MIDNIGHT TERROR AGAINST TAMIMI FAMILY CONTINUES

In the middle of the night on Monday, around 3 a.m., the Israeli military raided the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in full force, a common occurrence for the village’s internationally-recognized residents, the Tamimi family, who have seen several family members — a large portion of them minors — arrested from the village in the past few months.

On Monday alone, Israeli forces detained 10 members of the extended Tamimi family, including five minors between the ages of 14-17, a 19-year-old, and the rest between the rest between 21 and 29 years of age, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

Among the detainees was 15-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, who is scheduled to have reconstructive surgery on his skull on March 5th. Muhammad was released later Monday afternoon.

Israeli soldiers had shot Muhammad in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in December, during demonstrations in Nabi Saleh against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Moments after Muhammad was shot, his then 16-year-old cousin Ahed learned of his injury as Israeli soldiers continued to surround the village, including her family home.

It was then that Ahed was filmed kicking and slapping an armed Israeli soldier who had encroached on her family’s property — an incident she would be detained for days later, along with her mother and cousin.

Ahed, who spent her 17th birthday in Israeli prison, is now being prosecuted behind closed doors in an Israeli military court that has a conviction rate of over 99 percent.

After spending days in a coma and undergoing several life-saving surgeries, Muhammad — who has been injured by Israeli forces before, and was previously detained when he was 13 — was released back home to Nabi Saleh with half of his skull missing.

Over the course of the two months since Muhammad’s injury and Ahed’s detention, the extended Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh and its twin village Deir Nitham have seen over a dozen of their relatives arrested, at least three put on trial in military court, and one — 16-year-old Musaab Tamimi of Deir Nitham — shot and killed by Israeli forces.

Campaign of Vengeance

By Monday afternoon, Muhammad had been released, while the nine others who were arrested remained in Israeli custody, according to Bassem Tamimi, the father of Ahed Tamimi.

Despite being released, Bassem told Mondoweiss that the fact that Muhammad was even arrested in the first place is indicative of Israel’s disregard for basic human rights.

“Muhammad is critically injured because of the occupation, and they put his life in even more danger last night,” Bassem said, adding “this just proves they don’t care about any international opinion, human rights or international law.”

Bassem told Mondoweiss that Monday’s detentions were just another part of Israel’s campaign of vengeance targeting the Tamimi family in the wake of Ahed’s arrest.

“Every international institution that deals with the Palestinians and human rights issues are responsible for the lives of our children and for the suffering of the Tamimi family and Nabi Saleh village,” Bassem said.

The Tamimi’s relatives in Deir Nitham expressed similar sentiments following the killing of their son Musaab in January, saying that days after Ahed’s arrest, the people of the village were threatened by Israeli soldiers who told them “The day will come when you wish you are not a Tamimi.”

“We have become a symbol of nonviolent resistance, and they [Israel] don’t want the voice of Palestine to be heard from anywhere or anyone,” Bassem said, “who knows what they will do next.”

International campaign for Ahed’s release continues

The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.

Ahed is famous across Palestine and the Arab world for videos of her, since her childhood, defiantly resisting Israeli soldiers who clash with Palestinians in her village nearly every week.

Two years ago, her family made headlines when an Israeli soldier violently attempted to arrest her younger brother, who had one arm in a cast at the time. Ahed and her mother manager to pull the soldier of her brother and free him.

Since her arrest in December, Ahed has become the subject of dozens of solidarity campaigns across the world demanding her release from Israeli prison, and an end to Israeli detention of Palestinian children.

As Ahed and her mother Nariman — who was arrested after her daughter — are being prosecuted behind closed doors, international rights groups such as Amnesty International have called for their immediate release, saying that Ahed’s detention “is a desperate attempt to intimidate Palestinian children who dare to stand up to repression by occupying forces.”

The group highlighted that under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a state party, “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time,” adding that Ahed is currently facing up to 10 years in prison

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, as of January 2018, there were 330 Palestinian children being held in Israeli prison.

Meanwhile, Bassem, who has been denied permission to visit Ahed in prison, waits until the next court date to catch a glimpse of his daughter.

URI AVNERY ASKS (AND ANSWERS) WHO IS WINNING IN GAZA

cartoon-gaza-israel-uneven-conflict

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The intensive bombing of the Gaza Strip has not produced a Hamas capitulation. On the other hand, the intensive rocket campaign by Hamas, which covered most of Israel, did not succeed either. The stunning success of the rockets to reach everywhere in Israel has been met with the stunning success of the “Iron Dome” counter-rockets to intercept them.

So, until now, it is a standoff.

But when a tiny fighting force in a tiny territory achieves a standoff with one of the mightiest armies in the world, it can be considered a victory.

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Netanyahu’s Operation Stupidity

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What would history look like if it were written in the style of the “Solid Cliff (a.k.a. Protective Edge) operation?

For example:

Winston Churchill was a scoundrel.

For five years he kept the population of London under the unceasing fire of the German Luftwaffe. He used the inhabitants of London as a human shield in his crazy war. While the civilian population was exposed to the bombs and rockets, without the protection of an “iron dome”, he was hiding in his bunker under 10 Downing Street.

He exploited all the inhabitants of London as hostages. When the German leaders made a generous peace proposal, he rejected it for crazy ideological reasons. Thus he condemned his people to unimaginable suffering.

From time to time he emerged from his underground hideout to have his picture taken in front of the ruins, and then he returned to the safety of his rat hole. But to the people of London he said: “Future generations will say that this was your finest hour!”

The German Luftwaffe had no alternative but to go on bombing the city. Its commanders announced that they were hitting only military targets, such as the homes of British soldiers, where military consultations were taking place.

The German Luftwaffe called on the inhabitants of London to leave the city, and many children were indeed evacuated. But most Londoners heeded the call of Churchill to remain, thus condemning themselves to the fate of “collateral damage”.

The hopes of the German high command that the destruction of their homes and the killing of their families would induce the people of London to rise up, kick out Churchill and his war-mongering gang, came to naught.

The primitive Londoners, whose hatred of the Germans overcame their logic, perversely followed the coward Churchill’s instructions. Their admiration for him grew from day to day, and by the end of the war he had become almost a god.

A statue of him stands even today in front of the Parliament in Westminster.

Four years later the wheel had turned. The British and American air forces bombed the German cities and destroyed them completely. A stone did not remain on a stone, glorious palaces were flattened, cultural treasures were obliterated. “Uninvolved civilians” were blown to smithereens, burned to death or just disappeared. Dresden, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, was totally destroyed within a few hours in a “fire storm”.

The official aim was to destroy the German war industry, but this was not achieved. The real aim was to terrorize the civilian population, in order to induce them to remove their leaders and capitulate.

That did not happen. Indeed, the only serious revolt against Hitler was carried out by senior army officers (and failed). The civilian population did not rise up. On the contrary. In one of his diatribes against the “terror pilots” Goebbels declared: “They can break our homes, but they cannot break our spirit!”

Germany did not capitulate until the very last moment. Millions of tons of bombs did not suffice. They only strengthened the morale of the population and its loyalty to the Führer.

And so to Gaza.

Everyone is asking: who is winning this round?

Which must be answered, the Jewish way, with another question: how to judge?

The classical definition of victory is: the side that remains on the battlefield has won the battle. But here nobody has moved. Hamas is still there. So is Israel.

Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian war theorist, famously declared that war is but the continuation of policy by other means. But in this war, neither side had any clear political aims. So victory cannot be judged this way.

The intensive bombing of the Gaza Strip has not produced a Hamas capitulation. On the other hand, the intensive rocket campaign by Hamas, which covered most of Israel, did not succeed either. The stunning success of the rockets to reach everywhere in Israel has been met with the stunning success of the “Iron Dome” counter-rockets to intercept them.

So, until now, it is a standoff.

But when a tiny fighting force in a tiny territory achieves a standoff with one of the mightiest armies in the world, it can be considered a victory.

The lack of an Israeli political aim is the outcome of muddled thinking. The Israeli leadership, both political and military, does not really know how to deal with Hamas.

It may already have been forgotten that Hamas is largely an Israeli creation. During the first years of the occupation, when any political activity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was brutally suppressed, the only place where Palestinians could meet and organize was the mosque.

At the time, Fatah was considered Israel’s arch-enemy. The Israeli leadership was demonizing Yasser Arafat, the arch-arch-terrorist. The Islamists, who hated Arafat, were considered the lesser evil, even secret allies.

I once asked the Shin-Bet chief at the time whether his organization had created Hamas. His answer: “We did not create them. We tolerated them.”

This changed only one year after the start of the first intifada, when the Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was arrested. Since then, of course, reality has been completed reversed: Fatah is now an ally of Israel, from the security point of view, and Hamas the arch-arch-terrorist.

But is it?

Some Israeli officers say that if Hamas did not exist, it would have to be invented. Hamas controls the Gaza strip. It can be held responsible for what happens there. It provides law and order. It is a reliable partner for a cease-fire.

The last Palestinian elections, held under international monitoring, ended in a Hamas victory both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. When Hamas was denied power, it took it in the Gaza strip by force. By all reliable accounts, it enjoys the loyalty of the large majority in the territory.

All Israeli experts agree that if the Hamas regime in Gaza were to fall, far more extreme Islamic splinter groups would take over and plunge the Strip, with its 1.8 million inhabitants, into complete chaos. The military experts don’t like that.

So the war aim, if one can dignify it as such, is not to destroy Hamas, but to leave it in power, though in a much weakened state.

But how, for God’s sake, does one do that?

One way, demanded now by the ultra-right-wingers in the government, is to occupy all of the Gaza Strip.

To which the military leaders again answer with a question: And then what?

A new permanent occupation of the Strip is a military nightmare. It would mean that Israel assumes the responsibility for pacifying and feeding 1.8 million people (most of whom, by the way, are 1948 refugees from Israel and their descendants). A permanent guerrilla war would ensue. No one in Israel really wants that.

Occupy and then leave? Easily said. The occupation itself would be a bloody operation. If the “Molten Lead” doctrine is adopted, it would mean more than a thousand, perhaps several thousands of Palestinian dead. This (unwritten) doctrine says that if a hundred Palestinians must be killed in order to save the life of one Israeli soldier, so be it. But if Israeli casualties amount to even a few dozens of dead, the mood in the country will change completely. The army does not want to risk that.

For a moment on Tuesday it seemed as if a cease-fire had been achieved, much to the relief of Binyamin Netanyahu and his generals.

But it was an optical illusion. The mediator was the new Egyptian dictator, a person loathed by Islamists everywhere. He is a man who has killed and imprisoned many hundreds of Muslim Brothers. He is an open military ally of Israel. He is a client for American largesse. Moreover, since Hamas arose as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, General Abd-al-Fatah Al-Sisi hates them with all his heart, and does not hide it.

So, instead of negotiating with Hamas, he did something exceedingly stupid: dictate a cease-fire on Israeli terms without consulting Hamas at all. Hamas leaders learned about the proposed cease-fire from the media and rejected it out of hand.

My own opinion is that it would be better if the Israeli army and Hamas negotiated directly. Throughout military history, cease-fires have been arranged by military commanders. One side sends an officer with a white flag to the commander of the other side, and a cease-fire is arranged – or not. (An American general famously answered such a German offer with “Nuts!”).

In the 1948 war, on my sector of the front, a short cease-fire was arranged by Major Yerucham Cohen and a young Egyptian officer called Gamal Abd-al-Nasser.

Since this seems to be impossible with the present parties, a really honest broker should be found.

In the meantime, Netanyahu was pushed by his colleagues/rivals to send the troops into the Strip, to try at least to locate and destroy the tunnels dug by Hamas under the border fence to stage surprise attacks on border settlements.

What will be the end of it? There will be no end, just round after round, unless a political solution is adopted.

This would mean: stop the rockets and the bombs, end the Israeli blockade, allow the people of Gaza to live a normal life, further Palestinian unity under a real unity government, conduct serious peace negotiations, MAKE PEACE.

* The first part of this article was published Wednesday in Ha’aretz.

A VIEW AT ISRAELI RECYCLING

Israeli recycling

Submitted by Nidal El-Khairy
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Israel often releases prisoners and leaves them in areas where Palestinians are not allowed to be in and rearrests them immediately. This is a part of a systematic psychological war on Palestinian political prisoners.
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Click on image to enlarge…
Posted AT

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ REJOICING IN FREEDOM

Rejoicing in the FREEDOM that’s coming soon!
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Photograph: David Levene
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Source and more photos
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Photos 7 and 8 are of Areen Bahour (Sam’s beautiful daughter)

SHOUTS OF ‘HITLER WAS RIGHT’ RESOUND IN OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM

NOT by Palestinians against Jews…… Jews themselves against Jews. BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

In Germany, actions such as the following would probably result in jail terms for those involved…. In Israel however, it seems quite the norm for fascists to show off their true colours….


Israeli Extremists Shout ‘Hitler Was Right’

Anyone who knows much about Israeli politics knows the kind of white-hot far-right anger displayed in this astonishing video. But it’s good to have one’s sense of outrage refreshed every so often to see such Israeli fascism in full eruption.

A word of context: make no mistake, this is not the view of the majority of Israelis, not nearly. But it is the view of enough that it is deeply frightening and poses a real danger for Israeli democracy. These are the Jack Titles of Israel and seeing them on video reminds us of the real violence of which they are capable. You’ll also learn some choice tidbits of Hebrew curses and scatology from the ranters.

These charming gentlemen are harrassing one of the weekly Friday demonstrations by Israeli peace activists in Sheikh Jarrah against the evictions of long-time Arab residents of that neighborhood from their homes.



Source


ISRAEL: REWRITING HISTORY IN THE MIDST OF NEW SCANDAL

rewriting-history

Leave it to the zionists to rewrite history. It’s reminiscent of the final years of the Soviet Union when the name Stalin miraculously disappeared from history books.
 
Now, the term ‘Nakba’ will be removed from Israeli textbooks. Heaven forbid a new generation of Israeli schoolchildren should know the truth about the creation of their country….. and at whose expense it was at.
  
Just imagine the outroar if the holocaust was removed from German textbooks… but, we know that won’t happen….. Israel would find a way to stop such a move.
 
  
Education minister: Word ‘nakba’ taken out of lesson plans
 
 Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar briefed the cabinet on plans for the start of the school year, and announced that the word “nakba” will be taken out of lesson plans.
 
“It can be said with certainty that Arab Israelis experienced a tragedy in the war, but there will be no use of the word ‘nakba,’ whose meaning is similar to holocaust in this context,” said Sa’ar. “The education system in the Arab sector will revise its studies about the homeland, geography, and society in elementary schools.”
 
 
 
 
Meanwhile, Israel’s latest scandal has come to light, involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. I can predict that whatever the outcome of his trial will be the courts will be lenient as he is suffering from prostate cancer. Olmert’s fellow criminal on the other side of the ‘pond’, Bernard Madoff will most certainly be released from prison soon on compassionate grounds. He too is supposedly suffering from cancer. Zionism, the common cancer among these criminals seems to spread to other organs at opportune times.
 
 
Former Israeli Prime Minister to face trial on corruption charges
 
Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli Prime Minister until March of this year, was indicted Sunday on charges of corruption, breach of trust, fraud, income tax evasion, accepting bribes, and a number of other charges.ehud_olmert
Ehud Olmert (photo from wikimedia)


 

Olmert oversaw a particularly brutal string of attacks by the Israeli military while he was Prime Minister, including the January 2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip that left 1400 Palestinians dead.  He has not been charged or investigated for these attacks.Instead, the former Prime Minister is being charged with a massive corruption scandal that allegedly ran through all levels of government when he was at the helm.According to the indictment, Olmert violated his oath of office “in systematic and drawn out activities for financial benefits … in different ways and from different sources … all in manners that contravened the law, the norms and the rules that obligate a minister and a public servant.”Several other members of Olmert’s cabinet have already been indicted on a variety of charges, including President Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of rape.Olmert allegedly carried out a variety of nefarious activities both before and during his term as Prime Minister.  Some of these included lying about contributions from a US citizen, inflating travel costs in order to pocket reimbursement checks, and using campaign donations to pay for the debts of a non-profit which supported him politically.Olmert’s communication advisor told Israeli reporters Sunday, “Olmert is convinced that at the court he will be able, once and for all, to prove his innocence.”

 

Source

 

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ GAZA IN RUINS

In Pictures: Gaza in ruins

AlJazeera.net

ruin0.jpg

As Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters hold fire in Gaza, civilians are trying to return home [AFP]

But what many Palestinians find are rubble and devastation [Gallo/Getty]

Crowded into a strip of land 40km long and 10km wide, Gaza’s 1.5 million people suffer from widespread poverty, malnutrition and unemployment [Gallo/Getty]

A situation only worsened by Israel’s bloodiest assault on the territory in decades [Gallo/Getty]

About 100,000 Gazans lost their homes in the three-week war [Gallo/Getty]

More than 75 per cent of the territory’s electricity has been cut off as Gaza’s only power plant remains shut due to lack of fuel [Gallo/Getty]

At least 30 per cent of the population has no access to clean running water and sewage treatment plants have stopped working [AFP]

And more than 10,000 people are at risk of having their homes flooded with waste water as a major sewage dump is on the verge of breaching its banks [AFP]

Of the 22,000 buildings destroyed in the Israeli offensive, 4,000 of them were residential buildings [AFP]

Hamas says the Strip will need at least $1.6 billion to rebuild [AFP]

Meanwhile, ordinary Gazans remain uncertain whether the relative calm will last [AFP]

Source

Via

A CALL TO ARMS… THAT’S ALSO A CALL TO ALMS

A Call to Arms… that’s also A Call to Alms

A Must Read if MWC News Magazine, and Its Continuance, Image
Has Positive Meaning for YouDear Readers and Activists (in deed and/or at heart):

We started this publication four years ago with a very ambitious agenda, and a smaller than small pocketbook.  Activism – a world-wide call to arms on all fronts that advocates peace, social justice and brotherhood – appeals to the pure at heart, the idealists… those of us who are usually poorer than poor.

Although we have met and exceeded our goals in both the continued upgrading of the magazine and the numbers in readership, the solidarity in purpose from our readers has not translated into sufficient voluntary donations to defray even half of our costs… and our personal funds have been slowly depleted where there are no more to be had… and must now plead from you… send an S.O.S.

We are initiating an Annual Fundraising Appeal to be conducted during this year.  Our goal this first year is for $25,000 which, given the number of readers that we believe consistently visit our site, should not represent a major economic sacrifice as we ask $35 from each contributor on annual basis.  Of course, if you can sponsor our activism – yours and ours – with a larger sum, so as to help us raise the bar on the magazine, so much the better!

Editors, columnists and the staff help bring you this magazine without any compensation, only the common ideals for a better world and the challenge of much-lacking political transparency throughout the world.  But we need you to help us so that your voice and our voice become one voice through MWC News Magazine, your “media with conscience” and source of news… some news and commentary that you seldom come across in the mainstream corporate media.

In Peace and Solidarity: MWC News Magazine Staff

MWC needs your support.Our Goal: $25000
Currently: $979
Updated: 12/12/2008
Please send us your donation today via Pay Pal.

To contribute by phone, please call Emily at 778-329-8867

BILL CLINTON TEACHING ‘DONKEYS TO FLY’

The only thing realistic about the following headline is the reference to Hillary as Number 2… we all remember what that means from our childhood years 😉

As Race Wanes, Talk of Clinton as No. 2 Grows

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Friends of former President Bill Clinton, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton this week in Louisville, Ky., say he thinks that Senator Barack Obama, if chosen as the Democratic nominee, could help unite the party by picking Mrs. Clinton as his running mate.

While Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers insist that she is determined to win the Democratic nomination, friends of the couple say that former President Bill Clinton, for one, has begun privately contemplating a different outcome for her: As Senator Barack Obama’s running mate.
Read the rest of this rather amusing report HERE

SOME REFUSE TO REMAIN SILENT

Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

I have said repeatedly that ‘Silence Kills’…. There are many with us today that refuse to remain silent and refuse to kill…

THIS short video is dedicated to all of them. Please watch it and spread it widely.

More can be read about the Winter Soldier HERE…. Some of their planned activities can be found HERE.

Don’t be silent yourselves… Don’t Kill! And don’t get killed!!

CANCER IS SPREADING IN PALESTINE

Image courtesy of Bendib

There is no other way to describe the ongoing occupation of Palestine. Occupation is a cancer! The consequences are the same, if not treated it leads to slow and painful death.
That is exactly what is happening in the Occupied Territories, the people are dying, slowly and painfully. Zionism can be seen as a carcinogenic substance which has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians over the past forty years, including hundreds of children.
Treatment of the disease has been slow and a long drawn out process, administered by unqualified personnel. As with other forms of cancer, a cure can only be realised if treatment is followed through till the end. It must not be stopped in the middle as has happened so many times concerning the occupation.
All forms of cancer can be beaten, including this one … but it will need the support of the International Community. The ‘doctors’ that have been involved in the treatment are totally unqualified…. new ones have to be found… and fast!
We can look at the concept of Peace as good health. Peace is something that cannot be achieved as long as the cancer goes untreated.
The following report from B’tselem is not new, but is definitely not dated. It gives a pretty good picture of what the occupation means in terms of settlements, and what they mean to the local populations.
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Land Expropriation and Settlements

Since 1967, Israel has established 135 settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) that have been recognized by the Interior Ministry. Sixteen settlements were established in the Gaza Strip; these were dismantled in 2005 during the implementation of the “disengagement plan.” In addition, dozens of outposts of varying size have been established. Some of these outposts are settlements for all intents and purposes, but the Interior Ministry has not recognized them as such.

Israel has established in the Occupied Territories a separation cum discrimination regime, in which it maintains two systems of laws, and a person’s rights are based on his or her national origin. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and brings to mind dark regimes of the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

As part of the regime, Israel has stolen thousands of dunams of land from the Palestinians. On this land, Israel has established dozens of settlements in which hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians now live. Israel forbids Palestinians to enter and use these lands and uses the settlements to justify numerous violations of Palestinian rights, such as the right to housing, to earn a living, and freedom of movement. The sharp changes Israel made to the map of the West Bank make a viable Palestinian state impossible as part of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The settlers, on the other hand, benefit from all rights given to citizens of Israel who live inside the Green Line, and in some instances, even additional rights. The great effort Israel has expended in the settlement enterprise – financially, legally, and bureaucratically – has turned the settlements into civilian enclaves within an area under military rule and has given the settlers a preferred status. To perpetuate this unlawful situation, Israel has continuously violated the Palestinians’ human rights.

Especially conspicuous is Israel’s manipulative use of the law to create a semblance of legality for the settlement enterprise. So long as Jordanian law assisted Israel in advancing its goals, it seized the argument that international law requires that an occupying state apply the law in effect in the territory prior to occupation, thus construing international law in a cynical and tendentious way. When Jordanian law was unfavorable for Israel, Israel did not hesitate to revoke it though military legislation and develop new rules to meet its ends. In doing so, Israel tramples on international agreements to which it is party – agreements which are intended to reduce human rights violations and protect people under occupation.

Because the very establishment of the settlements is illegal, and in light of the human rights violations resulting from the existence of the settlements, B’Tselem demands that Israel evacuate the settlements. The action must be done in a way that respects the settlers’ human rights, including the payment of compensation.

Clearly, evacuation of the settlements will be complex and will take time; however there are intermediate steps that can be taken immediately so as to reduce, to the extent possible, human rights violations and breaches of international law. For example, the government should cease new construction in the settlements – both the building of new settlements and the expansion of existing settlements. It must also freeze the planning and building of new bypass roads and must cease expropriating and seizing land intended for the bypass roads. The government must return to Palestinian villages all the non-built-up land that was placed within the municipal jurisdiction of the settlements and the regional councils, eliminate the planning boards in the settlements, and, as a result thereof, revoke the power of the local authorities to draw up outline plans and grant building permits. Also, the government must cease the granting of incentives to encourage Israeli citizens to move to settlements and must make resources available to encourage settlers to move inside Israel’s borders.

HERE you can see the photo archives of the settlements prepared by B’Tselem.

THIS report on settler violence gives an accurate picture of the situation today.

THE MIDDLE EAST ‘ENERGIZERS’

THE MIDDLE EAST ‘ENERGIZERS’
A DesertPeace Editorial

Are we witnessing another Annapolis in the making? A week from today the (non elected) President of the United States will meet with the (self appointed) President of the Palestinian Authority and the Prime Minister of Israel.

Before his arrival, Bush has already insulted the entire nation of Palestine by making a point of announcing that he has no intention of placing a wreath at the tomb of Yasser Arafat. Arafat was/is more than just a name, he was the symbol of Palestinian resistance. Bush’s declaration of his intentions is a slap in the face on the people of Palestine. This is not the way to start off on a peaceful solution. The non recognition of Hamas combined with this insult will certainly result in failure.

Peace will not result from any treaty signed by people who represent nothing and nobody… Bush and Abbas are those people. Peace must be negotiated by representatives of the parties involved, this will not be the case at next week’s meeting. The event will be nothing more than an energizing exercise, giving power to the situation itself. Nothing will change.

The image below represents what happens when the true representatives of a peaceful solution are rendered powerless. This must be recognised by the world and the world must insist on a reality solution… not the one planned.


The Witness
The doves, without eyes, beaks, or legs, are caged within barbed wire. How can peace move forward in such circumstances? Israel has wrought havoc to the Palestinian infrastructure, destroying our agriculture and industry. But as long as Palestinian mothers bear children, the next generation will pass on the torch of resistance. Tamam Al-Akhal

2008 ~~ 60 YEARS OF ISRAELI OCCUPATION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
SIXTY YEARS IS WAY TOO LONG FOR THIS TO HAVE GONE ON ~~ PALESTINE MUST BE FREE NOW!

60 Years of Nakba

May 15th, 1948, was the Palestinian Al-Nakba (the Catastrophe), or what Israel refers to as the “Day of Independence.” To Palestinians, it symbolizes the dispossession, displacement, and uprooting of 800,000 Palestinians from their homes in what then became Israel. Many of these refugees and their descendants, who now number more than 4 million, still languish in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and surrounding Arab countries. While Al-Nakba embodies the first major wave of forced expulsion of Palestinians from their land, Israel’s premeditated campaign of ethnic cleansing continues to this very day.

PALESTINE 2008 ~~ A NEW YEAR, A NEW BODY COUNT

Abir Aramin, one of the 373

As we enter the new year we look back at the old one… we mourn those that are no longer with us, but we especially remember those that left us before their time…. murdered in cold blood. Children, women, innocent civilians…. may their memory be a blessing for all of humanity…

Third of Palestinians killed by Israel in 2007 were civilians: report

JERUSALEM (AFP) – More than one third of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2007 were civilians who were not involved in hostilities, an Israeli human rights group said in a report released on Monday.

“In 2007, about 35 percent of those killed were civilians who were not taking part in the hostilities when killed,” said the report by the B’Tselem organisation.

Out of the 373 Palestinians killed, 131, or some 35 percent, were civilians who were not involved in fighting, the report said — a decrease of 19 percentage points from the 2006 figure of 54 percent.

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2007 nearly halved compared to the previous year — 373 died up to December 29 this year, while 657 were killed in 2006, it said.

The majority of the Palestinians who died by Israeli fire in 2007 were killed in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas — an Islamist movement pledged to Israel‘s destruction — violently seized power in June.

Since then, Israel has launched regular air and ground operations in the densely populated Palestinian territory aimed at stopping the near daily firing of rockets and mortars from the territory.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment on the report because the army had not yet received a copy of it.

The report also said that 2007 saw a “deterioration in many other measures of the human rights situation in the occupied territories. The primary one is the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, which has declined to an all time low, following Israel’s siege on the area.”

Following Hamas’s seizing of power, Israel in September declared Gaza a “hostile entity,” upping restrictions on the movement of goods and people to the impoverished territory.

On the Israeli side, seven civilians were killed this year by militants, three of them in a suicide bombing attack in the Red Sea report town of Eilat in January, two in rocket attacks on the town of Sderot near Gaza, and two by gunfire in the occupied West Bank.

Six members of Israel’s security forces were also killed in 2007, including two off-duty soldiers shot dead in Friday near the West Bank town of Hebron.

Also read THIS report from B’Tselem… 373 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2007

SUBLIMINAL BLESSINGS FROM WATCHING STAR TREK

I’ll bet that most of you didn’t know it, but every time you watched a Star Trek episode you were blessed…

Watch THIS to see why and how….

You might notice that there was more true Judaism practiced on the starship Enterprise than in Israel itself….. a state that seems to have forgotten the values spoken of in the clip.

Oh, and Blessings to all of you for the New Year!

WHEREVER YOU ARE ~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Wherever you are, whoever you are… heres hoping that you and yours have the best in the New Year. Let us hope that 2008 will usher in a lasting peace and justice for all of humanity… a year of love and understanding for all of us.

AFRIKAANS gelukkige nuwejaar
ALBANIAN Gëzuar vitin e ri
ALSATIAN e glëckliches nëies / güets nëies johr
ARABIC aam saiid / sana saiida
ARMENIAN shnorhavor nor tari
AZERI yeni iliniz mubarek
BAMBARA bonne année
BASQUE urte berri on
BELARUSIAN З новым годам (Z novym hodam)
BENGALI subho nababarsho
BERBER asgwas amegas
BETI mbembe mbu
BOBO bonne année
BOSNIAN sretna nova godina
BRETON bloavezh mat / bloavez mad
BULGARIAN честита нова година (chestita nova godina)
BURMESE hnit thit ku mingalar pa
CANTONESE kung hé fat tsoi
CATALAN bon any nou
CHINESE xin nian kuai le / xin nian hao
CORSICAN pace e salute
CROATIAN sretna nova godina
CZECH šťastný nový rok
DANISH godt nytår
DUTCH gelukkig Nieuwjaar
ESPERANTO felicxan novan jaron
feliæan novan jaron (Times SudEuro font)
ESTONIAN head uut aastat
FAROESE gott nýggjár
FINNISH onnellista uutta vuotta
FLEMISH gelukkig Nieuwjaar
FRENCH bonne année
FRISIAN lokkich neijier
FRIULAN bon an
GALICIAN feliz aninovo
GEORGIAN გილოცავთ ახალ წელს (gilocavt akhal tsels)
GERMAN ein gutes neues Jahr / prost Neujahr
GREEK kali chronia / kali xronia
eutichismenos o kainourgios chronos (we wish you a happy new year)
GUJARATI sal mubarak
GUARANÍ rogüerohory año nuévo-re
HAITIAN CREOLE bònn ané
HAWAIIAN hauoli makahiki hou
HEBREW shana tova
HINDI nav varsh ki subhkamna
HMONG nyob zoo xyoo tshiab
HUNGARIAN boldog új évet
ICELANDIC farsælt komandi ár
INDONESIAN selamat tahun baru
IRISH GAELIC ath bhliain faoi mhaise
ITALIAN felice anno nuovo, buon anno
JAVANESE sugeng warsa enggal
JAPANESE akemashite omedetô
KABYLIAN asseguèsse-ameguèsse
KANNADA hosa varshada shubhaashayagalu
KAZAKH zhana zhiliniz kutti bolsin
KHMER sur sdei chhnam thmei
KIRUNDI umwaka mwiza
KOREAN seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo
KURDE sala we ya nû pîroz be
LAO sabai di pi mai
LATIN felix sit annus novus
LATVIAN laimīgu Jauno gadu
LIGURIAN feliçe annu nœvu / feliçe anno nêuvo
LINGALA bonana / mbula ya sika elamu na tonbeli yo
LITHUANIAN laimingų Naujųjų Metų
LOW SAXON gelükkig nyjaar
LUXEMBOURGEOIS e gudd neit Joër
MACEDONIAN srekna nova godina
MALAGASY arahaba tratry ny taona
MALAY selamat tahun baru
MALTESE is-sena t-tajba
MAORI kia hari te tau hou
MARATHI navin varshaachya hardik shubbheccha
MONGOLIAN shine jiliin bayariin mend hurgeye (Шинэ жилийн баярын мэнд хvргэе)
MORÉ wênd na kô-d yuum-songo
NORWEGIAN godt nyttår
OCCITAN bon annada
PERSIAN sâle no mobârak
POLISH szczęśliwego nowego roku
PORTUGUESE feliz ano novo
ROMANCHE bun di bun onn
ROMANI bangi vasilica baxt
ROMANIAN un an nou fericit / la mulţi ani
RUSSIAN С Новым Годом (S novim godom)
SAMOAN ia manuia le tausaga fou
SANGO nzoni fini ngou
SARDINIAN bonu annu nou
SCOTTISH GAELIC bliadhna mhath ur
SERBIAN srećna nova godina
SHIMAORE mwaha mwema
SHONA goredzwa rakanaka
SINDHI nain saal joon wadhayoon
SINHALA suba aluth avuruddak vewa
SLOVAK stastlivy novy rok
SLOVENIAN srečno novo leto
SOBOTA dobir leto
SPANISH feliz año nuevo
SRANAN wan bun nyun yari
SWAHILI mwaka mzuri / heri ya mwaka mpya
SWEDISH gott nytt år
SWISS-GERMAN es guets Nöis
TAGALOG manigong bagong taon
TAHITIAN ia orana i te matahiti api
TAMIL iniya puthandu nalVazhthukkal
TATAR yaña yıl belän
TELUGU nuthana samvathsara subhakankshalu
THAI สวัสดีปีใหม่ (sawatdii pimaï)
TIBETAN tashi délek
TURKISH yeni yiliniz kutlu olsun
UDMURT Vyľ Aren
UKRAINIAN Z novym rokom
URDU naya saal mubarik
UZBEK yangi yilingiz qutlug’ bo’lsin
VIETNAMESE Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới / Cung Chúc Tân Niên / Cung Chúc Tân Xuân
WALOON (“betchfessîs” spelling) bone annéye / bone annéye èt bone santéye
WELSH blwyddyn newydd dda
WEST INDIAN CREOLE bon lanné
WOLOF dewenati

WILL REJECTION OF HAMAS RESULT IN AL QAIDA’S GROWTH?

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
In plain simple English, Palestinians are sick and tired of being bullied by outside forces. They have lived now for six decades as a dispossessed nation, for four of those decades under the most brutal occupation of the century.

Their political choices have been rejected both by Israel and the West leading to a situation of political frustration that can and will lead to a ‘backlash’ unseen until now…. one that will surely be regretted by her enemies. One view on this situation was just sent to me, it’s quite an interesting take on the situation….

Narrowing Hamas’ horizons means one thing: Helping al-Qaida

Comment by Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

The day when Israel, the West and puppet Arab regimes will be regretting their approach to Hamas may not be very far-off.

Israel and its guardian-ally, the US, along with despotic Arab regimes, calculate that the callous blockade of the Gaza Strip and systematic savaging of its 1.5 million human beings will eventually force Hamas to fall on its knees and cause many Palestinians to shun the movement.

However, in light of evidence accumulating through the years, the weakening of Hamas would more likely lead to the consolidation and strengthening of the al-Qaida among Palestinians, both as an ideology and an organization.

The unrelenting savaging of innocent Gazans, coupled with an affronting peace process under whose rubric Israel is building more settlements on occupied Arab land, is only preparing the most fertile ground for the growth of al Qaida.

This is why Osama Bin Laden’s recent statements that al-Qaida will intensify its operations in Palestine should be take very seriously.

Bin Laden seems to know what he is talking about. According to usually-reliable Palestinian sources, al-Qaida succeeded of late in recruiting hundreds of young Palestinians to its ranks, many of them erstwhile members of Hamas and Fatah.

One Gaza journalist described al-Qaida as “ constantly winning more hearts and minds.”

“Al-Qaida is telling potential recruits that the only way for salvation in this world and the hereafter is the way of al-Qaida and that Hamas made a grave mistake when it believed the western lie about democracy and that it is now paying the price for its naivety and blunder.”

In short, the misery that transcends every aspect of life in Gaza is the perfect environment conducive to the consolidation and growth of al-Qaida.

A few weeks ago, I asked Palestinian political analyst, Hani al Masri, if he thought that the weakening of Hamas would be good news for Fatah in the long run.

His answer was interesting.

Masri pointed out that the Palestinian arena would soon become a fertile soil for all kinds of radical organizations, not just al Qaida, since many Palestinians, religious and otherwise, would feel they had nothing to lose from engaging in an extended and uncompromising political program.

“A serious weakening of Hamas would have far-reaching consequences, with the main ramification being the exodus of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of erstwhile Hamas’ supporters, to al-Qaida.”

Abdul Sattar Qassem, Professor of Political Science at the Najah University in Nablus, believes most Palestinians who might shun Hamas (because of its perceived moderation) wouldn’t join Fatah or similar factions.

“Some of them might join Fatah,” he argued, “ but the vast majority wouldn’t because Fatah’s way of thinking and behavior doesn’t attract them. These people are religious and are well-inculcated in religious doctrine, and it would be difficult for them to join Fatah and retain their religiousness.

“Al-Qaida would be their natural destination.”

Israel, the West and certain Arab regimes think that an implosion of Hamas’s house will enable Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to capitulate to Israeli hegemony without having to worry about a serious Palestinian opposition to his rule.

However, this thinking is misleading and very short-sighted. Today, the Palestinian society is very much experiencing a state of frozen rage resembling the days and weeks preceding the outbreak of the Aqsa intifada in the fall of 2000.

Indeed, a general examination of the prevailing mood in the Main Palestinian street reveals that the outbreak of a new uprising is only a matter of time. The frozen rage can simply go off anytime. Palestinian forbearance seems to have reached its limits.

However, unlike the previous two uprisings, the new intifada would witness the active appearance of a new un-Orthodox player, namely the al-Qaida organization, with its ideological nihilism, fearlessness and unmatched radicalism.

In the short run, an effective, high-profile presence of al Qaida in the occupied Palestinian territories might provide an unprecedented asset for Israel, especially from the propagandistic view point. It would also provide the Zionist state with a ready-made, plausible and effective excuse to take even more draconian measures against the Palestinian population.

Hence, it is not out of question that Israel, for its own strategic reasons, may well be interested in seeing al-Qaida gain a certain foothold in the West Bank and Gaza.

But in the long run, Israel, too, stands to lose. Israel can’t fight al-Qaida using the same tactics it has been employing against Hamas. Al-Qaida pays very little attention to public opinion and has nothing to lose in terms of a civilian apparatus—because it has none. Moreover, al-Qaida has no MPs or political activists whom Israel can round up and throw in jail, nor does it have charities and other institutions which the Israeli army can close down.

Indeed, al-Qaida, a secret and secretive organization, would be much more immune to Israeli retaliations than is Hamas, a generally pragmatic organization that pays attention to the balance of power and wouldn’t cross certain red lines in its low-combustion confrontation with Israel.

This means that al-Qaida would be freer and bolder than Hamas in attacking mainly Israeli civilian targets, using suicide bombings.

Some Palestinian leaders predict that should al-Qaida succeed in gaining a real foothold in the occupied Palestinian territories, not only Israelis would be targeted, but Palestinians as well, probably including Hamas itself.

“We are talking about a nihilistic organization which believes in open-ended confrontation until the Day of Judgment,” one Hamas leader intimated to this writer.

“Al Qaida views all those opposing, even differing with its ideology, as enemies that ought to be liquidated. I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility that al-Qaida would detonate car-bombs in the heart of Palestinian cities in order to spread terror in the hearts of those who might dare oppose its ways.”

Jordan, which has large concentrations of Palestinians, also stands to sufferer immensely as a result of the mushrooming of al-Qaida in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Then, numerous Palestinians wouldn’t stand idle watching their brothers in faith across the River Jordan being scuttled and decimated by Israel, the US and treasonous Arab regimes that are at Israel’s and America’s beck and call. Hence, suicide bombings and similar acts of terror might then turn Jordan’s present political and economic stability upside down.

Egypt, too, would suffer, and no amount of security precautions would prevent determined and frustrated al-Qadia militants from targeting the soft-underbelly of the Egyptian economy, namely Egypt’s tourism industry.

This is more than just a prophecy of doom and gloom, for the writing is already on the wall for those who are willing to see.

This week, the collective Palestinian frustration reached unprecedented levels when hundreds of helpless Palestinian pilgrims returning from Mecca, having performed the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, were kept stranded like livestock at the Egyptian port of Nwebie’.

The Egyptian authorities reportedly were still refusing to allow them to return to their homes in Gaza via the Rafah border crossing. The pilgrims refuse to go through an Israeli-controlled border-crossing, fearing arrest and torture and lengthy imprisonment for their suspected affiliation with Hamas.

Meanwhile, Israel keeps murdering Palestinians in large numbers and is expanding Jewish settlements while PA leaders, like wide-eyed imbeciles, are watching helplessly, not knowing what to do, apart from imploring Condoleezza Rice to pressure Olmert to respect the Annapolis spirit.

Well, who is then pushing the Palestinians to join the ranks of al-Qaida?

‘LET MY PEOPLE GO’ ~~ ISRAELI OCCUPATION IN EGYPT

Image by Ismael Shammout
There’s no other way to put it…. Egypt is literally under the control of its zionist neighbours. Over a thousand observant Muslims are being punished for going on a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca.

The joint excuses of both the Israeli and Egyptian governments show the disregard for the very lives of the Palestinian people, a people who for 60 years have literally been at the mercy of both Israel and the Arab world.

The rhetoric we hear is nothing but nonsense…. leading many to believe that the only reason many of these pilgrims made the trip is so they can ‘sneak’ into Israel on their return trip. NONSENSE!


They just want to go home and be with their families… a crime?
The want to return to their jobs… a crime?
There is a crime involved in all of this, it’s called silence and complicity… where are the protests from the rest of the world? Doesn’t anybody give a damn??

Egypt moves stranded Palestinian pilgrims to temporary Sinai camps

By The Associated Press

More than a thousand Palestinian pilgrims, including members of the militant Hamas group, were put in camps in the northern Sinai on Sunday until a dispute over how they will return to the Gaza Strip is resolved.

The Palestinians arrived in the Egyptian port city of Nuweiba in southern Sinai on Saturday after completing their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia but have resisted Egypt’s attempts to have them return to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, where they must go through Israeli security checks.

Some of the pilgrims are members of the radical Islamic group Hamas, which seized Gaza in June, and they fear Israel will arrest them if they return through Kerem Shalom. Instead, they want to cross into Gaza through Rafah, which is outside Israeli control.

The 1,166 Palestinians who left Nuweiba Sunday boarded 29 buses headed for El-Arish, some 250 kilometers north of the Sinai port city and less than 25 kilometers west of Rafah, the security official said.

A total of 3,060 Palestinians have arrived in Nuweiba on two ferries, and authorities plan to send a second batch of buses to transport those who remain, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Hamas representatives had indicated Saturday that some 1,900 pilgrims were stuck in Nuweiba, but this figure apparently only included those on the first ferry.

Egypt’s attempts to force the pilgrims to use the Kerem Shalom crossing have outraged Hamas supporters in Gaza, who staged large-scale protests on Saturday.

Al-Jazeera television aired interviews with the pilgrims before they left Jordan in which they showed a paper Egypt allegedly asked them to sign saying they would to return to Gaza through Kerem Shalom.

Israel fears that if the pilgrims are allowed to return to Gaza through Rafah, Hamas militants might get through and sympathizers could smuggle cash to the Islamic group.

Some 7,000 demonstrators gathered at the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing Saturday waving Palestinian and Hamas flags and demanding the pilgrims be allowed to enter.

Hamas lawmakers echoed these calls, saying Egypt has a moral obligation to bring the pilgrims home as quickly as possible by allowing them to cross through Rafah.

The leader of Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, called on the Egyptian authorities Sunday to exercise their historical duty to the Palestinians and let them return to Gaza using the Rafah crossing.

Egypt has set up 11 temporary camps in El-Arish to house the pilgrims until authorities come up with a solution to the current crisis, security officials said.

KURT VONNEGUT ~~ HIS LAST INTERVIEW


Definitely one of the greatest men of American letters of the 20th century, Kurt Vonnegut passed away earlier this year at the age of 85.

And the US news media all but ignored him….

Why?

Here are some of the simple truths he spoke
about whenever he was given a public forum…..

Also see THIS post..

WOMEN ~~ YA’GOTTA LOVE THEM

Women in Black protesting in Jerusalem Friday. (Tomer Neuberg/Jini)

Women have traditionally been the motivating force and inspiration of the various peace movements throughout the world. They work tirelessly and seem to have a special energy unknown to the males in the species.

This has been true in the States, most of Europe and in Israel. One group of these courageous women, Women in Black, just marked the 20th year of their formation. They have demonstrated continuously against the Israeli occupation and have pledged to continue until they achieve their goals.

Following is a report from their ‘anniversary demo’…..

Women in Black marks 20th year, but occupation continues
By Tamara Traubmann, Haaretz Correspondent

The hundreds of women and the few men who on Friday celebrated the 20th anniversary of Women in Black didn’t seem to know whether the event they were attending was a somber one, or a party. After all, the cause the movement has championed for the past 20 years has not been achieved. The Israeli occupation still exists.

“It’s the only demonstration that has been going on for 20 years now,” one of the participants said.
The place where the crowd of 250 women gathered was the same place where Women in Black always hold their Friday demonstrations: Paris Square in Jerusalem. As always, they were carrying signs against the occupation.

“The peace movements have succeeded. We have thousands of demonstration hours,” Hanna Safran boasted. “We have all been very creative. We’ve marched naked, we went down to the Territories. Our message has been accepted, but it hasn’t put an end to the occupation and the wrongdoings that go along with it. In fact, things only got worse.”

The movement was born in late 1987, weeks after the outbreak of the first intifada, which turned the attention of most Israelis to the very fact that the Palestinians were living under occupation. The first demonstrators, Safran among them, gathered at Paris Square, not far from the prime minister’s official residence. They stood in silence, carrying signs the shape of a stop sign, reading: “Stop the occupation.”

Within several months, other women joined the protest, demonstrating at junctions outside towns and cities. The members of Women in Black represent the full spectrum of the Israeli Left, from Labor to the anti-Zionists.

Two of the most frequently asked questions Women in Black have had to answer over the years were why women, and why black. They say the absence of men in their ranks is meant to allow women to make their voice heard in a militaristic society.

As for black, there are several versions as to why the color was chosen as a trademark.

“What can I tell you, it’s just a visually strong color,” said Debbie Lerman from Tel Aviv.

One characteristic of Women in Black’s protest rallies was the torrent of swear words, curses and fulminations they usually elicited from passersby, who vent out their hostility toward the organization. But nowadays they are no longer targeted.

Women in Black members explain that the hostility subsided because 20 years ago, a congregation of women engaged in political protest was perceived as defiant ipso facto.

“That’s why the first demonstrators were spat on, and subjected to sexist and bigoted remarks from passersby,” one activist said.

In Israel, Women in Black has failed to bring about the end of occupation. But the movement has become a role model for other countries, where certain sectors of the population have to endure humiliation, oppression and racism.

At present, Women in Black organizations exist in over 40 countries, the Israeli members say. In India they are protesting religious discrimination. In the former Yugoslavia, various splinter states saw the formation of Women in Black protesting the war. In Germany they address fascism, nuclear weapons, and the Israeli occupation, too.

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