Jewish mothers used to go into a cleaning frenzie a week or so before the Festival of Passover. All traces of leaven (chametz) had to be removed from the home before the onset of the holiday.
Modern folk have determined that dust is not chametz, so there is less madness involved in the cleaning process, but Israel has added a new dimension to the situation; Arabs must be removed as well as the leaven.
Following this report dealing with the realities of Apartheid you will find a post from the archives that I reblog every Passover eve…
Just  one of many attempts to cleanse the land of Arabs ….
Here is how Palestinians ‘celebrate’ the holiday … it’s Bibi’s Two State Solution, with one behind locked gates.
                                                      (Click on link)

West Bank closure goes into effect for Passover 

These 'enemies' must be locked out!

These ‘enemies’ must be locked out!



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


Netanyahu ‘apologised’ to the ‘Arabs’ in Israel for the racist remarks he made on Election Day.

He was worried that the ‘Arabs were voting in droves’ to unseat him. The following two videos might explain why they wanted him unseated … 

Where is the apology to these children?

This video was shot during a night raid on ten homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. B’Tselem does not say who shot the video, but typically the videos it releases are made by Palestinians.

Children terrorized

Masked soldiers enter Palestinian homes in Hebron in dead of night, order residents to wake their children, and photograph the children.

Late at night on 23 Feb. 2015 Israeli troops entered 10 neighbouring apartments in Hebron. They demanded that the children be awakened, asked their names and photographed them. B’Tselem volunteers who live there filmed the incident. The military cannot treat civilians–and certainly not children–as potential criminals. Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying. It illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated. B’Tselem calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.


Read Ali Abunimah’s full report HERE


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he regretted offending Israel’s Arabs during a rallying call on election day last week that his critics had denounced as racist.

Arab List Rejected Apology Calls for ‘Actions


Benjamin Netanyahu ‘Regrets’ Offending Israel’s Arabs With ‘Racist’ Comment

Arab List Rejected Apology Calls for ‘Actions


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he regretted offending Israel’s Arabs during a rallying call on election day last week that his critics had denounced as racist.

In a video clip posted on his Facebook page, Netanyahu told representatives of Israel’s Arab community: “I know that the things I said a few days ago offended Israel’s Arabs. I had no intention for this to happen, I regret this.”

Fearing his voters would stay home, Netanyahu, who won a surprise election victory last Tuesday and is set to head a new government, accused left-wing organizations of bussing Arab-Israelis to the polls “in droves” to vote against him.

“The rule of the right is in danger,” he said at the time.

Speaking to the group of Israeli Arabs at his official residence in Jerusalem on Monday, Netanyahu said: “I consider myself as prime minister of each one of you, of all Israel’s citizens, regardless of religion, race or gender.”

While he got a warm reception from those present, his comments were rejected by Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, which secured 13 seats at last week’s election to become the third largest force in parliament.

“We do not accept this apology. It was to a group of elders and not to the elected leadership of Israel’s Arabs … I want to see actions, how is he going to manifest this apology? … will he advance equality?” Odeh told Israel’s Channel 10.

Israeli Arabs make up around 20 percent of the country’s eight-million-strong population.

They are descendants of residents who stayed put during the 1948 war of Israel’s founding, in which hundreds of thousands of fellow Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes, ending up in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.



At first glance the Joint Arab List is a band of four parties that were coerced to run on a single ticket after the Israeli election threshold was increased, an obstacle propelled by right-wing groups. The perception was hardliners wanted Arab parties out of Knesset. The way they could achieve this was to force an ultimatum: Arab political groups, and one mixed party, would have to unite in a country where political divisions can be lethal to a faction’s survival.



Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List

Allison Deger


Something has changed inside Israel for its Palestinian citizens. The hard data is revealing: voter turnout jumped by ten-percent from the last election and in the Joint Arab List’s party leader’s home district it was nearly an unheard of 80-percent. Civic engagement is happening, but that is not the only turn. The joint list is full of fresh faces with seven first time Knesset members, and two women, five communists, two national democrats, two Islamists, one Christian and one Israeli-Jew.

Party leader Ayman Odeh, 40, embodies most the directional shift inside of the bloc. He uses a civil rights framework, noted for quoting Martin Luther King Jr. while campaigning, telling voters he sees the party as a vehicle to mobilize mass non-violent civil disobedience. In Haifa days before the election Odeh said he wanted to organize an equal rights march of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish-Israelis in one year’s time.

For supporters, this isn’t fluff. Odeh’s emphasis on partnership—not just coexistence with Jewish-Israelis—is widely endorsed. He has a long history in politics. He held his first position in public office in Haifa’s city council at the age of 23 as a member of Israel’s Jewish-Arab communist party, Hadash. There he fought for student tax breaks and quickly rose up the political ranks to become Hadash’s chairman while still in his 30s.

At first glance the Joint Arab List is a band of four parties that were coerced to run on a single ticket after the Israeli election threshold was increased, an obstacle propelled by right-wing groups. The perception was hardliners wanted Arab parties out of Knesset. The way they could achieve this was to force an ultimatum: Arab political groups, and one mixed party, would have to unite in a country where political divisions can be lethal to a faction’s survival.

The candidates could have kept their old political divides alive, running on two lists instead of one, and still made it into Knesset. The primary discords are between the Islamist and communist, the two largest factions inside of the bloc. They differ in areas of labor and women’s rights. Do you support the separation of religion and state, the secular parties asked the Islamic group during a six-week period where they hashed out their disagreements? It was a genuine coming to terms. “Yes,” they said, “Because we don’t want to live in a Jewish state,” relayed Knesset-elect and first time politician Aida Touma-Suleiman while still on the campaign trail at an event in Tel Aviv in early March. Touma-Suleiman is a celebrated feminist. Though she has been a member of the communist party for over two decades, this will be her first time in public office.

By sitting together, over and over, to build a united front, Arab parties made pivotal decisions in the lead up to announcing their candidates. Foremost they realized as Palestinian citizens of Israel they all agree on one most basic principle: there should be equality under law and in practice between them and Israeli-Jews. Everything else, the peace process, the two state solution, polygamy could fall to the side. Their constituents see the internal resolutions and divisions as a new way forward, where diversity remains intact while pursuing equal rights with the power of Israel’s newly-minted third largest political party.

Meet the next Knesset members from the Joint Arab List:

Ayman Odeh (1) – Hadash
Many supporters have said Odeh represents “a new way forward” for Arab parties in Israel. He is deeply influenced by Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights struggle in the U.S., along with his upbringing in a mixed Jewish-Arab community. Odeh believes in securing the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel by working with Jewish-Israeli partners. In this election season he became well known amongst Israelis after a televised debate with Avigdor Liberman who said Odeh should not be allowed to speak in Israel, and should go to the West Bank.

Masud Ghnaim (2) – United Arab List
Ghnaim is a current Knesset member from an Islamic party and a teacher by profession. He has a degree in middle eastern history from the University of Haifa. He previously served on the city council of his home town Sakhnin, in northern Israel.

Dr. Jamal Zahalka (3) – Balad
Zahalka is has been a member of Knesset since 2003. He is the leader of the national democratic party, Balad. He assumed the chariman position after former head Azmi Bishara went into exile.

Dr. Ahmed Tibi (4) – Ta’al
Out of all of the joint list’s Knesset members, Tibi has the longest history inside of Israel’s parliament. He has served since 1999 and is the co-founder of Ta’al and Islamic party. He is a vocal advocate for the Palestinian right of return for refugees. Before entering politics Tibi was a gynecologist.

Aida Touma- Suleiman (5) – Hadash
Touma-Suleiman has been a member of Hadash for decades and this will be her first time in public office. She is the founder of the feminist organization Women Against Violence and is the editor-in-chief of al-Ittihad, an Arabic daily newspaper published in Israel.

Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (6) – United Arab List
Hajj Yahya is an engineer by training and this will be his first time as a member of Knesset.

Hanin Zoabi (7) – Balad
Zoabi is perhaps the most well-known Palestinian citizen of Israel serving in Knesset. She has held this position since 2009 and during her term in public service she has been attacked while speaking on the Knesset floor, and holds the title of the Knesset member with the longest suspension from office in Israel’s history. During election season, she was physically assaulted while speaking at a debate, along with a Jewish-Israeli spokesperson for the Joint List. Prior to entering politics Zoabi was a journalist.

Dov Khenin (8) – Hadash
Khenin is the Joint Arab List’s only Jewish-Israeli member to be elected into Knesset. He is a veteran member of Knesset, serving since 2006. Khenin is a political scientist with a PhD from Hebrew University.

Taleb Abu Arar (9) – United Arab List
Abu Arar is a prominent Bedouin politician and attorney. He first entered Knesset in 2013. Before, Abu Arar was the head of a local council in the Negev.

Dr. Yousef Jabarin (10) – Hadash
Jabarin is from Umm el-Fahm, a village in northern Israel that is regarded as a political stronghold for Palestinian citizens of Israel. He hold a PhD in law with a specialty in human rights. This will be his first term in Knesset.

Dr. Basel Ghattas (11) – Balad
Ghattas is a seasoned political figure. He co-founded the Balad party with his cousin Azmi Bishara in 1995, although he did not enter Knesset until 2013. He holds a PhD in engineering from Technion, and is of a Christian background.

Osama Saadi (12) – Ta’al
Saadi is a human rights lawyer known for working on issues relating to Palestinian prisoners. This will be his first term in Knesset.

Abdullah Abu Marouf (13) – Hadash
Abu Marouf is the only Druze member of Joint Arab List to enter Knesset. He is the founder of the Druze Initiative Committee and works with Physicians for Human Rights, as he is also a urologist.


Written for Mondoweiss


zions mantra in establishing the State of Israel was “A land without a people for a people without a land”.

The mantra of today in reference to a State of Palestine is simply “A land without people”.

The Nakba of 1948 is an ongoing process


Latuff ~~ The ongoing Nakba

Latuff ~~ The ongoing Nakba

Click on the following links to read what has been happening since Israel’s election …

The illegal settlers and the IDF are working hand in hand


And President Obama remains silent

"Not my problem"

“Not my problem”

His silence speaks volumes


Remembering the Nakba

"Facing the Ongoing Nakba” tour schedule

“Facing the Ongoing Nakba” tour schedule



zion wants us to forget about it …

On the eve of an important event to discuss the Nakba* scheduled to take place this evening, the Executive Director of a tony uptown synagogue in New York City where the event was contracted to take place has attempted to cancel the event with no explanation in what can only be perceived as an effort to shut down discussion of the “ongoing Nakba” within the Jewish community.

The event was to feature the Palestinian human rights organization, Badil (whose timely recently released Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law in Palestine [pdf] is a must read), and Israeli human rights organization Zochrot. It is part of multi-city speaking tour, and was sponsored in New York by four organizations: Jewish Voice for Peace-New York; Nakba Education Project; Jews Say No!; and the National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee.

*Nakba, means “catastrophe” in Arabic and refers to the forced displacement of Palestinians that began with Israel’s establishment in 1948, and continues to this day.

Read the full report at Mondoweiss

The cancellation results …

unnamed (18)

Photos © by Bud Korotzer
























On the other side of town, the 12th anniversary of Bush’s catastrophe was remembered














Yousef Munayyer who is the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation wrote this brilliant Op-Ed which I found in the International Edition of The New York Times. It certainly puts a new and different perspective on the outcome of the Israeli election results.

Replacing Mr. Netanyahu with his challenger, Isaac Herzog, would have slowed down the B.D.S. movement and halted pressure on Israel by creating the perception of change. A new prime minister would have kick-started a new “peace process” based on previous failed models that would inevitably fail again because of a lack of real pressure on Israel to change its deplorable behavior.

The re-election of Mr. Netanyahu provides clarity.

A victory for Palestine

A victory for Palestine

Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for Palestine


Hope for a Free Palestine and Peace

Hope for a Free Palestine and Peace

What was almost a tradition in Israeli elections came to an end this year. Traditionally, the Palestinian electorate in Israel called for a boycott of the voting process. This time was different with leaders of both Hamas and Fatah urging them to vote for the ‘Joint Arab List’. Their call was endorsed by local Palestinian leaders in Israel itself.

At least two prominent Jews in Israel also endorsed the Party, Avraham Burg  and Gideon Levy, both urging Jews to vote for it. Uri Avnery was tempted to join the endorsers, but if you read THIS you will see how his zionist sentiments stopped him.

On Election Day itself, Netanyahu posted the following on his FaceBook page …

”Right wing gov’t in danger Arabs voting in droves”

This alone was an endorsement

Well, they did ‘vote in droves’ and here is the result …

The Victors of Hope!


The following analysis from Ynet

While the Joint Arab List hoped to gain 15 Knesset seats in the recent elections, it still garnered a big achievement with the 14 seats it received in Israel’s 20th Knesset. 

The Joint Arab List: Seven new MKs, two women and a lot of hope

Newly formed Joint Arab List becomes third largest party in the Knesset after elections; party members promise to take care of important issues in Arab sector and strengthen Palestinian identity.

While the Joint Arab List hoped to gain 15 Knesset seats in the recent elections, it still garnered a big achievement with the 14 seats it received in Israel’s 20th Knesset.

After a high voter turnout in the Arab sector, some polling stations registered a voter turnout of more than 70 percent, the true test of the Joint Arab List will be to stay united and prevent itself from scattering into smaller factions. Many Arab Israeli citizens called upon the members of the party to continue working together on a joint political platform.

The party has seven new MKs, among them the head of the Joint Arab List Aiman Uda, a resident of Haifa. The other new members include Aida Touma-Sliman (Akko), engineer Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (Tayibe), Dr. Yosef Jabareen (Umm al-Fahem), lawyer Osama Sa’adi (Arraba), and Dr. Abdullah Abu Maaruf (Yarka).

The Joint Arab List includes two women and 12 men.

New MKs plan out Knesset term

“I hope these results will be a lever for continued cooperation with the (Arab) sector, in order to serve it in all sorts of areas, even outside of the Knesset,” said MK Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya.

“There are a lot of social causes that the Joint Arab List can contribute to. The results of the elections are not a surprise to us, but it is good news. The comments made by Netanyahu against the Arab sector in the last days of the campaign did not make a big impact, but the warning Netanyahu made is very dangerous for the continuation of co-existence,” said Hajj Yahya.

The Arab Israeli politician has already begun to plan his term in the next Knesset. “I am going to serve the Arab sector on central issues such as planning and construction law, in light of the problems we have in planning, industrial areas and building without a permit,” he said. “I will also take care of the advancement of local authorities because in my opinion authorities which plan to rehabilitate have not failed, but rather it shows that there is something in the government’s policy that needs to change.”

New MK Aida Touma-Sliman hopes to represent women. “I would like to deal with social issues in the next Knesset and the civil rights of the Arab population along with women’s rights which I have been occupied with for more than 20 years and will continue to be occupied with in the future.”

“Likewise, I will focus on the employment of Arab women and legislation to protect women from violence. Of course the diplomatic issue cannot be ignored and the aspects of political activity,” she added.

Regarding the election results, Touma-Sliman said: “Our results provide happiness and strengthen us. The public gave us its wide confidence and clearly said that it supports the approach of unity and the attempt to gain power and protect ourselves from the waves of racism that are washing over Israel.”

New MK Osama Sa’adi was disappointed with the change that did not end up coming: “The national right-wing camp and Netanyahu came out with a surprise and kept their reign. We are the third largest faction and this is the first time something like this has happened in history. We achieved another goal – the Yachad faction along with Eli Yishai and the racist Baruch Marzel are outside of the Knesset. Now the work begins to impact and bring about achievement for the sector that sent us.”

Sa’adi continued and said: “I want to work in my field, which is the Law and Justice Committee, to prevent racist legislation and to work for fair legislation for the Arab sector.”

Sa’adi also said he would like to work on the issue of Palestinian detainees which he says is “a subject that has been close to my heart for over 25 years.” Sa’adi also plans to work on subjects such as land confiscation and housing demolitions.

Regarding fears the list will separate once the new government forms, Sa’adi said, “We promised we would create a joint list and we created it, therefore the trust that the Arab sector gave us commits us to continue to work as one faction, there is no reason to break it down. We will not let the Arab public down.”

Dr. Yosef Jabraan, another new addition to the Joint Arab List, said that the party will focus on issues that were the basis of their election to the Knesset. “Education, housing and violence are the main issues that I want to deal with. These are the issues that our voters clearly brought up during the campaign,” he explained.

“The advancement of Arab education, including higher education, will be my priority, including the allocation of resources, including changing the curriculum to include the Arab-Palestinian identity as well as the restructuring of the system so that it will be managed by Arab educators. Without substantial reform of the education system, we cannot promote and advance the stance of the Arab citizens in Israel.”


The Final results as of today … Joint Arab List down one, Meretz up one


1. Benjamin Netanyahu
2. Gilad Erdan
3. Yuli Edelstein
4. Yisrael Katz
5. Miri Regev
6. Silvan Shalom
7. Moshe Ya’alon
8. Ze’ev Elkin
9. Danny Danon
10. Yariv Levin
11. Benny Begin
12. Tzachi Hanegbi
13. Yuval Steinitz
14. Gila Gamliel
15. Ofir Akunis
16. David Bitan
17. Haim Katz
18. Jackie Levy
19. Yoav Kish
20. Tzipi Hotovely
21. Dudu Amsalem
22. Miki Zohar
23. Anat Berko
24. Ayoub Kara
25. Nava Boker
26. Avi Dichter
27. Avraham Nagosa
28. Nurit Koren
29. Yaron Mazuz
30. Oren Hazan

Zionist Union

1. Isaac Herzog
2. Tzipi Livni
3. Shelly Yachimovich
4. Stav Shaffir
5. Itzik Shmuli
6. Omer Bar-Lev
7. Hilik Bar
8. Amir Peretz
9. Merav Michaeli
10. Eitan Cabel
11. Manuel Trajtenberg
12. Erel Margalit
13. Mickey Rosenthal
14. Revital Swid
15. Danny Atar
16. Yoel Hasson
17. Zuhair Bahloul
18. Eitan Broshi
19. Michal Biran
20. Nachman Shai
21. Ksenia Svetlova
22. Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin
23. Yossi Yona
24. Eyal Ben-Reuven

Join (Arab) List

1. Ayman Odeh
2. Masud Ganaim
3. Jamal Zahalka
4. Ahmad Tibi
5. Aida Touma-Sliman
6. Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahiya
7. Hanin Zoabi
8. Dov Khenin
9. Taleb Abu Arar
10 Yosef Jabareen
11. Basel Ghattas
12. Osama Sa’adi
13. Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf

Yesh Atid

1. Yair Lapid
2. Shai Piron
3. Yael German
4. Meir Cohen
5. Ya’akov Peri
6. Ofer Shelah
7. Haim Jelin
8. Karin Elharar
9. Yoel Razvozov
10. Aliza Lavie
11. Mickey Levy


1. Moshe Kahlon
2. Yoav Galant
3. Eli Elalouf
4. Michael Oren
5. Rachel Azaria
6. Tali Floskob
7. Yifat Sasha-Biton
8. Eli Cohen
9. Roy Folkman
10. Merav Ben Ari

Jewish Home

1. Naftali Bennett
2. Uri Ariel
3. Ayelet Shaked
4. Eli Ben-Dahan
5. Nissan Slomiansky
6. Yinon Magal
7. Moti Yogev
8. Bezalel Smotrich


1. Aryeh Deri
2. Yitzhak Cohen
3. Meshulam Nahari
4. Yakov Margi
5. David Azoulay
6. Yoav Ben-Tzur
7. Yitzhak Vaknin

Yisrael Beytenu

1. Avigdor Lieberman
2. Orly Levy-Abekasis
3. Sofa Landver
4. Ilan Shohat
5. Sharon Gal
6. Hamad Amar

United Torah Judaism

1. Yaakov Litzman
2. Moshe Gafni
3. Meir Porush
4. Uri Maklev
5. Eliezer Moses
6. Israel Eichler


1. Zehava Gal-On
2. Ilan Gilon
3. Issawi Freij
4. Michal Rozin
5. Tamar Zandberg


And the Hope of Return!


Jon Stewart’s take on the Election results …

Jon Stewart Mocks Netanyahu: ‘Ginning Up Racist Fears of Minority Turnout’? That’s Our Thing!


The votes have been tallied from yesterday’s election … once again the people of Israel have lost their chances of becoming a part of the human race and taking its place in the community of nations.

The ugly face of zionization will still be the face the world sees when it looks at Israel …


There were at least two positive aspects of the election …

First, the combined Palestinian Parties in in the race maintained their power and came in third.

Secondly, the Party of Eli Yishai which put American born fascist Baruch Marzel in their 4th spot failed to get even one seat in the upcoming Knesset. Marzel swore to take the smile of MK Zoabi’s face, you will see in the photos below that this did not happen.

Baruch Marzel, Eli Yishai Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Baruch Marzel, Eli Yishai Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

It is still unclear who will be in the new government, but it will undoubtedly be headed by Netanyahu. The President of Israel seems to be leaning to declare a ‘Unity Government’ of the two major parties. This would only lead to continued stalemates on all issues and would surely mean another election in the very near future. It might be a ploy of Rivlin to get back at Netanyahu for not backing him in his bid for the Presidency a few months ago.

But, as things stand, Israelis voted to maintain the anti Israeli feelings that are manifesting themselves throughout the world, especially in Europe, in many instances at the cost of many innocent Jewish and Muslim lives. They have voted to continue the policies of Apartheid, Occupation and Ethnic Cleansing within Israel itself. They have voted to continue building new and expanding illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank. They have voted to continue the siege of Gaza. Jerusalem will remain as an undivided city under zionist control with home demolitions and mass evictions in the Palestinian sector continuing. The ugly face of zion will remain for now.

Here are the faces of the next Knesset …. another post will soon follow as to who will be in the government itself.

Likud (Right)


Zionist Union (Slightly left of Right, but still wrong)


(Genuine Left)


Yesh Atid (Right of Centre)


Kulanu (Right of Centre)


Bayit Yehudi (Very Right of Centre)


Shas  (Religious Right)

Yesterday, many voters received SMS text messages from the grave of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,  late spiritual head of this Right Party, saying that if you don’t vote for Shas that he won’t forgive you in this world or in the world to come. 

Halloween came early this year ;)


United Torah Judaism (Religious Right)


Yisrael Beytenu list (Extreme Right)


Meretz (Left)


The above results are not 100% conclusive, there might be slight changes.

Hopefully soon a more positive report will follow …


Unlike the Israeli production of the film ‘BETHLEHEM‘ which was reviewed on this Blog over a year ago …

This film, like many before it about the conflict, is guilty of the sins of distortion and concealment: the context is missing, as if it weren’t there. The film is meant to depict complexity – the misery of the collaborator; the humanity of the agent – but in reality, the film paints a picture without context, and without context there is no truth.

A more realistic film is now available which was written by a Palestinian .



The movie was billed as a harmonious effort in film making and a shining example of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. 

Hiding beneath the surface of this idealistic image is a different and far more telling story; one that mirrors everyday life in the Palestinian-Israeli dynamic, and ties directly back to the root cause of the conflict itself.

The above is from the  website which was created by the film’s writer, Nader Rizq, as a vehicle to freely express his opinion on how Israeli censorship, misinformation and stereotype of Arabs influenced the film. It was sent to me via email by him.

An International Effort

The film is an international effort. From its first time Palestinian American writer who started researching the subject matter and writing the script back in 1991, to its Academy Award winning British producer, Israeli director, American producer, Danish cinematographer, French editor, International co-producing partners; to its Hollywood actor working alongside Palestinian and Israeli talent, it was a venerable United Nations of very talented and committed individuals who believed in the heart and soul of the story being told.

Definitely a MUST SEE!


From a review at the Huffington Post

Zaytoun is a film about a most improbable and remarkable friendship between Fahed, a 12-year-old Palestinian refugee, and Yoni, a 30-year-old Israeli combat pilot. The film explores a liminal space between make-believe and reality, between a boy and a man, between Arab and Israeli, all set in the chaos of 1982 Beirut just weeks before the infamous invasion of the Shatila refugee camp where 700-800 Palestinians were slaughtered by the Lebanese Christian Phalangists with the tacit support of the Israeli armed forces. This liminal space extends to the very geography of the movie’s setting which takes place in the no man’s land between Lebanon and Israel, a strange borderland where horror is so dreamlike and prosaic, where hopes for peace are so remote, and where everyday reality in a struggle for survival, control, and power.


Photos © by Bud Korotzer


























             THREE POSTS IN ONE ...


Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has taken his campaign of violent incitement against Palestinians to new extremes with a call for those disloyal to Israel to have their heads chopped off.


Israeli foreign minister calls for beheading Palestinians

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has taken his campaign of violent incitement against Palestinians to new extremes with a call for those disloyal to Israel to have their heads chopped off.

He also repeated his long-standing demands for expulsion of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“Anyone who’s with us should be given everything – up to half the kingdom. Anyone who’s against us, there’s nothing to do – we should raise an axe and cut off his head; otherwise we won’t survive here,” Lieberman said at an election event Sunday, in reference to Palestinian citizens of Israel.

According to Israel’s Mako news website, Lieberman made his comments in an interview with journalist Udi Segal during the “Electing Democracy in 2015” conference at IDC Herzliya, an Israeli college.

There are about 1.5 million Palestinians, survivors and descendants of those who escaped expulsion from present-day Israel in 1948, who are nominally citizens of Israel. Palestinians commemorate this ethnic cleansing, which they call the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) every year on 15 May.

While they have a vote in Israel’s upcoming election, Palestinian citizens of Israel face relentless legal and social discrimination and violent incitement and calls for expulsion.

Lieberman wants ethnic cleansing

“There’s no reason for Umm al-Fahm to be part of the State of Israel,” Lieberman said in reference to a large town in the north of present-day Israel with a predominantly Palestinian population. “Citizens in the State of Israel who fly a black flag on Nakba Day – as far as I’m concerned they should go away, and I’ll donate them to Abu Mazen with great joy.”

Lieberman’s reference to “donating” Palestinian citizens of Israel to “Abu Mazen” – the Palestinian Authority’s leader Mahmoud Abbas – amounts to a renewed call for ethnic cleansing.

The Israeli foreign minister, who heads the extreme anti-Palestinian Yisrael Beiteinu party, has a long history of violent incitement. In a recent Facebook posting, Lieberman called for the execution of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

According to polls, Lieberman’s party is set to lose seats at the upcoming 17 March parliamentary election. His comments may be an effort to galvanize Israel’s anti-Arab vote, which has been drifting to other openly genocidal parties such as Naftali Bennett’s partyHabayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home).

It is not only Israel’s right-wing politicians who appeal to voters with incitement to violence against Palestinians; Israel’s ostensible left does it as well. In a recent election ad, Yitzhak Herzog, head of Israel’s allegedly dovish Labor Party, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not hitting Gaza hard enough.

In a 51-day assault last summer, Israel committed numerous war crimes, devastating Gaza and leaving more than 2,200 people dead.

Lieberman’s latest violent incitement will feed comparisons frequently made between Israel – the self-declared “Jewish state” – with ISIS (or ISIL), the self-declared “Islamic State” notorious for its brutal beheadings of hostages in the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria.

With thanks to Dena Shunra for translation.


If the Moldavian bouncer gets his way ...

If the Moldavian bouncer gets his way … MK Zoabi is surely on his list.


 Response …

Tibi: Liberman is a ‘Jewish ISIS’

Arab MK fires back at Foreign Minister who advocated “cutting of the heads” of Arabs who were not loyal to Israel.
MK Ahmed Tibi  Flash 90

MK Ahmed Tibi Flash 90

Balad MK Ahmad Tibi said that Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s statements calling to decapitate “disloyal Israeli Arabs” are severe and require a police investigation.

Tibi, who made the statements while addressing some 1,000 Israeli Arabs studying in Jenin University, called Lieberman a “Jewish ISIS,” and said that if an Arab MK would have made a similar statement, police and the attorney general would have opened proceedings against him immediately.


Meanwhile, zion’s entity in the West bank ….

Once again, the PA is ganging up on its own citizens in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from the likes of Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennet.

PA is arresting Palestinians to please Israel

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
Once again, the PA is ganging up on its own citizens in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from the likes of Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennet.According to the latest news from the West Bank, PA security agencies, including the Preventive Security and General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) have been raiding homes and businesses of supporters of the Islamic liberation group, Hamas.Reliable sources in the West Bank reported that as many as a hundred activists have been rounded up in the still-ongoing sweep, including college students, university professors, and former detainees just released from Israeli jails.No specific charges have been leveled against the detainees, widely believed to be innocent of any wrongdoings.The PA didn’t spell out the exact motives behind the latest campaign, which targeted families said was carried out with “vengeance and vindictiveness.”

A PA spokesman in Ramallah said Monday the arrests were a reprisal for the arrest by Hamas’s security apparatus in Gaza of a local Fatah leader, reportedly accused of “indulgence in improper behavior.”

However, the large scope of the arrest campaign in the West Bank seems to suggest that the PA is hell-bent on persecuting its own people on Israel’s behalf.

A few days ago, the PLO Central Council, decided to terminate all security coordination with Israel. However, a huge question mark is drawn over the willingness of the PA leadership, e.g. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, to halt security collaboration with Israel.

Abbas has been quoted repeatedly as saying that security collaboration with Israel is “a sacred commitment”, and an “ultimate red line.” Hence, most Palestinians and observers are skeptical about Abbas’s willingness to carry out the decision.

From the Israeli view point, the PA would lose its very raison d’être should it halt full security collaboration with the Jewish state.

Hence, stopping the one-sided security collaboration between the PA and Israel could possibly spell the end of the very existence of the PA.

However, the elimination of the PA goes against the wishes of the US, Israel’s guardian ally, EU, as well as regional states such as Jordan and Sissi’s Egypt.

Israel, too, views the continued survival of the PA regime as a paramount Israel interest. Israel views the PA very much as a sub-contractor for managing the occupation, on Israel’s behalf. The disappearance of the PA would create a huge security and financial burden for Israel as the Jewish state would be forced to cater for the livelihood and welfare of more than four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel would also be forced to redeploy tens of thousands of its troops throughout Palestinian towns.

Needless to say, the PA has been doing the job rather faithfully on behalf of Israel ever since the conclusion of the hapless Oslo Agreement in 1993. And this was done with minimal Israeli obligations toward the Palestinians.

More to the point, under the umbrella of this ignominious arrangement, which was supposed to expire by 2000, Israel continued to confiscate Palestinian land, build and expand Jewish settlements and use every conceivable method to persecute, repress and torment Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Real irony

The continuing arrest of dozens of innocent Palestinian activists comes at a time when the PA is being thoroughly humiliated and blackmailed by the occupying power, Israel. The Zionist entity has been withholding hundreds of millions of dollars of Palestinian tax and customs revenue, levied by Israel on behalf the PA pursuant to the Paris protocol of 1994.

The freezing of these funds has caused a virtual financial collapse of the PA, which has not been able to pay the salaries of its estimated 140,000 civil servants and security personnel in full.

The PA has appealed to western countries, especially the US, to pressure Israel to release the funds. However, it is unlikely that Israel will unfreeze the funds anytime soon, especially before the Israeli elections, slated to take place on 17 March.

The Israeli government is worried that unfreezing the Palestinian funds now would be a sign of weakness to the Israeli Jewish public, which has a clear propensity to support right-wing and extreme-right wing parties, such as Netanyahu’s Likud.

In addition to withholding Palestinian funds, Israel has been waging a murderous campaign against ordinary Palestinians.

On 7 March, the Israeli occupation army murdered a Palestinian fisherman. Tawfik Abu Rayala, 34, was killed when an Israeli navy patrol strafed Palestinian fishermen in northern Gaza with machinegun bullets, killing the young fisherman and injuring a number of other fishermen.

Several other Palestinians have also been killed in various parts of the West Bank as the Israeli occupation army adopted a shoot-to-kill policy in dealing with Palestinian protesters.

A few months ago, Israeli troops near Ramallah, murdered Ziyad Abu Ein, prompting widespread indignation.

Israel, whose navy routinely opens fire on impoverished Gaza fishermen, had murdered more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians during its last summer blitz against Gaza. The victims include some 300 children.

In fact, the Israeli killing machine never stopped murdering and maiming Palestinians as the Zionist entity continued to narrow Palestinian horizons politically and economically.

Awarding Israel for its crimes

In light of all this, many ordinary Palestinians are openly accusing the PA of being at Israel’s beck and call and even awarding Israel for murdering and persecuting Palestinians.

Ahmed Suleiman, a Palestinian professor at Hebron University, described the PA behavior of arresting pro-Hamas activists in the West Bank as “a treasonous act par excellence.”

“We all know that Israel considers Hamas its archenemy. So by cracking down on Hamas in the West Bank, the PA is effectively telling Israel that ‘ your enemy is also our enemy.'”


‘Ein Siniya’s population in the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, was 114. Today in 2015, ‘Ein Siniya’s population is 885 persons strong. Given every act of the Israeli military occupation for the last five decades has been designed to get Palestinians to leave Palestine, ‘Ein Siniya is a living testament to our resilience and determination to not only remain on the land, but to grow despite all odds.

Restoration of Buildings vs Memories

By Sam Bahour

Home of Jamil Al Husseini, ‘Ein Siniya, Palestine (Photo credit: DHIP)

Home of Jamil Al Husseini, ‘Ein Siniya, Palestine (Photo credit: DHIP)

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. I’ve lived in Palestine for 21 years and passed by the village of ‘Ein Siniya hundreds of times, but can’t recall ever actually visiting it, that is, until today.

‘Ein Siniya is a small Palestinian village in the West Bank’s Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, 10 kilometers north of Ramallah, northeast of Jifna, the village renowned for its apricots. It lies in a valley surrounded by olive and fig terraces. Its population has grown from 701 persons in 2007 to 885 today, a whopping 12% increase. It was the home of Faisal Husseini, the legendary Palestinian leader who spent his life defending Palestinian rights in Jerusalem. ‘Ein Siniya is what one would call a sleepy, laid-back village, but today it came alive and I was there to witness this refreshing awakening.

I arrived to ‘Ein Siniya driving behind a minibus from The Danish House in Palestine that was transporting people who were heading to the same venue that I was. Turning off the main road into the village, we turned right and then took the first left. The first thing I noticed is what one usually sees in all Palestinian villages, a group of children. This group was a cheerful one of young girls seemingly excited at all the odd traffic crawling up their street. A few hundred meters up the hill, on the right, was the historic home that we were coming to visit, the home of Mr. Jamil Al Husseini.

Standing in front of this huge, run-down home was actress Faten Khoury. She was oddly standing halfway in the street, not to be missed. She was frozen in a pose, staring at the long, stone staircase that hugged the backside of the building and led to the first floor of this abandoned, eerie home. She held a suitcase in one hand and a white photo album in the other. As we exited our cars and the bus unloaded, many stopped to talk to Faten, but she would not budge. She just stared up the staircase, clearly leading us to where we were to go, without saying a word.

Upstairs we entered through an old, traditional doorway, narrow and with a heavy steel door. We then walked across a sheet of metal flooring, placed on an old outside terrace that led to a large room. Along the way there were rooms to our right, the first had two young girls, in traditional costume, sitting on the floor kneeling bread dough. The next room had a young man, also in traditional dress, manually milling freshly picked olives with a stone. At the end of the terrace walkway we entered a larger room, possibly what was once the family’s living room.

Emilie Simonsen (Photo credit: Mohammed Abbas)

Emilie Simonsen (Photo credit: Mohammed Abbas)

As we found our seats, more and more people flowed in, young and old. Emilie paid no attention to all the buzz in the room; she just kept doing her thing. Sitting behind me was a row of the most beautiful young girls from the village. The sat diligently waiting, trying to understand who were all these strange people who all of the sudden arrived out of nowhere. I asked them where they were from and what they were all waiting for? Without hesitation, one replied, “We are from here, ‘Ein Siniya, and we await the skit, there is going to be a skit here. Where are you from?” I replied, “Al-Bireh, near Ramallah,” thinking they would only know the larger city near mine. One of the girls, around 9 years old, answered, “I know where Al-Bireh is; it’s where the Al-Bireh Secondary Girls School is located.” I was clearly not needed for these girls to navigate their geography.The room was full of people sitting on the ten or so rows of chairs. In the front of the room was a table, with a foreign lady sitting alone. She had her headphones on and reverted back and forth between diligently typing away on her laptop and putting on a pair of white gloves, before picking up an artifact, pieces of a colorful broken ceramic dish, which she used a small brush to meticulously brush the edges of the dish pieces off. We later learned this she was Ms. Emilie Simonsen, a Danish actress visiting Palestine, playing the role of a historic restoration expert.

Not before long, there was only standing room left. Then entered an older, well-dressed man. He was ushered to sit in the first row. This was the owner of the house, Jamil Al Husseini. It was then announced that the show was about to begin. The room fell silent.

Actress Faten hesitatingly entered the room, still holding her photo album as she placed her luggage to the side. She then spent the next ten minutes thrashing around the room, talking to herself, reminiscing about days long gone. She recalled her father’s descriptions of his home back in Palestine, this home. She walked through the rooms, shocked that, although she never lived in this home, she felt like she knew every nook and cranny—the wooden window frames, the arched windows that separated the rooms, the porch, the now-broken vase sitting on Emilie’s table waiting to be logged in her laptop, the tiled floors, and so on. She spoke of the home as if she could see all its long-gone residents still there. Actually, as Faten reminisced, a group of young actors and actresses from Ashtar Theater were playing out the home’s original family members, as if they had come back to life. As Faten moved from one room to another, she slammed a door, startling Emilie, the foreign actress.

Emilie abruptly stopped bushing the artifact in her hand, threw off her white gloves and removed her headphones to jump up and scold Faten for being in the house. Emilie explained that the house was very old and is being restored and no one was allowed in. Faten replied, in vain, that this was her family’s home and she could envision all the memories as if they were alive. Emilie was unable to see this, being only privy to the material artifacts that she was brushing and logging into her laptop. As photos of past times, when the home was full of life, were displayed on the stone wall of the living room, Faten, frustrated with Emilie’s inability to feel the living past of the home, summed up the stance: “You are only interested in the restoration of the buildings, not the memories.” The audience was moved. I had a serious outbreak of goose bumps.

Emilie Simonsen (L), Ashtar team, Faten Khoury (R) (Photo Credit: Mohammed Abbas)

Emilie Simonsen (L), Ashtar team, Faten Khoury (R) (Photo Credit: Mohammed Abbas)

Following the skit, the floor was open for discussion. The first to speak, remaining true to our culture, was the owner of the home. He thanked everyone for coming and welcomed us to his home, a heavy-on-the-heart welcome given the condition of the building, but an exceedingly warm welcome taking into consideration that it was now filled, once again, by village boys and girls, adults, and everyone else, most importantly Jamil himself, the homeowner.A few minutes later, the skit ended. It took this talented team of actors and actresses merely twenty minutes to strike a deep chord in each of us. Lost homes, time passed, history maintained through oral storytelling, refugees coming home, today’s material world seeking to merely see the stones and not the families who lived in the homes or what happened to them, or where they went, or how they died. In those short, twenty minutes, a number of deep feelings that every Palestinian has was touched.

When I spoke during the discussion period, I challenged the young ones in the room. I told them I’m going to write this article about the event and want them to send me their reflections so I can include them. Immediately after the event, the entire group of young girls who were sitting in the row behind me came up to me. One of the girls, Bisan, an unquestionable future leader, garnered enough courage to speak to me on their behalf. With her red cheeks and beautiful smile, she said they wanted to ask how they can send me what they write. I gave them my business card and told them my email is listed. One of the girls asked if she can send hers to me on Facebook, or Face, as she called it. Another sign of the times. They were so excited, they made the rest of a normal day great.

I barely got home that evening when I found this message from Bisan:

‘I am Bisan Jabr Ahmed, I was in ‘Ein Siniya theater and I’m ten years old. I felt that this play expressed our Palestinian heritage and took me back to the old days, how our parents used to live, while now everyone is busy with Face. How in the old times my parents and I worked together in our home and how we cooperated and how we disagreed.’

She then asked me to let her know next time I come to ‘Ein Siniya. Bisan and her generation are thirsty to live, while the military occupation that keeps its boot on their necks make it hard for them to even breathe.

Then a few hours later, I received this message:

‘I am Sama’a Khater. I’m nine years old. I loved the skit which was played in ‘Ein Siniya. Although it was short, it expressed the feelings of people in old days, and made me feel very sad.’

The idea to bring Palestinian oral histories to life has been the passion and project of actress Faten Khoury for years. With the support of The Danish House in Palestine and many generous others, she was able to link with the professional Danish actress Emilie who works in Denmark to revive history through theater. This skit was a pilot for a much larger project that Faten is working on, the creation of a Theatrical Museum of Oral History. I support this project wholeheartedly and made it my firm’s current corporate social responsibility project. Please help bring it to life if you can by visiting www.aim.ps/aim-csr.html and making a donation.

Bottom line, ‘Ein Siniya’s population in the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, was 114. Today in 2015, ‘Ein Siniya’s population is 885 persons strong. Given every act of the Israeli military occupation for the last five decades has been designed to get Palestinians to leave Palestine, ‘Ein Siniya is a living testament to our resilience and determination to not only remain on the land, but to grow despite all odds. I, for one, commit to redoubling my efforts to ensure that Bisan and her friends will all have a future worth living for.


Read in Arabic HERE              Visit Sam’s Blog HERE



Let’s see how Bibi explains this to Congress …

Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered 83-year-old Palestinian grandfather Ayyub Shamasnah and his family to voluntarily evacuate their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah before next Sunday in compliance with a final supreme court decision.

Israel orders Palestinian family to evacuate Sheikh Jarrah house

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered 83-year-old Palestinian grandfather Ayyub Shamasnah and his family to voluntarily evacuate their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah before next Sunday in compliance with a final supreme court decision.

Shamasnah lives with his wife, 75, children and grandchildren in a two-room, 65-square-meter house targeted by Jewish settlers who have already evicted several Palestinian families.

The family moved to Sheikh Jarrah after they were displaced from Qatanna village in northwest Jerusalem during the creation of Israel in 1948. They initially paid rent to Jordanian authorities, who were responsible for East Jerusalem until 1967 when Israel occupied the city.

Since 1968, the family has paid rent to Israeli authorities as protected leaseholders.

In 2011, the Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property started legal proceedings to evict the Shamasnah family, claiming their rental contract expired in 2008. In May 2013, an Israeli court postponed the eviction until further discussions.

The court suggested during a hearing in May that the family could remain in the property until the elderly parents die, but settlers who are targeting the property once the family is evicted refused the proposal, according to the owner’s son Muhammad.

Speaking to Ma’an Sunday, Muhammad said that the Israeli supreme court decided in August 2013 that his family should evacuate the property before Jan. 3, 2015 to be delivered to the Israeli settlers.

“Thus, the family received a letter last Thursday from the settlers’ lawyer demanding that they comply with the court decision, or otherwise they will be evacuated by force.”

According to Muhammad, the Israeli authorities claim that the house was a Jewish property before 1948, and after the Palestinian Nakba all Jewish properties were entrusted to the Jordanian government’s Custodian for Absentee Property.

Then after the annexation of Jerusalem in 1967, the properties were entrusted to Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property.

He added that his father had paid rent to both the Jordanian and Israeli authorities as protected leaseholders.

Then in 2011, he added, the family was surprised with the Israeli government’s Custodian for Absentee Property starting legal proceedings to evict the family claiming their rental contract expired in 2008.

In response, the family submitted court documents which proved they paid rent according to a contract signed in 1977. The family also submitted evidence that they had lived in the house since 1972, but “failed to give evidence they had lived in the house before 1968.”




Today, synagogues throughout the world commemorated Shabbat Zachor (Sabbath of Remembrance). On this day the first known enemy of the Hebrews, Amalek, is remembered. On this day as well the combined Hate Lists of the ADL and the Wiesenthal Centre are dug out to confirm that Amalek still lives today.
Yes, Amalek still lives. There is no doubt in my mind about that, BUT NOT ON THOSE LISTS. Amalek lives right here in Israel. He is remembered every day of the year by Palestinians, but especially this week, the 21st anniversary of the massacre in Hebron by a crazed American zionist.
The week a mosque was torched in the Occupied West Bank and a Christian Seminary torched right here in Jerusalem. Both incidents the work of crazed settlers.
thumb hebron
He is remembered every day that a Palestinian child is lowered into the grave, yet another victim of Israeli terrorism.
He is remembered when a family in Gaza visits the graves of loved ones killed by Israeli soldiers.

gaza graves

How quickly zionism forgets the war crimes committed daily against the Palestinians. How quickly the Western World forgets them as well, mostly due to media blackouts in the zionist controlled press in those countries.
The fate of those who resist the above atrocities is also remembered …
Yes, we remember those crimes every day of the year. And yes, we will never forget them or forgive those that committed them.


The video below has had nearly a million views since it was posted last night ….

Banksy goes to Gaza

News travels fast. Yesterday, Banksy published video and photos from a recent trip to Gaza on their Instagram account and set the internet ablaze. The New York Times published a statement from the artist: “I don’t want to take sides. But when you see entire suburban neighborhoods reduced to rubble with no hope of a future — what you’re really looking at is a vast outdoor recruitment center for terrorists. And we should probably address this for all our sakes.”

Image: Banksy

Image: Banksy

And look, a Banksy promotional travel video-documentary “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination” where he rappels threw the tunnel and burst out on the other side — in Gaza –“Well away from the tourist track”:

We love Banksy — who doesn’t?

Banksy writes, “A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens”:

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy also explains, “Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.”:

Banksy in Gaza

Banksy in Gaza



An oldie but a goodie …. and TIMELY! … Just replace the word Mississippi with Palestine when you listen to it.

Originally posted at Jews sans frontieres


We have all spent far too much time massaging a reality that we all see and acknowledge as strategically troubling, indeed catastrophic. Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer. The most just cause in modern history is at stake.

Resetting Palestine’s political system

Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer.

Separation wall in Bethany. Separation wall in Bethany. Mahmoud illean/Demotix, All rights reserved

Today, Palestinian political strategy is being driven in the total absence of a functioning political system. Israel’s forced fragmentation of our geographic reality mixed with internal political party divisions, disgust, despair and incompetence, the status quo tears apart Palestine’s societal fabric. If it remains on its current course, the train of national liberation is bound to derail, resulting in serious, if not permanent, damage to our bid for freedom and independence

Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer.

Almost every week in Palestine a political personality or think tank invites a group of thinkers to hash out what can be done to halt the imminent crash of our political project. Efforts to bring us together when so many powers are trying to keep us in permanent disarray are of course welcome.

However, unlike many of those who take joy in merely being in the presence of leadership, I have been walking away from these never-ending discussions with serious concerns. Given the years of experience and high caliber of those sitting around the table, I’d be surprised if any of them was unaware of any piece of insight shared in the discussions. The thought that these meetings really launch any kind of strategic process to reverse the political deterioration is rather far-fetched.

Priorities for a real strategic track

Here are a few priorities we need to get us on a strategic track that is worthy of the time and effort being exerted. They relate directly to the need to repair the Palestinian political system as well as our national liberation movement.

Applying accountability – It is no longer acceptable that those responsible, politically or otherwise, for our current state of affairs should still be put forward as our saviors. Until the public sees more than a public relations effort to expose failed or criminal elements in our society, then whatever political strategy is chosen will have little legitimacy.

Addressing governance – This is the issue everyone speaks about but no one addresses. How can we seriously move forward with no political system in place? The gatherings organized every week by well-meaning community catalysts may have their place, but they cannot be a substitute for a functioning political system. The successful round of municipal elections that were held in the West Bank were a baby step forward and they must continue, where possible, until all municipal governments are not only elected, but also respect their terms in office.

However, municipal level government is not the arena where political strategy emerges. Every Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) level of leadership, every PLO organ, every Palestinian Authority governing unit must regain its credibility before the people, inside Palestine and abroad.

Elections may serve a purpose, but they are not a silver bullet. To drive this point home, I urge all Palestinians to watch a TED talk by the venture capitalist and political scientist, Eric X Li, who argues that China will “morally challenge” the universality claim of western democratic systems. The point is that there are many ways to reach collective leadership at every level of governance; what are we waiting for?

Building capacity for the UN battle – Entering the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a bold and long overdue step, but this is bound to be a long and hard process. The real impact of the new state tools available to us is how to bring the challenge to occupation down to an operational level in strategically chosen international venues. For that to happen, we need dedicated, trained and committed human resources. The quality of our current diplomatic corps leaves much to be desired. The public threat to enter 500+ international treaties and organizations rings hollow to those who know the current state of our human resources. This is a dangerous illusion. Let us take statehood seriously and mobilize human resources to rise to the occasion.

Only when we work on the three imperatives outlined above will we really be prepared to enter into a strategic planning exercise to chart our path to freedom and independence.

In the meantime, why do we waste time in dwelling on the need to choose forms of resistance? Can we not at least agree that all internationally and morally accepted forms of resistance should be supported? These include diplomatic efforts, economic resistance, civil disobedience, the ICC, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), etc. These are all tactics, not a political strategy. Once the political strategic direction is defined, then the intensity of any or all of these tactics can be revisited. But until a political strategy is defined, who is to say which tactic of resistance is valid or invalid?

The basics for a political strategy

We must go back to basics, and ask the political parties as well as the PLO leadership a few questions to be used as starting points for a new political program. For example, in 2015, do we:

  1. Accept international law and UN resolutions as our political frame of reference?
  2. Recognize the State of Israel? Not the undefinable ‘Jewish’ state, but rather the state that sits in the UN?
  3. Recognize the new State of Palestine (it’s unfortunate that we did not call it new in the UN bid for statehood, so the political distinction would be clear)? Not the State of Palestine of 1948, the state in our hearts and poetry, but rather the political state that has sat in the UN as a non-member observer state since November 29, 2012?

Seeing the answer to these and other questions, in writing, from the PLO and all the political parties would speak volumes. It would at the very least let the Palestinian people know where we are.

In addition, there are some practical steps that could immediately help restart our national liberation movement.

First, President Abbas must travel to Gaza and stay there until the reconciliation agreement is implemented. Before he goes, it is imperative that he appoint a Vice President. The issue of appointing a deputy is long overdue, but to understand the urgent need for this I urge all to read the article written by Atty. Haytham Zubi that was published in Al-Quds Newspaper on July 20, 2013 “Calm Constitutional Advice to the President” (مشورة دستورية هادئة الى سيادة الرئيس الفلسطيني).

Secondly, a PLO decision and Presidential decree must broaden the scope of the Central Elections Commission to allow them to begin the long and tedious process of registering Palestinians worldwide. It is unacceptable that there has been no serious effort to create a Population Registry of all Palestinians, not only those under occupation.

Third, a PLO decision and Presidential decree must activate a new and progressive Political Party Law to allow new political groupings to come together and legitimately enter the Palestinian political stage. We are deluding ourselves when we continue to speak of the traditional political parties as if they are all alive and well, or even exist in any meaningful way today. If political thought is not permitted to legitimately assemble and become part of Palestinians’ political tapestry, one can only expect the excluded to tear the tapestry apart.

We have all spent far too much time massaging a reality that we all see and acknowledge as strategically troubling, indeed catastrophic. Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer. The most just cause in modern history is at stake.

The above is from Open Democracy

Read in Arabic HERE


In oppressed communities, such as ours, stories play a crucial role in transmitting from one generation to the next a people’s history, as well as the history of their struggle for freedom. We do storytelling well.

Between storytelling and reporting a story
بين رواية الخبر ونقله


By Sam Bahour


Every culture has stories, whether for entertainment, education, cultural preservation, or instilling moral values. Many times, stories address more than one goal simultaneously. These stories are sometimes repeated so often in a family or community that they take on the characteristics of a fairy tale, but not without retaining a hint of the underlying truths. The life cycle of a story from fact to fiction is a discussion for another time, but let’s bear in mind that when a story’s main medium of travel is oral, a mix of fact, improvisation and embellishment are usually present in the final result.

News, on the other hand, is a special form of storytelling. News is an industry based on multiple professions working in tandem to produce news stories that inevitably and regrettably are filtered through a particular lens in the service of a particular set of values. Moreover, the news biz in today’s high-speed and hyper-connected digital world is more specialized than ever with deeply embedded, mutually competing agendas, whether the media sector wants to admit this or not. Objectivity in journalism is a relic of past times, rarely found and often not even sought in the production and presentation of today’s news offerings.


ENGLISH (PDF): http://bit.ly/story-AlHal-En
(for full English edition click here)

ARABIC: http://bit.ly/story-AlHal-Ar
(for full Arabic edition click here)


Cartoon by Nick Hayes, Guardian

Cartoon by Nick Hayes, Guardian

A US jury on Monday ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority to pay more than $218 million for providing material support to terrorists, a victory for Americans suing over attacks in the Jerusalem area more than a decade ago.


Who has been funding the Israeli terrorists responsible for the murders of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Doğan, both American citizens. What about the attack on the USS Liberty?

Both of the above murders and attacks and many more were outrightly funded by the US Government themselves. Where is the judgement against them? Will there ever even be one??

A report on yesterday’s ruling from the NY Times can be read HERE

Palestinian Groups Are Found Liable at Manhattan Terror Trial

Not only is she blind, she's also stupid!

Not only is she blind, she’s also stupid!

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