NEW ZIO APP VIRTUALLY DESTROYS THE DOME OF THE ROCK IN JERUSALEM

A smartphone app promoted by a Zionist organization allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and replace them with a Jewish temple.

Funded by Israel

New zio-app virtually destroys Al Aqsa Mosque

Israeli-funded app “destroys” Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

A smartphone app promoted by a Zionist organization allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and replace them with a Jewish temple.

The app is offered as part of an Israeli government-funded exhibit that advances the agenda of destroying the Muslim holy sites at the al-Aqsa compound.

The site in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is revered by Muslims all over the world and known to Jews as Temple Mount.

Last month, Rabbi Steven Burg tweeted an image of how the app visually transforms the site, erasing the existing buildings altogether. “One day soon …” he added, indicating he wants the image to become reality.

Burg is the director of Aish HaTorah, the Zionist religious group sponsoring the “Western Wall Experience” exhibit.

He is also a former director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Israel lobby group notoriousfor building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of one of Jerusalem’s oldest Muslim cemeteries.

As part of the Western Wall Experience exhibit, people can download an “augmented reality” smartphone app. When pointed towards the al-Aqsa mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with an image of a Jewish temple standing in its place.

This allows visitors to “to pose for a souvenir photograph” in an imagined landscape where the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.

Wiping out churches and mosques

This fits into the broader agenda promoted by many senior Israeli politicians and clerics who advocate the construction of a Jewish temple in the place where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock have stood for more than 1,000 years.

The chief rabbi of this so-called Temple movement is Yisrael Ariel, a religious extremist who has called for the wholesale destruction of churches and mosques unless Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down.”

But it also includes government ministers and lawmakers from Israel’s ruling Likud and other parties.

Prominent among these is Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, who has forged a political alliance with neo-Nazi parties that have gained seats in recent elections in Germany and Austria.

Funded by Israel

Israeli government-funded extremist groups have already made detailed blueprints – complete with 3D computer animations – of what the new temple will look like once the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.

Similarly, the ultimate aim of the designers of the Western Wall Experience is barely concealed: its website calls for “Laying the foundation” – presumably for the temple.

And Aish HaTorah also makes it clear that its indoctrination is not its initiative alone.

“The ministry of tourism and the State of Israel are significant funding partners for the construction of the Western Wall Experience,” the group states. “They will be making the Western Wall Experience a mandatory must-see for all visiting dignitaries to Israel, and will play an active role in raising awareness of the Experience.”

The al-Aqsa mosque compound is one of the most sensitive political and religious sites in Palestine. Israel has advanced false claims about the site at the UN cultural body UNESCO in an effort to secure international recognition for its occupation of Jerusalem.

Over the summer, Palestinians staged weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience against an Israeli effort to impose tighter controls on entry to the compound.

Despite Israel’s violent reaction to the peaceful protests, Palestinians prevailed, forcing the military occupier into a humiliating retreat.

 

See Tweets at SOURCE

ZION’S ATTEMPT TO CENSOR THE TRUTH // AGAIN

The established Jewish community is reactionary on criticism of the Jewish state. It got that job 50 years ago. It’s wearing thin, and btw, efforts to shut down a movie only help the other side.

Jewish leaders seek to shut down anti-occupation movie in MA because it ‘sniffs of Nazism’

Some good news. Three women at a Unitarian church outside Boston insist on showing a movie critical of Israel, even when the Jewish community tries to censor them. This story can only embarrass the organized Jewish community in the end, on free speech grounds, and serve the cause of Palestinians human rights.

The “Occupation of the American Mind” is a documentary about how and why Americans have such an uninformed view of the conflict. It features Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Yousef Munayyer, Rula Jebreal, Amira Hass, Rashid Khalidi and Steve Walt, among others, and has been endorsed by Deepa Kumar, Avi Shlaim, Neve Gordon, Medea Benjamin, etc. Doug Rushkoff says:

“A stunning exposé on how propaganda drives public opinion and, in turn, our understanding of reality. Here’s the story of how American perceptions of the Middle East — as well as resulting legislation and military strategy — are engineered: from focus group to talking points to mortar fire.”

The film is scheduled to be screened Sunday afternoon at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead and there’s a ton of resistance. A couple of rabbis along with people who work at a foundation dedicated to enhancing Jewish identity by creating connections to Israel have led a drive to have the screening cancelled. They got 158 signatures, mostly from the Jewish community, in opposition to the Occupation doc.

The three women from the church’s social action committee who booked the film are standing tall. But the resistance to the film has demonstrated the film’s theme. You try to speak fairly about the conflict in the U.S., and people get very angry, and do what they can to shut you down.

The Occupation of the American Mind, which is narrated by Roger Waters, has never been subject to such censorship forces before. That is also a good sign, probably. There has been some pushback at campus screenings, I’m told: the UCLA appearance drew hostile comments in the Daily Bruin, Breitbart and Jerusalem Post; and the Case-Western screening got letters in the paper. But the film has shown hundreds of times around the country without incident.

Here’s some of the hostile press, none of which describes the film or its message plainly. From the the Jerusalem Post:

“As Jewish people and non-Jewish people as well, we feel very strongly that it’s antisemitic and it sniffs of Nazism, which is very upsetting to Jewish people given our history,” [Lappin foundation head Robert] Lappin said.

Lappin said he does not dispute that people have the right to see the film and make their own decisions about its content, but he said it should not be shown at a church.

“People can see it online,” he said.

We will raise consciousness about the strength of the Palestinian case, if only Americans will stand up for it. One organizer stands tall, in the Marblehead Local:

Jane Casler, who serves on the [church’s Social Action] committee, said Monday the protest didn’t really surprise her.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but we were fairly certain it would be controversial,” she said. “We’re trying to answer everybody and deal with this as honestly as we can.”

Another organizer:

Carolyn Corzine, chairman of the Social Action Committee, said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an issue that has long been on her mind, which is what led her to suggest showing the film.

While Israel appears modern, the West Bank is a very different world and it’s easy to see how unbalanced the perception is, she said, adding, “I think people will be surprised.”

There’s a lot of invective being thrown at the organizers.

Rabbi David Cohen-Henriquez, of Temple Sinai, said… “Having Roger Waters narrate the movie is like having a movie on race narrated by David Duke…”

Nuts. A more instructive metaphor comes from opponent Faith Quintero, who said that “she feels that inviting Israel supporters to a place that has conducted anti-Israel study groups is like inviting a runner to a marathon when the opponent has a 25-mile head start.”

Quintero created her own fact sheet to counter the film. Here are some assertions:

Before Israel’s separation barrier was built in 2000, Islamists set off bombs that killed Israeli civilians in pizza parlors, discos and buses. Until then, people in the disputed territories had free movement into Israel without the checkpoints that are there today.

Palestinians are marginalized throughout the Arab world, kept in refugee camps, prohibited from buying land and getting jobs

A third member of the social action committee is the church’s pastor. She points out that the pressure campaign is what the film documents:

[UUCM Pastor Wendy] Von Courter said given the pressure to cancel the showing, it seemed ironic that a central message of the film is that U.S. citizens are prevented from hearing more than a single narrative about the conflict.

The best part of this protest is the claim that that the film will set back the great peace process! The Lynn Item, a North Shore daily, cites the other local rabbi who opposes the film’s being shown. Rabbi Michael Ragozin, of Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, MA, said:

“The film takes not just a critical view of Israel, but it promotes lies and falsehoods and it’s that tactic of lies and falsehoods that ultimately promotes extremism and are detriments to democracy and detriments to ultimately any peaceful sort of resolution to the conflict in Israel…. When you have a film that is motivated by that type of mindset, it only serves that end, which is the elimination of the state of Israel and it doesn’t serve the idea of any peaceable solution.”

By the way, this is the reason that good liberals opposed the Goldstone Report, it would undermine the two-state solution. Pastor Von Courter responded calmly, saying

the church’s social action committee found the film was a good fit for its continued exploration of the road to justice for all people. She said some members of the committee have firsthand experience in the Middle East and the church’s larger congregation and denomination is quite familiar with the issue.

Here is the ad from the Marblehead Reporter.

Here’s a headline, in the Jewish Journal echoing that ad: Area Jews ask: “Why would a church show an anti-Semitic movie?” This article is very pro-Israel.

The movie makes vast assertions about the power of Israel to influence American opinion and alludes to a far-reaching conspiracy of anti-Palestinian reporting without evidence to back up that assertion. It lumps the “American media” into one bucket. Also, there is no mention of conflicting opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within Israel, within the US or within the American Jewish community.

The movie’s review of the history of the conflict fails to mention that Israel was invaded by its neighbors in 1948. When discussing Gaza, the film does not mention the tunnel system that alarmed Israeli security interests. Nor does it discuss the Palestinian educational curriculum – which encourages children to hate Jews and Israelis, and does not recognize Israel in any of its textbook maps.

The onslaught is a reminder that in the most liberal communities, the pro-Israel exception is alive and well. As Barney Frank, who used to represent an adjoining district, told Jeff Halper years ago, I see what the settlements are doing, but I can only come out against them if you can give me 5000 Jews in my district who will support me on the move. Otherwise it’s political suicide.

The established Jewish community is reactionary on criticism of the Jewish state. It got that job 50 years ago. It’s wearing thin, and btw, efforts to shut down a movie only help the other side.

CENSORING PALESTINE ON CAMPUS

Israel lobby stalwart and retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz appears determined to use Columbia as a proving ground for censorship of dissent, especially from the left.

FaceBook is also guilty of censoring Palestine by censoring Latuff

First they censor Palestine …

Three students at Barnard College, which is affiliated with New York’s Columbia University, are facing punishment for protesting a speech earlier this month by a notorious white supremacist.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the British Islamophobe and English Defence League founder who goes by the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, spoke to Columbia students via Skype on 10 October.

According to campus newspaper The Columbia Spectator, dozens of students interrupted Robinson’s speech and held up signs, while 250 more protested outside the venue.

Almost 5,000 people have signed a petition supporting the students, and mobilizations to defend them are being organized on campus.

“By attempting to silence protesters while providing space and funds for hate speech at Columbia, Suzanne Goldberg and other university administrators are demonstrating complicity with violent ideologues whose claims continue to actively harm historically marginalized students,” the petition states.

The petition quotes a mass email from Columbia vice-president Suzanne Goldberg that “it is foundational to Columbia’s learning and teaching missions that we allow for the contestation of ideas, as President Bollinger has often made clear.”

If Goldberg and university president Lee Bollinger “truly believed in open dialogue and the ‘contestation of ideas,’ they would not be threatening student protesters with disciplinary action,” the petition states.

Selective freedom

A few days after the protest, university provost John Coatsworth issued another mass email with the subject line “Statement on disrupting speakers.”

“As President Bollinger made clear in his Commencement Address last May, freedom of speech is a core value of our institution,” Coatsworth wrote. “The university is committed to defend the right of all the members of our community to exercise their right to invite, listen to and challenge speakers whose views may be offensive and even hurtful to many of us. It is the duty of every member of the community to help preserve freedom of speech for all, including protesters.”

Such arguments might be persuasive in a hypothetical world where elite universities actually provide equal access and support to all viewpoints.

But in reality, these increasingly corporatized institutions privilege speech by the powerful while marginalizing those who actually challenge orthodoxies and centers of power.

A glaring example of that is Harvard University’s decision in September to rescind a fellowship to Chelsea Manning, after an objection from CIA director Mike Pompeo.

Manning’s courageous and personally costly leaking of classified information brought to light some of the most brutal US war crimes in Iraq – crimes for which no one has yet been held to account.

Meanwhile, Harvard offers a comfortable retreat for all manner of miscreants, from Afghanistan and Iraq war general David Petraeus (convicted in 2015 of passing classified information to his girlfriend), to former Trump spokesperson Sean Spicer.

Harvard even has special programs to fund dozens of Israeli government officials to attend the university.

Alums include a host of senior officers of the Israeli military.

Censorship through “civility”

The Columbia crackdown on students protesting a white supremacist fulfills the prediction that censorship of campus speech related to Palestine – often under the banner of promoting “civility” – would be the test case later expanded to silence other forms of dissent.

“Using the Question of the Palestinians and Israel as the entry point to suppress dissent inside the walls of the academy is both tactical and strategic,” Columbia professor Joseph Massad wrote for The Electronic Intifada in 2014.

“It is tactical because once successful, it would take away key aspects of faculty governance and transfer them to neoliberal university administrations, and would set a precedent and an ensuing chilling effect on other, perhaps even more dangerous, kinds of dissent that command larger public support than do the Palestinians,” Massad added.

Massad was writing amid the protests over the University of Illinois’ firing of Steven Salaita over his tweets criticizing Israel’s attack on Gaza – tweets university administrators deemed “uncivil.”

As the frequent target of anti-Palestinian witch-hunters, Massad can speak from experience.

More than a decade ago, the university set up a committee to investigate bogus charges of anti-Semitism against Columbia faculty including Massad. Its mandate was “to identify cases where there appear to be violations of the obligation to create a civil and tolerant teaching environment.”

After the months of inquisition endured by Massad, the committee concluded that the allegations were unsubstantiated and there was no evidence of anti-Semitism. This did not stop the vilification of Massad by pro-Israel groups and media, nor did it prompt an outpouring of support for his free speech rights from liberal commentators.

Yet the same kinds of arguments and tactics rooted in a concern for civility are now being used by administrators to ensure that white supremacists and other bigots can appear on campuses unchallenged by students.

Not surprisingly, Columbia, which was founded from the profits of the slave trade, remains materially tied to the interests of white supremacists.

The university has been identified by liberal blog ThinkProgress as an investor in a hedge fund run by Robert Mercer, the co-owner of Breitbart and a major funder of white nationalists.

Those calling on Columbia to divest from white supremacy may however find themselves contending with the arguments and tactics honed for use against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.

Targeting “intersectionality”

Israel lobby stalwart and retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz appears determined to use Columbia as a proving ground for censorship of dissent, especially from the left.

In late September, Dershowitz, one of the most ubiquitous and high-profile media commentators, wrote an article in New York’s Daily News painting himself as an embattled “centrist liberal” who was scheduled to speak at the Columbia campus to share his “moderate” ideas.

Dershowitz cited “reports in the media” to claim that “radical students plan to disrupt my speech in an effort to prevent me from sharing my moderate ideas with Columbia students.”

“I expect that my speech will be protested not only by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic students and outsiders, but also by some radical feminists, gay rights activists, Black Lives Matter supporters and others who, under the false banner of ‘intersectionality,’ believe they must stand together against their common oppressors,” Dershowitz predicted.

To his apparent dismay, no such protests or disruptions materialized when he spoke on campus this week.

But in the Daily News article, Dershowitz had made clear what he demanded of the university: “I expect Columbia to assure not only my physical safety and the physical safety of those students who come to listen to me, but also my ability to communicate my views to open-minded students.”

In other words, Dershowitz wanted the university to discipline and punish the feminist, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter and “anti-Israel” activists he hoped would show up.

As an authority for his position, Dershowitz also cited Columbia president Bollinger’s 2017 commencement speech.

Free speech for the powerful

Right-wing ideologues are championing a notion of “free speech” which means, in effect, unfettered platforms for the already powerful, while the marginalized who seek a voice can be silenced under the banner of protecting that “freedom.”

Bret Stephens, the virulently anti-Palestinian New York Times columnist is holding up University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer as a hero of this type of free speech.

The headline of Stephens’ recent column declares Zimmer “America’s best university president” because of his disdain for trigger warnings and his declaration that “we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”

What Stephens does not mention is the sheer hypocrisy of Zimmer’s statements. The University of Chicago does in fact create and condone “safe spaces” – but only for the powerful.

This is what it did when it banned media and imposed other severe speech restrictions for a university-sponsored lecture by Ehud Olmert in October 2009, weeks after a UN-commissioned independent inquiry found evidence of major war crimes in the December 2008 attack on Gaza Olmert had ordered as prime minister of Israel.

Faced with the university’s determination to provide Olmert with a privileged and unchallenged platform, dozens of people – including this writer – disrupted his speech.

We were not protesting Olmert’s opinions. We were protesting his actions, including the destruction of dozens of schools and universities in Gaza and the killing of hundreds of teachers and students.

But in the new concept of free speech promoted by universities like Columbia, the freedom of expression of racists and war criminals is to be cherished and protected far above the rights of their victims and those in solidarity with them to protest for their right not to be oppressed, exterminated or to have their history erased because of who they are.

In a stark example, the University of California at Berkeley was prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure that far-right demagogues could speak on campus.

In advance of a campus speech by right-wing anti-Palestinian pundit and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro last month, Berkeley’s city council granted police permission to use pepper spray against “violent” protesters.

The campus was put on virtual lockdown for Shapiro’s 14 September speech.

Barely a year earlier, UC Berkeley administrators had censored a student-taught course on Palestine.

The censorship to come

Censorship around Palestine serves as a reliable guide of what will likely come next.

Concern about “incivility” operates “as a primary policing mechanism of dissident academics,” Massad wrote in 2014.

“Achieving this, however, would not be easy in a university culture that values academic freedom and freedom of opinion. A weak link in the chain of academic freedom had to be found, one around which people could more easily mobilize – one that could set a precedent. Enter the Question of the Palestinians and Israel.”

Earlier this year, New York’s Fordham University refused to allow the establishment of a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, claiming that the group would “encourage disruptive conduct” and contradict the college’s values of “civility.”

In April, students filed a federal lawsuit against Fordham, charging the private university with violating its own free expression policies and engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

The case has attracted little attention – at least none from the mainstream liberal and conservative pundits who chatter incessantly about free speech on campus while ignoring the pervasive censorship of views critical of Israel.

But much likely hangs on its outcome. If Fordham gets away with banning Students for Justice in Palestine, it won’t be too long before organizations challenging racism and white supremacy, police violence, mass incarceration or fracking could find themselves outlawed as well.

HOW THE ISRAELI LOBBY IS ASSAULTING OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH

The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States –  designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel…

The First Amendment is Under Serious Assault in Order to Stifle Anti-Israel Boycotts

Assaults on freedom speech can be found in many aspects of American life these days, but one specific area that isn’t getting the attention it deserves relates to boycotts against Israel. Increasingly, we’re seeing various regional governments requiring citizens to agree to what essentially amounts to a loyalty pledge to a foreign government in order to participate in or receive government services.

I’m going to highlight two troubling examples of this, both covered by Israeli paper Haaretz. The first relates to Kansas.

From the article, In America, the Right to Boycott Israel Is Under Threat:

The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States –  designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel…

Over the past several years, state and federal legislatures have considered dozens of bills, and in some cases passed laws, in direct violation of this important ruling. These bills and laws vary in numerous respects, but they share a common goal of scaring people away people from participating in boycotts meant to protest Israeli government policies, including what are known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging one of those laws — a Kansas statute requiring state contractors to sign a statement certifying that they do not boycott Israel, including boycotts of companies profiting off settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We are representing a veteran math teacher and trainer from Kansas who was told she would need to sign the certification statement in order to participate in a state program training other math teachers. Our client is a member of the Mennonite Church USA. In response to calls for boycott by the church and members of her congregation, she has decided not to buy consumer goods and services offered by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Our client is boycotting to protest the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the government to change its policies.

Earlier this year, our client was selected to participate as a contractor in a statewide training program run by the Kansas Department of Education. She was excited to use her skills to help train math teachers throughout the state, but when she was presented with a form requiring her to certify that she “is not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel,” she told the state that she could not sign the form in good conscience. As a result, the state refuses to let her participate in the program.

Kansas’s law, and others like it, violates the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing one side of a public debate. That means it cannot impose ideological litmus tests or loyalty oaths as a condition on hiring or contracting.

If this was the only example of such behavior, I suppose we could dismiss it as a one-off, misguided directive. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is far more common than any of us would like to admit.

Here’s another recent example, from the article, Houston Suburb Won’t Give Hurricane Relief to Anyone Who Boycotts Israel:

A Houston suburb will not approve grants to repair homes or businesses damaged in Hurricane Harvey if the applicant supports boycotting Israel.

The city of Dickinson’s application form for storm damage repair funding includes a clause stating that “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”

No other clauses about political affiliations or beliefs are included in the form.

The state of Texas passed a law in May banning state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. The law, one of 21 passed in states around the country in the past few years, has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union as unconstitutional.

This is totally insane. I don’t care what you think about Israel, the above is completely unacceptable in a free society and we should all be making a stink about it. Please share with friends and family.

MINI KRISTALLNACHT IN JERUSALEM

WHAT THE WESTERN PRESS DEEMS NOT WORTHY TO REPORT

Read about Kristallnacht HERE

My grandfather owned and operated a small shoe repair shop in Slovakia before the nazi invasion. One night nazi thugs came and destroyed the shop as well as beating the old man almost to death.

A few weeks later he and the rest of his Jewish community were shipped off to Auschwitz, where most perished….

Now THIS, right here in Jerusalem.

Never Again???? (or only sometimes to some?)

“Yesterday they came and started throwing objects at Ibrahim the worker and the three costumers sitting there. They started hitting them, broke everything and shouted death to all Arabs,” he said. “I don’t know why, but for some reason the police did not interfere and did not do anything.”

A vandalized shop in the Old City of Jerusalem, October 2017. (photo credit:Courtesy)

JEWISH WORSHIPPERS IN JERUSALEM ATTACK ARAB-OWNED SHOP

BY UDI SHAHAM

A shop located adjacent to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City was vandalized, and its worker attacked late overnight on Wednesday by Jewish worshipers who were returning from the Western Wall.

It was reported that hundreds of individuals stormed the shop – the only one that was left open that night – and attacked the local worker, Ibrahim Hashelmon, who was lightly wounded and was subsequently taken to a hospital.

Talking to Channel 10 News, Hashelmon said that the police, which has a permanent post right next to the shop, did not approach and arrived at the scene only after the damage was done.

“They threw an ice-cream refrigerator at me… They hit me in the head… The broke the whole place, and spilled soft drinks all over the floor. They took a fire fire extinguisher and hit with it on my head,” he said.

“I became dizzy and then puked. Only at the very end some policemen came and said that they will call an ambulance. It took them a while before they started pushing people away,” he said.

Police addressed the incident as a “quarrel between young people.”

“During the night it was reported that a fight broke between young people on Gai Street in the Old City, in which stones were thrown,” a police statement reads.

“[During which] damage was done to a store, a motorcycle and a car parking nearby. The police intervened and separated between the two sides. An investigation was launched.”

Police told the Jerusalem Post that no arrests were carried out in this case so far.

Hatem Abu al-Daba’at, the owner of the shop told the Post that the place was completely ruined by the rioters.

“All of my equipment, and all the refrigerators were ruined, and the place needs a full restoration,” he said.

Abu al-Daba’at said that it was the first time that his shop suffers this kind of harsh violence and vandalism.

“It was that first time that such thing happened for us. We know that usually when prayer-goers come back from the Kotel during holidays, they shout and curse, but normally the police stop them before they do anything,” he said.

“Yesterday they came and started throwing objects at Ibrahim the worker and the three costumers sitting there. They started hitting them, broke everything and shouted death to all Arabs,” he said. “I don’t know why, but for some reason the police did not interfere and did not do anything.”

Left-wing organization Ir Amim criticized the police for not taking action.

“This is not the first time that the police is not doing its job to protect the Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem,” the NGO said in a statement. “If that is not enough, it added another wrongdoing by hurrying to put out a statement that hides they truth from the public about the assaulting of Palestinians.”

The vandalized car of an Arab shop-owner in Jerusalem’s Old City, October 2017 (credit: courtesy)

WHAT JEWISH HOLIDAYS MEAN TO PALESTINIANS

Closures for Jewish and Israeli holidays are a routine procedure.

Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah (Flash90)

Israel set to put West Bank, Gaza under 11-day closure for Sukkot

Exceptionally long closure comes after Har Adar attack; defense minister dismisses as ‘nonsense’ TV report he overruled army’s recommendation

In a rare move, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved a plan to shut off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 11 days for the Sukkot holiday and the following Shabbat, his office said Sunday.

An IDF spokesperson confirmed that this was the current decision. However, she stressed that the closure was subject to further assessments ahead of the holiday and could change.

Closures for Jewish and Israeli holidays are a routine procedure. However, in the past, Israel has shut down the West Bank and Gaza only at the start and end of week-long festivals like Sukkot, rather than for the entire holiday.

As the holiday ends on the evening of October 11 — a Wednesday — the closure is scheduled to last through the weekend, until midnight on October 14, for a total of 11 days.

Channel 2 news reported that Liberman’s decision went against a recommendation by the army and was due to pressure by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, following the deadly stabbing attack at the Har Adar settlement last week in which a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed three security officers and wounded a fourth.

The defense minister’s office dismissed the unsourced report as “nonsense,” and the army similarly denied the claim.

According to both the minister’s and an army spokesperson, since the Har Adar attack, the IDF’s stance has been in favor of a closure for the entire holiday.

The military said that prior to the Har Adar terror attack, it did advocate closing the West Bank and Gaza for only the first and last days of the holiday, but that assessment changed after the attack.

Liberman’s spokesperson said that the new “recommendation was accepted by the defense minister.”

In general, the Jewish high holiday season, which began last week with Rosh Hashanah, is seen by defense officials as a time period of increased tension in the region, when the risk of terror attacks is higher.

Ordinarily, tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank enter Israel and Israeli settlements for work each day. A far smaller number of Gaza residents also travel to Israel, mostly to receive medical treatment.

The IDF makes exceptions to the closures for humanitarian and other outstanding cases, based on assessments by the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration.

West Bank and Gaza closures for holidays are intended both to prevent attempts at terror attacks in Israel during the holiday period and to allow the Israeli security officials who operate the crossings to celebrate the festival.

A similar closure was imposed on Friday and Saturday for Yom Kippur and last week, for Rosh Hashanah.

The above brings to mind a poem that I wrote 13 years ago ….

MY FAMILY IS DIVIDED  

By Steve Amsel 

 

A wall has been built,

I cannot see my neighbor

I know not when he needs my help

I know not when he is hungry.

 

My brother’s child cannot come for an afternoon snack

I cannot bring it to him

The wall is in the way

Dividing families and loved ones.

 

“They” told us the wall is for protection.

From what?

Must our children go hungry?

Must we be jobless?

 

“They” say we are the enemy.

Is going to work a crime?

Is going to school a crime?

Try to tell a child that hunger is a good thing.

 

If the wall stays up

There will be an enemy

Uneducation and hunger leads to resentment

Resentment will lead to revolt.

 

Learn from your history my friends

Learn that walls are not the solution

Learn that unity is strength

And learn that justice triumphs over evil always.

 

WONDERFUL TOON TO START THE WEEK ~~ ISRAEL’S BITTER DEFEAT

Image by Carlos Latuff

Palestinian victory on the Temple Mount

zions initial response …..

Israel bars men under 50 from Jerusalem Old City prayers

Israeli police said they were barring men under 50 from entering Jerusalem’s Old City for Friday Muslim prayers as tensions rose over new security measures at a supersensitive holy site.

“Entry to the Old City and Temple Mount will be limited to men aged 50 and over. Women of all ages will be permitted,” a police statement said.

Tensions have risen after Israeli police installed metal detectors at entrances to the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move angered Palestinian and other Muslims who saw it as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound since then, and hundreds have been holding prayers outside, with clashes occasionally breaking out with Israeli police.

The main weekly prayers on Fridays draw the largest number of worshippers, and speculation had been mounting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might order the metal detectors removed before this week’s prayers.

But after consultations with security chiefs and members of the security cabinet, Netanyahu decided not to remove them.

An Israeli official said the security cabinet “has given police the au thority to make any decision to ensure free access to holy sites while maintaining security and public order.”

Source

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More Toons from the Arab Press …

Cartoon published in Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in London’s Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in Jordan’s Al-Rad newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in Arab language social media, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

 

THE TEMPLE MOUNT ~~ ISRAEL’S MIGHT, BUT NOT ITS RIGHT

The claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The best cartoon to describe the Israeli brutality against unarmed Palestinians…

Temple Mount belongs to Israel……but only by the standard of might, not the standard of right
By Khaled Amayreh  in Occupied East Jerusalem
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An Israeli cabinet minister has repeated the stale Zionist propaganda claim that the “Temple Mount” belongs to Israel. He is correct in a certain sense. Israel has been in control of the Haram al- Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)  as well as the entirety of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the six-Day war of 1967.  This  means that the holy site, which has been an exclusively Muslim place of worship for the past 1400 years, now “belongs” to Israel by the standards of might, not by the standards of right  But right, not might, comes first because right is a constant whereas might is a variable.
 
In fact, the claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.
 
In fact, the historical and even religious claims often cited to prove that the holy  site belongs to Jews are dubious and erroneous.
 
Historical records show that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1100 BC.  The Jebusites, a Canaanite people believed to be, at least partly, the ancestors of modern-day Palestinians, had been in Jerusalem for some 2000 years.
 
Indeed, for fifty years of intensive excavations, Israeli archeologists  left no stone unturned   underneath  the Islamic shrine, but utterly failed to find  any credible evidence corroborating the gigantic canard that the Aqsa Mosque stands right on top of the Temple of Solomon.
 
 
A few years ago. George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, published a meticulously researched scholarly monograph titled “What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?” http://www.ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2014-Volume-47/In-Search-of-King-Solomons-Temple.aspx
 
 
According to the research, which this writer had the honor to translate into Arabic; archaeologists have discovered no ruins in the Haram area that might have belonged to the temple.
 
 “Instead they have found an image of a soldier on a horse, a brick with the mark of the 10th Roman legion on it, and an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 
“They have also found in the an inscription once carved over an arch, honoring Titus, Vespasian, and probably Silva for their leadership in the war of AD 66-72.”
 
 According to the scholarly monograph, published in the Journal “Americans for Middle East Understanding” (AMEU) in 2014, another inscription that was intended to fit on the interior wall of the Haram,  honored Hadrian, the Roman emperor who defeated Bar Kochba in the revolt that ended in 135 AD.
 
  In conclusion, Buchanan  asks the most  central question:  “Is there any evidence that the Haram was ever the Temple Mount?”
 
Here is his answer: (clearly, “No!”).
 
Finally, it is true that Jews were in control of Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago.  But so what?   Most of the cities of the world were then inhabited by peoples unrelated to their current inhabitants.
 
Today, the manifestly pyromaniac Israel government, made up of Talmudic fanatics and Zionist jingoists, is striving to set Jerusalem and the entire region on fire under the rubric of Jewish Messianism and millenarianism.  This madness must be stopped immediately because madness breeds madness and blood breeds more blood.

VIDEO THAT THE ZIONISTS DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE

It is not enough that American Jewish leaders never hear from Palestinians themselves — they do their best to ensure that American politicians don’t, either.

Consider the sequence of events that began on June 8. On that day, an advocacy group called No Way To Treat a Child hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. That’s not unusual. Advocacy organizations hold panel discussions on Capitol Hill all the time; the location makes it easier for congressional staff to attend. What made this one unusual was its subject: the Palestinian experience under Israeli control.

Why Is A Pro-Israel Group So Desperate To Keep You From Watching This Video?

When it comes to Palestinians, the American Jewish establishment is in the ignorance business. The average American synagogue has never hosted a Palestinian speaker. The average “pro-Israel” activist has never read a book by a Palestinian author. The American Jewish philanthropists who fund Birthright send thousands of young American Jews to Israel each year, on a program that systematically excludes the voices of 50% of the people who live under Israeli control.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that for major American Jewish organizations, ignorance is an export. It is not enough that American Jewish leaders never hear from Palestinians themselves — they do their best to ensure that American politicians don’t, either.

Consider the sequence of events that began on June 8. On that day, an advocacy group called No Way To Treat a Child hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. That’s not unusual. Advocacy organizations hold panel discussions on Capitol Hill all the time; the location makes it easier for congressional staff to attend. What made this one unusual was its subject: the Palestinian experience under Israeli control.

You can watch the panel online. The first speaker was Omar Shakir, the Israel-Palestine director of Human Rights Watch. In dry, rather clinical, terms, Shakir discussed some of the consequences of the fact that West Bank Palestinians are subjects, not citizens, of Israel. He noted, for instance, that in Area C, which encompasses roughly 60% of the West Bank, it is “nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain a permit to build a home.” When Palestinians build without a permit, the Israeli government often demolishes their homes.

Following him was Brad Parker, a staff attorney at Defense for Children Palestine. Observing that, according to the most recent statistics, Israel holds hundreds of Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in its jails, often for stone throwing, Parker explained that the Israeli military frequently arrests Palestinian children at night. They are often bound, blindfolded and transported to a military installation, where they wait until morning before being interrogated without a lawyer and without their parents knowing where they are. They “essentially disappear for 24, 48, 96 hours.” Then they are generally prosecuted in military courts where the conviction rate approaches 100%.

Following Parker was Yazan Meqbil, a young West Bank Palestinian attending college in the United States, who talked about growing up in a house repeatedly slated for demolition. “Every single day,” he said, “I used to wake up hoping my house will not be demolished.” Meqbil ended his remarks by saying: “Palestinians, we all have a dream, to be free, to live like normal human beings. To not be afraid whenever we leave our homes.”

 

SEARS BOWS TO ZIOPRESSURE AND PULLS FREE PALESTINE LINE FROM ITS WEBSITE

Sears will remove clothing line featuring the slogan “Free Palestine” from its website following complaints.

One of the items offered

Sears pulls ‘Free Palestine’ clothing from its website

Sears said on Tuesday it will remove a line of clothing featuring the slogan “Free Palestine” from its website, JTA reported.

The clothing was offered for sale by another company, Spreadshirt Collection, and included tank tops, t-shirts and hoodies featuring a variety of pro-Palestinian messages.

The clothing was offered for sale through Sears Marketplace, which offers a platform for third-party sellers to offer their wares through websites managed by Sears.

The designs included a clenched fist in the colors of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag and statements opposing “Israeli occupation”.

Other shirts feature a map of Israel, labelling the entire country “Palestine” and calling for its liberation. One shirt flashes a V for victory sign, another superimposes the image of a masked man covering his face with a kaffiyeh onto a PLO flag.

A description of one shirt encourages buyers to “Make a statement about the Arab-Israeli conflict with this powerful design,” calling it a “must-have for all wardrobes”.

A Sears spokesman told JTA later on Tuesday the apparel was pulled from the site based on feedback the company received.

“These items were being sold by a third-party seller via the Sears Marketplace,” said the statement. “Given the feedback we’ve received, they are being removed.”

The statement added that Sears felt it had been “unfairly singled out on this issue,” as similar items are available for purchase from other companies, such as Amazon and Walmart.

Amazon sells some of the exact same items from Spreadshirt, as well as a wide range of other pro-Palestinian Arab merchandise, according to JTA. It is unknown whether Amazon or Walmart plan to take action against the merchandise.

The Sears statement noted that the company serves “a broad base of customers around the country and around the world,” and that it has 200 employees in Israel.

 

Source

RAMADAN MORNING ON MY PEACEFUL HILL

First read this to see what was ….. (Click on link)

“FEAR IS THE PATH TO THE DARKSIDE”…… FEAR BUILDS WALLS

Now read this to see what is ….. ‘How the dark side dims the light’

‘Death to Arabs’ spray-painted on Jerusalem cars

Multiple cars vandalized in French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem

Police are investigating a possible “price-tag” incident in the capital Monday morning, after a number of cars were vandalized.

The vandals targeted cars in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem, spray-painting messages in green paint including “Death to Arabs”.

French Hill, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, is in close proximity to the Arab neighborhoods of Issawiya and Shuafat.

The area is also home to a large number of students and faculty from the nearby Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that the vandalism was targeted at the area’s Arab residents or students. Police units have been deployed to the scene and are searching the area for those responsible.

THE TALLEST MAN IN THE WEST BANK

The tallest man in Ramallah offered to give us a tour of his cage. We would not even have to leave our table at Rukab’s Ice Cream, on Rukab Street; all he needed to do was reach into his pocket.

The Tallest Man in Ramallah

MICHAEL CHABON ROAMS THE WEST BANK WITH SAM BAHOUR

By  Michael Chabon

At nearly two meters—six foot four—Sam Bahour might well have been the tallest man in the whole West Bank, but his cage was constructed so ingeniously that it could fit into a leather billfold.

“Now, what do I mean, ‘my cage?’” He spoke with emphatic patience, like a remedial math instructor, a man well-practiced in keeping his cool. With his large, dignified head, hairless on top and heavy at the jawline, with his deep-set dark eyes and the note of restraint that often crept into his voice, there was something about Sam that reminded me of Edgar Kennedy in the old Hal Roach comedies, the master of the “slow burn.” “‘Sam,’” he said, pretending to be us, his visitors, we innocents abroad, “‘What is this cage you’re talking about? We saw the checkpoints. We saw the separation barrier. Is that what you mean by cage?’”

Some of us laughed; he had us down. What did we know about cages? When we finished our ice cream—a gaudy, sticky business in Ramallah, where the recipe is an Ottoman vestige, intensely colored and thickened with tree gum—we would pile back into our hired bus and return to the liberty we had not earned and were free to squander.

“Yes, that’s part of what I mean,” he said, answering the question he had posed on our behalf. “But there is more than that.”

Sam Bahour took the leather billfold out of the pocket of his dark-blue warm-up jacket and held it up for our inspection. It bulged like a paperback that had fallen into a bathtub. When he dropped it onto the tabletop it landed with a law-book thump. It was a book of evidence, proof that the cage he lived in was neither a metaphor nor simply a matter of four hundred miles of concrete and razor wire.

“In 1994, after Oslo,” Sam said, “my wife and I decided to move back here.” They had been married for a year, at that point, and decided to apply to the Israeli government for residency in Palestine “under a policy they called family reunification.” He flipped open the billfold and took out a passport with a familiar dark blue cover. “As an American citizen, I entered as a tourist, on a three-month visa.”

Sam Bahour was born in Youngstown, in 1964. His mother is a second-generation Ohioan of Lebanese Christian descent; his father immigrated to the United States from the town of Al-Bireh, then under Jordanian control, in 1957. After spending a few unhappy years working for relatives as a traveling salesman in the rural south (“basically a peddler,” in Sam’s words, “selling cheap goods to poor people at like a two hundred percent markup, it really bothered him”) Sam’s father settled in Youngstown, with its sizable Arab population. He bought the first of a series of independent grocery stores he would own and operate over the course of his career, got married, became a citizen, had a couple of kids, worked hard, made good.

A few things Sam said about his father seemed to suggest that though the elder Bahour settled and prospered in Ohio, he did not entirely lose himself in the embrace of his adopted country. When Sam was born his father had named him Bilal, after the most loyal of the Prophet’s Companions. But when non-Muslim neighbors in Youngstown shortened Bilal to “Billy,” Sam’s father—whose name was the American-sounding but authentically Arabic Sami—had his young son’s name legally changed to match his own. The freedom to return home that an American passport would afford, if only for three months at a time, had been among his motivations for marrying Sam’s mother and becoming a naturalized citizen. Some key part of the man—words like heart, mind, and spirit are only idioms, approximations—never left the house on Ma’arif Street where he had been born and raised, in the Al-Bireh neighborhood of Al-Sharafa, which belonged not to the Ottomans, the British, the Hashemites or the Israelis but only to the people who lived in them.

“I was brought up in a household that lived and ate and slept Palestine,” Sam would tell me, a couple of days after our first meeting over ice cream at Rakub’s. “I lived in Youngstown, where I didn’t know most of my neighbors, but I could tell you everybody in my neighborhood here in Ramallah. That’s an odd kind of way to grow up.”

That enchanted blue American passport, part skeleton key, part protective force-field, could work powerful three-month spells, both for Sam’s father and for Sam, once he and his Jerusalem-born wife, Abeer Barghouty, decided to try to make a life in Al-Bireh. For 13 years after his application for a residency card under the Israeli-controlled Family Reunification policy, Sam raised his daughters, built a number of businesses (telecommunications, retail development, consulting), worked for himself and his partners, for his clients and for the future of his half-born country, and lived a Palestinian life, all in tourist-visa tablespoonfuls, 90 days at a time. But in 2006, for reasons that remain mysterious, the magic embedded in his US passport abruptly ran out. Returning to the West Bank from a visa-renewing trip to Jordan, Sam handed over his passport to an Israeli border officer, expecting the routine 90-day rubber stamp. But when the passport was returned to him Sam saw that alongside the stamp, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, the officer had hand-written the words LAST PERMIT. Once this final allotment of 90 days ran out, Sam would no longer have permission to stay in the West Bank or Israel, and when he left—left his home, his family, his business, his community and everything he had worked to build over the past 13 years—he would not be permitted to return.

This is a very long post but definitely worth reading ….

Continue HERE

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE AND MORE

Prepared By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD 

Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human rights advocates

Image by Carlos Latuff

 
Racist Zionists are using all the guns in their arsenal from Violence
(killing activists here and attacking and beating activists abroad) to
verbal assaults (calling human rights advocates anti-semites etc).
Emboldened by a racist US government to their liking . The US government
now openly disdains human rights and considers international law irrelevant
 and will not allow discussion of the Palestine issue at the UN. "Moderate"
(read subservient) Arab leaders like coup leader Sisi are happy with Trump.
Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human
rights advocates

Image by Latuff



Two Jewish Activists Charged With Assaulting Arab Teacher Outside AIPAC
Conference. Police say Yosef Steynovitz and Rami Lubranicki beat up Kamal
Nayfeh after a 'verbal altercation' broke out.

Image by Latuff



A similar demonstration against the Zionist lobby in France took place/
Below is a letter from Israeli Jewish activists to the French government on
their attempts to silence free speech in obedience to the Zionist lobby.
Israel Bans Palestinian Products Inside Occupied Palestinian Territory


Efforts To Fight BDS Have Failed, Says ADL



Boycott Air Canada: Tell Them We are not On-Board with Human Rights
Violations 

Doctors with Nazi mentality torture Palestinian prisoners


On the campaign against Omar Barghouti (by Haidar Eid)


Petition: Drop the charges on Omar Barghouthi


Statement from Omar Barghouti:
Dear friends and colleagues,

Finally, I was allowed to access my email account after 12 days of being
banned from doing so during the most intense phase of the ongoing
interrogation I am subjected to by the Israeli authorities. The BNC
statement on this issue accurately sums up this latest chapter in the
Israeli regime's war on the BDS movement.

Due to a gag order, I am not allowed to delve into any facts about the
case. I am thus denied the ability to even refute the vicious lies
published by Israel's regime against me. I am in no hurry to do so, though,
as their main objective -- attempting to tarnish my reputation and, by
extension, hurting the BDS movement -- has clearly failed. Their campaign
of repression has, to an extent, backfired. By preventing me from
travelling to the US to receive the Gandhi Peace Award, jointly with Ralph
Nader, Israel's regime has inadvertently increased the publicity around
this award.

Before anything else, I read the many moving messages of solidarity that
many of you have sent, and this gave me even more strength and hope to
resist the McCarthyite witch hunt against me. I deeply appreciate your
letters and the sincere sentiments of support that they convey. I am so
grateful to everyone who wrote an article and every organization that
issued a petition in this respect.

Nothing empowers human rights defenders facing political persecution like
the warm feeling that there is a whole community of activists and people of
conscience standing with them and carrying on the struggle no matter what.

For more than a year now my colleagues in the BDS movement and I have been
warning about the "tarnishing unit" established by the Israeli Ministry of
Strategic Affairs as a key organ in fighting BDS. As I have personally
written and argued many times, this devious unit's key function is summed
up in "digging up dirt" against human rights defenders and networks
associated with the BDS movement and if no dirt is found in fabricating it.

McCarthy would be proud of his loyal heirs in Israel's regime of oppression
and repression. Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face
this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation ... more BDS!

We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS
campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to
respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel's regime of occupation,
settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby
groups enjoy massive influence.

Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the
answer. Highlighting and popularizing the recent, unprecedented verdict by
a UN body that Israel is guilty of apartheid -- the second most serious
crime against humanity in international law -- is the answer.

Countering their racism, hate, "black lists" and ugly colonial repression
with our inclusiveness, categorical rejection of all forms of racism, and
our boundless passion for freedom and justice is the answer. Further
strengthening our principled intersectional alliances with movements for
indigenous, racial, economic, social, gender, climate and other forms of
justice is our loudest response to their xenophobic, far-right,
fascist-leaning agenda and their draconian laws.

As they desperately attempt to sow fear and despair, to chill our free
speech, to tarnish our records, and to bully us into silence, we nourish
our well-founded hope with generous doses of effective, strategic,
morally-consistent campaigns for justice and equality and insist on our
right to freely express ourselves and to defend our rights.

As humans, we need permission from no one to pursue our inherent rights. As
human rights defenders, no degree of intimidation and bullying can deter us
in our passionate, nonviolent resistance to injustice, inequality and
colonial slavery.

Alone, we fail. Together, we prevail. The latest savage, even irrational,
attacks on our movement indicate, more than anything else, that we are
indeed prevailing.

In gratitude and hope,
Omar
========
March 10th, 2017
Dear Excellencies, Mr. François Hollande, President de la Republique Mr.
Bernard Cazeneuve, Premier Ministre Mr. Michel Cadot, Préfet de Police de
Paris

We are writing to you as Jewish citizens of the State of Israel who are
opposed to the illegal and immoral practice of the Israeli governments over
the years. It has come to our attention that attempts are currently
underway in the city of Paris, to restrict and even ban altogether the
ongoing demonstrations in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions) campaign against Israeli human rights violations. It is
therefore of utmost importance for us to state, as clearly as possible,
that the BDS campaign is not anti-Semitic and is clearly opposed to all
forms of racism. Rather than being racist, it is founded on the strong
basis of adhering to international law and universally respected human
rights. Only recently, on March 7th, 2017, the campaign unequivocally
stated1 that :

Adhering to the UN definition of racial discrimination, the BDS movement
does not tolerate any act or discourse which adopts or promotes, among
others, anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism,
sexism, xenophobia, or homophobia. We strongly condemn apartheid, genocide,
slavery, colonial exploitation and ethnic cleansing, which are crimes
against humanity that are founded on racism and racial supremacy, and we
call for the right of their victims, including descendants, to full
reparation. We equally condemn and stand in solidarity with the victims of
other human rights violations including human trafficking, workers’
exploitation, and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, we are appalled by the
false accusations made by Ms. Kosciusko-Morizet, in a letter of February
15th 2017 to Mr. Cadot, le Préfet de Police, where it is claimed that the
BDS discourse amounts to hate speech.

We are clearly opposed to Israel’s grave violations of international law,
including its practice of the Crime of Apartheid as defined in the Rome
Statute and we are unapologetic about it. Our demand to end Israeli
apartheid is a clear expression of love towards all the residents of
Israel-Palestine, along with our insistence on the most basic values of
equality, freedom and justice for all. It would be outrageous if France, of
all states, would ban freedom of expression of its population who insist on
respect of the law and on these fundamental human values which are the very
foundational elements of the French constitution and the Declaration of the
Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

We therefore urge you to respect and protect the rights of those who
challenge Israel’s severe human rights violations and to protect your
French citizens who campaign on behalf of the BDS movement to be able to
freely do so, without being intimidated with legal persecution or with
physical threats as had happened in the past.
Sincerely,
Ronnie Barkan
Einav Kaplan-Raz
Maya Rotem
Lia Tarachansky
Guy Davidi
Ron Merom
 Lizi Sagie
Tamara Traubmann De-Colonizer
Ofer Neiman
 Herzl Schubert
Michel Warschawski
Shir Hever
Lorien Newman
Stavit Sinai
Sergio Yahni
Yudit Ilany
Jonathan Ofir
Eyal Sivan
Yael Kahn

TERRORISM ON THE STREETS OF WASHINGTON CAUGHT ON VIDEO

JDL member arrested for attacking Palestinian-American teacher ran anti-Muslim website    (Click on link)

Image by Carlos Latuff

Videos of Sunday’s attack show a group of JDL members beating Kamal Nayfeh, who is on the ground. A number of the group use their American and JDL flags to hit him, while others kick him.  

The Jewish Defense League, which has been labeled a “right-wing terrorist group” by the FBI, was inactive for more than a decade.

The Jewish Defense League has recently reemerged in the United States after Donald Trump’s election win.


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WAR ON BDS INTENSIFIES

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against the BDS movement as a whole.

Image by Carlos Latuff

BDS co-founder: Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti next step in ‘war against BDS movement’

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against the BDS movement as a whole.

Israel arrested Barghouti on Sunday, raided his family home in Acre, Israel, held him for 16 hours and released him — however the BDS co-founder has been subjected to daily interrogations with Israeli authorities since then, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

Israeli tax authorities are accusing Barghouti of tax evasion on the sum of $700,000 in alleged hidden income from National Computing Resources, a business he heads in Ramallah, which sells ATM machines and other equipment in the occupied West Bank, as well as income from his book, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights and money he received as speaking fees for speeches.

The BNC on Wednesday released a statement challenging the charges.

“Omar Barghouti, has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a ‘strategic threat’ to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians,” the movement said in a statement.

In March 2016, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Dery threatened to revoke Barghouti residency in Israel. Barghouti, born in Qatar, gained permanent residency through marriage to his wife, a Palestinian citizen of Israel.

“I received information that his life is in Ramallah and he is using his resident status to travel all over the world in order to operate against Israel in the most serious manner,” Israeli Daily Haaretz quoted Dery as saying.

“He was given rights similar to those of a citizen and he took advantage of our enlightened state to portray us as the most horrible state in the world,” said Dery.

During the same conference, Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz who called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence, meaning to tarnish one’s reputation and character among civil society.

The Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information, Gilad Erdan, also described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, which he clarified did not mean “physical harm.”

A month later, Amnesty International released a statement, calling on Israel to “cease intimidation of human rights defenders and protect them from attacks.”

“Amnesty International is concerned for the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti and other [BDS] activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers,” the report read.

“Barghouti is a founding member and a prominent spokesperson of the BDS movement. He campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations and advocates for the use of non-violent means in doing so. He was personally attacked in comments and statements by conference participants including ministers, including by describing him as a threat who should be stopped,” the report continued.

Earlier this month, the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial law barring BDS activists from entering the country. The law banned people who call for BDS against Israel, as well as its settlements.

A fellow co-founder of the Palestinian BDS movement, Adnan Ramadan, told Mondoweiss that Barghouti’s arrest and interrogation was just another step in Israel’s strategy against the BDS movement.

“All of this tax evasion business is just an excuse to pressure the BDS movement as a whole, Ramadan said. “In general, it’s part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work. They can arrest whoever they want, they can do more than that, but that won’t prevent people from continuing to use BDS as a tool in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.”

“This kind of targeting won’t work simply because the BDS campaign isn’t one person or two people or ten people, it’s an organized movement of hundreds of thousands of people, if not more than that, who feel strongly about their fight against the occupation and feel strongly about their motivations in resistance,” Adnan continued.

Adnan stressed that this move against Barghouti is not the first time Israel has targeted particular BDS activists for their work.

“They have been arresting people since the beginning, and it’s all to pressure the people, but the people won’t be silent,” he said. “Palestinians have been resisting for more than 60 years, Israel can kill people, they can assassinate and detain leaders, but it won’t and can’t stop the struggle. All they are doing is holding the body of someone inside a wall, but they can’t hold ideas, or souls of people who believe in the importance of their role of humanity against occupation and injustice.”

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ THE BILLBOARD THAT WENT ASTRAY

“On Feb. 6, 2017 this ‘America First’ highway billboard was erected in Ann Arbor, Michigan by the group Deir Yassin Remembered.  A week later Adams Outdoor Advertising told the group that their billboard had to come down.  It has since been removed.”

The billboard that went astray

The billboard that went astray

Read HERE the story of  DEIR YASSIN, and why zion does not want you to remember it

zion’s new mantra is ” If you can’t re wright history, simply erase it”

EXPOSING THE TRUTH IS LIFE THREATENING IN ISRAEL

So true in Israel today

So true in Israel today

The greatest threat to the extreme right in Israel is not terrorism, it is TRUTH.

After the conviction of the soldier terrorist Elor Azaria, the right launched a campaign to free him. The mouthpiece of the right, our local Psycho Gal has been the most vocal, which came as no surprise to anyone.

As stated above, the TRUTH is their greatest threat.

Not necessarily so in Israel

Not necessarily so in Israel

Here is the result of the anti-Truth campaign ….. FROM

Harassment and attacks against activist who filmed Hebron shooting continue

Israeli settlers attempted to break into the Hebron home of activist Imad Abu Shamsiyya and threw stones at the house Saturday evening, as he has continued to be the target of death threats and harassment after he filmed an Israeli soldier shoot a Palestinian to death last year.

In a rare move move, the soldier was convicted of manslaughter earlier this week, in large part due to the damning footage captured by Abu Shamsiyya, amid a backdrop of what critics have called a culture of impunity for Israeli soldiers who are not held accountable for similar cases of apparent “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.

On Wednesday, the day of conviction, Abu Shamsiyya said he “feared for his life.”

Since his footage went viral the day of the shooting back in March 2015, Abu Shamsiyya has been the target of violent settler incursions on his home and has received hundreds of death threats online.

Leading up to the announcement of the verdict, Abu Shamsiyya said that members of Elor Azarya’s family — the soldier who was ultimately convicted for the shooting — broke into his home and “asked me to go to court and change my testimony.” He said he had video footage proving the incursion took place.

Israel settlers returned to his home Saturday evening, he told Ma’an, and attempted to break into his home.

Abu Shamsiya told Ma’an that settlers gathered around his house, and when they failed to break in, they hurled stones, causing minor damages.

He highlighted that large numbers of Israeli forces were present when the settlers attacked the house and soldiers intervened and drove away the attackers.

Abu Shamsiyya added that in March he had asked the Israeli army to provide him protection from settlers, as death threats began pouring in on Facebook while others attempted to bribe him to change his witness testimony.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports of Saturday nights attack.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner last month condemned the “daily violations” of human rights and international law faced by activists and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory.

A “worrying number of complaints” have been filed by human rights activists to the UN in recent months, which have highlighted in particular the Israeli government practice of arbitrarily detaining Palestinian activists “as a direct result of their important work in their communities.”

“The right of all those who are seeking hope and participation in concrete, nonviolent action must be protected, particularly as we are seeing the deepening entrenchment of the Israeli occupation and the accompanying human rights violations,” the report said.

Amnesty International released a statement Wednesday saying that the conviction of Elor Azarya “must pave the way for justice for unlawful killings.”

“Today’s conviction of a member of the Israeli forces is a rare occurrence in a country with a long record of using excessive and unwarranted force, and where soldiers who may have committed crimes under international law very seldom face prosecution. The verdict is a small step in the right direction and offers a glimmer of hope that soldiers who commit unlawful killings may no longer go unpunished,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Sadly, this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Time and again we have witnessed cases where Israeli forces appear to have carried out unlawful killings, displaying an appalling disregard for human life. The authorities’ repeated failure to hold anyone accountable for flagrant violations has fostered a culture in which unlawful killings have become acceptable,” said Philip Luther.

Amnesty international said that they sent a memorandum to Israeli authorities in Sep. 2016, citing at least 20 cases of apparently unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, of which at least 15 of those killed were deliberately shot dead, despite posing no imminent threat to life.

The video that helped get the conviction ….

*

And the man behind the camera ….

 Imad Abu Shamsiyya

Imad Abu Shamsiyya

“NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU!”

Here is what happened  in video and why even this short encounter reveals at least six violations of International law.

NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

January 7th is Christmas for my family (Eastern Christian traditions). After we had our large gathering of a few hundred members of the Qumsiyeh clan, and paying visits to my sisters and the older people in my family, I tried unsuccessfully to visit Jerusalem (both with my US passport and with my Palestinian ID). The idea was to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and have dinner in Jerusalem.

I used to be a high school teacher in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is only 4 miles away and is a suburb of Jerusalem. The economies were/are inter-dependent and for five thousand years were inseparable. That is until Israel decided to separate us after they signed the Oslo agreements in 1994 (one of many reasons why these sell-out agreements entrenched apartheid and colonization). I am not allowed to enter Jerusalem on my American passport because I am a Palestinian who does not get a visitor visa on my US passport (I hold green card resident ID in my own country). Most Palestinians are not allowed to their own city of Jerusalem except with special permits. On occasions (like Muslim and Christian holidays, Palestinians above a certain age (males over 55) are allowed. In this case they claimed that Shabak (Israel Internal Security) said that even if I was above 55 I am not allowed and that if I try to come through again I would be jailed (lack of due process not withstanding). While I was questioned, the bus from Bethlehem had left and we were forced to then walk back in the cold weather.

The Israeli policies of separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem and denying us entry are violations of International law and many are considered war crimes. Here are the violations that these soldiers and the Israeli government are guilty of based on International law:

1) Israel’s changes to borders of the municipality of Jerusalem to include parts of Bethlehem (illegal for occupiers, several UN resolutions),

2) Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem (both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem are not Israeli per the UN resolutions that Israel itself agreed to implement when they became members of the UN),

3) Israel’s establishment of 23 Jewish only settlements/colonies in Bethlehem is a war crime and the fact that such Jewish settlers cross over without requiring tasrih (permit) is racist,

4) Israel cannot prevent freedom of movement between one occupied town (Bethlehem) and another occupied town (Jerusalem),

5) Building walls and fences inside the 1967 occupied areas is also illegal (International Criminal Court Ruling 2004),

6) That the “shabak” can give direction to prevent people like me from crossing simply because we advocate non-violent resistance (I wrote a book on the subject) is contrary to both local law (supposed freedom of speech, due process) and International law (e.g. violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

These colonization tactics are nothing short of state terrorism. This indignity was a disappointment in Christmas but we have the peace of Christmas in our hearts and the silver lining is that this provides another motivation for us to redouble our efforts to end the ongoing crimes against humanity. Others suffer and even get injured, jailed or tortured so we are still grateful. May 2017 bring us closer to ending this nightmare of apartheid, close to return of Palestinian refugees, closer to justice, and closer to peace.

Stay Human!

original

#InIsrael ~~ DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION APARTHEID

Israel jails Palestinian journalists and threatens to revoke permits of international journalists, including Australia’s Antony Loewenstein, pictured in 2014, over unfavorable coverage. (Claudio Accheri)

antony-loewenstein

Israel threatens to expel reporter who asked apartheid question

Israel is threatening to expel an Australian journalist in Jerusalem, accusing him of being a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The threat against Antony Loewenstein comes after the freelance journalist asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference given by former government minister Yair Lapid, and after a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group HonestReporting.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office, told The Jerusalem Post. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.”

Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, who has won recognition for his reporting from South Sudan and Afghanistan, dismissed any suggestion he had misrepresented himself.

“I am an accredited freelance journalist which is how I presented my work to the Israeli government in March, which they accepted,” Loewenstein said. “I’m not here associated with any organization. I’m here as a freelancer, officially, so there’s been no misrepresentation by me, ever.”

Loewenstein has written about the region for more than a decade, including the bestselling book My Israel Question.

Growing crackdown

The effective threat to expel Loewenstein comes a week after the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed that this year Israel remained among the world’s worst jailers of reporters – all of those in its cells are Palestinians.

And earlier this month, Israel detained and expelled Isabel Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches, claiming she too supports BDS.

Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet secret police barred entry to two leaders of a British Muslim humanitarian aid group, citing “security reasons.” The two officials from Muslim Hands were invited to the country by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, which the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz describes as “a nonprofit group that promotes coexistence, cooperation and equality between Jews and Muslims.”

In August, Israel’s public security and interior ministries set up a joint task force to deny entry to or expel foreign activists allegedly affiliated with organizations that support BDS.

This is part of a broader crackdown, whose primary targets are Palestinians.

On Friday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it has been receiving a “worryingly high number of complaints” about Israel violating basic rights of Palestinian human rights activists.

It said that human rights defenders living under Israeli occupation “face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

The UN said peaceful protest and opposition to the occupation is effectively outlawed.

Anatomy of a smear

Loewenstein became a target after he asked a challenging question at a press conference last week to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party that was formerly part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

“You talked before about the idea that since Oslo, Israel has done little or nothing wrong, but the truth is that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the occupation,” Loewenstein began, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Pointing to the large number of Israeli settlers now in the occupied West Bank, Loewenstein continued: “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during apartheid?”

In response, Lapid attacked The Guardian, claiming that it and other publications are encouraging Palestinians to be intransigent.

From there, HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group whose managing editor once worked in the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit, launched a campaign against Loewenstein.

It called him “an anti-Israel activist” and implied he had obtained his official Israeli press card and membership in the Foreign Press Association under false pretenses.

“Loewenstein is clearly incapable of reporting on Israel in a fair and objective manner,” HonestReporting asserted.

“Did Loewenstein gain his official press card by claiming to be a Guardian writer?” the group asked, effectively making an allegation without any basis.

HonestReporting took its campaign to The Guardian directly, complaining to the newspaper that “hiring Loewenstein was the equivalent of hiring a corporate lobbyist to be the newspaper’s business correspondent.”

This apparently elicited the desired response: The Guardian threw Loewenstein under the bus – presumably without speaking to him first.

According to The Jerusalem Post, The Guardian’s head of international news, Jamie Wilson, said that Loewenstein was contracted to write comment pieces for Guardian Australia and remains an occasional comment contributor but he “is not a news correspondent for The Guardian in Israel.”

And The Guardian’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Peter Beaumont, emailed HonestReporting that he had never heard of Loewenstein.

The Guardian’s distancing itself from Loewenstein is a welcome development,” HonestReporting’s managing editor Simon Plosker said, adding that the Foreign Press Association should revoke Loewenstein’s membership and the Israeli Government Press Office should cancel his accreditation.

Loewenstein told The Electronic Intifada that he identifies himself accurately as a freelancer and author of several books, who contributes to many publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times and Newsweek Middle East.

Loewenstein noted that in the tight-knit world of foreign correspondents in Israel, it would be impossible to get away with misrepresentation: “It’s a pretty small place.”

But the smear did its job and now Loewenstein is a target for government expulsion for asking a challenging question of an Israeli leader.

In February, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israel’s intimidation of the international media, including threats to revoke the credentials of reporters who published headlines it didn’t like.

“It is virtually impossible to work as a reporter in Israel and the occupied territories without a press card,” the group’s executive director Robert Mahoney said. “The threat of withdrawing accreditation is a heavy handed approach at stifling unwelcome coverage.”

#RacismInIsrael~~ FIRST THEY SILENCED THE MOSQUES, THEN THEY SILENCED THE BUSES

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation ordered that an Israeli bus company stop broadcasting announcements in Arabic in the city of Beersheba.

'They never announced my stop so I fell asleep :( )

They never announced my stop so I fell asleep 😦 

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation ordered that an Israeli bus company stop broadcasting announcements in Arabic in the city of Beersheba, a spokesperson for Dan Bus Company told Ma’an on Thursday.

The spokesperson said to Ma’an that the company had been asked by the Israeli Ministry of Transportation to cease broadcasting announcements in Arabic on Tuesday, only four days after opening its new bus line in Beersheba.

They said that “many, many people complained to the municipality,” which in turn took the matter to the Ministry of Transportation.

The Dan spokesman stated that the company was “not comfortable” with the request to stop the Arabic announcements, adding that “40 percent of our drivers are Muslim,” but that it would comply with directives from the Ministry.

They went on to add that this was the first time that the company was broadcasting these announcements in both Arabic and Hebrew, but that signs remained written in both languages.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Ma’an on the legality of the decision given Arabic’s status as one of Israel’s official languages.

The director of the Coalition Against Racism in Israel, Nidal Othman, said that the ban was symbolic of Israeli authorities submitting to racism which it should stop at every level, adding that the bus company’s response was unacceptable and showed an agreement on racism between governmental and public institutions.

Othman went on to call the decision a “very dangerous escalation” which could prove to become a slippery slope from racist political statements to racist actions.

“A minority of society refuses coexistence (between Israeli Jews and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship), but they have loud voices, while the majority is silent,” Othman said.

He added that the continued presence of the Arabic language in Israel was the product of efforts conducted by human right organizations, and must be protected from the “racist minority” in Beersheba which seeks to make Arabic disappear from the public sphere.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship constitute 20 percent of the population of Israel, and have long been targeted by discriminatory Israeli policies, whether through fewer resources allocated to Palestinian-majority communities in Israel, “divide and conquer” tactics, attempts at forcibly displacing Bedouin communities, and what have been denounced as policies of “Judaization” at the expense of other religious communities.

The bus announcement ban also comes right as the Israeli Knesset is discussing a bill which would ban the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) from mosques in Israel.

Despite the bill not yet being voted into law, a mosque in the town of al-Ludd was fined in late November for broadcasting the adhan, sparking uproar.

 

 

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