wife and their eight children.

In recent months, that dwelling has been rebuilt near the original one, in the form of a shack of 170 square meters, made of bricks and tin. It is still standing, at least for now. Additinally, a humanitarian aid association donated a tin hut, where they can store clothes, household utensils and furniture from all the structures that have been destroyed.

At his lawyers’ advice, Moussa builds each new house a few meters from previous ones. Indeed, one can see the remnants of a concrete pillar from the first house that was demolished in the compound, between the shacks, like a denuded monument.

Moussa’s story is also documented in a sheaf of documents that he keeps with him: no fewer than a dozen demolition and stop-work orders, issued over the years. For example, there’s a “stop-work order” from 2012 and a “final stop-work and demolition order” issued a few months later. There’s a demolition order for a “25-square-meter concrete surface,” another for “two cisterns and a lean-to,” another for “an electricity line and cable.”

One document is High Court of Justice decision No. 8902/06: an interim injunction issued by Justice Elyakim Rubinstein on November 23, 2006, to stop the demolitions, which notes: “This injunction shall not apply in the event of the need for demolition for urgent combat purposes and salient security reasons.” Justice Rubinstein did not bother to specify the security reasons or, more importantly, whose security he had in mind.

The spokesperson of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories offered this response to a query from Haaretz: “The structures in question were built in an illegal manner, without a building permit, on an archaeological site called ‘Abu Sud,’ and for that reason they were demolished. Furthermore, the structures were rebuilt upon the ruins, even as the matter was under consideration by the High Court of Justice, which is a gross violation of the law. The requests for a building permit were rejected, and an appeal to Supreme Court was also turned down. It should be noted that the owner was offered the opportunity to rebuild within the planned area of Al-Khader, the adjacent village, but the owner rejected the offer and instead illicitly continued to build [at the original location].”

We make our way through the compound. Four shacks belong to Moussa’s immediate family – his two wives and two of his sons and their families – and another, in the back, is inhabited by relatives, members of the family of Ismail Moussa. A makeshift water tower, an electricity pole and the shacks, each crowded with women and children.

A television is on in one of the hovels, tuned to Israel’s Channel 10, with simultaneous translation into Arabic provided by the local Bethlehem channel. The program: “Kahane Lives: The Life and Death of the Extremist Right-wing Leader.” The family was watching.

LIFE BEFORE DEATH IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

Don't just remember .... Help stop the madness!

Don’t just remember …. Help stop the madness!

“Here lies my brother”: Short video recalls life of murdered Palestinian teen

The night before he died, Muhammad and his father went up on the roof of their house. The teen pointed toward nearby Birzeit University and told his father that he wanted to study journalism there.

“Through media and journalism,” his father recalls Muhammad saying, “I can send a message to the world that there’s a people here that is carrying out legitimate resistance to the occupation and I can ask the world to help us end the occupation.”

Click HERE to see what you can do to stop the murders

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Click HERE to read Ali Abunimah’s full report on the situation

RABBINICAL TAUNTING OF THE SEASON

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

The annual demonstration in front of Leviev’s Jewelry store quickly turned into a celebration when it was learned that the shop had locked it’s doors and emptied its showcases …. but this didn’t stop ‘Rabbi’ Shmuley Boteach from taunting the would be demonstrators … caught on video

Adalah NY issued the following statement about the video …

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach taunted a crowd of human rights protesters in front of the seemingly closed and emptied flagship Leviev diamond store on Madison Avenue. Leviev’s companies have built thousands of Israeli settlement homes and have been accused of abusing and torturing Angolan diamond miners.

Boteach stood in front of the empty Leviev store and began shouting. “Israel,” “Down with Hamas,” “Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” “Down with the Palestinians.” He suddenly stopped and complained that he was being videotaped. Police told Boteach to leave as he was drowned out by chants of, “How fancy, how pretty, Leviev out of New York City.” Boteach was accompanied by a young man wearing a scarf for the notoriously racist Beitar Jerusalem football team. Boteach has expressed his support for Hebron’s notoriously violent and racist settlers. 

Neighboring store owners told the protesters that the Leviev store had closed and the space had been sold, but it was impossible to confirm this. Human rights advocates have protested at Leviev’s store since 2007.

And here’s the ziolies he wrote on his Blog

The coming boycott of Jewish businesses

Shmuley Boteach

I saw a nasty thing walking with my children in New York City on the Sabbath. On Madison Ave in the mid-sixties, we saw a group of people, chanting, singing.

Was it Christmas carolers? As we got closer we saw it was a protest. An anti-Israel protest.

But this one was not outside an Israeli Consulate or Embassy. It was outside a commercial, retail store. A diamond store. Owned by Lev Leviev, the Israeli billionaire businessman and philanthropist.

“Glitz and glam. He steals Palestinian land.”

I was appalled. I got closer. The protesters were accusing Leviev, a private Jewish citizens, of stealing Palestinian land, persecuting Palestinians, and supporting an imperial Israel.

I asked the protesters who Leviev was and why they were protesting him. Was he Israel’s Prime Minister or Foreign Minister? At least the Ambassador. How else to explain why they would be protesting outside a business simply owned by a Jew.

They told me he was an Israeli who supported Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians. He was a known, high-profile Jewish businessman. They were there to make sure no one bought his products.

I had had enough. I raised my hands into the air, in the mist of the protest, and said loudly, “Long Live Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The only country in that dark region that is a bastion of liberty and human rights. A place where Palestinian women need never fear honor killings. A place where Israeli Arabs have more guaranteed rights than any Arab nation. A place where gay Palestinians need not fear being shot in the head on false charges of collaboration. A place where Arabs can protest publicly, just like all of you, and not be shot. Long live righteous and majestic Israel.”

Instantly, all the protestors forgot about Leviev and turned their ire toward me. I was now the devil. They were shouting at me, abusing me. “F—ck off. Go F—ck yourself.”

I got louder.

“How revolting of all of you to protest a business because it’s owned by a Jew.” What is this? Nuremberg 1934? Absolutely reprehensible.

My kids were now engaged in the fight, singing “Am Yisrael Chai. The Jewish people are alive and well.” We were louder than the protestors.

I started saying “Down with Hamas which allows honor killings of innocent Palestinian women. Down with Hamas that slaughters innocent Palestinian gay men. Down with the Palestinian…. ” and I was about to say “… Authority for refusing to go to elections in 10 years and creating a dictatorship, robbing the Palestinian people of their freedom” when I saw that someone was filming me on the Sabbath.

The police came over, trying to quell the confrontation. They have a permit, he said. They have the right to protest.

God bless America. I respect their right for public demonstration. But I also respect my right to write this in a column.

Jews of the world. Wake up. There has never been an assault on us like this in our lifetimes. And we are allowing it. Through our timidity and through closing our eyes and pretending not to see, it’s growing. Our enemies are arraying against us. They have substituted anti-Semitism for Anti-Israelism. But it’s the same sentiment.

Jew-hatred, pure and simple.

This holiday season the world’s anti-Semites are giving thanks for the existence of the State of Israel. If not for Israel they would not have camouflage for their Jew-hatred. Israel has given them cover. It’s not the Jews we hate, but just the Jewish state. It’s not because we have an inherent dislike of Jews. We just hate occupation.

But then they call each other on their IPhones, even though they’re made in China which has been occupying Tibet since 1950.

But only a weak community would give these haters a fig leaf to cover over their clear bigotry, prejudice, and hatred.

My kids were flabbergasted that a private Jewish business could draw major accusations of Palestinian persecution. It suited the protesters well that it was a diamond dealer. Perfect stereotype.

But who would be next? Which Jewish business would they target next?

A few hours later we went to the Chabad public Menorah lighting outside the Plaza hotel on 5th Ave. There was a small protest against Israel there was well. Joining the protest was a 20-something man who told us all that the Jews owned all of 5th Avenue. He pointed across the street at the famous Apple 5th Avenue store. “Apple is owned by Jews.”

I looked at him.

“Um, erg, hmmm. Did you know that Steve Jobs was the son of an Arab-American? So how does that square with the Jews owning Apple?”

“Well the Jews bought it from Jobs with the endless money they have.”

Aha.

I thought to myself, Is there no respite from all this Jew-hatred? Can we not get away from them even at a Menorah lighting?

The other day Harvard University kicked out SodaStream from their cafeteria for the terrible sin of employing hundreds of Palestinians at a plant in Maale Adumim that treats Arabs as the absolute equals of their Israeli counterparts. Without SodaStream these Palestinian families would be destitute. But Palestinian activists at Harvard, animated by hatred of Israel over love for Palestinian lives, demanded a boycott and the caterer capitulated.

And so it goes. Jewish timidity in the United States is allowing more and more of these outrages to take place.

I wonder if we recognize the seriousness of what’s happening or will it engulf us before we take decisive action?

What is needed is an immediate move to organize Jewish students on campus to respond publicly to the anti-Israel onslaught at Universities. We need public demonstrations against Israel-hatred, anti-Semitism, and in favor of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Jewish students should not just be fighting BDS but should be going on offense to push through resolutions in the City Councils sanctioning Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for not holding elections in a decade and transforming Palestinian society into dictatorships.

Organizations who dare hold ordinary Jews responsible for actions in the Middle East – which would be the equivalent of protesting an Arab-owned department store in Detroit for the butchery of Bashar Assad in Syria – should themselves be targeted for public demonstrations, calling them what they are: anti-Semites.

And let’s honor those brave individuals who have stood up to BDS.

Every June our organization hosts the International Champions of Jewish Values Gala Awards Dinner in New York. Last year the Hollywood celebrity we honored was Sean Penn for his unrivaled bravery in going to Bolivia and rescuing the life of a Jewish businessman who had been wrongly incarcerated.

The year before we honored my dear friend Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Muslim, for his tireless efforts to promote the value of human life by getting us all to live more healthy lives and for his continued friendship with the Jewish people. A few months after the award we hosted Mehmet and his family in Israel.

This year we intend to honor Scarlett Johannson for standing up to the pressure to abandon SodaStream, a company that is a model of Arab-Israeli brotherhood and fraternity.

Scarlett, if you’re out there, please come to New York and accept. The dinner is on 3 June, 2015.

As far as Leviev goes …. DesertPeace adds 

The bastard can run but he can’t hide! Wherever he is doing his dirty business we will find him!!

Photos from the protest © by Bud Korotzer

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CHANUKAH IN GAZA ~~ TIS THE SEASON TO DROP BOMBS

Tis the Season to bomb Gaza ….. just look at THIS post from 6 years ago …

(MaanImages/file)

Israel and Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire agreement on Aug. 26 after a deadly Israeli offensive on Gaza that left more than 2,100 — overwhelmingly civilians — dead.

The ceasefire deal stipulated an end to hostilities, and Israel agreed to ease its devastating blockade on the Strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.

However, Palestinians accuse Israeli forces of regular ceasefire violations, with near-daily reports that navy soldiers have fired at fishermen off the coast of the enclave, and occasional reports of Israeli troops shooting and injuring Palestinians near the border.

For first time since summer,
Israeli planes bombard
Gaza
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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinians in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip woke Saturday morning to the sounds of explosions for the first time since the Israeli offensive in July-August that lasted 51 days and left nearly 2,000 dead.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli F-16 warplanes fired at least two rockets targeting a site belonging to Hamas in eastern Khan Younis.

The Israeli army confirmed the air strike, adding that it had “targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site.”

A spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said there were no casualties in the attack.

The strikes came after a rocket shell was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Friday, causing no injuries or reported damage.

None of the Palestinian resistance factions including Hamas, however, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the “Hamas terrorist organization is responsible and accountable” for the rocket fire, which he said the army viewed “with severity.”

Hamas has almost entirely prevented any other factions from firing rockets since the ceasefire, despite repeated Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians at sea and near the border.

On Friday alone, Israeli forces shot and injured six Palestinians as they participated in a protest march near the border.

Political analyst Hani Basous told Ma’an that the Israeli airstrikes are a mere reaction to the rocket and an attempt to send a warning message to all Palestinians.

“Israel wanted to deliver a message to the Palestinian factions and Hamas that any actions on the border will be confronted with a harsh response.”

Basous added that Israel cannot go through another “wave of struggle” at the current moment due to the upcoming domestic elections.

He added that despite the fact that the shell fired from Gaza was “unidentified,” Israel still holds Hamas responsible for it.

Another political analyst, Akram Atallah, told Ma’an that the Israeli escalation against the Gaza Strip was meant to send a message to a domestic audience during the elections campaigns.

Atallah said that the airstrikes are meant to show that nothing stops the Netanyahu government from hitting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire agreement on Aug. 26 after a deadly Israeli offensive on Gaza that left more than 2,100 — overwhelmingly civilians — dead.

The ceasefire deal stipulated an end to hostilities, and Israel agreed to ease its devastating blockade on the Strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.

However, Palestinians accuse Israeli forces of regular ceasefire violations, with near-daily reports that navy soldiers have fired at fishermen off the coast of the enclave, and occasional reports of Israeli troops shooting and injuring Palestinians near the border.

Continued Cairo ceasefire talks to iron out further details of the truce were postponed to November following a deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.

Gaza has been under a severe economic blockade since 2007, set into place by Israel after Hamas won democratic elections and later took power in the Strip.

Lifting the blockade has been the main grievance of Gaza militant groups in the bloody conflicts with Israel in 2008-2009, 2012, and 2014.

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