IN IMAGES ~~ REMEMBERING A PROUD LAND THAT ONCE WAS

Remembering the Nakba

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

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

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

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

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To our homes in Palestine, we will return!

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

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Latuff adds the following

Their creation was our Nakba!

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

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Free Palestine!

EVERY DAY IS MOTHER’S DAY IN PALESTINE ~~ TOONS OF THE DAY

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

from Carlos Latuff

Steadfastness, courage and resistance.. this is Mother’s Day in Palestine.

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Mrs. Zarefa, Marka/Shnillar refugee camp, Jordan, 2009, the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine.

STARVING FOR JUSTICE ~~ THE LATEST IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu can use all methods; torture, solitary confinement,propaganda & fake videos, but will NEVER break the will of a free Palestinian

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Also in Turkey

International support for the strikers growing daily

Xristoforos Triantafillos II holding my toon in a protest in Athens calling for Pizza Hut boycott after mocking Palestinian hunger strikers

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“We are not in search of death. We are looking for real life.”
.Free Palestine from Israeli terrorism.

SUPPORT THE HUNGER STRIKE BY BOYCOTTING PIZZA HUT

An image shared by Palestinians on Facebook to promote the boycott of Pizza Hut for its alleged Facebook post, with imagery of a prisoner and an Israeli watchtower emblazoned on the chain’s famous logo.

Pizza Hut runs ad mocking hunger strike leader Barghouti

Pizza Hut’s franchise in Israel on Monday released an ad poking fun at Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti following the recent release of video footage showing him secretly eating a candy bar and cookies in his prison cell.

The ad drew widespread criticism from Palestinians and a call to boycott the chain, which issued a quick apology.

In the ad, which it posted on its Facebook page and later deleted, the pizza chain put a banner in Hebrew over a screenshot from a clip released by the Israel Prisons Service on Sunday of Barghouti eating. It read, “Barghouti, if you are already going to break the hunger strike, isn’t pizza better?”

The ad also included a photoshopped Pizza Hut box on the floor of the prison cell, as well as a piece of pizza in the sink.

In response to the ad, a large number of Palestinians called for a boycott of the pizza chain on social media.

From

Click HERE to see related video

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I hope you’re now aware that the Boycott Pizza Hut campaign isn’t as “funny” as your advertisement!

 

BEX ALERT ~~~ FAKE NEWS ABOUT FAKE NEWS

Yesterday, I made the following statement in THIS post …..

Zion’s mantra has always been “If the truth is hard to swallow, LIE!”

Here is proof of the pudding …


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Related report from +972 (Click on link)

Hamas’ new charter reveals a willingness to change

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Here’s another truth showing who the REAL terrorists are n Syria …

Image by Carlos Latuff

ISRAEL via YOUTUBE TRIES TO UNDERMINE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKE

Zion’s mantra has always been “If the truth is hard to swallow, LIE!”

Following is their latest attempt, via YouTube, to undermine the heroic hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and their leader, Marwan Barghouti.

What I see in the following video could be any man, anyplace, at any time going to the bathroom in what looks like a prison cell …..

BUT

Here is how the zionists describe the following ….

Arch-terrorist and mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti, who has led a hunger strike by jailed terrorists held in Israeli prisons, has been eating in secret while maintaining the pretenses of his own hunger strike, footage released Sunday reveals.

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Here is the reality of the hunger strike via the pen of Carlos Latuff ….

Day 22: Palestinian Prisoners Striking for Dignity and Freedom

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Today is the 22nd day, their bodies started to digest itself 6 days ago, now they can’t stand on their feet

Which of the above is the TRUTH? (Which has always been zion’s greatest enemy)

As can seen in this image, zion has ALWAYS hated the truth.

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Here is what the wife of Marwan Barghouti had to say about the situation … (FROM)

Barghouti’s wife: ‘Recordings of Marwan breaking the strike are fake’
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‘Fabricated,’ ‘despicable,’ and a ‘low point’ for Israel were the terms employed by Fadwa Barghouti—the wife of Marwan Barghouti—to describe recordings released by the Israel Prison Service allegedly showing her husband breaking his hunger strike in secret; says act is a sign of the beginning of Israel’s downfall.

Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Barghouti, claimed on Sunday that the recordings of her husband secretly breaking his hunger strike, filmed and released by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), are fabricated and fake.

Marwan Barghouti was recorded on security cameras in his cell secretly breaking his hunger strike by eating, among other things, cookies and salted snacks.

Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Barghouti denounced the publication of the video as a “low” act by Israel that teaches about “the defeat of the occupation” in dealing with the hunger strike and was proof of the “weakness” that Israel is demonstrating against the prisoners’ determination.

“The prisoners are familiar with Israel’s lies and games and the video they released signals the beginning of its fall,” said Fadwa, adding that the Palestinian people are likely to pick up on these “despicable” methods after 70 years of oppression.

She summarized by saying that this video will only strengthen the prisoners’ resolve to continue the strike.

The footage of Marwan breaking the strike was presented by Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan during a press conference.

Erdan claimed that the prisoners’ conditions, over which they allegedly launched their hunger strike, were not the real reasons behind it.

“The Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike has nothing to do with their prison conditions, and everything to do with the political interest of Marwan Barghouti,” said Erdan during the press conference on Sunday, as the strike reached its 21st day. “Barghouti is a murderer and hypocrite who urged his fellow prisoners to strike and suffer while he ate behind their back.”

It is not the first time Barghouti has been caught red-handed sneaking a snack in the midst of a hunger strike. In 2004, Barghouti was filmed secretly breaking his strike, which was also launched by security prisoners.

ABBAS/TRUMP AND THE END OF A FREE PALESTINE

Oppressors and enablers of oppressors use the same language. Clinton used
it 20 years ago for Arafat. This is the usual carrot and stick approach.
                                        Images by Carlos Latuff

Trump praises Abbas following White House meeting

 

ABBAS, TRUMP AND MORE

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas both accomplished what they wanted to
accomplish from the meeting at the White House. I could only think of the
statements of Martin Luther King Jr and of Edward Said as I watched the
theater unfold in DC. Just a reminder of what MLK Jr said 50 years ago as
leaders of South Vietnam trashed leaders of North Vietnam: Their questions
hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the
violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken
clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own
government.  This was one of his most analytical and important speeches
which should still be read carefully today (full text at). 

Little changed in those 50 years since then and Trump (like Obama and
other presidents before him) gave green light to his military to bomb poor
neighborhoods around the world (killing hundreds of civilians mostly
children in Mosul alone) while hosting compliant leaders and speaking of
“peace” (like fucking for virginity!?). Excuse my language. Let me step
back into analytical mode. In meeting with Abbas, Trump wanted to get the
aura of working for a peace process so that when he goes to Saudi Arabia
and Israel later this month they can be more comfortable increasing the
wars on Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran (the remaining axis of rebel states
in an otherwise US/Israel dominated Middle East). This public relations
ploy worked historically. Trump and his advisors praised Abbas for the
continued close security cooperation with Israel (the main function for
keeping the Palestinian Authority in the past 24 years). Trump said that
cooperation between “Palestinians” (the PA) and Israel is “working
beautifully” and encouraged further emasculation of any potential future
leverage for the Palestinians (I cringe when I hear terms like “incitement”
used for native people who want their rights back).

Oppressors and enablers of oppressors use the same language. Clinton used
it 20 years ago for Arafat. This is the usual carrot and stick approach.
Trump asked Abbas to stop the verbal acrobatics of appearing to support
“terrorists” (resistance) pushing him strongly in private and nudging him
gently in public. Husam Zomlot (PLO representative in Washington) tried his
best to facilitate and get some productive outcome but the decks are
stacked and the PLO has long been stripped by the PA of its original role
as a “Palestine Liberation Organization” (it neither reflects all of
Palestine nor Liberation and no longer an organization but a club). It
cannot apply any pressure since it has been stripped of all such cards and
there is little prospect of democratizing it now (I hope I am wrong).
Abbas got what he came for: appearing “presidential” and relevant to the
future, international visibility, and most importantly continuation of the
status quo that guarantees continued “financial support” that allows the
system to go on.

When u r fighting a brutal occupation, u don’t beg your oppressors to recognize a tiny state 4 you on your own land.

 

A FREE PALESTINES’ RIGHT TO EXIST

Once again  Netanyahu has terrifically succeeded in distracting from Zionist crimes when he kept the public in suspense  by announcing his refusal to meet German foreign minister Gabriel. Nobody speaks about the crimes human rights groups have exposed in the “Jewish State”. And foreign minister Gabriel was absolutely right when he decided to meet them. 

Right to exist for a Free Palestine!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

While the media were full of articles about Netanyahu and Gabriel, the hunger strike started on 17 April with an actual participation of about 1800 Palestinian detainees got lost. The Palestinian detainees protest against the actual practices of the „Jewish State“ like solitary confinement, torture, mistreatments, negligences in medical aid, the refusal of internationally guaranteed rights, including the right to a fair trial. Many of these hunger striking detainees were transferred to solitary confinement. And they are deprived from their right to be visited by their families and to get in touch with their lawyers. “Currently the state of Israel holds more than 7150 Palestinian political prisoners of which approximately 6300 are male political prisoners, 300 male children and approximately 56 females (including 13 female children) as well as an estimated 500 Palestinians in administrative detention (including 2 children), held for indefinite periods without charge or trial.Israeli military courts in which Palestinians are tried have a 99.7% conviction rate.”(Source: ECCP). According to Amnesty International these court proceedings for Palestinians do not meet international standards for fair trial.

Another matter for the media would be the following: Just on the Holocaust commemoration day and at the beginning of the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Day of Independence and the 69th year of the „Jewish Apartheid State“ and the celebration of Yom Hazikaron, the commemoration day for the killed IDF soldiers and the (Jewish!) victims of terrorism, the construction of 15.000 new residential units in illegally occupied Jerusalem was announced, and because of these „celebrations“ the Palestinians territories were closed down. Of course, you have to fear protests when  you have loaded so much guilt onto yourself as the „Jewish Occupation State“ did! (2)

Between the Holocaust Commemoration Day, days before the celebrations of the soldiers‘ commemoration day and the coming 69th Independence Day, the world only speaks about the sensitivities of a prime minister, juggling between corruption charges and right-wing politics.

It is indeed appalling  that Germany still applies special standards when criticism against the „Jewish State“ is at stake! This philosemitic action is an anti-Semite crime ostracizing Jewish citizens by considering them as „special“. In this vision, Jews are always seen as victims because of the Nazi past and are never seen as perpetrators. And we have to counter this  misguided policy!

After a 50-year occupation of Palestine and 70 years after the Nakba we must not remain silent any more in front of this injustice! It is about a „second guilt“ we are loading onto us!

The antidemocratic Transparency Law adopted last summer by the Netanyahu regime against human rights groups like B`Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Zochrot opposes to messengers of unbeloved truth. As we already know there is nothing Zionists fear more than the truth.

In fact, the truth about the violations against human rights committed by the „Jewish Defence Forces“ are so horrifying that for the government it would be difficult to bear, if they became public. „Breaking the Silence“ was founded in 2004 by former ID soldiers to reveal the numerous violations and crimes committed by the IDF in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Hatred struck against them when in 2009 after brutal testimonies about the attacks against Gaza a smear campaign of an incredible degree was started.

In the meantime, the „settlers‘ king“ and „Minister of Education“ in the „Jewish State“, Naftali Bennett, the Minister of „Justice“ Ayelet Shaked, and the Minister of Culture Miri Regev, began their war against this NGO by using all means. This organisation was banned from the schools. They were denied to access to all institutions of the army. They are insulted as “moles“, “runner-down of their own country“, and as „traitors“ paid with foreign money to defame the „Jewish State“. However, this law  only affects „left-wing“ organizations helped by foreign aid, while right-wing organizations like „Im Tirtzu“ openly offer financial support to murderous Israeli soldiers and their families, and start hatred and smear campaigns against the liberal NGOs, and make fascism fashionable in Israel. (3)

Gabriel did the typical things a foreign minister does: a meeting with human rights groups, an important factor in Israel because they are a light in the fascist and Zionist obscurity. On his/her journey to Israel, every German politician should not just obligatorily visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, but should also recognize the reality of the illegal occupation of Palestine and openly talk about and criticize it.

Netanyahu staged such a domestic show to strengthen his power among corruption affairs and political rivals. So he used every mean to stage a scandal. And then he piled the fire up with the accusation that Gabriel had just met with the „enemies of Israel“ one day after the Holocaust memorial day. And so the worm was turned! Gabriel answered that on journeys abroad it was a good democratic practice to meet with critical organizations. And in this case, he knew that not just Chancellor Merkel was there to support him.

It is about time to start a rethink in German policy. The Holocaust memorial day should give a clear signal to allow crimes against humanity „never again“.

Since years, indeed decades, the German foreign policy has omitted to behave „normally“ when it was about criticising Israel. And this criticism should be obligatory if a “Jewish State”  defining itself the “only” democracy in the Middle East, commits illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing, and judaisation. I am really curious how the future visit to Israel by President Steinmeier will be. It is well-known that Steinmeier has a particularly good relationship with the Jewish friends. Both parties repeat all the time how “special”  their relation is. And this is exactly the reason why President Steinmeier should have his doubts about this democracy.

Chancellor Merkel expressed her solidarity with the Israeli aggressions, because they were conducted for “self-defence”, and she ordered to include the security of Israel into the German reason of state. And up to now, she has been talking about the mantra of the “two-state-solution”.

When Chancellor Merkel cancelled the governmental consultations with the Israeli cabinet, primarily because of timetabling reasons during the election year, even if, as it was expressed by governmental circles in Berlin, it was more because of the continuous settlement politics violating international law, Netanyahu had to find a tit-for-tat response. And there was no better chance than targeting German foreign minister Gabriel.

How long can and will the German government  continue this „special“ relationship to the “Jewish Apartheid State”?

In fact, in Israel people fear that Germany could stop its unlimited blind support to Israel. However, this would be an important step to achieve a “normal” relationship.

Unfortunately, this pipe dream seems to me more than ulikely. The Netanyahu regime still tries to instrumentalize the Holocaust for its own interests. And this still works out in Germany. The Israel lobby and the Central Council of Jews in Germany still instrumentalise Anti-Semitism for their interest, and start targeted campaigns to detract from the Israeli occupation crimes. In German policy for too long it has been accepted that in the meantime also in Germany this lobby work has assumed alarming shapes by denigrating all critics of Israel.

If in the “storming” battle organ of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, which declares that the “ethics of the preventive attack” as Jewish tradition is admissible as preventive self-defence strategy, then this Judaist ethics is all-day life in the “Jewish State”. In the meantime, the Netanyahu regime does not even conceal from military attacks against sovereign states like Syria, Lebanon, or wherever, and the hypocrite community of values accepts it… what to say about this “Jewish ethics” of the “11th Comandment”: Israel is allowed to do everything“! (4) (4a)

Therefore we have to oppose to the Israelisation of Germany!

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany has just said in an interview: “The new anti-Semitism is the anti-Semite Israel criticism”. In addition, there is the blow against Muslim immigrants carrying the gene of “Muslim anti-Semitism”. And so the Zionist poison soup is cooked. Schuster could not help but support the Israeli policy of Netanyahu in Germany when he accused Gabriel for not having met the organizations suggested by the Netanyahu regime.

Why all what comes from Jewish organizations is accepted without any critics? When will a representative of the government ask the Central Council or other lobby organisations the right questions? When will these representatives distance themselves from the illegal occupation policy of the “Jewish State”? Why are Jewish citizens treated differently from others? If German Turks engage for Erdogan, then all fill with indignation, but if German Jewish citizens, who have only a German passport, engage for Netanyahu, this is accepted without any criticism, or considered as normal because of their past. How can it be that young German Jews want to engage as volunteers in the “Jewish Defence Forces” to openly fight there, and to stabilise the illegal occupation or to attack sovereign states declared as “enemies”? Please note that it is about German citizens acting this way. If this does not raise questions? I was surprised when the former “Bundeswehr Professor” Wolffsohn in an interview attacked the Bundeswehr for being right-wing, after the abolition of the compulsory military service and when he explained how before his assignment he was asked about his contacts with communists, but not about his voluntary service in the IDF; finally, it would have been a logical questions to check his loyalty towards the German State. However, what is normal in these relationships?

Is it normal that a German minister of Interior writes 10 points for a German leading culture, by using the slogan: “We are not the Burka”, by asking for strange things, like shaking hands, open face, and of course, the commitment to the “special” relationship and to the existence right of Israel. This minister of Interior is a very heavy charge for all democrats in Germany, and has very few supporters, like the CDU talk show speaker Bosbach and the CDU number two Klöckner…

However, it seems to me that this more than embarrassing and inadequate advance is just a deviation manoeuvre from the right-wing trends in the Bundeswehr and the incredible case of the German Bundeswehr wing commander Franco A. who impersonated a Syrian refugees without any knowledge of the Arabic language. (5)

After all these mishaps and embarrassing incidents in the Bundeswehr, the German “war minister” Ursula von der Leyen should draw the conclusions …

When German President Steinmeier sees democracy in danger, and calls the Germans for more engagement, he should ask himself what democracy means to him and what is dangerous to democracy. Do the arbitrary actions of the Chancellor in all issues like the reason of state for the security of Israel, the existence right for a state without borders, the obstruction of the right for freedom of expression are democratic, when it is about the criticism against the “Jewish State” and 80 events like conferences, meeting, and expositions are cancelled or hampered by the municipalities or by Church institutions, when they critically deal with the Palestinian policy of the “Jewish State” or when the words occupation and BDS support are mentioned? Is this a democracy? It is alarming when 72 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, also Jewish speakers are denied to speak. If this is not anti-Semitism! Weapon sales and presents to the “Jewish State”, always new military operations for the Bundeswehr, the arbitrary refugee policy, visa freedom for the Ukraine, and sanctions against Russia, while Turkey has been stalled for decades with wrong promises. The claim for a German role as leader in Europe, under the leadership of a EU commission and a President who had been involved into a tax avoidance scandal in Luxembourg, a EU, which has become a luxury retreat of broken down politicians, the massive financial aid to Greece, the support of banks at charge of the tax payers, the training of German soldiers in Israel, the training of Saudi soldiers in Germany, a more than questionable anti-terror alliance, refugee deals of questionable kind, abolition of the compulsory military service, energy revolution, foreign policy according to despotic ruling, domestic policy at charge of Muslims, and leading culture ideas of the most anti-democratic type, all this decided in an arbitrary way, without asking us with a popular referendum. Yes, Mr Steinmeier, this creates democratic frustration, and does not promote democracy.

Therefore, I would like to conclude the present article with a quotation from the Jewish sociologist Judith Butler who expresses so well what impresses me and what I support from the deepest of my heart:

Butler opposes to the equation between Jewishness and Zionism to declare the anti-Zionist resistance as Jewish obligation:

“So, though one needs to contest the hegemonic control Zionism exercises over Jewishness, one needs, equally, to contest the colonial subjugation Zionism has implied for the Palestinian people.”

The “dismantling of political Zionism” is the prerequisite for coexistence. A new post-Zionist era could be the basis for a time after the occupation – and for Butler, not just Gaza and the West Bank are considered as occupied, but whole Israel because she considers also the foundation of the State of Israel as illegal.

In the end, I would like to accentuate that I will recognise only the existence right for a Free Palestine on an equal footing, for all its citizens, ethnical groups, and religions. And for what concerns this point, I fully agree with the new Hamas Charter. (6)

 

Written FOR

REMEMBERING PALESTINE ON ISRAEL’S DAY OF REMEMBRANCE ~~ IN TOONS

As Israel commemorates its fallen soldiers today, and its day of Independence tomorrow, we mourn the death of a wonderful nation.

Images by Carlos Latuff

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Today’s reality of the Nakba

The video about the new novel by author William Hanna entitled Ezekiel’s Temple Prophesy
For the interview see

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IN PHOTOS ~~ WEEKLY SUPPORT FOR PALESTINE IN NEW YORK

A WEEKLY EVENT WE HOLD AT UNION SQ. IT’S CALLED SAMIDOUN[FREENALL POLITICAL PRISONERS]. THIS WEEK IT WAS GEARED TO THE HUNGER STRIKERS.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Our very own Carlos Latuff was there in spirit

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EYE ON THE WEST BANK ~~ SUPPORT GROWS FOR PRISONERS’ HUNGER STRIKE

As envisaged during the last days, at this very moment the daily clashes during the rallies to support Palestinian prisoners increased in the West Bank. The population feels very close to the protest of the empty stomachs, even if there are no hopeful news. The number of arrested minors is also increasing, in particular in the refugee camps. In this article, I am trying to tell you my impressions on-site. 

Broad support for Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike

 

Rallies in the West Bank

By Antonietta Chiodo,  from the West Bank. English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

I am here in the West Bank, close to the Palestinian population to describe daily life and to show that a child is forced to live a completely different life than the life we could imagine in a normal Western country, even if the latter is often rather boring.

In my previous articles, I have talked about what is happening here these weeks, after the participation of almost 2.000 prisoners detained in Israeli prisons in the hunger strike proclaimed by al Fatah leader Marwan Bargouthi.

On April 27, 2017, next to the Aida refugee Camp where there is the “famous” separation wall, embellished by the artists’ murals, early in the morning the rally in support of the prisoners starts. Many bins were reversed and burned to avoid the approach of the Israeli military forces to the main road leading to Jerusalem.

Many children carry stones, and are ready to escape at the start-up of their friends. In the distance, the emptiness, suffocatingly waiting for the Israeli soldiers. On the earth, hundreds of tear gas cartridges used to stun the population.

A moment later I try to take some photos. Then a military car at high speed moves in our direction. The tear gas makes our eyes water, and the confused voices of the children stun us.

On the day Abu Mazen called a general strike, all protesters hope to find a place of refuge. We are happy to see a small shop which has left the roller shutter open so that we can enter. Inside wet wipes and water are distributed to clear our throat and to blot the swollen eye lids.

In the end when I am able to open my eyes, among the shelves I see people bent to the ground with the head between their hands. Others run along the streets, and hide their face in the pullovers trying to get away as fast as possible from the main road. We stop for an hour, outside the air has become unbreathable.

At last, we come back to the street. In the meantime the boys have become tired, and some of them has taken the bicycle from home to run faster than the gas. In the distance, we can see three silhouettes of Israeli soldiers; directly in front of us there is an ambulance of the international Red Cross. At least 15 people have been rescued since this morning, among them also a couple of American tourists.

The children always stand in readiness, while from the roofs somebody with the face covered by a kefia throws stones towards the wall. The alarm restarts again, and the ambulance reverses to park behind a partition. We hear children crying, while they are running towards us… to make us understand that the time has come… again we have to find a place of refuge.

They run as swift as the wind, all of them scream, the gun-shots are blown in the sky, and the general escape starts again. A Palestinian photojournalist is hunched over his legs because he is without gas mask. He tightens his eyes between his hands. Then he stands up suddenly, and starts to escape to avoid the toxic powders. The smell is indescribable.

In the meantime, my companion sprays perfume on paper handkerchiefs and distributes them among the people. As a good Palestinian, he has gained experience over all these years.

A child runs towards us and tells us that a 17-year-old guy was arrested. He was kicked to the ground by four Israeli soldiers and then dragged on the asphalt like a lamb to the  slaughter. We cannot intervene, because we understand how quickly they would arrest us. And if arrested, we could not tell the latest in a long string of stories of ordinary  guerrilla where children play the role of disarmed, small heroes, like David played against Goliath.

So this is the result of today, April 27, next to Bethlehem: 4 minors arrested, at least fifteen people rescued because of the damages caused by toxic gas, and among them a couple of tourists.

The Israeli military forces did not just attack the rally, but also prepared an invasion into the near village arresting 7 people, the majority of which were minors.

In the  village of Betunia two people, one adult and one child, were arrested.

 

Written FOR

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE ROAD TO FREEDOM COMES TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

We must not co-exist but rather co-resist 

On the evening of April 24th an auditorium at Barnard College/Columbia University was packed to capacity with students waiting to hear Omar Barghouti, one of the originators of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, speak.  Earlier in the day he was given the Gandhi Peace Prize at Yale University and all were aware that the Israeli government had tried to interfere with him taking this trip.  There was also interference from the university which was not pleased to have Barghouti at Columbia that evening.

When he entered the room he was given a loud, long and enthusiastic standing ovation.  Two other speakers were on the program, Professor Premilla Nadasen, of the Barnard History Department and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Both spoke well, Nadasen described her experiences growing up in an apartheid South Africa which she  said was not as bad as the apartheid in Palestine.  Vilkomerson discussed the new tactics that Israel was using, “lawfare”, in an attempt to defeat the growing BDS movement.  When Barghouti stepped up to the podium there was another lengthy standing ovation.  He began by giving the history of the non-violent BDS movement and explained their 3 demands – ending the occupation and the wall, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel (there are currently 61 laws in Israel that favor Jewish citizens over Palestinian citizens), and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees in the diaspora as guaranteed by the UN.  He said that the Nakba had never ended and that there was a continual effort to colonize the minds of the Palestinian people by destroying all hope.  But hope was not destroyed.  There is still strong resistance and the success of the BDS movement has raised hope even higher.  He added that we must not co-exist but rather co-resist.  To boycott or not to boycott is a moral choice that we must all make.  And when, not if, freedom, justice, and equality exist there the BDS campaign will come to an end.  And then there was another lengthy standing ovation for Barghouti and, by extension, for the Palestinian people.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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ON SUNDAY OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

GOOD MORNING FROM A HUNGRY PALESTINE

Today all of Palestine is on strike in solidarity with the fasting prisoners and tomorrow is a day of indignation, demonstrations, and confrontations with the occupiers. Bethlehem is a ghost town and all shops and public transportation are closed and Israeli helicopters are in the skies. [Volunteers came to museum and we are taking a group on tour of the wall and impact of settlements n the environment because this is not work but resistance]. Tomorrow is a day of demonstrations and confrontations. In this message I just want to reflect on why this is very important.

More than 1800 of our freedom fighters are on their 11th day of Hunger Strike inside Israeli occupation jails.

 Salt and water is all they will take until their just and rightful demands are met

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Every day we encounter greedy people focused on their own needs and unhealthy desires. How many cheated us? How many come around us because they want some material interest? How many corrupt politicians we know? How many people we know turned out to be kinder and gentler and more self sacrificing than we thought? How many turned out more mean, more selfish, more sadistic? Looking at the world in this fashion (some would claim it is seeing reality) can be truly dispiriting. It can remove any remaining humanity in many people. But then comes a prisoner hunger strike! It sounds small but it touches a cord in human beings bigger than any other and I will argue it is the way to reclaim our humanity.

Today, Palestinians and their friends around the world show solidarity with over 1800 Palestinian political prisoners who are on their 11th day of hunger strike. Salt and water is all they will take until their just and rightful demands are met (basic decent treatment in prison based on international law). It sounds simple but this is a profound even in Palestinian and human history. The price one pays for resistance is injury, death or imprisonment. It is the antithesis of selfishness and greed.

800,000 Palestinians tasted life in prison and today almost 7000 are there in the colonial apartheid Israeli prisons. While everyone knows this, the hunger strike brought the prisoners’ message home to all – rich and poor, greedy and self-sacrificing, honest and liar. This message is nothing short of that we humans must reconnect to our humanity and that caring for others is the way to save humanity. In this 21st century with weapons of mass destruction and climate change, we cannot afford as a species to do otherwise. Prisoners show us the way like many decent human beings showed us the way before (think of Jesus and prophets and revolutionaries like Che Guevera). But the alarm bells for us are now alarm bells for a dying species unless we act. It is more urgent than ever in our short history on earth. We really have a choice to make and it is both an individual and a collective choice. That choice is to either accept war and greed as “natural” and follow the other human lemmings over the cliff OR resist and give of ourselves as a way to save humanity.  Mahatma Gandhi used hunger strike to refocus people away from greed and selfishness to caring for each other. Hunger is painful and people will die sooner or later unless we all act. What is at stake is very high: our own self-respect (dignity) as human beings. But as the world changed, the danger is that we can also go extinct as a species unless we manage to collectively transcend a huge baggage of greed, colonialism, and  capitalism that cannot be sustained in the 21st century. Palestinian prisoners by their silent deeds of self-sacrifice have shown us the way. As did martyrs like Basil Al-Araj who simply noted that in his extremely short last words on paper: there is no more eloquant speech than the deed of the Martyr.

Kkalil Gibran wrote in “The Prophet” 1923: “You give but little when you give of your possessions; it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?  And what is fear of need but need itself.” The prisoners and the martyrs gave silently of themselves. For the rest of us, where we stand today and tomorrow will say a lot about who we are.

Here is a relevant article I wrote seven years ago “The Savior in Each of Us”

THE REALITY OF APARTHEID AND ITS REPRECUSSIONS

THE FACTS OF THE MATTER …..


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ZIONS RESPONSE …

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AND OUR RESPONSE

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THE LEAST YOU CAN DO ….

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THE BDS MOVEMENT WAS HONOURED ON SUNDAY WHEN OMAR BARGHOUTI WAS PRESENTED WITH THE GANDHI PEACE AWARD AT A CEREMONY IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT


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WE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT ALONE …. AND WE SHALL OVERCOME!

ASSORTMENT OF TOONS ~~ FROM A HUNGRY PALESTINE

Collection is FROM

Organizations and individuals which side with Palestine are welcome to reproduce the following cartoons on hunger strikers!

1500 of our freedom fighters are on their 7th day of Hunger Strike inside Israeli occupation jails.

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For the 7th day, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue their open hunger strike.

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Good morning from Palestine .. !

From Latuff

Why we strike ….

Statics you SHOULD know about the miserable conditions at the Israeli jails..

FAKE NEWS IN DEFENSE OF ZIONISM

Now, almost every day inflationary targeted pro-Israel articles are published in different German media. They voluntarily hide the word “occupation” and Zionist crimes. Apparently, the more than 45 million US-Dollar spent by the Israeli ministries for the Hasbara propaganda are worth it. It is understandable that a right-wing regime like the Netanyahu regime makes use of these methods as there is nothing Zionists fear more than the truth.

Facts, instead of the diffusion of political fake news!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

Again these days, where the Jewish Passover celebration almost coincides with the Christian Easter, the international values hypocrites use fake news to hide their mistakes and the bombs violating international law.

In this case it is useful for politicians, churches, and media to have an enemy image they can work on together. And this enemy image is “Islam” and the “Muslims” against whom prejudices and fears are created. And all the time it is “Islam” and the Muslims who are regularly connected to “terrorism”. Who wonders if in the German/European population hatred against Muslims increases?

What the Jews were in the past, today Muslims and Islam are.

Can this kind of politics where Western values politicians whitewash the state terrorism against Muslims, masked as “defence from terrorism”, last for a long time? All is authorised, because we are the “good ones” defending “our” values, while “Islam” and Muslims murder barbarically!

What a horrible “order of values” turning all upside down what makes up real values. Since a long time German politics have abandoned peaceful values. However, these values are always indicated by politics when it is about the implementation of more than questionable objectives suggesting us that only “our” way of life is the ONLY  right one.

This kind of colonization of the “Christian-Jewish community of values” has already caused so much sorrow to mankind. It does not distinguish itself from the previous crusades but it is technically more elaborated and more efficient and adapted to the contemporary epoch.

Hypocritical “Christian” German politicians, from Merkel to von der Leyen, try to justify and legalize the US aggression against Syria violating international law. Our minister of war put herself in the frontline by supporting the US propaganda which grants itself the right to bomb another country, without research and proofs concerning the alleged poison gas attack. She supports the NATO and Trump. In the Anne Will program of last Sunday, 9th of April, the minister praised the US strikes and called this brazen violation of international law a necessary “warning” against Assad. Fortunately, the former biological weapon experts and foreign politics spokesperson of the left party Die Linke van Aken was appalled because the minister applauded this aggression against international law, even if there are no proofs that Assad committed the offence. This TV program is another example of the decline of German television culture and its presenters.

What Miss Will did on that occasion, was to oppose to ANY kind of clean journalism, when she tried to discredit Michael Lüders, one of the few competent Middle East experts, by de-qualifying him as a paid “lobbyist”. However, the “steel helmet Jew” and former Bundeswehr Professor Michael Wolffsohn, a well-known lobbyist of Israel and among others a member of the advisory board of Deutsche Bank, the former US ambassador in Germany, John Kornblum, also a lobbyist for Israel and consultant of financial economists, law offices, and banks. Politics. (1) (2)

Do we deserve such politicians and presenters who lie to us in more than controversial talk shows? If German President Steinmeier attacks the brutalization of the language on the net, he should care about the brutalization of the language of politicians of all parties telling us fake news and dismissing us as conspiracy theoretics if we do not accept them as the truth!

Of course, we still have the opportunity to go to the elections. However, also this “agony of choice” is getting more and more difficult because the parties are increasingly resembling each other. And all resembles the great coalition when also SPD foreign minister Gabriel and the defence expert Arnold speak up for the US aggression against Syria, violating international law. From the left to the right, from red to green: there is not so much the party landscape can offer. Only the brave “old Green” politician Ströbele condemns the US aggression. (3) (4)

At the moment, German politics offer very few essential contents, like the woolly statement of the “SPD Shooting Star” Schulz, who even wants to be congratulated on doing it. Even SPD Federal President Steinmeier begins to flutter by asking for more German responsibility, also in the military field. While the Green Party, from Cem Özdemir to Rebecca Harms, wallow in the anti-Erdogan and anti-Putin smear campaign, Göring-Eckardt has specialised in waste separation and the elimination of the yellow bag. (5)

Under Trump, the “father of all bombs”, for the first time in Afghanistan the “mother of all bombs” was dropped. Perhaps, the Netanyahu regime has already ordered this “mother” at the US Pentagon to quickly implement the final solution of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and its Judaization. The Minister of Education and the “Settlements King” Naftali Bennett has already threatened to commit genocide in Lebanon, and this without the so loud outcry of the Western world value community staying silent about it! (6) (7)

Trump seems to have reached  the point to be supported by official politics; now  “Kosher Nostra” guided by his daughter Ivanka, the converted wife of Jarred Kushner, the Jewish son-in-law and main consultant of Trump has taken over the White House. (8)

In this situation the Netanyahu regime can relax, and praise further US aggressions against Syria or other countries of the Arabic-Islamic world. This is the only way for the Jewish regime to further exacerbate the eternal illegal occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Hills; and in addition, shortly the US embassy guided by the hard-core Zionist Friedman will reside in Jerusalem as the official “eternally undivided“ capital of the “Jewish State”.

Again, this year, which will be the fiftieth year of the illegal occupation of Palestine, the Federal Government will celebrate the Independence Day, the “Birthday of the Jewish State”, together with the officials of the Central Council of Jews and the representatives of the “Jewish State”. This proofs the repeated total failure of democracy in Germany, since up to now all German governments and politicians of all parties have only supported the legalization of internationally condemned international law violations committed by the Zionist occupiers.

72 years after the liberation of Auschwitz this is really a shame.

If the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Lau, misuses the holocaust to distract from his own crimes, this is a crime all survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants should oppose to, instead of defending these crimes of the “Jewish State”! As long as Jewish citizens do not take their distance from the Zionist occupation crimes, they will never been considered as trustful. We need same rights for all: what we pretend from Muslims, should apply to ALL religions! (9)

While German politicians and the group media bash Putin and Erdogan, regimes like the ones of al-Sisi, the Saudi Kingdom or Netanyahu can continue committing their crimes against humanity and putting all “our” values upside down!

The hypocrisy has taken such incredible forms, in particular for BDS activists and their supporters, that we have to ask ourselves how this will go on and end.

Philo-Semite politicians set the tone. And a special emphasis should be put on the “Philo-Semite Anti-Semite” Volker Beck, who really seems to smell Jewish hatred and as tracking dog of the Green Party opposes to all kind of Israel critics. However, this is only possible because there is no real opposition. Like in the Nazi regime, fear, moral cowardice, and limitless gutlessness dominate when it is about critics against Israeli politics!

Would it not be adequate to take Mr Beck to the court on the basis of the article 5 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany because of his unjustified attacks against the freedom of opinion?

However, in the meantime it seems to be part of the political tone to silence all honest Israel critics and to try to intimidate them by defamation.

Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 5

(1)   Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing and pictures, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship. (…)
Of course this right also applies to supporters of the BDS campaign and to Israel critics!
More than six thousand Palestinian prisoners are in arbitrary and unjust detention. Many of them are in administrative detention without accusation. On Easter Monday, after a call by Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian “Nelson Mandela”, 1300 of them started a hunger strike to struggle for better detention conditions and their liberation. This Palestinian new hope would be the right candidate for the Presidential Office in a free Palestine! However, the Jewish occupiers and the “moderate” collaborators and the PA and Abbas would like to stop him because he would question and challenge their status quo. Therefore Barghouti must remain in Judaistic detention. For Barghouti unfortunately there is no lobby and no German politicians or media engaging for him as they do it for the prisoners in Turkey … and in a particularly media-effective way for the reporter of the newspaper “Die Welt” Deniz Yücel – no wonder if we read his fervent article supporting the Israel lobby opposing to the Germans‘ right to criticize Israel, and as a consequence the right for freedom of opinion! For his work, Yücel got the Theodor Wolff Prize for Press Freedom. Remember: If you are supported by a lobby, prizes are distributed like counterfeit money. However, the numerous Palestinian journalists in Israeli detention rot down, without any award! (10) (11) (12) (13) (14)

Now, almost every day inflationarily targeted pro-Israel articles are published in different German media. They voluntarily hide the word “occupation” and Zionist crimes. Apparently, the more than 45 million US-Dollar spent by the Israeli ministries for the Hasbara propaganda are worth it. It is understandable that a right-wing regime like the Netanyahu regime makes use of these methods as there is nothing Zionists fear more than the truth.

The power of images is enormous in our time. While fake images of small, probably Syrian children are diffused all around the world, the murdered Palestinian children never get a place on the cover page of our brave media. Walter Herrmann, this unforgotten Kölner Klagemauer fighter for the justice in Palestine, who wanted to remember photos of the Gaza genocide of barbarically murdered children in Gaza, was brought to justice!

Do not let us permit to substitute the power of facts with the diffusion of political fake news!

Unfortunately, all is repeated, and about this matter the poem by Erich Fried Nicaragua is everywhere says it all.

(In German)

Wo liegt Nicaragua?

by Erich Fried

Wo liegt Nicaragua?

Dort wo Reagan seine bezahlten
Mörder hinschickt
oder seine Agenten.
Es liegt also in Angola,
wo er mit seinen weißen
politisch verlässlichen südafrikanischen Freunden
die Banden der Unita
bewaffnet und unterstützt.

Wo liegt Nicaragua?

Am Horn von Afrika,

wo er zahlt für seinen Stützpunkt
in Mogadischu.

Wo liegt Nicaragua?
Es liegt in Palästina,
es liegt im Staat Israel
dem er Geld gibt und Waffen
für den Kampf
gegen die Palästinenser
und den er zu seinem Sprungbrett
im Nahen Osten gemacht hat.

Wo liegt Nicaragua?
Nicaragua liegt in Europa
das aussätzig ist
von seinen Atomraketen
und das Kriegsschauplatz sein soll
im nächsten Krieg.

Wo liegt Nicaragua?
Nicaragua liegt in England,
aus dem er Flugzeuge
aus dem er Flugzeuge aufsteigen ließ
gegen Libyen?
Wo liegt Nicaragua?
Es liegt in Libyen,
in Tripolis und Benghazi
auf die seine Bomben fielen.

Wo liegt Nicaragua?
Es liegt überall dort,
wo die Vereinigten Staaten Geheimdienstleute einschleusen
zur Verteidigung der Freiheit der freien Welt.
Und weil Nicaragua überall ist, darum muß man
endlich etwas von Nicaragua wissen:
Daß es in Nicaragua um alle Welt geht,
und dass man Nicaragua überall helfen muß
gegen Reagen und Weinberger und ihre Agenten und Söldner
und nicht vergessen soll, dass der Internationale Gerichtshof
im Haag die Vereinigten Staaten verurteilt hat
als Angreifer und als Verletzer des Völkerrechts,
als das, was man Kriegsverbrecher genannt hätte und
Friedensverbrecher, wenn die Vereinigten Staaten
etwas kleiner wären und nicht so mächtig.

Und weil Nicaragua überall ist, darum stehen die Menschen
überall, wo sie für Nicaragua stehen,
auch für sich selbst und ihre eigenen Kinder,
für ihr Leben und gegen ihren Tod.

Und wer in Deutschland am Leben bleiben will,
soll bedenken:
Nicaragua liegt in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
die alle Hilfe für Nicaragua gesperrt hat,
die aber Geld schickt an die Mörderbanden der Contras.
Nicaragua liegt in Deutschland, das Asylanten
In ihrer Herkunftsländern abschiebt zu Tod und Folter
Als wären noch nicht genug Todestransporte gerollt

über deutsche Geleise
zur Erledigung jenseits der Grenzen.

Erich Fried

Zur Zeit der Verleumder

Sie nennen mich
Verräter an meinem Volk
Sie nennen mich
Jüdischer Antisemit
weil ich spreche von dem
was sie tun in Israels Namen
gegen Palästinenser
gegen Araber anderer Länder
und auch gegen Juden
die totgeschwiegen werden

Später einmal
werden Juden die übrigbleiben
wenn dieser Wahnsinn vorbei ist
zu suchen beginnen
nach Spuren von Juden
die nicht mittaten
sondern warnten

So haben Deutsche gezeigt
nach dem Untergang Hitlers
auf Deutsche die tags zuvor
noch verfolgt wurden oder getötet
Die sollten nun Zeugen sein
daß Deutsche auch anders waren

Ob dann ein Wort
noch nachlebt
von meiner Warnung
Wichtiger aber:
ob dann in Palästina noch Juden leben
entronnene jener Vernichtung
die sie selbst herbeiführen halfen
durch ihr Unrecht
zu meiner Zeit?

 

Originally appeared AT

INTERVIEW ~~ SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKERS CONTINUES TO GROW

A couple of days ago, the leader of al Fatah, Marwan Barghouti, published his shocking article on New York Times. He had just started a legendary protest, called the “struggle of the empty stomachs”. Marwan has been able to start an extended non-violent struggle of at least 1.300 prisoners in Israeli prisons, a hunger strike. The objective is to show their reality to the rest of the world, and to make people understand what is going on in this land of denied rights. In his article published by New York Times Marwan attacks the Israeli military forces by using very hard words. The Zionist regime is responsible for the total absence and/or the daily violation of human rights, for daily physical and psychological torture, and also for bad food. 

Image by Carlos Latuff

Day 5 of 1,500 Palestinian detainees’ hunger strike in Israeli occupation jails!

Interview with Khaled, during a rally to support Palestinian prisoners

by Antonietta Chiodo, ProMosaik, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

In these hours, the population wants the competent authorities to take their responsibility to sanction a state whose law is based on the exercise of violence and power against a helpless population. However, as we can see today, this population has not stopped resisting. The President of the Palestinian Authority Abu Mazen declared his unconditioned solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners. The groups next to Hamas and the Islamic Party have not made a clear decision about whether they will participate to the hunger strike by involving their own members in Israeli prisons or not.

The day after the publication of Barghouti’s article and the extended participation to the hunger strike by prisoners, the Knesset put the leader Marwan Barghouti and other three main organizers of the protest in solitary confinement in the high-security prison in the Northern West Bank next to the city of Jenin. Since the beginning of the protests, the clashes and arrests are increasing, in particular around Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem.

Today I went into the streets and talked to a group of people during a solidarity rally for the Palestinian prisoners in hunger strike. Among them there was also an about eight years old handicapped child. Some of them wore gas masks. An ambulance was ready to intervene in case of clashes.

Everywhere the shapes of Israeli soldiers. In sight the separation wall. There are upset garbage containers which make me think about a day full of tensions. During the rally, I talked to Khaled, one of the guys participating to the protests, to ask him a couple of questions about them.

Have there been news from the prisons during these last hours?

No, since the beginning of the hunger strike, Israel has not been giving any information… we have only heard that the leaders of the protest were put into solitary confinement and that many prisoners are not even allowed to talk to their own lawyer.

Do you feel supported by the Palestinian Authority these days?

I cannot answer to this question… I cannot say anything about it… I am just a man who decided to take to the streets these days… as many women and children did… we would like to tell the world what has been happening in this land since seventy years now….  However, politics are the heart of Palestine… the whole world turns around politics, we do not want to know if one is on our part or not… since this is our life, and our freedom, and we will continue our resistance against the occupation, day after day… If you want to know if we trust Abu Mazen …. Then I can answer you: No, Palestine has stopped trusting him since a long time now.

Were there many clashes during these rallies? Do you think others will follow today?

We protest the whole day, also in the evening. They usually attack us in the afternoon or after sunset. As you can see, we have no arms. We just have flags… but we resist. Because resisting is the thing we can do best…. And it is not a coincidence that the majority of people participating to these rallies comes from the refugee camps, in particular from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp.

Do you think that Marwan Barghouti’s initiative will be really helpful?

Yes, I am absolutely convinced that it is a light, an open window so that the world can look into here… so that all can see how strong we the Palestinians are… we prefer dying than continuing to be oppressed and tortured. Our situation has been unchanged for seventy years now… So our fellows have started this struggle, and we have to support them because they are brave men and true examples for us.

 

Written FOR

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF OCCUPATION

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel celebrates 50 years as occupier

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation.

The centerpiece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour party, now heading the opposition.

The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature. But the extravagance of the festivities also underscores the growth over five decades of Israel’s self-assurance as an occupier.

Documents found this month in Israel’s archives reveal that, when Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, its first concern was to hoodwink the international community.

The foreign ministry ordered Israel’s ambassadors to mischaracterize its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem as a simple “municipal fusion”. To avoid diplomatic reprisals, Israel claimed it was necessary to ease the provision of essential services to the occupied Palestinian population.

Interestingly, those drafting the order advised that the deception was unlikely to succeed. The United States had already insisted that Israel commit no unilateral moves.

But within months Israel had evicted thousands of Palestinians from the Old City and destroyed their homes. Washington and Europe have been turning a blind eye to such actions ever since.

One of the Zionist movement’s favorite early slogans was: “Dunam after dunam, goat after goat”. The seizure of small areas of territory measured in dunams, the demolition of the odd home, and the gradual destruction of herding animals would slowly drive the Palestinians off most of their land, “liberating” it for Jewish colonization. If it was done piecemeal, the objections from overseas would remain muffled. It has proved a winning formula.

Fifty years on, the colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank is so entrenched that a two-state solution is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Nonetheless, US president Donald Trump has chosen this inauspicious moment to dispatch an envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a “goodwill” response, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a framework for settlement building. It is exactly the kind of formula for deception that has helped Israel consolidate the occupation since 1967.

Netanyahu says expansion will be “restricted” to “previously developed” settlements, or “adjacent” areas, or, depending on the terrain, “land close” to a settlement.

Peace Now points out that the settlements already have jurisdiction over some 10 per cent of the West Bank, while far more is treated as “state land”. The new framework, says the group, gives the settlers a green light to “build everywhere”.

The Trump White House has shrugged its shoulders. A statement following Netanyahu’s announcement judged the settlements no “impediment to peace”, adding that Israel’s commitments to previous US administrations would be treated as moot.

Effectively, the US is wiping the slate clean, creating a new baseline for negotiations after decades of Israeli changes stripping the Palestinians of territory and rights.

Although none of this bodes well, Egypt and Jordan’s leaders met Trump this month to push for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The White House is said to be preparing to welcome the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Some senior Palestinians are rightly wary. Abbas Zaki, a Fatah leader, fears Trump will try to impose a regional solution on Arab states, over Abbas’s head, designed to “eliminate the Palestinian cause altogether”.

David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, reportedly once said: “What matters is not what the goyim [non-Jews] say, but what the Jews do.”

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Oslo accords dangled an illusory peace carrot that usefully distracted the global community as Israel nearly quadrupled its settler population, making even a highly circumscribed Palestinian state unrealizable.

Now, that game plan is about to be revived in new form. While the US, Israel, Jordan and Egypt focus on the hopeless task of creating a regional framework for peace, Israel will be left undisturbed once again to seize more dunams and more goats.

In Israel, the debate is no longer simply about whether to build settler homes, or about how many can be justified. Government ministers argue instead about the best moment to annex vast areas of the West Bank associated with so-called settlement blocs such as Gush Etzion.

Israel’s imminent celebrations should lay to rest any confusion that the occupation is still considered temporary. But when occupation becomes permanent, it metamorphoses into something far uglier.

It is past time to recognize that Israel has established an apartheid regime and one that serves as a vehicle for incremental ethnic cleansing. If there are to be talks, ending that outrage must be their first task.

MUCH ADO ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKE

Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons

Carlos Latuff shows his solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who launched a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails, yesterday.

Palestinians in Israeli prisons begin hunger strike!

Israel, the mother of terrorism has called this article an act of terror. Please read and distribute as far and wide as possible.

Op-Ed in the New York Times

By

Photos of prisoners during a demonstration demanding the release of the Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, in Ramallah, West Bank, this month. Credit Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

HADARIM PRISON, Israel — Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.

Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have decided to take part in this hunger strike, which begins today, the day we observe here as Prisoners’ Day. Hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.

Decades of experience have proved that Israel’s inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation. In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it.

Israel, the occupying power, has violated international law in multiple ways for nearly 70 years, and yet has been granted impunity for its actions. It has committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions against the Palestinian people; the prisoners, including men, women and children, are no exception.

I was only 15 when I was first imprisoned. I was barely 18 when an Israeli interrogator forced me to spread my legs while I stood naked in the interrogation room, before hitting my genitals. I passed out from the pain, and the resulting fall left an everlasting scar on my forehead. The interrogator mocked me afterward, saying that I would never procreate because people like me give birth only to terrorists and murderers.

A few years later, I was again in an Israeli prison, leading a hunger strike, when my first son was born. Instead of the sweets we usually distribute to celebrate such news, I handed out salt to the other prisoners. When he was barely 18, he in turn was arrested and spent four years in Israeli prisons.

The eldest of my four children is now a man of 31. Yet here I still am, pursuing this struggle for freedom along with thousands of prisoners, millions of Palestinians and the support of so many around the world. What is it with the arrogance of the occupier and the oppressor and their backers that makes them deaf to this simple truth: Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.

Israel has built nearly all of its prisons inside Israel rather than in the occupied territory. In doing so, it has unlawfully and forcibly transferred Palestinian civilians into captivity, and has used this situation to restrict family visits and to inflict suffering on prisoners through long transports under cruel conditions. It turned basic rights that should be guaranteed under international law — including some painfully secured through previous hunger strikes — into privileges its prison service decides to grant us or deprive us of.

Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence. Some have been killed while in detention. According to the latest count from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, about 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967 because of such actions. Palestinian prisoners and their families also remain a primary target of Israel’s policy of imposing collective punishments.

Through our hunger strike, we seek an end to these abuses.

Over the past five decades, according to the human rights group Addameer, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel — equivalent to about 40 percent of the Palestinian territory’s male population. Today, about 6,500 are still imprisoned, among them some who have the dismal distinction of holding world records for the longest periods in detention of political prisoners. There is hardly a single family in Palestine that has not endured the suffering caused by the imprisonment of one or several of its members.

How to account for this unbelievable state of affairs?

Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance. Israel’s courts are a charade of justice, clearly instruments of colonial, military occupation. According to the State Department, the conviction rate for Palestinians in the military courts is nearly 90 percent.

Among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians whom Israel has taken captive are children, women, parliamentarians, activists, journalists, human rights defenders, academics, political figures, militants, bystanders, family members of prisoners. And all with one aim: to bury the legitimate aspirations of an entire nation.

Instead, though, Israel’s prisons have become the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination. This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom.

Israel has tried to brand us all as terrorists to legitimize its violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, torture, punitive measures and severe restrictions. As part of Israel’s effort to undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers.

Israel is not the first occupying or colonial power to resort to such expedients. Every national liberation movement in history can recall similar practices. This is why so many people who have fought against oppression, colonialism and apartheid stand with us. The International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Prisoners that the anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada and my wife, Fadwa, inaugurated in 2013 from Nelson Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island has enjoyed the support of eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates, 120 governments and hundreds of leaders, parliamentarians, artists and academics around the world.

Their solidarity exposes Israel’s moral and political failure. Rights are not bestowed by an oppressor. Freedom and dignity are universal rights that are inherent in humanity, to be enjoyed by every nation and all human beings. Palestinians will not be an exception. Only ending occupation will end this injustice and mark the birth of peace.

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES ~~ 1500 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. 

Image by Carlos Latufff

 

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. This includes family visits, stopping abuse,
availability of medical treatment, knowing their sentence (administrative
detainees held for months and sometimes years without charge or trial),
etc.  There were many activities to honor them and show solidarity. For
example we in Al-Rowwad Culture and Art Society held the festival of return
(3aidoun) in their honor, there were demonstrations at the wall (inhaled
much tear gas) and we have a candle-light vigil later tonight in
Bethlehem’s manger square. Please keep prisoners issues alive so that they
stay alive and are treated with dignity they deserve. These events happen
in between our usual work at the museum (research, education,
conservation). 15 elementary school children visited as did several local
people. Our team of international volunteers (seven today) continue and are
working hard. Look for us on facebook under Palestine Museum of Natural
History.

Why we are on hunger strike in Israel's prisons (more)


U.S. Drops Its Biggest Non-Nuclear Bomb on Afghans, Already Traumatized by
Decades of War. In Afghanistan on Thursday, the United States military
dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever—the Massive Ordnance Air
Blast, or MOAB, nicknamed "The Mother of All Bombs." The 21,600-pound bomb
reportedly unleashed an explosion equivalent to 11 tons of TNT with a
mile-wide blast radius…..

[They keep telling us it is “non-nuclear” (why not non-biological,
non-chemical?). It was described the Afhani officials as devastating to
people and the environment. This came after Trump refused independent
investigations and claimed he knows Syrian government used chemical weapons
and bombed Syria. He is now the typical neocon….]

American police are now regularly getting training from Israeli apartheid
officers. Is it any wonder then they drag people out of airplanes and shoot
blacks in the street? Here is an interesting opinion piece in the
Washington Post. Crucified man had prior run in with authorities:

I guess this is how we are writing up the victims of crimes now. I did not
realize that when you boarded a plane you gave away the right to have your
past remain your past, but a theme of life these days is that only people
who have never done anything wrong, or are in some way related to Donald
Trump, deserve to go through their lives unmolested. In accordance with
this new house style I am writing up an incident whose anniversary some
people are celebrating this week.  The gentleman arrested Thursday and
tried before Pontius Pilate had a troubled background.


Open Secrets: The UAE’s Deals With Israel

 

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