62 YEARS LATER ~~ THE ROSENBERGS ARE REMEMBERED

June 19, 1953

For Robert and Michael ….

Then …

Robert and Michael Rosenberg sons of Julius and Ethel

Now …

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Sketches of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg presented to their sons by the artist Pablo Picasso

Looking back at the day ..
By Steve Amsel
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It was a Friday evening, 62 years ago today, that I sat in my bedroom waiting for the lights to dim. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were about to be electrocuted in Sing Sing Prison and I imagined the powerful surge of power causing a brown out in our own home. When that didn’t happen, I thought to myself that perhaps there was a stay of execution …. but I was wrong. Despite the protests, despite the appeals from world leaders, the couple was put to death just one minute before the Sabbath entered, as not to violate the sanctity of the day. It was a reminder of Christ’s execution, also rushed as not to violate the Sabbath.
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Many of us were told that they were innocent of the charges of espionage. We were told that they were the ‘first victims of American fascism’. We were told decades later that this might not have been the case.
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They left behind two young sons, Michael and Robert. Michael was a year older than me and Robert was three years younger. I could not imagine what these two were going through and could not comprehend how the government rendered them orphans with the flick of a switch.
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A small part of me died with the flick of that switch, but worse yet, a big part of America’s integrity died as well.
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The last four days of Ethel and Julius …
Published on June 15, 2015
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First of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.
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Second of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.
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Third of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.
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Last of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.

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The above videos were created and sent to me by the Rosenberg Fund for Children

The Rosenberg Fund for Children was started by Robert Meeropol, who was orphaned at age six when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed at the height of the McCarthy Era.

In 1990 Robert figured out how he could repay the progressive community that helped him survive.  He founded the RFC to help children of targeted activists in the U.S. today- children who are experiencing the same nightmare he and his brother endured as youngsters.  In September 2013, Robert’s daughter, Jennifer Meeropol, took over for him as the RFC’s executive director.

Since its start, the RFC has awarded more than $5.6 million to benefit close to a thousand children in the U.S. whose parents have been targeted because of their involvement in progressive movements including the struggles to preserve civil liberties, wage peace, safeguard the environment, combat racism and homophobia, and organize on behalf of workers, prisoners, immigrants and others whose human rights are under threat.

To assist them in their work, contributions can be made by clicking HERE

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Photos from a Memorial Meeting held last night in New York 

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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ZIO BEX ~~ IF IT WASN’T A HOLOCAUST IN GAZA, WHAT WAS IT?

Words that upset are not nearly as bad as the crimes that were committed …

“The continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine crisis.” 

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Greek Official Slammed for Comparing Gaza to Holocaust

A Greek official is accused of abusing the memory of the Holocaust by mentioning Gaza during a speech about the genocide, and saying that “victims become bullies.”

The criticism by The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a watchdog group, was over a speech that Panagiotis Sgouridis, a deputy minister of rural development, gave on June 7 in the northern city of Kavala during the unveiling ceremony for a monument in memory of the area’s murdered Jews.

Noting that atrocities continue today despite the lessons of the Holocaust, Sgouridis listed “the continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia,” and the Ukraine crisis as examples.

He concluded his speech by saying that monuments like the one unveiled at Kavala are important “because unfortunately many times the roles switch and the victims become bullies.” Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, said that Sgouridis’ speech was “not only an inversion of the Holocaust by listing it alongside the blockade on Gaza, but also served to banalize it.”

The Kavala unveiling was preceded by an international uproar over reports that the city’s mayor objected to the incorporation of a Star of David in its design, though she denied this. The monument that was unveiled features that symbol.

Public discourse in Greece about Jews and Israel has become “more toxic,” said the center, amid a financial crisis and the rise of Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that became Greece’s third-largest following the 2015 legislative election.

Sgouridis’ party, the rightist Independent Greeks, has called on Germany to pay Greece reparations for its invasion and occupation of the Balkan country.

“The speech, the place, the time and the back story all combine to make Sgouridis’ speech inappropriate,” Samuels said.

ISRAEL WINS ONE BATTLE … BUT NOT THE ‘WAR’

Israel won an important victory over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) when a boycott on the sale of Israeli products in a supermarket chain in Sweden has been cancelled.

The battle continues

The battle continues

Swedish supermarkets back out of Israel boycott after media campaign

Consumer’s assembly at northern Sweden city adopts pro-Palestinian proposal to take Israeli products off the shelves; campaign led by Israeli embassy focusing on fair trade forced boycotting stores to fold.

Israel won an important victory over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) when a boycott on the sale of Israeli products in a supermarket chain in Sweden has been cancelled.

The national supermarket chain COOP has 655 branches across Sweden. Israel, that was worried the boycott would spread from three local stores in the city of Varberg to all branches nationwide, launched an impressive media campaign to combat it.

Two and a half months ago, pro-Palestinian organizations submitted a proposal calling to take off the shelves any products manufactured in Israel, including those produced inside the Green Line. This was a mostly symbolic proposal, as the chain only sells avocado and persimmon from Israel.

After the proposal was adopted with a great majority at a local consumer’s assembly, Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman decided, with the help of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, to fight the boycott not with arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – but with arguments against the concept of a commercial boycott.

“We didn’t talk about the righteousness of Israel, rather we spoke in the name of fair trade and avoiding discrimination of any state,” Bachman explained.

Bachman turned to the company’s management, while at the same time pro-Israel activists in Sweden started posting against the supermarket chain’s decision on social media. A Swedish businessman opened a Facebook page titled “Opposing the Boycott against Israel,” which received 2,500 likes.

The Israeli embassy, meanwhile, posted phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the COOP chain’s management and encouraged pro-Israel activists to flood them with messages against the boycott. Thousands of people heeded the call and threatened to boycott the supermarket chain if it continues its boycott against Israel.

“There was a great protest. A lot of people here are against boycotts,” Bachman said. “We talked about fair trade. We explained that anyone who supports a boycott hurts the customers and the quality of the products. It resonated with people.”

Several days ago, Bachman met with the CEO of the supermarkets chain and asked him to intervene. “They were shocked by the volume of messages they received.”

This led the chain’s national management to reject the boycott and threaten that if the Varberg stores do not stop the boycott, they will no longer be a part of the chain, effectively putting an end to the boycott.

“The lesson I learned is that we must not, under absolutely no circumstances, give up, and we must launch a counter-campaign,” Bachman said. “If you go for the consumer side, without getting into the issue of the conflict, your story would be better and stronger.”

 

FROM

Until Victory!

Until Victory!

RAMADAN KAREEM

To all of our Muslim Brothers and Sisters …
May this year’s Ramadan usher in a new era of Peace and Hope ….
Ramadan Kareem!
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Ramadan Kareem

OPEN YOUR EYES! ~ ISRAEL IS FULL OF SH-T

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

See yesterday’s post for more videos

Israel Mocks Foreign Reporters With YouTube Cartoon

Israel’s Foreign Ministry took to YouTube to mock foreign journalists’ coverage of the Gaza conflict last summer — but not everyone sees the humor.

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

In an official statement, the Foreign Press Association said it was “surprised and alarmed” by the segment, and called the videos “misleading and poorly conceived.” They reminded readers that 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis had been killed in the bloody conflict.

Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told the New York Times that it was only, “an attempt to poke gentle fun at some journalists who choose not to see reality.”

Nahshon asserted the video was based on allegations that unnamed foreign correspondents ignored Hamas militants that launched rockets at Israel, and “released the footage only after the operation was over.”

A New York Times staff photographer, Tyler Hicks, explained in a blog post from last summer that there was a reason reporters did not cover Hamas fighters in their pictures and news coverage: “Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves,” he wrote

So far, the video has had 23,200 views.

Obviously Israel sees us all as little children if they have to resort to cartoons to justify their war crimes

Now that your eyes are open …. Look Into My Eyes

HERE you can see the foreign press’ reaction to the cartoon …

Journalists rage at Foreign Ministry’s Hamas cartoon

Foreign Press Association condemns foreign ministry cartoon as ‘inappropriate’ after 17 journalists died in Operation Protective Edge.

BEX ALERT EXTRAORDINAIRE ~~ ZION GOES TO YOUTUBE TO DEFEND ITSELF

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ridicules foreign press in cartoon defending Gaza attack

This one was produced last August …. same actors …. same lies

This one is also from August

More from Mondoweiss about these videos …

By Allison Deger

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a satirical cartoon video today ridiculing foreign journalists and their coverage of the Gaza Strip for failing to report that “terror rules Gaza,”—not Israel.

The video opens with a blond broadcast correspondent filming a segment on Gaza, where “the people here are just trying to live quiet lives. There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.” In the background, a masked Hamas militant is firing a rocket.

In the following scene the naive reporter is filming in front of a tunnel, dubbing it, “Gaza’s underground city, a fascinating attempt by Hamas to build a subway system.”

Next, the journalist is back above ground praising Gaza’s “liberal and pluralistic” society while another masked Hamas member bags and abducts a cartoon Gay Palestinian (he has a rainbow flag) in a sleeveless shirt who is selling fruit.

But the foreign journalists misses everything. “Wait, just a minute,” interrupts a female character, passing the reporter a pair of glasses. Voila! With the special eye-wear the journalist can “see the reality of life under Hamas rule.” Overcome, the reporter has a heart attack and keels over.

The video, produced in English, comes amid renewed focus on the 2014 summer war between Israel and Hamas. The United Nations is set to release a report outlining war crimes in the next few days, which the Palestinian Authority has said it will include in their dossier of charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court. Israel published its own lengthy legal inquiry absolving itself of misconduct under international law during the war on Sunday. A link to that report is on the government website to the right of the cartoon.

Over the past year Israel’s foreign ministry has produced similar cartoon videos about the summer war. The same blond-man-journalist character was also depicted as an activist in the video, “Who Occupies Gaza?” (Answer: not Israel, Hamas occupies Gaza according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). As well the same computerized narrator voice of reason was previously employed in a video called, “There Is No Israeli Siege On Gaza.”

ISRAELI TREASON AGAINST HUMANITY

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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Israel murdered, maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians, knowingly and deliberately

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
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A report issued Sunday by the Israeli occupation army on last year’s genocidal blitz in the Gaza Strip claimed that Israeli forces didn’t intentionally target Palestinian civilians.

The report, issued belatedly and scandalously fraught with half-truths, selective data taken out of context and containing a preponderance of sheer lies, seems to be intended to counter growing international convictions that Israel did commit real war crimes and crimes against humanity during its 50-day devastating aggression on Gaza last summer.

However, it seems that Israel’s task of exonerating itself of manifestly damning charges related to war crimes is not going to be easy.

Indeed, the irrefutable facts available to the UN, the Red Cross and other neutral third parties should be sufficient to condemn and convict Israel as a murderous state.

There are also thousands of testimonies by on-the-ground eyewitness who have presented credible and honest narratives of the atrocities which killed and maimed thousands of civilians including hundreds of children.

It is really hard to believe that thousands of civilians were killed inadvertently or by mistake or as a result of collateral damage. Believing such claims would be an insult to human intelligence.

True, Israel is constantly shielded from international condemnation, especially punishment, by the United States, Israel’s ultimate guardian-ally, as well as the governments of Western Europe.

But in this age of open skies and internet, it is imperative for all honest men and women around the world, irrespective of their religion or race, to expose the brutal ugliness of this criminal entity called Israel. This is the very least humanity should do on behalf of the helpless victims.

This is very crucial because Israel is convinced it is above the laws of man and God and unbounded by the international norms.

And should the world, God forbid, continue to fail to call the spade a spade, especially when the proverbial implement is seen in the hands of our grave-diggers, and I am not speaking metaphorically, it should be a foregone conclusion that Israel could or probably would eventually embark on the unthinkable vis-à-vis its helpless victims.

I don’t know for sure how the unthinkable would be played out on the ground. However, 67 years of the Israeli experience should be more than sufficient to invoke and remember Stalin and his Gulags, Hitler and his concentration camps, Pol Pot and his genocidal crimes and Bashar El-Assad and his sectarian massacres.

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

Israel calculates that apart from a brief outburst of half-hearted denunciations and some vociferous demonstrations in some western capitals, the world powers, particularly the US, would just “let it pass” and probably content with issuing indifferent calls on “all sides to exercise self-restraint.”

I really don’t know if the macabre Israeli calculations are accurate or not. However, from our bitter experience with the West especially since the Second World War, Israel seems ostensibly correct in its prognosis of western moral bankruptcy.

Indeed, a West that is looking on rather passively as Assad with active support from the Russians, the Iranians and Hizbullah is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, is decidedly unlikely to experience an awakening of moral conscience if and when the Israeli death machine gangs up on the Palestinians.

Genocidal Israelis

Israel is not Denmark or Sweden or even Britain. There is a definitely genocidal mindset in Israel which millions of Europeans and North Americans cannot easily detect due to many years of sustained brain-washing by Zionist-influenced or Zionist controlled media in the West.

Several years ago, an Israeli settler leader named Daniela Weiss from a colony in the northern West Bank delivered a hair-raising speech to dozens of fanatical Gush Emunim settlers in Hebron.

In her brief tirade, the gung ho settler leader told the fanatical multitude that the best way to deal with the Palestinians was the Joshua’s way, an allusion to Biblical massacres carried out by Biblical Israelites against indigenous Canaanite tribes.

The speech, met with loud cheers, didn’t raise many eyebrows in Israel, neither in the media nor in the government.

Hence, the claim that Israelis or Jews wouldn’t allow the government of Israel to resort to genocide against the Palestinian is based more on wishful thinking than on any convincing arguments.

Today, the Palestinian people owe their survival as a people to the good-will of the international community.

But the continuity of this good-will cannot be taken for granted. This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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WHY THE WAR AGAINST BDS? ….. THE REAL REASON

Do you wonder why Benjamin Netanyahu is declaring war on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), and Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are holding a secret Las Vegas conference to fight it, and Yair Lapid is saying that the people behind BDS plotted 9/11, and Ari Shavit is calling the movement “evil and sophisticated”? 

Read below to see why

Netanyahu's declaration of war on BDS is its first major victory ...

Netanyahu’s declaration of war on BDS is its first major victory …

BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year

By James North

Well, here’s why. The Financial Times has published a big, and somewhat balanced, article on the rapid rise of BDS that includes two stunning financial numbers showing how powerful the nonviolent movement for justice in Israel/Palestine is becoming.

The most important information is deep inside the FT article:

However, there are signs that Israel’s disquiet over BDS is genuine. This week an Israeli financial newspaper covered a leaked government report estimating that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year. The estimate included lower exports from the settlements in keeping with the EU’s plans to begin labelling goods made there — not part of the BDS movement, although many Israelis lump the two things together. The Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.

This is the true story of BDS. It’s having a giant impact. CNN covered that Rand study the other day — a $15 billion hit from BDS, largely because of its success in Europe — but the same day the New York Times runs a piece on the French telecom denying it supports BDS, and there’s not a word in the NY Times article about either the Rand study or the the leaked Israeli government figures. (Jodi Rudoren did write about the Rand study back on June 8, but somehow found its $47 billion cost-of-BDS estimate unworthy of mention.)  Rudoren’s slanted coverage of BDS — reporting on the Orange surrender, while leaving out the dangerous billion-dollar-numbers that created a stir in Israeli and other media — proves once again that there is no daylight between her “reporting” and Hasbara Central.

THE JUSTIFIED HOLOCAUST

Even before the UN issues its report dealing with the last blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel issues a report justifying their actions ….

Israel’s Protective Edge report: 44% of Palestinian casualties were terrorists

Government-sanctioned report is released as ‘pre-emptive strike’ ahead of international UN report due to come out this month; authors say report provides evidence to justify Israel’s decision to launch war in Gaza based on international law.

Here’s a photo of the ‘terrorists’ they speak of

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

At least 44 percent of the 2,125 Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer were identified by the IDF as armed fighters belonging to Hamas or other terror organizations in the Strip, according to an Israeli report released Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry’s report presents Israel’s diplomatic, military and legal positions on the events of Protective Edge, ahead of the release of a UN committee’s report on Monday.

The international report will only be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 29, but the two warring sides, as well the members of the UN Security Council, will receive a copy of it this week.

The 277-page report, which cited Israel’s internal probes and statements from Western leaders backing its right to self-defense, suggested the Netanyahu government hoped to defuse criticism from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) inquiry in advance.

Deeming the HRC biased, Israel boycotted its investigators as it did those from the council who looked into its 2008-09 Gaza offensive. That HRC inquiry was harshly critical of both Israel and Hamas.

But this time around, the stakes are higher. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court and are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel. The council’s new report, expected as soon as this week, could play a key role in the case against Israel.

“Having on the record our view of this war is extremely important, and we have nothing to hide,” Dore Gold, the new director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a special briefing held to unveil Israel’s own investigation into the war.

Gold was accompanied by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and governmental and military legal experts who worked on the report.

Palestinians have said that the IDF violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. They have pointed to the high civilian casualty count as evidence.

In Sunday’s report, Israel defended itself with the same arguments it has been making since the fighting ended, albeit with a level of detail never shown before.

According to Israel, the actions of Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip that are detailed in the report constitute as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a blatant violation of international law.

UN numbers of casualties in Gaza differ from Israel’s, stating 2,256 Palestinians, including 1,563 civilians, were killed in the 50-day conflict.

The report disputes the UN figures, saying confirmed non-combatants made up 36 percent of the Palestinian dead and many militants were misidentified as civilians.

“Harm to the civilian population also occurred as the result of unfortunate – yet lawful – incidental effects of legitimate military action in the vicinity of civilians and their surroundings, and as a result of the inescapable constraint of commanders not being infallible, intelligence not being perfect and technological systems sometimes failing,” the report says.

The Palestinians rejected the Israeli report. “The Israeli decision to deny targeting civilians in Gaza is the logical continuation of what Israel did in Gaza,” Ehab Bseiso, spokesman of the Palestinian unity government told AFP. Therefore, the report published on Sunday “does not change our position to demand an international investigation,” he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, meanwhile, called the Israeli report worthless, saying “Israeli war crimes are clear because they were committed in front of live cameras”. Hamas has denied any wrongdoing, saying it acted to protect Palestinians.

Izzat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, called the report a “lie promoted by the occupation to cover up its crimes.” He said “the hand of justice will reach the perpetrators.”

Hamas’ war crimes

The Israeli report presents a list of war crimes committed by Hamas and the other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and includes testimony and seized Hamas documents which prove, according to Israel, that Hamas’ strategy was to encourage its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act and turn the civilian population there into a human shield.

The report includes what Israel says are seized Hamas documents encouraging its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act.

“We were a bit struck and surprised with the amount of documentation that we managed to recover during the operation actually indicating that this is a strategy of Hamas,” said Eran Shamir-Borer, a lawyer in the Israeli military’s international law department.

It also lists the locations of military command centers operating from civilian structures, mosques used as firing posts for snipers, schools used to store weapons and rockets, explosives planted in civilian structures and tunnels dug from inside civilian structures and residential areas.

The report also includes examples of instances in which Hamas forced civilians to arrive in fighting zones and stay there, and instructed them to ignore IDF warnings given before attacks on targets in those areas.

The Israeli report further details several instances in which the Palestinian militants posed as civilians or as IDF soldiers.

Also detailed are the main events that led to the launch of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s main objectives, the terror targets the IDF acted against, the humanitarian aid Israel allowed into the Gaza Strip, the damage caused to the Israeli civilian population, Israel’s inspection and investigation mechanisms, and more.

“From 2000, Hamas’ terror activity has led to the death of at least 1,265 Israelis; Hamas fired over 15,200 rockets and mortars at Israeli citizens (4,500 of which during Protective Edge), covering some 70 percent of Israel’s population; Hamas dug at least 32 tunnels which cross the border between Gaza and Israel, meant to commit terror attacks against Israeli population centers,” the report states.

Therefore, “Israel’s decision to launch a large-scale military operation against Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing armed conflict these organizations led was justified according to international law.”

The report also details Israel’s humanitarian efforts to send medical equipment, food and other supplies into the Gaza Strip during the fighting, despite the fact Hamas and the other terror groups were attacking the border crossings while supply was being let through.

With regards to the proposals for ceasefire, the report states that “had Hamas accepted the first Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, the one Israel accepted on July 15 that had the same conditions as the ones Hamas eventually accepted on August 26, 90 percent of casualties could have been prevented.”

According to the report’s authors, the information collected focused on facts, data and the legal aspects of the fighting against Hamas and the other terror factions in the summer of 2014.

Israel has been working on the report for several months and its authors says the report proves that Israel followed international law and made great efforts to avoid hurting innocent people, whether by using the “Knock on the Roof” procedure or by dropping leaflets, phone calls, radio broadcasts and warning strikes with unarmed shells ahead of live airstrikes.

Shamir-Borer showed reporters what he said was a declassified “target card” that laid out the calculations Israel took before striking a suspected arms cache hidden in the home of an Islamic Jihad leader in southern Gaza.

The “operational directives” listed on the card call for destroying the arms while avoiding civilian casualties. It calls for a single airstrike on the home, at night and only after warning people to leave, and “real-time surveillance” to be on the lookout for civilians.

Shamir-Borer said the home was hit, and there was a “secondary blast,” indicating weapons were stored there. The report said the army was unaware of any casualties from the strike. Shamir-Borer said the army went through a similar process in all 5,000 preplanned airstrikes carried out during the fighting.

The report calls to examine the incidents in which civilians were hurt in Gaza must be against the backdrop of the war crimes committed by Hamas and its use of civilian population, alongside Israeli effort to prevent harming civilians and adhere to international law.

Israel, the report says, did not intentionally act to cause damage to the civilian Palestinian population and its surroundings during the confrontation, and deeply regrets this damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli report was meant to be a pre-emptive strike, noting that “this report is especially important because the State of Israel is under an unprecedented de-legitimization attack. This attack is not relevant, it’s political. Its goal is to tarnish the State of Israel, and we intend to respond to this attack… We will act wherever we need to for as long as we need to in order to deal with false claims and anti-Israeli initiatives.”

Source

Even worse news than the above …..

Remember this?

Israel Army Clears Soldiers in ‘Boys on Beach’ Gaza Shelling

Israeli military prosecutors closed a probe into the death of four children in Gaza last year and opened three new ones — including an alleged revenge shelling.

The Israel Defense Forces’ announcement Thursday on the closure of the probe said the children’s deaths on a Gaza beach in July as a result of an airstrike were an accident and did not affect the legality of Israel’s military actions in Gaza. No action is being taken against those involved. The strike was on a compound known to be in use by Hamas’ naval commando unit, the statement said.

Also on Thursday, the Military Advocate General announced it would look into the death of nine people in July at a café in Khan Younis hit by IDF artillery

A second probe concerns the suspected revenge shelling of a Palestinian clinic. Armored Corps troops are believed to have targeted the clinic as payback for the slaying of two of their comrades on July 22 by a Palestinian sniper whom the suspects believed fired on them from the clinic. The third probe concerns the alleged beating of a Palestinian prisoner.

All incidents occurred during Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza in July and August of 2014 following Hamas’ firing of rockets at Israel civilians. A United Nations committee of inquiry into Israel’s actions in Gaza — which the Palestinians and other countries said amounted to war crimes — is due to submit its report next week.

Additionally, the advocate general said it would indict three soldiers suspected of looting in Gaza on July 29.

The International Court of Justice is also looking into Palestinian complaints on Israel’s summer offensive in Gaza. Some legal analysts have said the ICC, a U.N. court, has no jurisdiction to investigate the matter or prosecute alleged offenders because Israel’s judiciary is investigating the conduct of its own troops in compliance with international judicial standards. However, Israel’s critics dispute this.

So far, the Military Advocate General has received 190 complaints about Israeli troops’ conduct during Israel summer offensive, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. Of those, 105 have been processed. Of the processed complaints, seven have been deemed to merit criminal investigations.

Another 15 incidents were investigated by local units and not at the general staff level.

IS IT TOO LATE FOR A JUST PEACE IN PALESTINE?

Expecting Netanyahu to work for peace would be very much like expecting a ship to sail on land. This is because Netanyahu and peace are an eternal oxymoron.

Is it too late for just peace in Palestine?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to adopt brazen mendacity and dishonesty as his modus operandi vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

In fact, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Netanyahu is probably the most dishonest political figure in Israel ever since the racist Jewish entity came into being in Palestine 67 years ago.

In the past two weeks, Netanyahu made a plethora of statements voicing his desire for the resumption of the moribund peace process with the weak Palestinian Authority.

This is of course not the first time Netanyahu makes such statements.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have been making all sorts of mendacious statements expressing an ostensible desire for peace with the Palestinians.

However, these statements were always proven to be utterly false, which shows that Netanyahu is not just an ordinary liar, but rather a malicious one par excellence.

Just ask any European leader who has dealt with Netanyahu how he views the Israeli premier and if he thinks he has any credibility. The answer would be a clarion “No.”

Indeed, how can we possibly trust a man who voices a desire for peace with the Palestinians while doing everything in his ability to kill any remaining prospects for peace?

In fact, expecting Netanyahu to work for peace would be very much like expecting a ship to sail on land. This is because Netanyahu and peace are an eternal oxymoron.

There is no doubt that a country that has built hundreds of colonies on land that belongs to another people and transferred hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live on land that belongs not to them doesn’t have genuine peace on its agenda.

This is the truth Netanyahu is trying to conceal or blur by way of making all sorts of theatrical statements especially when meeting with visiting foreign dignitaries.

Unfortunately, many or most of these dignitaries, especially from Europe and North America, lack the moral courage to tell Netanyahu “you are a liar” either explicitly or implicitly.

But Netanyahu is a big liar in his own right.  What else can be said of a leader who claims to be working for peace while actually killing it with all strength and determination?

Red herrings

In his firewall of defense against  growing international awareness that Netanyahu and peace contradict each other, the Israeli premier, a visionless politician who thinks a more aggressive hasbara discourse can make up for  political wisdom, Netanyahu has been claiming that the international BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) against Israel is actually making peace more distant.

Given Netanyahu’s malicious character, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Israeli prime minister knows deep in his mind that he is lying and that the BDS campaign and other forms of protest against Israel are mere reactions to Israeli recalcitrance and criminal persecution and oppression of  the largely unprotected Palestinians under Israel’s military occupation.

Yes, he knows it, but, since he views malicious dishonesty as an expression of political skill and cleverness, he just goes on and on, lying and lying and lying.

The fanatics in his quarter, who are undoubtedly numerous, would rather innately hail him and praise his genius in defense of Israel. But this is a shortsighted perception, utterly devoid of wisdom.

This is because, Netanyahu’s impetuousness, recklessness and recalcitrance, which also reflect the collective mindset of many Israelis, probably a majority, is what will eventually take Israel to the abyss.

But by then, it would be too late. It is very much like a heavily intoxicated driver making a fatal traffic accident under the influence of alcohol.

As a Palestinian, I am ambivalent about the course Netanyahu and his equally self-absorbed colleagues in government are taking.

And just as the proverbial drunk driver who would refuse to heed warnings against driving under the influence of alcohol, Netanyahu, Bennett, Shaked, etc., are in no mood to listen to a word of advice and reproach.

In the final analysis, megalomaniac arrogance has more or less the same influence on mental sanity. It often leads to fatal consequences.

I don’t know for sure if there is still any real chance for a dignified and lasting peace in Palestine/Israel. But whatever chances there may still be are vanishing very rapidly before our eyes.

In light of the grim realities on the ground, this view should actually be considered an overly auspicious perception rather than an expression of doom and gloom because otherwise the vast majority of serious observers and experts would  strongly deny the existence of any real chance for peace in this part of the word. Is it too late? I hope not.

But my hope may be proven too illusive to be realistic.

 

MY FAMILY’S JOURNEY FROM BARCELONA TO AUSCHWITZ ~~ AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PARLIAMENT OF SPAIN

News such as the following was on the front pages of  every Israeli newspaper over the weekend … (Click on link to see report)

Spain passes law of return for Sephardic Jews

Applicants to be vetted by local Jewish community, face language and history tests before securing new passport

My response, as one of those descendants follows …

Descendents of Sephardic Jews expelled in 1492 can now apply for Spanish nationality

Descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled in 1492 can now apply for Spanish nationality

Open Letter to the Parliament of Spain

It was of much interest to see that your government has passed legislation granting citizenship to the descendants of the Jews expelled from your country in 1492.

Jews leaving Spain in 1492

Jews leaving Spain in 1492

Allow me to fill you in on the ‘journey’ of my own family after the expulsion; Rather than going to one of the Muslim countries in North Africa, as many others did, they chose to go to Turkey. Those that went to North Africa received a much warmer welcome, which resulted in my family eventually going on to a new situation in Holland.

They found there that in order to succeed economically they would have to assimilate with the Eastern European Jewish Community (Ashkenazim), a fate much less severe than the forced conversions to Catholicism for those who remained in Spain.

Again, after a number of years they once again moved on, this time splitting up, some going to Slovakia, the others to Hungary. Many of those in Hungary pursued their Jewish educations and became prominent members of the rabbinical community, included was Rabbi Shlomo Gantzfried, co-author of The Code of Jewish Law.

Those in Slovakia basically worked the fields to survive. My grandfather, Yisrael Mayer, whose name I bear, was a cobbler.

In both cases, in Hungary and Slovakia, the Jewish community was rounded up and sent to various labour camps. My family wound up in Auschwitz where they were brutally slaughtered by the nazi beast, with the blessings of your Francisco Franco and your Pope, Pius Xll.

My father was spared these horrors as he immigrated to the United States when he was still in his teens. Hence, I am here today to tell this saga.

I have one question of you before I continue, Why was this ‘offer’ not granted to the descendants Of the Muslim community who were also expelled by King Ferdinand?

In 1492, simultaneous to the discovery of the New World was the start of the Spanish Inquisition, a massive expulsion of Jews and Muslims.

In 1492, simultaneous to the discovery of the New World was the start of the Spanish Inquisition, a massive expulsion of Jews and Muslims.

Today, I reside in Israel, a country which in 1948 employed the same tactics against the Palestinian population when the zionist regime stole much of their lands. Close to a million people were forced to leave their homes and country. Over a million of their descendants still languish to this day in refugee camps.

Will they have to wait 500 years for an offer to return to their land as well?

Does this look familiar? See image posted earlier.

Does this look familiar? See image posted earlier.

Fortunately, that will not be the case. A growing number of Jews, both in Israel and in the Diaspora are involved in movements which daily expose the crimes committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinians. Their day to day work in these matters will usher in changes much sooner than your government did.

There are many Jews of conscious throughout the world

There are many Jews of conscious throughout the world

Now, as for your ‘offer’, I will try to be as diplomatic as possible. Simply stated,this gesture is much too little and comes much too late. Therefore, I personally do not accept it.

Yours Sincerely,

Steve Amsel (Yisrael Mayer)

PS …. despite all of the above, or perhaps because of it, ‘my thoughts remain free’ …..

BELLA CIAO COUNT DRACULA

 Christoper Lee (1922-2015)

RIP to the most badass of actors. You’ll be missed.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

When Christopher Lee Hunted Nazis

By

Over the course of his half-century career, he played Count Dracula nine times. He starred as a villain in a Bond film (“The Man With the Golden Gun”). Younger audiences may remember him as Saruman from “Lord of the Rings.” (Or, Count Dooku from “Star Wars Episode II: The Clone Wars,” but we don’t talk about that.)

But beyond his acting prowess, it turns out Christopher Lee was a pretty amazing human, period. According to family lore , he was a descendent of Charlemagne on his father’s side, and of the infamous Borgias on his mother’s side. He sang on multiple heavy metal albums in his 80s and 90s. He served in the Special Operations Executive during World War II (also called Winston Churchill’s “Secret Army”).

Oh, and he also hunted Nazis.

According to The Telegraph , Lee spent time after the war working for the Central Registry of War Crimes, tasked with finding and prosecuting Nazis. This work took him concentrations camps all over Europe, including Dachau. “We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority,” he told The Times in 2009. “We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.”

This experience reportedly helped him to craft his role as the treacherous Saruman the White in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

In a behind-the-scenes interview on the “Lord of the Rings” set, Jackson revealed how he learned about Lee’s past during a particularly bloody scene.

“When Wormtongue rises up and comes up behind Saruman to stab him, of course it was my job as director to talk to Christopher Lee and to explain to him what I wanted, so I started to go into this long explanation about what sort of sound he should make when he got stabbed,” he explained.

Lee: “I seem to recall that I did say to Peter, ‘Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody’s stabbed in the back? Because I do.”

Jackson: “He proceeded to talk about some sort of very clandestine part of World War II. He seemed to have expert knowledge of exactly the sort of noise that they make and so I just sort of didn’t push the subject any further.”

RIP to the most badass of actors. You’ll be missed.

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ORANGE TELECOM ~~ ‘BUSINESS BEFORE BOYCOTTS’

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard was set to arrive in Israel to “clarify the misunderstanding” over his recent remarks about Israel.

Telecoms group Orange is in Israel 'for good': CEO

Telecoms group Orange is in Israel ‘for good': CEO

Orange CEO Set to Arrive in Israel

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard was set to arrive in Israel to “clarify the misunderstanding” over his recent remarks about Israel.

Richard was scheduled to begin a two-day visit on Thursday, according to the French news agency AFP, citing the company.

The visit comes in the wake of statements last week by Richard in Cairo that his company, which is 25 percent owned by the French government, would end its Israeli presence if it were not contractually bound to the Israeli firm Partner. A day later Orange announced that it would seek to cancel a recently signed 10-year arrangement with Partner in Israel. The announcement led to accusations of a boycott against Israel by the company.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as acting foreign minister, instructed the Foreign Ministry at the beginning of the week to turn down a request by Richard to meet with the Israeli envoy in France to clarify his remarks, saying he could come to Israel to set the record straight. Netanyahu spoke to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French President Francois Hollande, who reiterated their opposition to boycotts against Israel.

Richard already has sent a letter of apology to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. On Thursday it was reported that Richard also sent a letter of apology to Roger Cukierman, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF. In the letter, Richard apologized for the “misleading statements” he made in Egypt.

“I frankly recognize that they were open to misinterpretation and were also misused by some for their own ends. The result was a controversy over Orange and Israel which was disproportionate. I am particularly concerned by the impact of this on the Jewish community, and believe me, this has touched me personally in the most profound fashion,” he wrote.

Richard invited Cukierman for a face-to-face meeting to discuss the different activities of Orange in Israel.

Orange maintains two subsidiaries in Israel: Orange Business Services and Viaccess-Orca, a specialist in Internet television.
Source

ISRAELI ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE THE TRUTH

The truth has become the greatest enemy of Israel ….

truth-hate-speach

Legislation being proposed by Israel’s new right-wing government threatens to severely limit the work of B’Tselem and scores of other Israeli NGOs that receive millions of dollars each year in donations from foreign governments and foundations.

Human Rights Groups Feel Heat From New Israel Government

 

On a backstreet in Jerusalem sit the sparse offices of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that has long been a bane of successive governments, tirelessly flagging military abuses in occupied Palestinian territory.

Set up by a group of academics, lawyers and politicians more than 25 years ago, the NGO – whose name means “in the image of” and is a synonym in Hebrew for human dignity – has at times portrayed itself as the conscience of the nation.

But legislation being proposed by Israel’s new right-wing government threatens to severely limit the work of B’Tselem and scores of other Israeli NGOs that receive millions of dollars each year in donations from foreign governments and foundations.

While the legislation is in draft form, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party says she is determined to crack down on those who take foreign money and then criticize Israel, accusing the NGOs of “eroding the legitimacy of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.”

An earlier legislative draft she submitted before rising to cabinet rank after a March election proposed a tax of up to 45 percent on foreign donations unless otherwise approved by a committee of defense and foreign ministry officials.

From the point of view of advocacy groups, the proposals are a dangerous step that would put Israel in a category with the likes of Russia, Turkey and neighboring Egypt, which often struggle to accept internal criticism and have banned some NGOs.

“A super-enormous battle is being waged for the future of our society,” said Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s spokeswoman and a veteran activist who has spent years gathering evidence of alleged transgressions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“What we have here are many years of intense efforts to discredit Israel’s human rights community, primarily related to our work exposing human rights violations.”

“ATTACK ON SOVEREIGNTY”

Showing the government is determined to penalize those it believes are tarnishing Israel, Culture Minister Miri Regev said on Wednesday she will cut state funds for artists who are deemed to be overtly sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle.

“Whoever delegitimises the State of Israel will not get budgets from the state,” Regev told Army Radio, promising to withdraw funds from an Israeli Arab actor who had refused to perform in a Jewish settlement built in occupied territory.

Amongst the projects to be hit are a mixed-race children’s theater that the actor, Norman Issa, runs near Tel Aviv. Issa said he felt he was being “extorted” over his political views.

Joshua Sobol, an Israeli playwright, denounced the move. “(Regev) is acting contrary to the policy of generations of Israeli governments,” he told Walla news site.

There are more than 30,000 NGOs registered in Israel, about half of them active. But the focus of frustration for Shaked and her supporters are around 70 whose work focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and which receive funds either from the European Union as a whole, or individual governments, including Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Norway.

NGO Monitor, an Israeli group set up to track the sector, and in its words make it more accountable, maintains a database of foreign funding to NGOs, using figures the organizations themselves are obliged to provide under Israeli law.

The figures show that just over 100 million shekels ($26 million) was donated to 24 of the most active NGOs during 2012-2014, including Breaking the Silence, which collects anonymous testimony from Israeli soldiers; and Adalah, a legal rights organization focused on the Palestinians.

B’Tselem, one of the main recipients, says it was given 13.3 million shekels from U.S. and European donors in that period, accounting for about two thirds of its entire funding.

If Shaked’s bill were to pass, Michaeli reckons B’Tselem could keep operating, albeit with a much reduced budget. Other, smaller NGOs might be forced to shut down.

But it is not so much the potential loss of funding that has NGO advocates alarmed, as the message that such legislation sends, even if it doesn’t secure parliamentary backing.

In a country that has traditionally taken dissent on the chin, the move to clamp down reveals a new, thinner skin, one less accepting of opposing opinion, especially from those regarded as having a left-wing agenda.

“There’s a sense on the Israeli right that progressive or liberal viewpoints are a danger and that something has to be done about it,” said Matt Duss, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington, DC.

“It creates a hostile environment for those who express legitimate criticism and would put Israel in some very bad company.”

It remains unclear how much backing Shaked will get for her bill, but she looks determined to test the waters.

NGO Monitor, which has questioned the accuracy of data gathered by groups like B’Tselem, says it does not support any legislation that would punish the NGO community.

But its head, Gerald Steinberg, accuses B’Tselem and others of waging “a very dangerous form of warfare” against Israel and says legislation is needed to combat “the destructive European policy of funding political NGOs.”

Others see a different objective.

“Members of the government are out to settle scores,” said Duss, mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election-day criticism of unspecified left-wing groups that he accused of helping to take Israeli-Arab voters to the polls.

“It’s part of a broader effort to limit the political space, to constrict the freedom of opposing views,” said Duss.—Reuters

CHILD ABUSE ~~ WHAT THE UN REFUSES TO SEE

Israeli Military Torturing Palestinian Children ~viewer discretion~

Palestinian children’s rights group says ‘ill-treatment is still widespread, systematic and institutionalized’ in IDF detention system; IDF source denies allegations.

Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor during freezing weather By Latuff

Israel cages Palestinian children outdoors during freezing weather
By Latuff

NGO accuses Israel of systematic abuse of Palestinian kids

A West Bank-based children’s rights group on Wednesday accused Israeli security forces of widespread abuse of Palestinian minors in the West Bank.

The IDF swiftly denied the allegations, outlined in a report by a group called Military Court Watch (MCW).

The study estimates that since Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, “up to 95,000 children” have been detained by Israeli forces in the territory.

The report, submitted to the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, looks at 200 cases in which minors were detained since 2013.

In its conclusion, MCW found that in spite of recent developments in the military detention system, “ill-treatment is still widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”

Citing the testimonies, it said 187 of them had their hands bound during the first 24 hours of arrest, 165 said they were blindfolded and 124 complained of physical abuse.

“Aggressive behaviour, threats and violence are also sometimes utilized during the interrogation, including threats to beat, rape, hold in solitary confinement, electrocute or shoot the minor,” it said.

Only eight of the 200 said they were given access to a lawyer prior to interrogation and just seven had a parent present during questioning.

A source in the IDF Prosecutor’s Office told AFP there was no legal requirement for either a lawyer or a parent to attend questioning; not for Palestinians and not for Israeli suspects.

But a defendant facing trial was provided with legal counsel and the parents had the right to attend court hearings, the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Regarding allegations of threats and physical abuse, he said defendants or their parents were free to make complaints in open court but “almost never” did.

He said the entire interrogation process, conducted in Arabic, was videotaped and the recordings were made available to the defense.

In the report, a copy of which was seen by AFP, MCW said a “significant number of minors” had been arrested during the night in “terrifying military raids on their homes”.

Most children were arrested in areas close to Jewish settlements or to roads used by settlers, which are often a target for children throwing stones.

From

THIS post from last night is a must read

Israel doesn’t abuse children, it just murders them

By Khalid Amayreh

THE UN WAS RIGHT! ISRAEL DOES NOT ABUSE CHILDREN, IT JUST MURDERS THEM!

See THIS report first …..

Israel doesn’t abuse children, it just murders them

By Khalid Amayreh
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Throughout its unglamorous history, the UN issued many scandalous reports and adopted many scandalous resolutions reflecting lack of justice and absence of moral honesty.This ever-existing symptom also reflected western hegemony over the international organization.

However, none of these reports and resolutions seems more scandalous than this week’s report which kept Israel off the List of Shame, which includes states and entities that abuse children.

This particular report is manifestly scandalous precisely because Israel is probably one of the most obscene abusers of children under the sun.

Indeed, there are a few countries in this world that can be compared to Israel in this respect.

At the top of the list of shame sits the Nazi-like Syrian regime of Bashar el-Assad which habitually and routinely murders children (and other civilians) in large numbers, either by dropping crude barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods and crowded streets or using deadly chemical agents against heavily populated areas.

To be sure, Israel uses neither crude barrel bombs nor chemical weapons to annihilate Palestinian children. Instead, the Jewish state achieves the same results by using huge laser guided bombs and missiles to destroy residential multi-story buildings, packed with civilians, including children.

Needless to say, the ultimate result of such barbarity is a little Auschwitz.

Exterminating from high altitudes is, of course, Israel’s preferred way of murdering Palestinian children and casting shock and awe in their hearts.

But it is by no means the only way. In its last year’s blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel obliterated entire neighborhoods, such as Shujaiyya, utterly annihilating everything, including human, building and plant.

According to eyewitnesses, the scene at the bombed-out neighborhood very much looked as if borrowed from the German city of Dresden in 1945.

Killing knowingly is killing deliberately

In its last year’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, Israel murdered at least 500 Palestinian children, in addition to hundreds of other civilians, including many entire families.

In earlier rounds of aggression, Israel had murdered and maimed hundreds of children.

Israel has a long history of premeditatedly murdering Palestinian children. In light, one would exaggerate little by saying that Israel boasts the highest per capita rate of child-killers in the world.

Israel readily acknowledges that it kills Palestinian children knowingly.

A few years ago, this writer spoke with an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said that “Yes, we do know that Palestinian children are being killed as a result of our military activities, but we don’t do it deliberately.”

But this is a sheer lie, because in the final analysis killing knowingly is killing deliberately.

Indeed, mistakes in wars do occur and innocent civilians get killed. However, mistakes happen a few times not hundreds of times because in this case killing civilians becomes de facto policy.

This has always been and continues to be Israel’s policy. They kill the innocent civilians first and then, only then, the Israeli foreign ministry and other mouthpieces of Israeli hasbara (propaganda) get busy justifying the Nazi-like atrocities, mainly by concocting every conceivable lie and inventing fabulous narratives that have absolutely no iota of truth.

This reminds me of routine communiqués issued by the Israeli security forces during the first Palestinian intifada which started in December of 1987.  Then the Israeli army spokesman would issue statements like this following the murder of Palestinian boys in the streets of the West Bank.

“IDF soldiers fired into the air to disperse Palestinian rioters. Palestinian sources reported five youths killed.” The wording of the Israeli army statements made many foreign observers, utterly affronted by the brutal ugliness of Israeli dishonesty, wonders if Palestinian boys had wings and could fly.

Moral bankruptcy

The clarion failure of the UN to condemn brazen Israeli criminality and brash violation of international law underscores the moral bankruptcy of the world body.

Consequently, more states and peoples will lose confidence in the ability and willingness of the UN to foster peace and justice throughout the world. Unfortunately, this is becoming more evident as time passes.

Eventually, this could transform our world into a real jungle, an unmistakable portent signaling ultimate self-destruction.

 

IT’S AGAINST THE LAW NOT TO SUPPORT BDS

According to int’l law – by which the State of Israel was established and recognized – the settlements are stolen lands, which is a war crime, and abetting war criminals, such as by financing them, is a crime, too.

An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

Avoiding West Bank settlement goods isn’t boycott – it’s the law

By

The boycott issue is once again in the headlines, and I wish to make a confession: I don’t buy products made in the settlements. This isn’t, heaven forbid, a boycott, and it obviously isn’t a call to others to boycott. It’s forbidden to boycott. There’s a law. And I’m a law-abiding citizen. Always. Even when I don’t like the laws.

And that’s precisely why I don’t buy products made over the Green Line: the law. Because in my view, international law is also law. And it, too, deserves to be obeyed, even if only because international law is the law by dint of which Israel was established and recognized as a state.

And according to international law – how very unfortunate – all settlements, from the first to the last, are a war crime. This is so according to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and also according to Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Admittedly, the State of Israel has displayed an impressive ability to create legal nuances out of nothing to prove that international law doesn’t apply to the occupied territories, or that the territories aren’t occupied at all, or that the world is flat. But there’s not a single country in the entire world, or a single organization of all those responsible for upholding international law, that buys Israel’s legalistic sophistries.

Take, for instance, Israel’s claim that this isn’t “occupied territory.” Why? Because the territories “had no sovereign” when we conquered them. But Israel only invites ridicule with this hollow claim. The authorized agencies have declared again and again that this is an occupation in every respect, and that the question of who was previously sovereign in the occupied territory, or whether it had a sovereign at all, is completely irrelevant. “Occupied territory” is defined by law as follows: territory that was seized by military force and is held under military rule. Period.

And not only is transferring an occupying population into occupied territory (“the settlements”) a war crime, but expropriating occupied lands without an acceptable justification – for instance, expropriation for settlement purposes – is also defined as a war crime. Such lands, which were taken from their owners in violation of the law, are simply stolen property.

Consequently, it’s self-evident that anything produced on them by the thieves, whether industrial or agricultural produce, is presumed to be stolen goods. And a law-abiding person doesn’t buy stolen goods. It’s forbidden. A well-known aphorism admittedly holds that “one who steals from a thief isn’t liable,” but there’s no doubt that “one who buys from a thief is liable.”

Moreover, the money paid for stolen goods encourages and finances the criminals. And this, too, is forbidden. Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute assigns criminal liability to anyone who abets war criminals in any way, including by encouraging or financing them.

What can you do? I don’t want to run afoul of international law. Don’t I have enough troubles? So I don’t buy.

All of the above, it’s important to stress once again, has nothing to do with boycotting! Only with obeying the law. And in order to help people obey this law, it’s also necessary to demand that all products of the settlements sold in Israel be immediately labeled, very clearly, so as not to put a stumbling block before the blind and not to embroil them, heaven forbid, in abetting war crimes.

In closing, one small clarification: As many will doubtless recall, in upholding the so-called “Boycott Law,” Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein relied on a phrase from the Passover Haggadah, “In every generation they rise up to destroy us.” I wonder what the honored judge would permit if he continued reading the Haggadah and came to the words, “Pour out Your wrath upon the nations that do not acknowledge You … Pursue them with anger and destroy them from beneath the heavens of the Lord.”

If the honored judge indeed permits what I fear he would permit I’d like to make it clear right now: On this issue, don’t count on me. Because even when it comes to obeying the law, there are limits.

Here’s an example of how the Israeli Press (Ynet Channel) attempts to discredit the BDS Movement

ANTI BDS DRIVE PROVES TO BE A PROFITABLE ‘BUSINESS’

FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS raised at anti-BDS meet …..

Participants, true to the maxim that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, declined to discuss any financial pledges made during the summit in Sin City. But based on the organizers’ own guidelines, it is clear that tens of millions of dollars were raised to combat campus campaigns to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — or BDS, as the movement is known.

The 'idea' is apparently how to raise millions of dollar$

The winning ‘idea’ is apparently how to raise millions of dollar$

Secret Sheldon Adelson Summit Raises up to $50M for Strident Anti-BDS Push

Pro-Israel activists headed home from Las Vegas last weekend resting easy that raising money to fight boycott and sanction campaigns on campus just got a lot easier.

Although checks have yet to be written, deep-pocketed donors like summit organizer Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban pledged tens of millions to their cause.

“You work together and we will raise you the money,” promised Israeli-American businessman Adam Milstein following the conference for Israel activists that took place there over the weekend. “You no longer have to worry about financing and fundraising. You just need to be united.”

Milstein, a California real estate developer, who was among the key organizers of the first Campus Maccabees Summit, as the gathering dubbed itself, made his comments to Boaz Bismuth of Israel Hayom, an Israeli daily owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the host of the closed-doors Vegas summit, which took place at Adelson’s own Venetian hotel. Israel Hayom was the only media outlet granted access to the meeting, which was otherwise closed to press coverage.

Participants, true to the maxim that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, declined to discuss any financial pledges made during the summit in Sin City. But based on the organizers’ own guidelines, it is clear that tens of millions of dollars were raised to combat campus campaigns to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — or BDS, as the movement is known.

Adelson and his fellow conference organizers limited participation in the event to donors willing to pledge at least $1 million over the next two years. With some 20 donors taking part at the meeting, the total dollar amount raised is estimated to be at least $20 million. A Jewish communal leader who did not attend the meeting but who spoke to the organizers said that, in fact, the overall funding goal for Adelson’s Campus Maccabees was $50 million.

Some in the Jewish community have voiced concerns about the right-leaning nature of the initiative, from which liberal Zionist groups were excluded, and the effect this might have on its prospects for success on campus. The two-day gathering brought together 50 Jewish organizations representing mostly right wing and hawkish views with some mainstream campus organizations taking part as well. Other key mainstream organizations dealing with BDS were invited but declined to attend.

Many of the groups attending prepared presentations to donors. After taking into consideration the pitch and additional information included in a book of programs given to participants, these funders will decide who gets funding and at what level. Presentations varied in form and topic, but all included suggestions for taking on anti-Israel expressions on campus.

“My recommendation is that all groups work together to demonize the demonizers,” Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, told the Forward before his presentation in Vegas. This, according to Klein, means “demonizing the racists by telling the truth about the Palestinian Authority and giving examples of what it does as a racist terror organization.”

Military leaders in Israel, which has accepted the P.A. as its negotiating partner in the now aborted peace process, have testified in the Knesset that the group’s security forces have actually helped Israel crack down on terrorism in the occupied West Bank. But Israeli officials vehemently protest the P.A.’s decision to form a unity government with Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that rules Gaza and refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate state. The United States and Israel consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Adelson and Saban, the two billionaires steering the Campus Maccabees effort, did not publicly commit themselves to any specific idea. But both stressed their view that BDS — a form of nonviolent protest promoted by a diverse array of groups opposed to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians — is simply a form of anti-Semitism.

“As a teenager, I suffered from anti-Semitism. A lot,” Adelson told Israel’s Channel 2 TV in an interview he and Saban gave the station. Adelson noted that today there is “little to no sign in American society” of significant anti-Semitism but added he was “absolutely positive that there is a lot of anti-Semitism on campus.” Saban, warned of “an anti-Semitic tsunami that’s coming at us.”

Advocates of BDS, meanwhile, point out that many among their number, including the group Jewish Voice for Peace, are themselves Jewish. Activists for Students for Justice in Palestine, another key American advocate of BDS on campus, report that Jews make up the second largest ethnic group in its ranks .

Both Adelson and Saban stressed that their overarching goal was to get all pro-Israel actors on campus to work together against BDS.

“It’s a challenge to get Jewish groups to work together,” Adelson said in his remarks to Channel 2 TV. “Going back in history, the arguments and debates between Jews brought down the Temple.” The purpose of his gathering, he stressed, was to unite forces and “put boots on the ground” on college campuses.

Adelson described three components of his Campus Maccabees concept: donors who will fund the operation; activists on the ground willing to take the fight to the campus; and researchers who will supply information about the anti-Israel groups and recommend possible legal avenues to block their activities.

The researchers will also provide input on messaging that can help win over hearts and minds, he told Israel Hayom. It is an American based effort, though a communal official informed about Adelson and Saban’s intentions said they see a role for Israel in the research component. The pro-Palestinian groups the organizers identified as causing Israel the most damage were Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association, which Adelson described as “BDS and Co.”

Despite the theme of communal unity the organizers touted, many of the Jewish community’s key players were not invited or chose not to attend. The conference also eschewed any mention of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians in the occupied territories, and the way these policies are used to recruit supporters to the BDS camp.

This is a mistaken approach, argued Kenneth Bob, national president of Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization that runs an anti-BDS campus program. Ameinu, which was not invited to the Las Vegas conference, aims to convince progressives not to join the boycott drives. There is a need, Bob argued, to “speak to liberals in a language they understand.” This involves admitting Israel faces challenges and acknowledging the problems created by its occupation of the West Bank. Otherwise, he warned, BDS will continue to try and “make itself the social justice cause of our times.”

Ameinu’s campus program, the Third Narrative, has gotten very little communal funding so far. “The Jewish community at large has not adopted our approach,” Bob said.

Adelson and Saban made clear they want to see the impact of their campaign noticed on campus as early as this fall, when students return to college. This would require funding being determined and provided in the upcoming weeks.

Daniella Greenbaum, president Aryeh, a pro-Israel student organization at Columbia University, heard about the Vegas donor meeting, but had her own take on what is needed for helping activists like herself fight anti-Israel sentiments on campus.

“To talk about ‘fighting anti-Israel college activism’ is to fuel the fire,” she said. This battle, Greenbaum said, means entering “into a never ending game of whack-a-mole — a game that is as unproductive as it is exhausting.”

The focus, she believes, should be on strengthening U.S.-Israel relations and educating students on this issue.

In their joint TV interview, Adelson, a Republican party mega-donor, and Saban, a major supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, seemed to marvel at the idea of their partnership for Israel, a collaboration that began several years ago when both helped fund the Israeli American Council, an organization of Israeli expatriates living in America.

“When it comes to Israel we’re absolutely on the same page. Our interest is to take care of Israel’s interest in the United States. Period. Over and out,” Saban declared during the Channel 2 interview.

When the interview ended, Adelson announced it was time for dinner.

“I support that 100%,” Saban replied, and the two men smiled to the camera and high fived.

FROM

ISRAEL’S LATEST WHINES ARE DEAFENING ~~ BEX ALERT EXTRAORDINAIRE

They just wont let up …..

Today’s BEX Alert ….

Nearly three quarters of Israeli Jews feel that the ‘whole world is against us’

no-whining

Nearly three quarters of Israeli Jews feel that the ‘whole world is against us’

A monthly report released by IDI and Tel Aviv University shows Israelis feeling more isolated and that peace is more distant.

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University have released the monthly Peace Index poll which has a primary focus on three major issues: attitudes toward Jewish settlement in the territories, the diplomatic arena, and the distribution of cabinet posts in the government.

According to the report’s findings, the Jewish public is aware of the deterioration that has occurred in Israel’s international status, which seems to stem from the intensification of voices calling to boycott Israel and its institutions.

The report highlights the clear majority (71 percent) of the Jewish public, which agrees with the assertion that: “The countries of the world make moral demands of Israel that they do not make of other countries that are in situations of conflict.”

This sentiment represents the broader consensus in feeling that “the whole world is against us.” Similarly, a large majority (69 percent) of Israeli Jews characterize Israel’s relations with the countries of the world as not good, the study found.

Opposition to a consumer boycott of the settlements:

According to the survey, 79 percent of Israeli Jews said that they would not take part in a consumer boycott of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as opposed to 59 percent of Arabs, who said that if a consumer boycott of settlement products were to be organized, they would not buy such products.

Meanwhile, the report states that 75 percent of Jewish respondents indicated a lack of desire to live in the settlements in the territories, even if they could receive improved housing at a low price. 48 percent of Jewish Israelis stated that they have not visited any homes in the West Bank during the last five years.

The chances of an agreement based on an evacuation of the territories:

When asked about the potential to reach an agreement under current circumstances, 53 percent of respondents indicated that they do not think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to consider an agreement that would entail giving up settlements that are outside the settlement blocs, despite the assertions he made when meeting with the foreign finister of the European Union that he supports negotiations about the borders of the settlement blocs.

Regarding the distribution of responsibilities in Israel’s Foreign Ministry, where Netanyahu kept the portfolio of foreign minister for himself but distributed some of the responsibilities of the job among many other ministers, 62 percent of the Jewish respondents believe the division will not improve Israel’s ability to manage its diplomatic affairs, according to the report.

Separation on buses:

According to the survey over half of the Jewish public (52 percent) currently supports separating Jewish and Palestinian passengers on buses in the territories, in line with the experiment announced by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, as opposed to 42 percent who oppose it.

The distribution of cabinet posts in the government:

Another finding suggested disaffection with the government: 62 percent of the Jewish public is not satisfied with the distribution of cabinet posts in the new government.

FROM

TODAY’S BDS BEX ALERTS

The anti BDS campaign continues in today’s Israeli press …. never before has Israel seemed as desperate as it is now to justify their policies of Apartheid and Occupation.

Click on the links below to see the reports

From the greatest BS'er of the all

From the greatest BS’er of them all

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Israeli left must battle BDS

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Israel to allocate NIS 100 million for BDS

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Netanyahu tells Jpost Conference: Iran, BDS emerging as threats to Israel on world stage

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This is their latest video

PATHETIC!

Gideon Levy has a positive take on the Boycott in today’s HaAretz

For the sins of occupation, boycotts are a light punishment

Orange or SodaStream, academic or artistic boycott, the penalties will grow worse the longer Israel persists in settling, exploiting and stealing Palestinian land.

What are you defending? What are you fighting for? Over what are Israelis entrenching themselves now, with the assaults of the nationalist politicians and the populist media fulminating against the world. Why are they patriotically covering up the orange flags of Orange with the blue-and-white national flag? Has anybody asked why? Why is the boycott starting to gnaw at Israel now, and is this all worth it?

As usual, there are questions that are not even asked. Soul-searching, after all, is a clear sign of weakness. And so an explanation has been invented that absolves us of responsibility: The boycott fell out of the sky, an unavoidable force majeure of Israel hatred, and the only way to fight it is to fight right back at them. Israel always has an abundance of fitting (and sometimes violent) Zionist responses, but it’s always about the outcome, never about the reasons. That’s how was with terror, that’s how it was with the position of the world that Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog, of all Israeli ultranationalists, rushed to label with the ridiculous name “terror of a new kind” (referring to thestatements by Orange SA CEO Stephane Richard). Never give in. That’s fine, but why? We are fighting the boycott, but why did it break out?

Israel is now defending the preservation of the status quo. It is fighting against the whole world to preserve its advanced school of brutality and cruelty, in which it is educating generations of young people to act brutishly toward human beings, old people and children, to tyrannize them, to bark at them, to crush and humiliate them, only because they are Palestinians.

Israel is defending the continuation of apartheid in the occupied territories, in which two peoples live, one of them without any rights. It is defending its entire system of justification for this — a combination of Bible stories, messianism and victimhood, accompanied by lies. It is defending “united Jerusalem,” which is nothing but a territorial monster where separation also exists. It is fighting for its right to destroy the Gaza Strip for as long as it cares to do so, to maintain it as a ghetto and to be the warden of the biggest prison in the world.

The Israelis are fighting for their right to persist in settling, exploiting and stealing land; to continue breaking international law that prohibits settlement, to continue to thumb its nose at the whole world, which does not recognize any settlements. They are now defending their right to shoot children who throw stones and helpless fishermen pursuing the crumbs of a livelihood in the sea off the coast of Gaza, their right to continue snatching people from their beds in the middle of the night in the West Bank; they are fighting for the right to detain hundreds of people without trial, to hold political prisoners, to abuse them.

That is what they are protecting, that is what they are fighting for — for an area that most of them have not been to for years, and don’t care what happens there, for conduct that is shameful even to some of them. These are the sins and this is the punishment. Does anyone think that Israel can go on without being punished? Without being ostracized? And to tell the truth, doesn’t Israel deserve to be punished? Hasn’t the world been unbelievably tolerant so far?

Orange or SodaStream, academic boycott or artistic boycott, these are light punishments. The penalties will grow worse the longer Israel avoids drawing the necessary conclusions. As opposed to attempts by Israel and the Jewish establishment to divert the discussion, at its heart is not anti-Semitism. At its heart is the occupation. That is the source of the delegitimization.

The nation can fight against the position of the whole world. It can stand up for its rights (which are not its rights) and think that it is fighting for its survival. But do the Israelis know what they are defending now? What they are not willing to surrender? Is all this worth it to them? That discussion has not even begun here.

Dry-Bones-BDS-BDSM-Pogroms

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