LINEAR VIEWS OF THE WAR IN GAZA

The artist drew delicate lines over 50 photographs selected from the deluge of horrific news images of Gaza that flooded social media during Israel’s war last summer. With Scholnick’s intervention, the images are slightly abstracted, but also given further depth.

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Full report and more images HERE

TIMELY TOON ~~ NETANYAHU’S REACTION TO IRAN DEAL

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

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ISRAEL THREATENED BY A POSSIBLE PEACE WITH IRAN

PEACE NOW ~~~ OR ~~~ PEACE NO!

In addition to the five year UN weapons embargo, missile sanctions will stay in place for eight years.

Netanyahu, not happy with the Iran deal. (Photo: Alex Kolomisky)

Netanyahu, not happy with the Iran deal. (Photo: Alex Kolomisky)

Negotiators reach historic Iran deal amid anger in Israel

Agreement to maintain missile embargo for eight years; Israeli politicians predict nuclear Iran; PM: Mistake of historic proportions.

Iran’s support for international terrorist groups remained undiminished last year and even expanded in some respects, the Obama administration said Friday, less than two weeks before the deadline for completing a nuclear deal that could provide Tehran with billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.

The assessment offered a worrying sign of even worse terror-related violence to come after a year in which extremists in the Middle East, Africa and Asia committed 35 percent more terrorist acts, killed nearly twice as many people and almost tripled the number of kidnappings worldwide. Statistics released by the State Department on Friday also pointed to a tenfold surge in the most lethal kinds of attacks.

Yet even as the Islamic State group and the Taliban were blamed for most of the death and destruction in 2014, the department’s annual terrorism report underscored the ongoing threat posed by Iran and its proxies across the Islamic world and beyond.

Tehran increased its assistance to Shiite militias fighting in Iraq and continued its long-standing military, intelligence and financial aid to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled government and Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. While the study said Iran has lived up to interim nuclear deals with world powers thus far, it gave no prediction about how an Iran flush with cash from a final agreement would behave.

World powers and Iran are trying to conclude an accord by the end of the month, setting 15 years of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant relief from the international sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

The negotiations don’t involve Iran’s support for militant groups beyond its border. But Israel and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Iran’s regional rivals, fear a fresh wave of terrorism as a result of any pact. President Barack Obama, hoping to ease their fears, has said most of the money would go to Iran’s economic development.

America’s “grave concern about Iran’s support for terrorism remains unabated,” White House spokesman Eric Shultz said. “That is all the more reason that we need to make sure they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.”

In total last year, nearly 33,000 people were killed in almost 13,500 terrorist attacks around the world, according to the State Department report. That’s up from just over 18,000 deaths in nearly 10,000 attacks in 2013.

Twenty-four Americans were killed by extremists in 2014, the report said. And abductions soared to 9,428 in the calendar year from 3,137 in 2013.

The report attributes the rise in attacks to increased terror activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria and the sharp spike in deaths to a growth in exceptionally lethal attacks in those countries and elsewhere.

There were 20 attacks that killed more than 100 people each in 2014, compared to just two a year earlier, the report said. Among those were December’s attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 150 people and the June attack by Islamic State militants on a prison in Mosul, Iraq, in which 670 Shiite prisoners died.

At the end of 2014, the prison attack was the deadliest terrorist operation in the world since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the report.

Despite all indications pointing toward increased violence, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator said the numbers didn’t reflect improvements by the US and its partners in stamping out terrorism financing, improving information sharing, impeding foreign fighters and forming a coalition to fight the Islamic State group. “We have made progress,” Ambassador Tina Kaidanow said.

Attacks occurred in 95 countries last year but were concentrated in the Mideast, South Asia and West Africa. Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria accounted for more than 60 percent of the attacks. Adding Syria, they comprised roughly 80 percent of the fatalities, the report found.

The rise in kidnappings is mainly attributable to the mass abductions by terrorist groups in Syria, notably Islamic State militants and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram was responsible for most, if not all, of the nearly 1,300 abductions, including several hundred girls from a school in Chibok. By contrast, the report cited fewer than 100 terror-related kidnappings reported in Nigeria in 2013.

Friday’s report noted the “unprecedented seizure” of territory in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State group, its ability to recruit foreign fighters to join its cause and the emergence of self-proclaimed affiliates, notably in Libya, Egypt and Nigeria. It cited a rise in so-called lone wolf attacks in the West and terrorists employing more extreme methods of violence to repress and frighten communities under their control.

Source

GAZA ~~ A WINDOW TO HELL

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A window to hell in Gaza

Spending the day of 17 August in Khuzaa was like peering through a window to hell. But what we witnessed in the landscape of apocalyptic oblivion paled in comparison to the experience described to me by two Palestine Red Crescent volunteers who had attempted to break through the Israeli military cordon during the siege of the town.

Twenty-five-year-old Ahmed Awad and 24-year-old Ala’a Alkusofi arrived at the edge of Khuzaa at a time when Red Cross ambulance crews refused to travel anywhere near the town. They said they had come to collect the body of a man whom soldiers had lashed to a tree by both arms and shot in the leg. When they arrived at the site, the soldiers ordered the driver of their ambulance, Muhammed Abadla, to exit the vehicle. When he obliged, they told him to walk five meters forward and switch on a flashlight. As soon as he flicked the light on, the soldiers shot him in the chest and killed him.

“It was something I’ll never forget,” Awad recalled, “seeing a colleague killed like that in front of me. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed.”

The two Red Crescent volunteers told me they later found a man in Khuzaa with rigor mortis, holding both hands over his head in surrender, his body filled with bullets. Deeper in the town, they discovered an entire family so badly decomposed they had to be shoveled with a bulldozer into a mass grave. In a field on the other side of town, Awad and Alkusofi found a shell-shocked woman at least 80 years of age hiding in a chicken coop. She had taken shelter there for nine days during the siege, living off of nothing but chicken feed and rain water. “She couldn’t believe it when we found her,” said Alkusofi. “She was sure she would die with the chickens.”

Horror stories

In nearly every shattered home I entered in Khuzaa, on every bomb-cratered street, in destroyed mosques and vandalized schools, I heard horror stories like this. Every resident I met in this town was touched by the violence in one way or another. While visiting the town, I wandered into the courtyard of a rehabilitation clinic for women and children afflicted with Continuous Traumatic Stress Disorder — a condition that affects a solid majority of youth in Gaza.

Located on a street lined with four-story apartments pockmarked with bullets and tank shells, the school was completely empty, but the signs of an Israeli presence were everywhere. As we entered, we found Stars of David spray painted by soldiers across the walls, right below colorful heart-shaped paper cut-outs bearing the names of students. In the closet of an administrative office that was neatly kept except for a few scattered papers, I found a spent M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon. It was one of the shoulder-mounted launching tubes manufactured in Mesa, Arizona, by the Norwegian-owned Nammo arms corporation. The weapon had been used by the Israelis to rocket civilian homes across Gaza’s boundary regions.

In a classroom across the courtyard, sunrays burst through a gaping hole in the wall about the size of a 120mm tank shell. They shone light on a series of colorful posters decorated with matching ribbons that contained motivational messages. They read:

It always seems impossible until it’s done

Stay alive

Look to the future

No negative thoughts allowed

We wandered around the corner, past a group of children filling a jug of water from a truck that replaced the water tower Israeli forces detonated, past the giant dome of the Ebad al-Rahman mosque, which now sat on a pile of rubble next to the toppled water tower like the ancient ruins of some bygone empire. Nearby, we entered a small courtyard surrounded by a warren of shattered homes. At the edge of the yard, a small boy lay impassively in his bed in a room with no walls. A ceiling fan that looked as though it had been melted dangled above his head. In the center of the yard sat a gigantic olive green barrel. It was a spent Giant Viper round — one of the C4-packed mine clearing devices the Israelis fired into the center of Khuzaa during the assault on the town. A hen flapped its wings next to the barrel and chased after baby chicks bouncing through the rubble.

“Where are you from?” an old man called out to me from the road. He wore large spectacles and a morning robe, his front pocket stuffed with paper notepads, various cards and a glasses holder. He reminded me of my older Jewish relatives who came of age before the digital era and grew accustomed to carrying stacks of business cards, coupons and handwritten reminders in their shirt and coat pockets along with assorted mints and pens.

“I’m from America,” I told the man, readying for an indignant response.

“Ahhhh, Amreeka,” he grumbled. “I want to thank the American people,” the man continued, advancing to within two feet of me. “They are nice people, they give us food and bread and they give the Israelis weapons to kill us. They have different standards. It would be nice if they treated us all as humans.”

“We love life”

He introduced himself as Ali Ahmed Qudeh, the father of Kamal Qudeh, the doctor who treated the town’s wounded under heavy bombardment and in spite of being injured himself. Like his son, Ali Ahmed was a supporter of Fatah, the rivals of Hamas. And like virtually everyone I met in Gaza, he was an ardent supporter of the armed resistance of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. “Our weapons are not terrorist weapons, our weapons are [for] self-defense,” he insisted. “Our weapons are to free our land. We are dignified people, we love life. We don’t hate life like they say. But we’ll die for our land.”

As a group of small children gathered in the courtyard, Ali Ahmed detailed to me how many family members each child lost in the assault on Khuzaa. Pointing at the little boy lying in bed, he suggested that the most devastating consequence of the war was not the death toll, but the psychological impact on the youngest members of his community.

“That kid wants to make an atomic bomb and obliterate Israel!” he roared. “Why? Because he saw his family members die in front of him! How can you raise kids who want to make bombs?”

When I made my way back into the road, I heard Ali Ahmed call after me again. He was rushing forward through the rubble with a tray of sweets. “I don’t mean to say that all Americans are bad,” he said, urging me to take a freshly baked cookie. “It’s the government that’s the problem, not the people.”

Just then, an Israeli squadron of American-made F-16s roared through the sky. A small girl standing beside me ducked reflexively at the sound of the jets, bracing for another missile strike. The war was far from over.

This essay is excerpted from Max Blumenthal’s new book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gazapublished by Nation Books.

THE LATEST LATUFF SPOOFS

Carlos comes to New York ….

My “Palestinian Mandela” cartoon in a pro-Palestine demo in NYC. Photos: Bud Korotzer

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Tracking Israeli war crimes

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Bella Ciao Omar Sharif

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VIDEO ~~ GAZA WAR; ONE YEAR LATER AND WHY BDS IS A MUST

Video: BDS and the Gaza war — Ali Abunimah on France 24

This week I’m on a speaking tour in France organized by Campagne BDS France.

At events in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon, we’re marking 10 years since the Palestinian call forboycott, divestment and sanctions.

This week we also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people and devastated the territory. One year on there’s been almost no reconstruction, no lifting of the siege and no accountability for those who committed these crimes.

While in Paris I was interviewed by the news channel France 24 about these topics, as well as Palestinians’ right to resist and a one-state solution.

Such a broad-ranging discussion about Palestine on a mainstream news channel is rare, at least in my experience. Watch the English-language interview above.

HAMAS AND THE MISSING ISRAELIS

First read the background in THIS post ….

The reason for Israel’s silence until now …
 
The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.
 
And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

Hamas: No free information on missing Israelis

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel has finally officially acknowledged that two Israelis were being held in the Gaza Strip, presumably in Hamas’s custody.Israel had hoped that Hamas would disclose information on the matter, which would help Israel repatriate the two men in return for a non-costly price or at no price at all.But Hamas has acted smartly by remaining tight-lipped on the matter for the past 12 months.

Hamas should continue this wise policy as giving free information of any kind to Israel would be self-defeating and immensely harmful for the Palestinian cause, especially the cause of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps.

It is likely that Israel will ask third-parties to pressure Hamas to release specific information on the missing Israelis as a “humanitarian gesture.”

Israel could ask the Ramallah regime and/or the Sissi regime to exert pressure on Hamas to release the missing soldiers.

Hamas should firmly reject such deceptive tactics.

More to the point, Israel is not expected to pursue this matter with the same vigor and persistence it pursued the Shalit affair.

The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.

And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

But non-action by the Israeli government would embarrass the Zionist regime and expose its racist nature. In fact, we have already witnessed the Ethiopian Jewish community, which was subjected to a humiliating conversion process at the hands of the High Rabbinate in Israel, openly accuse the Israeli regime of racism vis-à-vis the black Ethiopians. (Talmudic authorities consider black Africans virtual animals).

Moreover, hundreds of Ethiopians recently took to the streets in protest against widespread racism against black Ethiopians by official Israeli institutions, prompting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repudiate racism.

It is imperative that Hamas exercise patience and resilience in dealing with this matter of the missing Israelis. Israel, in dealing with us, adopts Real Police in its most callous forms. It withholds medical care from Palestinian prisoners. It often flagrantly re-arrests prisoners released in the context of international agreements such as the Shalit deal.

It keeps Palestinian prisoners in prison despite the expiration of their jail terms. It keeps extending the imprisonment of “administrative detainees” for many months and years, without charge or trial.

Indeed, numerous Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails don’t actually know why they are in prison.

For these and many other reasons, Hamas must deal with Israel on the basis of reciprocity.

Finally, it should be made abundantly clear that any perceived intransigence on Hamas’s is not a goal in itself.

Hamas, indeed the entire Palestinian people, have many scores to settle with Israel. Israel is continuing to blockade Gaza, open fire on fishermen, prevent Palestinians from traveling through the Beit Hanoon border crossing, prevent the free flow of goods and services between Gaza and the West Bank, and bar Gazans from having their own seaport and airport.

Israel is also deliberately impeding the reconstruction of Gaza where 100,000 homes were destroyed and damaged during the Nazi-like Israeli blitz last year.

These are indisputable rights not excessive demands made by the Palestinians.

That is why, every asset available to the Palestinians ought to be utilized to expedite these legitimate Palestinian interests.

IN PHOTOS ~~ INTERNATIONAL AL QUDS DAY IN TIMES SQUARE

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ GAZA REMEMBERED ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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Adding insult to injury

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SPOOF ~~ ISRAEL ‘CELEBRATES’ THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE WAR IN GAZA

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

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PINKWASHING PALESTINE

Last week, in an article on the controversial rainbow flag mural a Palestinian artist painted on Israel’s apartheid wall, the Associated Press made this claim: “A 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect in the West Bank, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.”

In fact, there is no law in the West Bank, or in Jordan, that bans sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Khaled Jarrar’s rainbow mural “Through the Spectrum” painted on the Israeli separation wall near Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Khaled Jarrar)

Khaled Jarrar’s rainbow mural “Through the Spectrum” painted on the Israeli separation wall near Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Khaled Jarrar)

AP corrects story falsely claiming homosexuality is illegal for Palestinians

Last week, in an article on the controversial rainbow flag mural a Palestinian artist painted on Israel’s apartheid wall, the Associated Press made this claim: “A 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect in the West Bank, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.”

In fact, there is no law in the West Bank, or in Jordan, that bans sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Yesterday, several days after I contacted AP to inform them of this, they issued the following correction:

In a story June 30 about Palestinian protesters whitewashing a gay pride rainbow flag, The Associated Press reported erroneously that homosexual acts are banned by law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While homosexuality is largely taboo in Palestinian society, there are no laws specifically banning homosexual acts.

This may surprise people, since the notion that homosexual activity is criminal – and even punishable by death – is a staple of a form of anti-Palestinian propaganda called pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing is a rhetorical strategy that deploys Israel’s supposed enlightenment toward LGBTQ issues todeflect criticism from Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes and to seek to build up support for Israel among Western liberals and progressives.

In a 2 July email, I pointed AP editors to the annual publication State-Sponsored Homophobia, from international LGBTQ advocacy group ILGA. Its 2014 edition states (emphasis added):

The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936 is in force in Gaza.

Section 152(2) of the Code criminalizes sexual acts between men with a penalty of up to 10 years.

This Code was in force also in Jordan until 1951 and in Israel until 1977, before they adopted their own Penal Codes. Note that in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), however, the Jordanian Penal Code of 1951, largely modified in 1960, is in force, having no prohibition on sexual acts between persons of the same sex.

AP editors were initially skeptical and pushed back, insisting that various clauses in the Jordanian Penal Code that applies in the occupied West Bank indirectly outlawed homosexual activity.

I’m glad that after they delved deeper into the matter, they have done the right thing and made a correction.

Expert views

The AP’s mistake also led me to look deeper into the issue.

I asked two experts for some background on the law in Jordan as well as the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and the kinds of claims made about it.

Anis F. Kassim is one of the foremost experts on international, Jordanian and Palestinian law and long-time editor-in-chief of the Palestinian Yearbook of International Law. He was also an adviser to the Palestinian legal team in the successful 2004 case against Israel’s wall in the West Bank at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Kassim confirmed that the Jordanian Penal Code “is silent on acts committed by adults of the same sex with their own respective free will.” But I also wanted to know if any other clauses, not explicitly mentioning homosexual activity, had been used to target people who engage in such activity.

“Having checked the reported cases – as published – and with the old and young practitioners, I have not found any court case involving homosexuality,” Kassim told me.

As regards the 1936 law still in force in Gaza, Kassim said that it “could be interpreted as allowing homosexuality.” But he noted that such acts in Gaza would potentially be “punishable if the act was committed by force against the victim. By implication, if it is committed with free will of the victim it may not be a criminal act.”

“Chain of fabrications”

I also spoke with Joseph Massad, the foremost academic authority on Jordan who has written the classic book on the country Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan. Massad is also author of Desiring Arabs and Islam in Liberalism.

Massad says that the original, incorrect AP report “is part of the more generalized racist campaign by Western pro-Israel news organizations that want to insist on pinkwashing Israeli crimes with the added benefit of propagandizing against neighboring Arab countries.”

He observes that ILGA itself “used to be part of such propaganda efforts, claiming without evidence” in the 1993 edition of its annual Pink Book that Jordan criminalized homosexuality.

“It seems the Associated Press was simply repeating such propaganda and might very likely have relied directly on it, not having updated its sources,” Massad states.

Massad says that ILGA’s website later corrected the mistake, “by referring to a mostly ignorant Orientalist book written by a German and an Israeli collaborator – even if in this one case the authors got the story right – rather than by referring to the actual text of the law.”

The bigger point, he says, is that since “Western propaganda is based on a chain of propagandistic fabrications, you end up getting [organizations like] AP quoting ILGA quoting other German and Israeli sources. What is always absent is an actual Arab documentary source.”

Massad notes that, as in the AP story, “the law itself is never quoted nor is a history of its case application even explored, but rather what is presented is anti-Arab propaganda buttressed by any opinion that would help the AP Jerusalem bureau prove Israel’s superiority over the Arabs.”

The 1936 British Mandate criminal code for Palestine makes it illegal for men to have sex with women or men in a way that “contravenes natural laws.” That law remained in effect in Israel until 1977, in contrast with Jordanian law that did not criminalize such acts at all.

Yet, Massad observes, “we never read stories by AP and other Western news organizations between 1951 and 1977 about how retrograde and repressive Israel was toward homosexuals compared to its Arab neighbors, including the West Bank before and after Israel occupied it. This could very well be because the US and Western Europe also repressed their homosexuals during this period.”

“Who knows?” Massad observes dryly, “Maybe Israeli homosexuals fled to the West Bank between 1967 and 1977 to avoid prosecution in Israel.”

“But after Israel replaced the law in 1977, not only does AP not contrast it negatively with its Jordanian and Palestinian neighbors who had not criminalized such acts for decades before Israel,” he says, “but AP fabricates a story to make Israel look superior to both of them.”

No asylum

Even the corrected story still asserts that “Gay Palestinians tend to be secretive about their social lives and some have crossed into Israel to live safely.” This claim, often based on unverifiable anecdotes, is also a staple of Israeli pinkwashing.

But a 2008 Tel Aviv University study of the handful of known cases – “Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel” – found that Israel subjects Palestinians to particularly atrocious treatment, expelling them precisely because they are Palestinian. There is no legal framework that allows any Palestinian to seek asylum in present-day Israel.

Israel’s foundational laws and policies are designed precisely to keep Palestinians out, as they are considered a “demographic threat.”

Massad says it is worth asking how the “error” was committed in the first place, “and how the news organization initially came to decide that there was an anti-homosexual law in Jordan and the West Bank where none existed.”

“Indeed, AP, the largest and perhaps the richest news organization in the world, has consultants and fact checkers that often check claims made by those who oppose US and Israeli policies,” he states, “but it seems little is made of their expertise when it comes to endorsing US and Israeli propaganda, and it had to be left to The Electronic Intifada to alert them.”

GAG ORDER OR RACISM?

Almost a year ago a mentally challenged young Ethiopian man allegedly crossed over from Israel to the Gaza Strip. About the same time, a young Bedouin from Israel also crossed over. Neither were heard from since and nothing appeared in the Israeli press about their disappearances.

WHY ???

Does no one give a damn or is it only the government of Israel that doesn’t?

You decide after reading the following …

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An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

Gag order lifted: Two Israelis held captive in Gaza

Possibly mentally ill Ethiopian Israeli apparently crossed border fence of his own free will, and was captured in September 2014; second citizen also reported to be in captivity.

An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

A senior defense official said there was no current information on Mengistu’s fate, and that he had initially been arrested by Hamas. According to the source, Hamas claimed it had questioned Mengistu but released him because he was not a soldier. The official furthermore said there were attempts to negotiate his release.

According to Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, current information suggests that Mengistu is being held by Hamas. However, senior defense officials said it was unclear whether this was the case.

A senior Palestinian official in the Gaza Strip who is familiar with the case told Ynet that Mengistu was held by Hamas in Gaza at one point and released him after realizing he was not a soldier. According to the source, Hamas announced that Mengistu had left Gaza through tunnels in Rafah and continued on to Egypt, and that he is no longer in Gaza.

“Now that the story of my brother has finally come out, we will no longer remain silent,” the missing man’s brother, Yalu Mengistu, told Yedioth Ashkelon. “There will be rallies and demonstrations, there will be media coverage and especially, we will be talking. They will hear us. We have lost confidence in the country and it seems like it does not care about our brother. The prime minister bothered to contact us only this week, on Wednesday. We sent him a letter at the beginning of the incident and he could not find the time to meet with us.”

Sources say that Mengistu began walking on the beach, heading south. He reached the Zikim beach area, and continued walking south until he crossed the military obstacles on the beach that divide Israel from Gaza.

Mengistu is allegedly mentally ill and is known to the Ashkelon social services.

Security forces stationed in the area noticed the man after he had crossed the border, and forces were immediately dispatched to the area, including a helicopter and ground troops. Mengistu continued on his path into Gaza and never returned.

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, held a mass rally in Rafah in September of 2014. On the day of the rally, a display was erected in Rafah — a tall pole with a big black square attached to it with the writing “the black box” in Hebrew and Arabic. The sign, which Hamas failed to explain, caused a stir in Gaza, and the Palestinian media in the Strip tried to no avail to figure out the nature of the vague message.

Hamas apparently hoped that the case would be reported in Israeli media, but began pushing the issue in Arab media sources when they realized that a gag order had prevented reports from emerging that would reach the Israeli public. From there, the story reached international media — specifically bloggers, as official news agencies could not verify the story through the Israeli government.

A joint investigation was launched by the Shin Bet and the Southern District Police’s terrorism unit.

It later transpired the Ethiopian immigrant had left his home and gone missing for days at a time on numerous occasions.

His family reported three different cases in the past in which he left home and failed to return.

His family was informed of the situation by social services shortly after Mengistu reportedly crossed the border.

Mengistu’s mother lives in Ashkelon, while his father lives in central Israel. He has eight siblings.

The lifting of the gag order came after Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed Wednesday that Israel had sent messages to the group through a European intermediary, asking the organization to return the bodies of two soldiers in their possession since Operation Protective Edge.

Gaza residents were witness on Wednesday evening to a parade by the organization’s military wing marking the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge. The procession included a mock tank and a giant fist holding “military ID tags” belonging to Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul alongside two tags bearing question marks.

Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul was killed in the “Golani Tragedy” in Saja’iyya on July 20, 2014. Six of his friends were killed in the attack and Shaul was declared as missing. Five days after the incident, then head of the IDF’s manpower directorate, and current Chief Military Rabbi notified the family of Oron’s death.

Goldin was killed in an incident which would later be dubbed the “Black Friday,” in Rafah. The commander of the Givati reconnaissance company, Major Benaya Sarel, and his radioman Sergeant Liel Gidoni where killed in the incident as well. Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin was declared missing, and later declared dead, as a result of brave actions by Captian Eitan Pond, which brought forward the evidence necessary to assume he had died.

 

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And FROM (Click on link)

Two Israeli Citizens Kidnapped by Hamas

An Israeli Arab and an Israeli of Ethiopian descent are both being held in Gaza.

GAZA, ONE YEAR LATER ~~ A VIDEO TO WATCH AND SHARE

Prominent Jews and Palestinians and others stand for Palestine in this heartbreaking video with Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Tony Kushner, Diana Buttu, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, Brian Eno, Roger Waters, Mira Nair, Wallace Shawn, Naomi Klein, Mira Nair, Raj Patel, Noura Erakat and many others. To learn more or take action, visit freedom4palestine.org. Project of JewishVoiceforPeace.org with assistance from IMEU.org (Institute of Middle East Understanding)

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Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for their next round … (Click on link)

A year on, army looks to last Gaza war for lessons on fighting the next one

 

#OperationJewAgainstJew

It’s bad enough when non Jews hate Jews ….

Lone anti Semite on the streets of New York yesterday (Photo by Bud Korotzer)

Lone anti Semite on the streets of New York yesterday (Photo by Bud Korotzer)

It’s even worse when Jews hate Jews as can be seen in these reports (click on links)

Bear in mind that the zionists relish calling any Jew that dares to question or even condemn their policies a self hating Jew …

These reports will disclose who the real self haters are.

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Jerusalem – Police Officer Filmed Beating Ethiopian Soldier Not To Face Criminal Charges

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Western Wall Rabbi Apologizes for Turning Away Woman in Kippah

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‘Reform Jews aren’t Jews’  

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Minister Bennet: Reform Jews are Jews, Period

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Government strikes down conversions reform

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First they came for the Ethiopians, then the women, then they came for the Reform Jews, then they came for the converts …

Sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

GAZA, A YEAR LATER ~~ THE REAL STORY AND THE ONE FROM REUTERS

The Western Media has their own version

The Western Media has their own version

Gaza Today …..

Gaza today ....

Gaza today ….

The real report here …. (click on link)

‘I feel only pain’: Gaza children suffer emotional trauma one year after war – report

Regular nightmares, fear about another war and refusal to step outside their homes – all these are symptoms of emotional trauma experienced by the children of Gaza a year on from the deadly Israeli operation, a report by an international watchdog says.

And the Reuters whitewash … (Click on link)

Gazans look to a hopeful future through resilient character

A year after Operation Protective Edge, there is a stark contrast in Gaza’s scenery, where destroyed neighborhoods can be seen from the roof of a new boutique hotel.

 

HILLARY SOLD HER SOUL (AND HER COUNTRY) FOR 2 MILLION DOLLAR$

Saban, an Israeli Hollywood mogul, gave Priorities USA Action, Clinton’s super PAC, $2 million, while Soros, a Jewish, Hungary-born business magnate, donated $1 million, according to Politico’s article published Thursday. (FROM)

hillary-bumper-sticker

Hillary Clinton Condemns BDS in Letter to Haim Saban

Hillary Rodham Clinton said she will speak out against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel during her presidential campaign.

“I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority,” Clinton said in a July 2 letter to Haim Saban, the Israeli-American entertainment mogul who has been a major fundraiser for Clinton in the past. “I am seeking your advice on how we can work together – across party lines and with a diverse array of voices – to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”

The Democratic front-runner concludes the letter, which Saban released through a public relations agency, by saying that she plans to address the BDS threat in the coming weeks, as her campaign intensifies.
“I will be speaking out publicly on this in the weeks ahead, so I am eager to hear your perspective and advice,” she wrote.
In a handwritten sign-off, Clinton added, “Look forward to working with you on this.”

Saban, in a release by Puder PR accompanying the release of the letter, said it underscores Clinton’s commitment to Israel.
“As I have been saying all along, when she becomes president, Hillary will reinforce the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he was quoted as saying.

Source

Copy of letter to Saban…

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GREECE ~~ LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH OPTIMISM

Image by Vladamir Kremkov

Image by Vladamir Kremkov

First a very fitting joke ….

“It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.

The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with optimism.

Now the real story …. (Click on link to see report)

Greek finance minister steps down after overwhelming ‘No’ referendum

61% reject European bailout offer, leaving Greece in risk of financial and political isolation within the euro zone, and a banking collapse.

 

ISIS OR ZION; WHO WANTS TO RID JERUSALEM OF CHRISTIANS?

It's pretty obvious what the answer is

It’s pretty obvious what the answer is

One really has to wonder who the real culprits are ….

ISIS purportedly threatens to ‘slaughter’ Christian Arabs living in Jerusalem

 Flyer purportedly issued by an ISIS branch in Jerusalem that threaten Christian Arabs. (photo credit:Courtesy)


Flyer purportedly issued by an ISIS branch in Jerusalem that threaten Christian Arabs. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Menacing Arabic flyers, purportedly issued by an Islamic State branch in Jerusalem, threatened Christian Arabs over the weekend with slaughter unless they flee the capital by the end of Ramadan.

While the authenticity of the leaflets, which bear the Islamic State insignia, cannot be verified, they called upon like-minded zealots to identify “those who collaborate with the Zionists” and provide their addresses.

“Those who work with the Zionists also encourage Muslims to leave their religion and become more secular and open, and they spread evil,” the leaflet stated. “They take these Muslims away from us…. We know where they are, but we need help to find them all – all those Christian collaborators.”

A police spokesman on Monday said that he was unaware of the leaflets, which were clandestinely distributed roughly one week after a church by Lake Kinneret was set alight in an apparent hate crime.

The note goes on to state that “ISIS soldiers will work to kill these people so this country is clean of them and… will clean this country and the Muslim Quarter from these Christians during this holy Ramadan.”

It added that the group’s operatives will begin their search in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Shuafat, the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

“Because the Christians violated the Pact of Omar [made when Muslims conquered Jerusalem], we will do this,” the note concluded. “So we tell our Christians and the nonbelievers: Go away now or you will be killed when the Id [al Fitr festival ending Ramadan] is near.

And you will be slaughtered like the sheep. One month is enough for them to go away.”

The leaflets were signed “The Islamic State – Emirate of Bayt al-Maqdis [the Holy City, i.e., Jerusalem].”

While no Christian Arabs who received the note agreed to be interviewed, one Israeli man with numerous Arab friends said the vitriol has rattled some within the community.

“They’re fearful for their lives and don’t want to go to the police because they feel that the police won’t be responsive,” the man said, requesting anonymity.

“What’s most problematic is that in this case individuals aren’t being targeted but an entire group, which is pretty darn serious,” he continued.

“If leaflets with swastikas and similar threats were sent to Jewish neighborhoods, people would be outraged. I hope and pray it amounts to nothing at all.”

Noam Ivri and Seth Frantzman contributed to the translation of this document.

Source

ZION DONATES MILLIONS TO HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN

Billionaires George Soros and Haim Saban donated a total of $3 million to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the news site Politico reported.

Preparing for her prison garb?

Preparing for her prison garb?

Billionaires Saban and Soros Pour $3M Into Hillary Clinton Campaign

Billionaires George Soros and Haim Saban donated a total of $3 million to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the news site Politico reported.

Saban, an Israeli Hollywood mogul, gave Priorities USA Action, Clinton’s super PAC, $2 million, while Soros, a Jewish, Hungary-born business magnate, donated $1 million, according to Politico’s article published Thursday.

Clinton’s super PAC, which is dedicated to airing ads supporting her presidential bid and attacking her opponents, revealed Thursday that it had raised a total of $15.6 million during the first half of the year.

Other heavy donors included DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and director J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath, as well as California investor Herb Sandler and Boston philanthropist Barbara Lee.

According to an analysis published Friday, also by Politico, Clinton is privately signaling to wealthy Jewish donors that, no matter the result of the Iranian nuclear negotiations, she will be a better friend to Israel than President Barack Obama.

But on the Iranian nuclear deal, which the Obama administration is working to close in the near future despite strong-worded objections by Israel’s government, Clinton has been noncommittal, according to the report.

Donors who oppose the deal are under the impression she shares their reservations, while those supporting it believe she agrees with them, according to the Politico article based on interviews with more than 10 Jewish donors. Saban in April suggested Clinton opposes the deal but later said he has “no idea” where she stands on the issue.

The Iranian issue has strained relations between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel opposes the deal being discussed in Switzerland because of concerns that it “paves Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb,” as Netanyahu has repeatedly warned. But Obama said he is working toward closing the deal because it’s “the best way to prevent” a nuclear Iran.

The deal offers Iran some sanctions relief in exchange for verifiable scaling back of its nuclear program. But Netanyahu insists Iran should not be allowed to retain any equipment for the enrichment of uranium or the development of other nuclear weapons, which Iran claims it does not seek.

WHAT IS AMERICA TO ME ~~ FOUR VIDEOS THAT SAY IT ALL

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America Yesterday

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America Today

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And if you try to change it you land in jail

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

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