OCCUPATION TO BLAME FOR TEL AVIV TERROR ATTACK

At least one elected official had the guts to speak the truth!

Tel Aviv Mayor Blames Terror Attack on Israel’s Occupation

“You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright.”

The 'savage' himself!

The ‘savage’ himself!

The mayor of Tel Aviv blamed the terror attack that killed four Israelis on the occupation of Palestinian lands.

Hours after two gunmen opened fire in a chic shopping district, Mayor Ron Huldai said the Jewish state’s half-century rule over Palestinians was fueling the violence.

“You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright,” Huldai told the Jerusalem Post.

The mayor was joined by Israeli Arab lawmakers in a plea for peace after the deadly attack.

They said civilians “on both sides” should be removed from the conflict and denounced the possibility that Israel will embark on a retaliatory campaign of collective punishment.

Even when asked about reports that West Bank Palestinians celebrated the murders, Huldai refused to take the bait. He insisted that the occupation, which he said “I know and I was a part of,” was the real culprit.

“Leaders need courage to not just talk,” Huldai said.

Israel’s right-wing government ministers wasted no time in lashing out at Huldai and other leftists, insisting that he was whitewashing terror. Deputy Defense minister Eli Ben-Dahan said Arabs were terrorizing Jews in the Holy Land even before the state of Israel was established, let alone when it seized the West Bank.

“They are the delusional ones,” Ben-Dahan said.

 

Written by The Forward Staff

 

STANDING WITH ISRAEL IS STANDING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY

We regret that Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history, and we express our appreciation to the growing number of courageous policymakers and citizens who stand with the Palestinian people today.

June 5, 2016-New York City --.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel during a breakfast meeting at the Harvard Club. Afterwards, Governor Cuomo marched in the Salute to Israel Parade. (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

June 5, 2016-New York City –.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel during a breakfast meeting at the Harvard Club. Afterwards, Governor Cuomo marched in the Salute to Israel Parade. (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

BDS movement: ‘Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history’

Palestinian BDS National Committee VIA

This week, as Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, enter their 50th year living under Israel’s regime of military occupation and settlements, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has chosen to issue an anti-democratic executive order creating a blacklist of companies and organizations that abide by BDS campaigns for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. The order is a prelude to McCarthyism 2.0, where loyalty to Israel’s far-right apartheid government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, trumps respect for human rights, free speech, and common decency.

Launched in 2005 by the absolute majority in Palestinian civil society — including labor unions, students groups, and women’s grassroots movements — the inclusive, nonviolent, global BDS movement seeks to hold Israel’s regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid accountable to international law, as was done to the apartheid regime in South Africa. The overarching goal of the movement is contributing to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people by asking institutions and individuals to cut their complicity in maintaining Israel’s regime of oppression, which has only grown worse over time. 

As the New York Civil Liberties Union has said, attempts to create blacklists to financially penalize groups, businesses, and others that engage in politically motivated speech and association “reach far beyond what is constitutionally permissible.” The U.S. Supreme Court has “clearly established that First Amendment protections apply to politically-motivated economic boycotts aimed at influencing public policy and advancing social change.”

The governments of SwedenNetherlands and Ireland have upheld the right to campaign for Palestinian rights under international law through BDS tactics against Israel, and so have Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Having failed to stop the growth in grassroots support for BDS as an effective strategy to realize Palestinian rights, Israel has adopted since 2014 a new top-down strategy that employs legal warfare, espionage and intensified propaganda to block citizens and civil society groups from exercising their right to boycott. 

Israel is seeking support from governments in Europe and North America to shield its regime of oppression from accountability and sanctions similar to those applied against apartheid South Africa.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian society that is leading the global BDS movement, will continue working with our partners around the world, who recognize that individuals must step in where governments have failed us. We are determined to continue our contribution to our people’s struggle for our UN-stipulated human rights.

We regret that Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history, and we express our appreciation to the growing number of courageous policymakers and citizens who stand with the Palestinian people today.

Here’s YOUR chance to STAND WITH HUMANITY today

(Click on link)

SAY NO TO CUOMO! ~~ KEEP McCARTHY OUT OF NEW YORK!!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

WHITEWASHING A MURDER CAUGHT ON FILM

A Palestinian woman reacts as an Israeli soldier arrest her son in the West Bank city of Hebron March 8, 2006. Photo by/Nayef Hashlamoun

This video, shown in an Israeli court on Wednesday, reveals that a knife was deliberately moved much closer to the body of a Palestinian youth who had just been executed in cold blood.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, the footage “could indicate an attempt to tamper with evidence” in order to give the appearance that the youth “could have reached the knife and constituted a threat before he was shot.”

On 24 March, Israeli soldier Elor Azarya lifted his rifle, aimed and then fired at the head of 21-year-old Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif after he and another youth allegedly stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron’s Old City in the occupied West Bank.

Al-Sharif was lying on the ground, injured and immobilized, when Azarya fired at his head.

Crime scene manipulated after Hebron killing, possibly disproving claims by Israeli soldier

New video footage has surfaced of an Israeli ambulance driver kicking a knife near to the body of Abdul Fattah al-Sharif, a young Palestinian whose execution-style murder by an Israeli soldier in March was caught on video, sparking international outrage.*

The video footage, obtained by Israel’s Channel Two, is expected to be shown to an Israeli military court to disprove claims by the Israeli soldier who killed al-Sharif that he shot the young Palestinian point-blank in the head after al-Sharif moved to grab a knife, according to the Israeli media outlet Ynet.
*
The footage shows that the knife allegedly used in the attack was far from al-Sharif when he was shot, including showing an ambulance driving over the knife before it was kicked closer to al-Sharif’s body.
*
The Israeli military prosecutor reportedly said that an Israeli ambulance driver, Ofer Ohanna, who was near the scene kicked the knife towards al-Sharif’s body following his murder, according to the Maarev news agency, a Hebrew language news outlet.
*
Maarev reported that Ohanna refused to speak to the media, and said he gave the military prosecution all the information he had on the incident during interrogations.
*
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released similar footage in March, showing the placement of the knife far from al-Sharif’s body.
*
However, the new video that has emerged shows what transgressed immediately after the ambulance drove by the scene, with an Israeli ambulance driver directly manipulating the crime scene shortly after the shooting by moving the knife closer to al-Sharif.
*
A spokesperson for B’Tselem could not immediately be reached for comment.
*
Al-Sharif was shot alongside Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi after the two allegedly stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron on March 24.
*
Al-Qasrawi was killed immediately, while al-Sharif was left severely wounded for several minutes without treatment, before an Israeli soldier stepped forward and put a bullet through his head, killing him.
*
A graphic video released by B’Tselem capturing the incident was met with wide condemnation from rights groups and international bodies, with the UN demanding an investigation into the soldier’s apparent “extrajudicial execution.”
*
Elor Azarya, the Israeli soldier who killed al-Sharif, was charged with manslaughter, rather than murder as had been expected, and is being held on a military base in “open detention” where he is free to roam and has received visits from his family. His trial opened in early May.
*
Palestinians have long held fears that Israeli soldiers and settlers tamper with crime scenes involving Palestinians, with human rights groups accusing Israel of practicing a policy of extrajudicial executions since a wave of violence erupted in October, leaving more than 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis killed.
FROM
*
Also see the following report by Ali Abunimah (Click on link)

Knife moved after Israeli soldier executes Palestinian

NEW YORK TIMES WHITEWASHES HEDY EPSTEIN’S LIFE OF ACTIVISM

The fact that Hedy Epstein was outspoken for Palestinian rights doesn’t come till the very end of the story, after Vietnam, Cambodia, Black Lives Matter, fair housing, Kristallnacht, the kindertransport, and other causes and events. 

Hedy Epstein: "In the background you see the courtroom in which the doctors were tried & see some of the defendants sitting in the dock. Above that is a photo of the freezing experiment. A person is lying in a large vat of freezing cold ice water. Two doctors, one of them Dr. Rascher, are observing. Many people died as a result of this experiment." --Nuremberg Palace of Justice (Photo: Newsweek)

Hedy Epstein: “In the background you see the courtroom in which the doctors were tried & see some of the defendants sitting in the dock. Above that is a photo of the freezing experiment. A person is lying in a large vat of freezing cold ice water. Two doctors, one of them Dr. Rascher, are observing. Many people died as a result of this experiment.” –Nuremberg Palace of Justice (Photo: Newsweek)

In long obit for Hedy Epstein, ‘NYT’ buries Palestinian solidarity

James North and Philip Weiss FOR

The great Hedy Epstein has died and the New York Times has all but covered up her most significant moral achievement.

The Times has a 24-paragraph obituary for Hedy Epstein, the activist who was an inspiration to many on our site, who died in St. Louis at 91 on May 26. This is how they characterize her:

Ms. Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany, and who spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements.

The fact that Hedy Epstein was outspoken for Palestinian rights doesn’t come till the very end of the story, after Vietnam, Cambodia, Black Lives Matter, fair housing, Kristallnacht, the kindertransport, and other causes and events.

After the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Ms. Epstein channeled her energies into the Palestinian cause. She helped found the St. Louis chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace.

We venture to say that were it not for her channeling her energies into Palestine, Hedy Epstein would not warrant 24 paragraphs in death in the New York Times. Obituaries often describe exemplary lives, and the reason Hedy Epstein’s was so exemplary is that she experienced the tremendous historical trauma that was the basis for Israel’s creation by world powers in 1948 and yet turned against the idea of a Jewish state. That’s what makes Hedy Epstein so special.

The obit notes that in 2011 at age 86 Hedy Epstein was on the boat the Audacity of Hope trying to break the Gaza blockade. That should have been the first sentence in the Timesarticle. The fact that it is not and her Palestinian work is buried in the story is yet another example of bias (conscious or not, it doesn’t matter) aimed at preserving Israel’s positive image in the minds of New York Times readers.

ISRAEL FINDS A WAY TO END THE OCCUPATION

Even worse than it was before ….

78% of Israeli Jews favor extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim. Land of Israel Lobby to propose annexation bill this summer.

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Israel to annex Maale Adumim?

A whopping 78% of Israeli Jews say they support the annexation of Maale Adumim even without a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, along the same lines as Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

The vast majority of respondents favored annexation even if Israel would be pay a steep political cost for the move, with 70% of Israeli Jews saying sovereignty should be applied to Maale Adumim regardless of the consequences.

The poll also found that 88% of Israeli Jews believe that residents of Maale Adumim deserve the same rights and benefits enjoyed by other citizens of the State of Israel, and therefore Israeli law should be fully applied to the area.

The Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, which includes 20 MKs from various right-wing and religious parties, has pledged to draw up a bill for the annexation of Maale Adumim during the upcoming summer session.

“The consensus view in the public is that Maale Adumim is an inseparable part of Israel,” a statement by the Land of Israel Lobby said, “and it has even become part of the political consensus from right to left, and it is clear that Maale Adumim will remain under Israeli control in any future status arrangement. The Land of Israel Lobby will work within the new coalition framework to advance legislation extending Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim.”

Lobby chairman Yoav Kish (Likud) said there were precedents for the move, citing Israel’s 1967 annexation of eastern Jerusalem and 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

“Just as the State of Israel did in the past in Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights, we must do so also today – the idea of applying sovereignty over Maale Adumim enjoys overwhelming support among the Israeli public that crosses party lines. We will work to realize the public’s will.”

 

From

BROKEN PROMISES IN THE ‘PROMISED LAND’

Broken_promises_broken_dreams
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
*
PROMISED LAND
by Ahlam Shalhout

I was taken to a foreign land.
A land believed to be full of promise.
I was told it bore fruits with the sweetest of nectar.
Its soil so rich with olive branches of peace.
Where the streets were paved with golden orange groves.

The nectar though sweet to my tongue
Brought tears to my bowels.
The peace bearing olives were pressed
To make oil of bullfights. Ole!
*
The Israeli minister of Environment joined the previous defense minister to
quit the Zionist regime’s government because it is becoming more extreme.
With the addition of bar bouncer colonial settler Avigdor Lieberman (has a
house in an illegal colony here in Bethlehem), the fascist government is
now in good shape to take Israel to the next inevitable stage along. The
same trend-line that Nazi Germany took step-wise in the 1930s. It is no
wonder that so many more people are now drawing parallels between the two
regimes with similar exclusivist ideologies (Nazism and Zionism). Thousands
of Israeli Jews from Israel Shahak to Israeli General and Deputy Chief of
Staff Yair Golan have already made the comparison to the consternation of
the Zionist leadership. Ken |Livingstone's truthful statement taht JHitler
supported Zionism early on is well supported by facts (see my own writing
on the subject with quotes here. 

Pioneers to draw parallel of actions of Nazis and Zionists and speak out
for justice for the native Palestinians were Holocaust survivors both
inside “Israel” (like Shahak and Davis) and outside like Hajo Meyer and
Hedy Epstein. Hedy just passed away and I knew her for almost 20 years as
one of the most principled dedicated and hardworking individuals. I
hesitated to ask her to join our wheels of justice bus tour in 2002 because
of her age (then in her 80s) but she did not hesitate in accepting and she
was just marvelous. She spoke out with authority and knowledge about the
ethnic cleansing and the massacres committed in Palestine by Zionists. She
also joined the boats trying to break the siege on Gaza. When she was in
her late 80s she was strip searched and poked by Israeli security forces at
Lod (renamed “Ben Gurion”) Airport. Please browse her website here to know
more about this remarkable woman.

WEEK’S END TOON ~~ ISRAEL’S NEW TWO STATE SOLUTION

Image by Carlos Latuff

 ‘The Final Solution’

Two State "Solution" of Netanyahu & Lieberman

Two State “Solution” of Netanyahu & Lieberman

#InIsrael ~~ UPGRADING APARTHEID

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

WHY NOT TODAY ???

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

Israel Announces $77M Plan to Improve Palestinian Checkpoint Conditions

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

Moshe Kahlon and Moshe Yaalon, who is expected to be replaced as defense chief by Avigdor Liberman as part of a shakeup in the governing coalition, said the plan would make checkpoints, which tens of thousands of Palestinians go through in order to reach jobs in Israel, more efficient and secure, the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

The program is expected to cost $77 million.

Yaalon said in a statement that the program will decrease the wait times for Palestinians at crossings between “30 to 50 percent” and increase the amount of goods that can be transferred by “approximately 30 percent.”

Last month Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party who in 2012 was named by a settler group as the second-most right-wing member of the Knesset, surprised many when he criticized the “shameful” conditions at the checkpoints.

Ariel, a former leader of the Yesha Council settlers advocacy group and longtime supporter of settlement construction, noted that West Bank Palestinians are often forced to wait at checkpoints for hours without shade, water or other shelter from harsh weather conditions.

Ariel also called for a new port in Gaza, which has been subject to an Israeli naval blockade since 2006, when Hamas won control of Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel, Yaalon is said to be under current consideration for the post of foreign minister.

A NAZI STAR ON ISRAEL’S HORIZON

A final word to the Israeli Jewish society… 

Don’t you ever think that a Nazi or Nazi-like War Minister will benefit you or bring about more security, stability and peace to you. I strongly believe the opposite would happen. 

Many Germans thought the same with regard to the Third Reich. We know the rest of the story. 

And don’t you ever think that Jewish morality wouldn’t allow the emergence of a Jewish Hitler. 

Germany was probably the most cultured society under the sun in the years leading up to the Holocaust. 

Just think about it!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu and his new partner AvigdorLiberman respond to Paris peace talks

Netanyahu and his new partner AvigdorLiberman respond to Paris peace talks

Heil Lieberman! 

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Today a real Nazi star is rising in Israel’s sky as Former extremist Minister Avigdor Lieberman is being groomed for becoming Israel’s new War Minister. 

Lieberman, an ex-club bouncer, reportedly with pedophile tendencies, has been promised the defense portfolio by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following the dismissal of erstwhile Defense minister Moshe Yaalon. 

The appointment of Lieberman at the helm of the Defense Ministry, many observers agree, marks an unprecedented Nadir in Israeli politics. 

Some Jewish writers have already compared the dramatic ascendance of Lieberman to the country’s top security post with the rise in Germany of the Nazi party in the late 1920s. 

The man is seen as encapsulating a genocidal combination of both German Nazism and Soviet Stalinism. Stalin is reportedly Lieberman’s ultimate role model. Moreover, It is widely thought that had millions of Jews not been exterminated by Nazism, Hitler, too would have become Lieberman’s hero. 

In 2006, this writer wrote the following, after Lieberman was elected to the Knesset: 

“Lieberman is more than just “controversial” as the Zionist and Zionist-controlled media would portray him, mainly in order to evade facing the reality of his fascist-mindset. He is actually a dangerous demagogic politician and warmonger who advocates ethnic cleansing, genocide and a nuclear Armageddon. In fact, the man can be viewed as a Hitler-in-the-making with very little exaggeration. Lieberman’s thuggish behavior is very well known even among Jews in Israel. In 1999, the former Moldovan immigrant attacked and savagely beat, some say bit, a neighbor’s child for allegedly beating his own son. 

The affair was publicized in Israel but eventually died down when Lieberman’s star rose, first as a lawmaker representing Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union and second as cabinet minister in Ariel Sharon’s government 2001-2003. 

As a cabinet minister Lieberman espoused Nazi-like ideas so brazenly that then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had to warn him that he might be summoned to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity if he decided to effect his racist ideology. 

On 8 March, 2002, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot quoted him as saying the following during a cabinet meeting: 

At eight o’clock, we bomb all commercial centers (in the occupied territories), at 12 o’clock we bomb all fuel stations, and at two o’clock in the afternoon, we bomb all the banks, and we keep the border crossings open ( to allow Palestinians to flee).” 

Today, Lieberman remains unchanged, unreformed and unrepentant to put it very mildly. His bloodthirstiness, criminal-mindedness, and genocidal savagery are as affronting as ever. 

That is why we may well be about to witness a new turning point in the annals of the Arab-Israel conflict, a turning point characterized by pornographic   genocidal violence, probably unseen since 1948. 

The genocidal thug is already threatening to murder Palestinian leaders, including Ismael Haniyya, the former elected Palestinian Prime Minister. He is also threatening,   rather brashly, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, telling him “you either heed our orders or will meet Yasser Arafat’s and Ahmed Yasin’s fate.’ (Yasin was assassinated by Israel in Gaza on 22 March, 2004, and Arafat, who died on 11 November the same year, is widely believed to have been poisoned by Israeli agents.) 

A final word to the Israeli Jewish society. 

Don’t you ever think that a Nazi or Nazi-like War Minister will benefit you or bring about more security, stability and peace to you. I strongly believe the opposite would happen. 

Many Germans thought the same with regard to the Third Reich. We know the rest of the story. 

And don’t you ever think that Jewish morality wouldn’t allow the emergence of a Jewish Hitler. 

Germany was probably the most cultured society under the sun in the years leading up to the Holocaust. 

Just think about it!

#InPalestine ~~ ECHOS FROM THE GENERAL’S SON

… that  both Palestinians and Israelis must be allowed to live free and in peace in a state that represents them both, governed by the same laws … only after a democratic state is established and a government that represents all the people is in place, will we be able to resolve the crisis in Gaza, welcome the refugees’ return, calculate reparations, solve issues of water and citizenship, dismantle the wall and checkpoints, and live and function as people should.

Cover art: The General’s Son – 2nd Edition – Just World Books

Cover art: The General’s Son – 2nd Edition – Just World Books

Why Miko Peled’s story resonates for Palestinians

Little Ghada has the largest and most alert black eyes of any four-year old in my hometown in Galilee. One morning last week as I sat in their front yard sipping Arabic coffee with her grandfather she stopped on the way to pre-school for her morning kiss. Out of the clear blue she turned to me and asked if I thought Israeli soldiers were human beings. Why the question, I asked and she explained that they shoot children. Before I could say anything she started skipping hopscotch style with her schoolbag bouncing on her back as she mumbled rhythmically: ”Two here … two here …  and those … shot those … bang, bang, bang … and those two … went to sleep.” Then the mother grabbed the kid’s hand and hurried her to the car.

I had forgotten the passing incident till I read the pages in Miko Peled’s The General’s Son describing the ‘Palestinian Bar Mitzva,’ the initiation rite for Palestinian children into the inescapable violent encounters with the Israeli occupying forces. Miko’s autobiographical account of his lifelong voyage, so far, from a Zionist youth and the scion of Zionist leaders to an avowed anti-Zionist peace activist makes for a fascinating read. Especially for a Palestinian, it is quite memorable with trigger points that bring back memories of violence, discrimination and oppression at every turn of his account. At least for me Miko’s authentic narrative evoked many a personal memory, that of little Ghada being the freshest.

At the start and for near half of his book, Miko narrates his memories from the familiar perspective of the liberal Israeli Zionist straddling the ethical divide of freedom fighter and, at the same time, oppressive settler colonialist. Most of the narrative here is dedicated to setting up the indisputable Zionist credentials of Miko’s lineage: His mother the descendant of recognized leaders in the early settlement movement and his father, Matti Peled a towering Israeli General of both 1948 and 1967 wars. As a pacifist, I have a gut-level aversion to the military and to generals; the brighter their medals shine, the greater my repugnance. Miko Peled spends a good deal of the first chapters of his account glorifying the military image of his father as a fighter, perhaps in an attempt to preempt accusations of treason by fellow Israelis. Only towards the end and especially in the epilogue to the second edition Miko renounces Zionism completely and assumes the full ethical stand on the side of its Palestinian victims. This development is historically gradual and must have evolved with a greater personal struggle than the author lets on in the book. He speculates that had he survived, the retired general “would call for a single democracy with equal rights.” I read that as altered Zionism. I doubt that General Matti would have abandoned Zionism altogether. Zika, his wife, never does openly. Still, she comes across as a most sympathetic figure that gets short-scripted in favor of The General. Her refusal to move into the home of an exiled Palestinian family, a down-to-earth gesture of basic humanity, shines through as a glaring exception to all the usual self-congratulatory accounts of Zionist victories.

Like several other outspoken liberal Zionist leaders of the time (Uri Avnery and Dov Yaremeya are two acquaintances that come to mind) Matti Peled opts to draw a line under the 1948 war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and focuses his liberal views on the need to end the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The sincerity and success of his attempts to build bridges with Palestinian leaders and other Arab figures is quite striking, witness links he makes with Issam Sartawi, Arafat and Naguib Mahfouz. In the meanwhile Miko finds alternative heroes to worship in the intense relationship he has with his Karate masters. As I grasp this peaceful solution to the young man’s psychic dilemma I breathe easy. Till then I had held my breath as I read Miko’s admiring remarks about the military career of Ariel Sharon. I feared he would become Sharon’s protégé and fall under the Machiavellian spell of the Sabra and Shatilla criminal mastermind.

The tension in my mind is allayed by Miko’s career choice of teaching Karate in the USA. His business succeeds. Then the tragic loss of his teenage niece, Smadar, another random victim of the violence that Israel’s occupation fuels, shakes Miko to his core. It forces him closer to the cause of peace with Palestinians and we see him lose his innocence and Israeli inborn misconceptions and prejudices layer after layer. “Her death pushed me into a bold examination of my Zionist beliefs, my country’s history, and the political situation that fueled the suicide bombers who killed her.” Peace is the only solution, he concludes. But how does one act on such convictions? Initially he dabbles in delaying tactics of attending and hosting Arab-Jewish peace and reconciliation groups. He sidesteps the real issues by engaging in charitable relief work, supplying wheelchairs to Palestinian and Israeli paraplegics. His partner in this form of pattern-holding in terms of political activism is the Palestinian Nader Elbanna, another California rotarian who introduces him to a wide circle of fellow Palestinians back home. Thus the urge to confront challenges directly returns our Miko to the real arena of current events, the powder keg of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. He plies his marketable skill as a Karate master to youth in refugee camps, attends the weekly anti-Apartheid Wall marches in Bili’in and similar aggrieved villages, crosses into Gaza through a tunnel and meets with the steadfast leaders of the Palestinian peaceful resistance movement across the seething arena.

Here, a towering leader, Abu-Ali Shaheen, provides another pinnacle of heroism as the Palestinian warrior and, for over two decades, the leader of the Palestinian political prisoners who is credited with setting the rules for their conduct and political education while incarcerated. Such is the character of this Palestinian legendary sumoud – perseverance — leader that Miko seems to build up the image of his own father through the man’s testimony to his character. Abu-Ali recounts to Miko in his prison-learned Hebrew the details of the massacre the Israeli forces committed in his home village of Beshshit before adding:

“Everyone in Rafah talked about the fact that Matti Peled, one of the greatest officers of the Israeli army, a general that was highly respected, straight like an arrow, the man who was military governor of Gaza, came in person, he even drove himself, and visited the homes of the victims. Your father visited my family’s home, he spoke to the adults and he consoled the children. People commented how disturbed he was when they took him to the spot where the massacre took place. Your father also wrote a report to Yitzhak Rabin and Haim Bar-Lev, but they did nothing.”

The glare of the father’s heroic stand on the issue of principle is such that the reader is blinded to the base act of the massacre’s Israeli perpetrators. Here, finally, Miko reaches the climactic closing of the circle that justifies his entire narrative of peace and reconciliation, looping back to his foremost heroic idol, Matti Peled. Abu-Ali continues:

“It became known that this changed [Matti] from a militant man to a man dedicated to peace. I felt your father was with us and that washed away the anger in my heart completely. Completely!”

What more intense encounter can the reader expect after this but the ultimate breaking down of racial boundaries illustrated by Miko’s falling in love and partnering with Fadwa Natour, a Palestinian that we meet only in the epilogue to the new edition of the book. The question of whether it was the egg or the chicken bursts out of the pages begging to be answered. Speculation aside, Mikos conversion is complete:

What I do now, is speak, write and actively participate in the resistance to the Zionist regime in Palestine. Peace for Israelis and Palestinians is possible if we look outside the Paradigm of the Zionist state, a state wrongly called the “Jewish State.” Though Israelis outside the West Bank do not like to see themselves as settlers, we Israelis are like the whites in South Africa—colonizers and settlers—and, whether or not we choose to call it by that name, the country in which we live is Palestine.

Avigail Abarbanel, a psychologist, collected and edited 25 essays in a book entitled Beyond Tribal Loyalties –Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 2012.) Her hidden agenda was to discover a common factor among all the participants in the project. Here is her conclusion:

I realized that there is in fact something that all the activists in this book have in common: they all have the capacity to tolerate difficult emotions. I call this “emotional resilience.”

Reading his account, one can’t but credit Miko Peled with an ample share of “emotional resilience.” But reading Abarbanel’s book I had my own agenda: to discover the critical point at which such peace activists switch sides from Zionists to true peace activists. I dwelled on the subject in a review on my blog. Out of the sample of 25 such ‘switchers’ I constructed an average persona who, as it turns out, was a female:

The figure that emerged is akin to the proverbial horse designed by a committee: She is usually a woman who grew up in a liberal Jewish family. Her parents were mostly of the PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine) variety with solid WIZO and JNF credentials, accepting and propounding their dominant communal mythology and undisputed gospel, both that of the Old Testament and of the Zionist doctrines with all its required founding ‘truths.’ … Then our woman … is exposed to the wider world. Somewhere along the way she is exposed to a different point of view about the Israel-Palestine conflict: She meets Palestinians and is surprised to find that they are human. She reads a book by the likes of Edward Said or Avi Shlaim or is otherwise exposed to an alternative source of information with ‘subversive content.’ That blows the cover of her former solid Hasbara world. The cognitive dissonance within her cries for resolution and she commits to finding the truth for her self. From there the descent into pro-Palestinian activism is inevitable … Punishment for such a sin is not long in coming in the form of exclusion from the tribal fold and the loss of former friendships.

Except for the gender of the composite character I drew, I could have predicted Miko’s life cycle to a T. And Miko himself attests openly to the implied contradiction and mutual exclusivity of the two sides: Zionist Hasbara and pro-Palestinian peace activism. The only escape, Miko posits and all sane concerned people agree, is:

… that  both Palestinians and Israelis must be allowed to live free and in peace in a state that represents them both, governed by the same laws … only after a democratic state is established and a government that represents all the people is in place, will we be able to resolve the crisis in Gaza, welcome the refugees’ return, calculate reparations, solve issues of water and citizenship, dismantle the wall and checkpoints, and live and function as people should.

Amen!

Written FOR Mondoweiss

ISRAEL’S ALTERNATIVE ‘PEACE PLAN’

A comment from yesterday … ”There will be peace only when there are no more Palestinians to make peace with”.

The alternative ‘Peace Plan ‘ … Let the neonazis kill again …

Israel to release extremist murderer of Palestinian family

Israel to release extremist murderer of Palestinian family

Notorious Jewish ‘Terrorist’ To Be Freed — Despite Ties To Firebomb Murder of Palestinian Family

Meir Ettinger, the suspected head of a right-wing Jewish terrorist cell who is being held in administrative detention, will be released from jail.

The Lod District Court determined Tuesday that Ettinger would be released in June after the Shin Bet security service said it would not request an extension of his detention. But the Shin Bet also said it would impose restrictions on who Ettinger can come in contact with and what communities he can live in and visit, the Hebrew-language news website Walla reported .

Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right extremist Meir Kahane, has been held in administration detention without being charged since August 2015. The detention was extended in February.

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold suspected terrorists for six months at a time without filing formal charges. The detention, which is generally used against Palestinians, can be renewed indefinitely.

Ettinger, who spent several weeks in solitary confinement and has had limited contact with his family, was arrested for “involvement in violent activities and terrorist attacks that occurred recently, and his role as part of a Jewish terrorist group,” according to Israeli authorities.

His arrest was linked to the firebombing of a home in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma that left an infant and his parents dead. Three people were convicted in connection with the attack.

Shin Bet officials have said Ettinger heads a movement that also was responsible for the June arson of the historic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, and seeks to bring down the government and replace it with a Jewish theocracy.

IN PHOTOS ~~ NAKBA DAY DEMOS CONTINUE IN NEW YORK AND IN PALESTINE

NAKBA DAY EVENT-NYCITY HALL & MARCH ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Videos from Palestine VIA

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NAKBA DAY IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

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In Tel Aviv, zionists ‘celebrate’ The Nakba by denying it …

IN PHOTOS ~~ NAKBA DAY IN NEW YORK

On Israel’s Independence Day, New Yorkers remember who lost theirs

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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NAKBA DAY MARCH FOR RESISTANCE AND RETURN
Sunday, May 15
1:30 pm
Rally at City Hall Park in Manhattan followed by March on Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza Park
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1720235081568888/

On the 68th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine, and as the Palestinian people enter the 68th year of dispossession and exile, we call on all Palestinians, friends of Palestine and supporters of justice and liberation to come together to march and rally, commemorate the Nakba, stand against the continuing Nakba, and call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and freedom for Palestine.

68 years after the Nakba – the war of 1948 in which over 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and land and the state of Israel created on that land – Palestinians continue to struggle for their right to return, for freedom from occupation, for justice, and against the Nakba that continues today.

After a rally at City Hall, we will march over the Brooklyn Bridge for an afternoon of Palestine-focused and family-friendly activities at Cadman Plaza Park.

FRIDAY THE 13th TOON ~~ WHO IS KEEPING GAZA IN DARKNESS?

Image by Carlos Latuff

Still no luck for Palestinians😦

 Who's Behind Gaza's Power Crisis?

Who’s Behind Gaza’s Power Crisis?

IN TOONS ~~ DOGGY STYLE DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Images by Carlos Latuff

F… the people!

Israel Lobby and US Policy

Israel Lobby and US Policy

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Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

Teacher Appreciation Day in Palestine

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Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

Egyption Journalists Call for Resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar

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Put a boot on his head!

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

Morsi was elected in a democratic election and Sisi was imposed by a coup. No way I would support a coup

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THE ‘OTHER’ SIX MILLION

Image by Carlos Latuff

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

VOICES FROM THE NAKBA

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

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

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

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

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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

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

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

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

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

Israeli propaganda stunt exploits Gaza children

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

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

“Operation Heartbreak”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s propaganda

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

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

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

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

— COGAT (@cogat_israel) April 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Destroying children’s lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Israel allow them all to visit a nature reserve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update

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

EMPTY HEARTED APOLOGY FROM EUROVISION TO PALESTINE

First read the following from yesterday ….

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

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

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Eurovision organizers apologize, change nothing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

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

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

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

 

Palestinians demand apology from Eurovision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source

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