AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: IN DEFENSE OF BDS

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

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

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

Amnesty condemns Israel’s threats against BDS activists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Slightly safer”

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

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

Barghouti has welcomed Amnesty’s public intervention.

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

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

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

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

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

Legislating silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

The right to BDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Right climbs to 70+ seats in new Knesset

Right climbs to 70+ seats in new Knesset

Poll: 59% of Israeli youth are right-wing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FROM

REMEMBERING THE TERROR THAT LED TO JEWISH STATEHOOD

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

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Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre

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

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

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

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

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

FROM

SAVE OUR CHILDREN BY SUPPORTING BDS

Don’t buy Israeli products.

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

Don’t invest in Israel. 

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

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

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t buy Israeli products.

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

Don’t invest in Israel. 

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

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

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

Please, don’t kill our children.

#BDS ~~ WHY THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT IS GROWING

Israeli government is no “Champion” of freedom of expression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SO …

timetable

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

By Glenn Greenwald FOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REMEMBERING JULIANO MER-KHAMIS ~~ A MURDER MOST FOUL

Juliano Mer-Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis

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

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

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

A PART OF ALL OF US WAS MURDERED IN JENIN

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

HOUNDING THE MESSENGERS OF PALESTINE

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

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

Israel hounds Witness who  filmed gruesome murder

 By Khalid Amayreh in Hebron

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO STATE NECESSARY IN PALESTINE AS THINGS STAND

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

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

By Khalid Amayreh

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ISRAEL FOLLOWS TURKEY’S LEAD ON MEDIA CRACKDOWN

Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until further notice.

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

Israel intensifies crackdown on media

Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until futher notice.

During the raid, the soldiers briefly detained two of the station’s journalists, Muhammad Amro and Shbeib Shbeib.

A few miles away, soldiers arrested the director of the news station, Farouq Alayat, from his home in Birzeit. Elayyat is still in Israeli custody.

Correspondent Ibrahim Jaradat was arrested on Sunday at an Israeli military checkpoint.

Israeli occupation forces declared the channel to be an illegal organization that the army was closing on the basis of emergency laws introduced by Palestine’s British colonial rulers in 1945.

The army said it had heard the station airing “inciting broadcasts” and the Shin Bet said that “incitement to terrorism serves the interests of terrorist organizations.”

The army furthermore claimed the outlet was part of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian political party that Israel has outlawed.

On Friday, the army also shut down the TransMedia Production Company, which provides technical services for the channel.

The move came after Israel’s cabinet convened on Thursday to approve a series of measures against Palestinians, including shutting down media outlets.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) sharply condemned the closures.

“We cannot tolerate these continuous attacks from Israeli authorities to muzzle Palestinian press,” the group’s president Jim Boumelha said. He added that accusations of incitement and the closure of media offices must not occur without due process.

“We call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to investigate violations of press freedom in Palestine without delay,” Boumelha said.

The IFJ’s Palestine branch, the Palestinian Journalist Union, said that since 2016 Israel has committed more than 40 violations against journalists and media organizations.

In response to the IFJ statement, a body representing Israeli journalists attacked the world’s largest journalism trade union.

Haim Shibi, a member of the foreign relations committee of the National Federation of Israeli Journalists,accused Boumelha of “turning the IFJ into a clear anti-Israel propaganda tool, continually portraying the IDF [Israeli army] as an army that hunts journalists, targets them and kills them.”

Chilling trend

In early February, Foreign Press Association secretary Gila Sugarman said that there has been an increase in physical violence against journalists and their equipment by Israeli forces in the last two years.

Reporters Without Borders listed Israel as the second most lethal country in the world for journalists after Syria at the end of 2014.

In November, Israel shut down three Palestinian radio stations in Hebron for six-month periods, also claiming they were engaged in “incitement.”

A growing number of Palestinian journalists are being jailed or charged with incitement.

Prisoners rights group Addameer has documented that seven Palestinian journalists have been arrested since the beginning of 2016.

Five of those remain in custody: Samer Abu Aisha, Mujahid al-Saadi, Sami Al-Saai, Farouq Alayat and Ibrahim Jaradat. In total, 22 Palestinian journalists are being held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also runs Israel’s communications ministry, reportedly called French President François Hollande to request that he halt the French satellite company Eutelsat from broadcasting al-Aqsa TV, a Hamas-affiliated channel.

The next day, Eutelsat announced it would no longer air the station.

And while Palestinians have felt the brunt of Israel’s crackdown on the media, Israeli and foreign press are not immune.

And journalists at Israel’s largest online news platform, Walla, have reported that stories are designed and changed to keep the prime minister happy due to the company’s business interests.

Last month, members of the Foreign Press Association were twice summoned before Israel’s parliament to be questioned about alleged bias.

In early February, several Israeli politicians suggested that members of the press who showed alleged bias against Israel should enjoy fewer rights.

Yisrael Eichler, a member of the Knesset and a former journalist, said that “objective reporters should be given freedom of action, but reporters who “take a side in the conflict” should be given less access.

Lawmaker Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said, “We cannot ignore the fact that the press takes an active, one-sided and tendentious stance in covering the conflict, and therefore, it is part of the game.”

IN PHOTOS ~~WOMEN’S BOAT TO SAIL TO GAZA IN SEPTEMBER 2016

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Getting ready for the sendoff in New York …

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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ISRAEL RESPONDS WITH ITS OWN VERSION OF BDS

Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.

You can beat this ban by buying Palestinian products …. Click HERE and HERE

Image by Latuff

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Palestinian companies protest Israeli decision to ban their products

Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress a march held by five Palestinian food production companies on Sunday near the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.The companies protested by parking their trucks near the prison, after Israeli authorities banned their products from entering Jerusalem and Israel.

An Israeli army spokesman did not immediately respond for request for information about the protest.Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.The director of marketing for the Hamoda company, Fadi Abu Hilweh, told Ma’an on Saturday evening that Israeli troops at the crossing have been turning back trucks of the five companies since Wednesday.

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Hamoda head Ameer Haddad told Ma’an that Hamoda — along with the companies al-Juneidi Dairy and Food products, al-Rayyan Dairies, Salwa Foods, and Siniora Food Industries — all parked their trucks near the prison to protest the ban and “the horrible consequences of this decision.”Haddad added that the companies export their products to Jerusalem under agreements with Israel and that there was no grounds for the ban.
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He said the companies would continue protesting until Israeli authorities canceled the decision.Abu Hilweh said the companies were not officially notified of any decisions to ban their products in Israel and were “surprised” when Israeli soldiers at Beitunia commercial crossing denied their products entry to Israel on Wednesday.
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He added that about 50 percent of the five companies’ production goes to Palestinian consumers in occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian communities in Israel.
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If this ban continues, he said, the companies could lose some 1.2 billion shekels ($309.5 million) a year.Hamoda has already notified its milk providers to halt supplies until the ban is resolved. Abu Hilweh said the five companies would have to discharge large numbers of workers if the ban continued.
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He added that he was surprised when Israeli authorities informed the companies that the decision to ban products was a “political” decision and “the Palestinian Authority was notified of the decision six months ago.”
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An official in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, who requested anonymity, told Ma’an that the ministry was not notified of any such decision.“
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The ministry is looking into the case, which is a flagrant breach of Paris Protocols,” the official said, referring to an agreement signed in 1995 between the PLO and Israel, that set procedures and regulations governing economic relations between the occupied West Bank and Israel.
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Palestinian lawmaker and Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi said the Palestinian Authority should respond to the Israeli decision by banning Israeli products from entering the Palestinian market.
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According to the protocols, bilateral trade agreements between Israel and other parties are considered valid in the occupied West Bank, however Israel prevents the import of many Palestinian products to the Israeli market.
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A poll by the the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted in June 2015 reported that the overwhelming majority of those interviewed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — 86 percent — said they supported the campaign to boycott Israeli products.
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THE EXISTENTSIAL DILEMMA FACING ISRAEL TODAY

By definition, a dilemma is a situation where one has to choose between two unattractive choices. 

 An activist puts a Palestinan flag on the Separation Wall facing the Modi’in Illit settlement (Photo: Anne Paq/ Activestills.org)

An activist puts a Palestinan flag on the Separation Wall facing the Modi’in Illit settlement (Photo: Anne Paq/ Activestills.org)

Zionism’s existential dilemma 

By Khalid Amayreh 

 

In 1895, the fledgling Zionist movement dispatched a number of rabbis to Palestine to explore the possibility of establishing a homeland for Jews in the predominantly Arab country, then under Ottoman rule. 

After scouring the country, the rabbis sent back the following message: “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man” 

Today, 120 years later the legitimate husband and the rapist turned-master of the house continue the century-old fight for legitimacy and possession of the land. 

At one point, the arrogant and self-absorbed rapist thought he achieved a final victory over the legitimate husband who obviously lacked the wherewithal to defend, let alone repulse, the powerful beast, the pugnacious settler and colonizer. 

But the legitimate man of the house was not to be crushed. He survived despite his weakness, vulnerability and poverty. 

In a certain sense, he survived in spite of logic and history. 

Today, notwithstanding Israel’s incessant efforts to obliterate the Palestinian and his memory, there are as many Palestinians as there are Jews in the area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean, including Israel proper, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. 

This is more than just another problem facing the Zionist enterprise in Palestine. This is the ultimate nightmare haunting Israel, rendering its future precarious. 

Indeed, the fact that Israel and the territories it occupied in 1967 are today populated by approximately 6 million Palestinians (in addition to 6 million Jews) should be viewed as the ultimate strategic failure of Zionism. Of course, this failure was never intended to be. In fact, it was inadvertent as it was inevitable. 

The re-emergence of demographic realities in Palestine-Israel reminds us of Albert Camus’s iconic words, appearing in his famous play   “Le Malentendu” or “In Cross purpose.”

“In a world where everything can be denied there are forces undeniable, and on Earth where nothing is sure we have our certainties.” 

Thus it seems that Palestinians have survived “in spite of logic” and “in spite of history”, perhaps thanks to Camus’ “forces undeniable” 

That is precisely the Palestinian odyssey in a nutshell. 

I have no doubt that history will record that one of the main reasons for Israel’s ultimate demise is the intensive proliferation of Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank which rendered the establishment of a viable Palestinian state utterly impossible.   

Yes, it is hard to thank someone for doing you a favor he never intended to do in the first place. But perhaps we Palestinians ought to thank Israel for building that many settlements in the West Bank. 

I don’t know if Israel knew or not what she was doing.

But the net outcome is the same as the   seemingly existential dilemma already facing the Zionist enterprise  is irreconcilable, irreversible and inescapable. 

By definition, a dilemma is a situation where one has to choose between two unattractive choices. 

The dilemma facing Israel and Zionism today is having to choose between a bi-national state where at least half of the population is non-Jewish (and they are growing demographically at a faster rate in comparison to Jews) or adopting perpetual occupation, repression, and apartheid as outstanding policy pending the appearance of the Messiah, irrespective of his religious affiliations and political orientations!! 

Israel might very well be entertaining a third Choice. After all, Israel is Israel and can be expected to embark on the unthinkable. 

But the “unthinkable”, however ghoulish it might be could boomerang on Israel and be decidedly suicidal for Jews especially in the future. 

This is because any foolish act against the Palestinians, such as mass expulsion, which would be tantamount to an actual genocide, would really open the gates of hell on Israel. 

Because then every expelled man, woman and child would, almost spontaneously and automatically, transform themselves into bombs walking on two legs. And they would meet absolute approval and backing from the 1600 million followers of Islam and other supporters. 

Such would be the ultimate triumph of the Isis.

NEW DRESS CODE IN FRANCE ~~ IF YOUR T-SHIRT CRITICIZES ISRAEL, IT’S ILLEGAL

European ‘Democracy in action …

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Undeterred by arrest of an activist days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

Woman arrested in France for T-shirt critical of Israel

France has ratcheted up its draconian repression of free speech about Palestine with the arrest of a woman for wearing a T-shirt supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

According to the newspaper L’Humanité, officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.

France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.

The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.

Hundreds of marchers halted their procession and demonstrated loudly outside the police station for an hour until she was released, as a video posted on Facebook.

Political repression

The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.

Supporters are planning to demonstrate outside the police station at that time.

The feminist collective 8 Mars Pour TouTEs denounced the arrest and pledged support for the activist and for the BDS movement.

The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”

The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.

The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tolda dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”

“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.

“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.

The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.

Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.

Undeterred

BDS France is also vowing not to fold under government repression.

On Thursday, dozens of activists handed in an international petition at the Paris offices of Airbnb to protest the company’s profiting from the renting out of vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.

On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ON THE WEB

When a Brazilian’s cartoon is used at a gathering in New York and photographed by our roaming photographer …. it lead Carlos Latuff to state the following;

When I see my toons about Palestine being used, I feel that I kept my word with the Palestinians. Photo Bud Korotzer

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Other photos from the event … © Bud Korotzer

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ZIONISM … CAUGHT ON TAPE AND IN RAP

If you DON’T support the BDS Movement, then THIS is what you DO support …

Video distributed by Ryan Dawson, with thanks

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The following 2 posters were displayed at Columbia University Saturday evening

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

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Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

THE PLIGHT OF OUR BETTER HALF IN PALESTINE TODAY

On this day we celebrate International Women's Day. 
Below you can read of the situation and plight of women 
in Occupied Palestine.

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International Women's Day
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

The struggle of women here continues unabated. Many people like me believe
sincerely that had women been in charge here, we would have had a free
Palestine by now. My mother who is 84 years old showed us by example what
giving and self-sacrifice and love of people and land means. My wife and
three sisters are likewise examples of what we all should aspire to do:
kind, dedicated, and hard-working human beings. Like millions before them
and millions contemporary with them, these women make life livable while
many men (and a few women) engage in hurting others and pushing for
conflicts and war. Words are too mediocre and inadequate to express our
feelings but I simply want to say to all the women working for peace and
justice: thank you and to pledge that we will work with you for more
progressive change in our societies. As males, we must challenge the system
we inherited of giving privilege to men (Patriarchal societies we live in).
This must be in deed not in words.


For the local situation of Palestinian women today, I urge you to read this
remarkable new issue of the excellent magazine “This Week in Palestine”
dedicated to our better half.
 

#AntiApartheidWeek ~~ RAPPING WITH REMI

Wonderful party last night at Columbia U.  Totally packed. Lots of young people dancing the night away to Palestinian music, many of the women in embroidered Palestinian dresses.  These young diaspora Palestinians all knew their folk dances very well, as well as their food and art.  And they seem to fully recognize the importance of keeping these memories.

This was performed by Remi Kanazi …

Nor·mal·i·za·tion: a “colonization of the mind” whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality…and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.

In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as “normal” — even “enlightened” — through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid.

SOME RAMBLINGS ABOUT JEWS AND ISRAEL

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“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.
That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”

Going through the archives I found some must reads … some that may have been missed over the years.

This one was written 10 years ago .. but it could have been written today;

A MESSAGE TO MY FELLOW JEWS

IF YOU LOVE ISRAEL SPEAK UP FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE!

I have often said that it is very difficult to remain objective towards something when the subjective circumstances seem to be stronger.

The case of Israel and Jews is one of the cases that comes to mind. Many Jews outside of Israel support Israel blindly. The attitude is very similar to the American attitude during the Vietnam War… “My country right or wrong”..

That concept alone is wrong. If you really love something than you let it know when it is wrong… this is not happening in the case of Israel. If you really love Israel then you must treat it as you would treat your own child. Not to do so will only make a very bad situation that much worse. As a result, Israel will think it has a ‘green light’ to pursue its policies of occupation, apartheid and most recently, brutal aggression towards its neighbours. Since the war started in Lebanon, the aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza has not subsided. Do not let our brothers in Palestine think we have forgotten them..

If you support these policies and actions, then you do not love Israel as you claim you do. You are, in effect, helping Israel self destruct.
In order to survive and flourish, Israel needs peace. There is no other way. The Torah is the Law that governs the lives of observant Jews. Rabbi Hillel said the following regarding the Torah…

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.
That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”

Answer the following questions….

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT…

*Peace in the Middle East will only come about with mutual recognition and respect and must be seen as just by both sides.
*Peace requires the end of illegal occupation and settlement.
*Violence against civilians is unacceptable.
*Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza are breeding hatred and resentment.
*It is crucial that Jews speak out for Palestinians’ human rights.
*The values of Israeli society have been corrupted by the Israeli State’s human-rights abuses.
*A lasting peace must be seen as just by both sides.
*Britain, the EU, the USA, Russia and the UN must be persuaded to implement UN resolutions on Palestine.

If you answered yes to all or most of the above questions then you must act on the situation. To remain silent is to be as guilty as the government of Israel is. To remain silent is to witness the very destruction of the State of Israel… from within.
Show your support for justice by speaking out against the wall of apartheid.
Speak out against the occupation of Palestine.
Speak out against the war in Lebanon.
Boycott Israeli goods until Israel becomes a State worthy of your support.
Show that you truly love israel and fight for PEACE and JUSTICE… nothing else will do!

Some more must reads from the past ….
(click on links)

AN OPEN LETTER TO NEIL SEDAKA TO BOYCOTT APARTHEID

 

WHO AND WHY I AM WHO I AM

 

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS

 

and finally ….

WHY AM I IN ISRAEL?

THE MASSACRE ISRAEL WANTS US TO FORGET

We will never forget this or forgive

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Twenty two years ago this week terror struck out in Hebron. Thirty Palestinians at prayer were slaughtered by one Judeo nazi. There were no solidarity marches, there were no massive outcries in the Western Press, after all, the dead were only Palestinians. Instead there were graveside ceremonies glorifying the terrorist and his acts. Twenty one years later a compatriot of the terrorist was a candidate for the Knesset

ISRAEL MUST HANG ITS COLLECTIVE HEAD IN SHAME!

The following is by far the best account of the massacre itself. It was originally posted seven years ago…..

22 Years of Lessons after Al-Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre – A Memorial History for the 30 Palestinian Martyrs

The story:

The dawn of Friday 15 Ramadan 1414 a.h. / 25 February 1994 marked the first of three massacres perpetrated by Israeli settlers accompanied by the Israeli Army. There were more than 30 martyrs and 270 injured. The main massacre took place while the victims were performing al- Fajr (Dawn) Prayer at Al Ibrahimi mosque.


(Al-Ibrahimi Mosque – Al-Khalil, Occupied Palestine)

At 05:00 on February 25, around eight hundred Palestinian Muslims passed through the east gate of Al-Ibrahimi mosque to participate in al-Fajr prayer, the first of the five daily Islamic prayers. At that time of the holy month of Ramadan, there were many people who flocked the Ibrahimi Mosque to perform their prayers. The mosque was under Israeli Army guard.


That same day, a Jewish American Zionist physician decided to materialize the dream of the typical Zionist movement of annihilating the Arab existence in Palestine. Dr. Baruch Goldstein prepared for the move. It was during Ramadan when Dr. Goldstein decided to execute his old plan of vengeance.

Goldstein passed two army checkpoints at the dawn of February 25, 1994 from the northeastern gate of the mosque near privy. That privy could be the reason why Goldstein decided on that gate because he, probably, received his contemplation about Arabs from the Rabbis of Kach in Kiryat Arab where the Arabs were described as the demons of the privy. The privy of the mosque is important not only because it has two Israeli army checkpoints on its nearby mosque’s gate, but also because it is surrounded by Israeli army posts from the east and army patrols in the west. So Goldstein was acting from the deepest parts of the Zionistic ideology in liquidating the demons.

Goldstein was carrying his IMI Galil assault rifle, four magazines of ammunition, which held 35 bullets each and hand grenades. He thought about the best moment to execute the plan, maximize the number of casualties and secure the escape or rescue. The best moment, of course, was when the Muslim worshipers knelt on the floor with their backs towards Goldstein.

It was first a hand grenade that he threw among the worshipers causing casualties, confusion, and possibly an invitation to the Israeli soldiers in the halls and outside of the mosque to intervene for rescue. And in no time, the automatic massacre took place with the same kind of mercy that other Zionists like Goldstein shows all the time toward Arabs.

Standing in front of the only exit from the mosque and positioned to the rear of the Muslim worshipers, he opened fire with the weapon, killing 29 people and injuring more than 125. He was eventually overwhelmed by survivors, who beat him to death.

An eyewitness said that when Goldstein was executing the massacre and people attacked him, there was a soldier who attempted to come closer to the scene. But instead of “rescuing” Dr. Goldstein, the Israeli soldier shot his bullets in the air and then escaped from the inside eastern door of the northern hall to the previously known “women praying area.” In the opinion of the eyewitness, the soldier could have rescued Goldstein by killing 5 or 10 more Palestinians, but it appeared that his personal safety was above any blood value.

Al Ibrahimi massacre (a.k.a Hebron massacre) is not the last one. Muslims and Jews are and will remain candidates for victimization. But the cause will always be the same: “The Nazi style laws of the Zionists occupation in Palestine.”

Reports after the massacre were inevitably highly confused. In particular, there was uncertainty about whether Goldstein had acted alone; it was reported that eyewitnesses had seen “another man, dressed as a soldier, handing him ammunition.” The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that the attack was the work of up to 12 men, including Israeli troops. However, Israeli Army denied that and confirmed that Goldstein had acted alone without the assistance or connivance of the Israeli guards posted at the mosque.

News of the massacre immediately led to riots in Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) and the rest of the occupied territories. Additional Palestinian Muslims were crushed to death in the panic to flee the mosque and in rioting that followed.

Now that was history, a bloody history that marked Feb 25 of every year with memorials of the Palestinian Martyrs massacred that day for nothing but being Palestinians. So, what are the lessons learned from this?

First we will look at the ideology behind this massacre (and all the Zionist massacres), then how it is treated among Zionists. And last but not least, how does the media look at Zionist (terrorists) and how do they handle such massacres compared to other terrorist acts and massacres.

Prof. Israel Shahak wrote – The Ideology Behind Hebron Massacre:

The sympathy which Baruch Goldstein enjoys among the Gush Emunim, whose influence is more pervasive than that of the Kahanists, can only be explained by a shared ideology. However, Gush Emunim leaders enjoy Rabin’s friendship and strong influence in wide circles of the Israeli and diaspora Jewish communities. Therefore it is their version of this ideology which is more important. Gush Emunim’s thinking assumes the imminence of the coming of the Messiah, when the Jews, aided by God, will triumph over the Gentiles. Consequently, all current political developments call be interpreted by those in the know as destined either to bring this end nearer or postpone it. Jewish sins, the worst of them being lack of faith in Gush Emunim ideology, can postpone but not alter the predestined course of Redemption. The two world wars, the Holocaust and other calamitous events of modern history serve as stock examples of such a curative punishment for Jewish sins. Such explanations can go into a lot of specific detail. The rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior (who attended Goldstein’s funeral and praised him), blamed Israel’s relative failure in its 1982 invasion of Lebanon on the lack of faith manifested through signing a peace treaty with Egypt and “returning the inheritance of our ancestors [i.e Sinai] to strangers”.[…]

The fundamental tenet of Gush Emunim’s thinking is the assumption that the Jewish people are “peculiar”. Lustick discusses this tenet in terms of their denial of the classical Zionist claim that only by undergoing “a process of normalisation”, by emigrating to Palestine and forming a Jewish state there, can the Jews become like any other nation. But for them this “is the original delusion of the secular Zionists”, because they measured that “normality” by applying non-Jewish standards. According to Gush Emunim, “Jews are not and cannot be a normal people”, because “their eternal uniqueness” is “the result of the covenant God made with them at Mount Sinai”. Therefore, according to Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of their leaders, “while God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of ‘justice and righteousness’, such laws do not apply to Jews”.

Harkabi quotes Rabbi Israel Ariel, who says that “a Jew who kills a non-Jew is exempt from human judgement, and has not violated the prohibition of murder”. The Gush Emunim rabbis have indeed reiterated that Jews who kill Arabs should be free from all punishment. Harkabi also quotes Rabbi Aviner, Rabbi Zvi Yehudah Kook and Rabbi Ariel, all three of whom say Arabs living in Palestine are thieves because since the land was once Jewish, all property to be found on that land “really” belongs to the Jews. In the original Hebrew version of his book Harkabi expresses his shock at finding this out. “I never imagined that Israelis would so interpret the concept of the historical right.”

Gush Emunim’s plans for governing non-Jews in Israel are also based on “theological” principles. According to Rabbi Aviner; “Is there a difference between punishing an Arab child and an Arab adult for disturbance of our peace? Punishments can be inflicted on Jewish boys below the age of 13 and Jewish girls below the age of 12…But this rule applies to Jews alone, not to Gentiles. Thus any Gentile, no matter how little, should be punished for any crime he commits.” From this dictum, it is only a short step to slaughtering Arab children.

Even Israel’s Supreme Court compared Kahane to the German Nazis. The prominent Orthodox dissident, Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, said that the mass murder in Hebron was a consequence of “Judeo-Nazism”. But Gush Emunim’s ideology is no less like that of the Nazis than Kahane’s.

Celebrating the Hebron massacre:

Why do we hate them?

When you see the Israelis and Zionists from different parties and sections of the Israeli society, including their army, as well from around the world, gathering annually at the grave of Baruch Goldstein to celebrate the anniversary of his massacre of Muslim worshipers in Al-Khalil (Hebron), how can you but “LOVE” them?

Here is a sample of the news stories from BBC –Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre (21 March, 2000):

Militant Jews have gathered at the grave of Baruch Goldstein to celebrate the sixth anniversary of his massacre of Muslim worshippers in Hebron.

The celebrants dressed up as the gunman, wearing army uniforms, doctor’s coats and fake beards.

Goldstein, an immigrant from New York City, had been a physician in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Waving semi-automatic weapons in the air, the celebrants danced, sang and read prayers around his grave.

“We decided to make a big party on the day he was murdered by Arabs,” said Baruch Marzel, one of about 40 celebrants.

The tribute was a macabre twist on the Jewish festival of Purim, when it is a custom to dress in costume and celebrate.

Massacre in mosque

In 1994 on Purim, Goldstein stormed a mosque and fired on praying Muslims in the West Bank city’s Tomb of the Patriarchs – a shrine sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Twenty-nine people died in the attack, and the angry crowd lynched Goldstein in retaliation.

Israeli extremists continue to pay homage at his grave in the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, where a marble plaque reads: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.”

About 10,000 people had visited the grave since the massacre, Mr Marzel said.

Note: the above news story is ten years old.

Not only that. The Israeli government allocated a special site for the grave, in the Tourist Park in Kiryat Arba settlement. Over the years, the grave has become a site of pilgrimage. Tens of thousand people from all over the world go to pray and honor this terrorist memory. The local religious council of Kiryat Arba settlement declared the grave site a cemetery. During the Feast of Purim, Goldstein friends celebrate the feast near his grave to honor him, in appreciation of what he did!

Last but not least, on the biased media side, Leon T. Hadar wrote:

Following the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the arrest of several Muslims who were charged with the crime, the American media were flooded with news stories, analyses and commentaries that warned of the coming “Islamic threat.” “Investigative reporters” and “terrorism experts” alleged on television talk shows and op-ed pages that the accused perpetrators of the bombing were part of an “Islamic terrorism network” coordinated by Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, or other Middle Eastern bogeymen.
[…]
Contrast those reactions with the media’s response to the massacre in Hebron. No analyst suggested that the event reflected the emergence of a global “Jewish threat. ” No terrorism expert was invited to discuss on “Nightline” or the “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” the rise of a “global Zionist terrorism” organization manipulated, say, by the Israeli Mossad. No scholar alleged that the massacre by a Jewish settler suggested that Western and Jewish values were somehow incompatible.

If one really had wanted to apply the journalistic methods that were used in the case of the World Trade Center bombing, it would not have been so difficult, after reviewing the biography of Rabbi Meir Kahane by Robert I. Friedman, to point to the strong ties between Baruch Goldstein and the other “fanatics” in the Jewish settlements and members of the Israeli political establishment, especially in the Likud party. One could even have reminded American readers that Kiryat Arba, where Goldstein resided, was actually the brainchild of a pre-1977 Labor government.

Any analysis of public statements and writings by some of the major political and spiritual leaders of the Jewish settlers, including the rabbis who head the movement, would reveal a fanatical hatred and racist attitudes toward non-Jews in general, and Arabs and Palestinians in particular.

Instead, most journalists and analysts adopted the official Israeli line and described the massacre as an “isolated” case of Jewish “extremism,” an act of a “lone gunman,” a “lunatic,” a “madman” who does not represent Israeli society or, for that matter, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. Journalists, like the Israeli government, stressed that killing of innocent civilians violates the moral tenets of Judaism.

The above was originally posted by Haitam Sabbah eight years ago.

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