IF DERSHOWITZ SAYS THIS, THEN IT’S REALLY THAT!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu and the Israel Lobby try to take down Jeremy Corbyn

Now we know the truth!

Jeremy Corbyn is NOT an anti Semite!

Dershowitz: Corbyn a virulent anti-Semite

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz tells British journalists not to lecture Americans on politics while Jeremy Corbyn leads Labour party.

THE TAMIMI FAMILY SAGA CONTINUES

Ahed Tamimi’s brother Waed to be jailed for over a year for throwing stones. He joins countless young Palestinians jailed for misdemeanors by the Israeli authorities.

DILEMMAS EXTRAORDINAIRE

What will Israel do with 7 million Palestinians, expected to double their current population in 3 – 4 decades?

 Israel’s existential dilemma
 
By Khalid Amayreh

What will Israel do with 7 million Palestinians, expected to double their current population in 3 – 4 decades?
 
Observers of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have come to realize that Palestinian demographic growth within mandatory Palestine (Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza Strip) now constitutes the most formidable strategic challenge facing the Jewish state and the Zionist movement as a whole. One Israeli strategic expert called this challenge “the mother of all problems and nightmares facing Israel.”
 
Israel doesn’t ignore the problem, of course, despite its awesome military might and the almost unlimited and unrestricted American backing. Thus the Palestinian demographic “threat” is a constant subject of often acrimonious arguments involving politicians, strategic planners as well as intellectuals, statisticians and  demographers.
 
Never the less, Israeli officials and spokespeople, especially those associated with the Benjamin Netanyahu government’s  harsh  policies toward the Palestinians, are often seen trying to dismiss the issue as just another banal challenge facing the Jewish state.
 
Israeli routinely publishes the latest demographic forecasts on the eve of major Jewish holidays, such as the Jewish New year. However these studies seem far from reliable as statistical manipulation of these studies raises the eyebrows of evenhanded professionals. For example The Palestinian population of Israel is subcategorized into Muslim Arabs,  Christian Arabs Bedouin Arabs, Druze Arabs, and Circassians.  No similar categorization  is listed or mentioned, even fleetingly, when dealing with the Jewish population, although there are many distinctive Jewish groups such as Eastern  Orthodox  Jews,  Haridi ultra-Orthodox, Western Ashkenazi Orthodox, Reform Jews, Conservative Jews,  Chabad Jews, etc.
 
It is widely believed that the ultimate aim of this tendentious manipulation is to present Jews as a united demographic bloc while portraying the Palestinians as a divided  and  heterogeneous population with many sects and sub-sects.
 
More to the point, Israel from time to time publishes politically motivated  reports about the growth of settler population in the West Bank as opposed to a purportedly dwindling Palestinian birth rate. 
 
Notwithstanding, the naked demographic facts seem so imposing and virtually udisputable   that no person valuing rectitude would deny.
 
Predictably, these facts leave a very narrow margin for optimism for Israeli expansionists and advocates of Greater Israel or the so-called biblical irredentism.
 
Last year, a group of veteran military officers raised large signs in Tel Aviv reading: “Israel is about to have an Arab majority” and “ when will Jews become a minority in the only Jewish state in the world”? The protesters, who included prominent former military commanders, also accused the Israel’s right wing government of taking the country to a bi-national state.”
 
The protesters were by no means phobic and the slogans they raised were by no means hyperbolic. They were simply voicing the views of many silent Israelis. And the driving motivation behind their activity was by no means their concern  for the Palestinians and their human or civil  rights but rather their concern for the future of Israel and Zionism.
 
Israeli intellectual Uri Avnery, who died this week at the age og 94, believes the government is hiding vital demographic data, pertaining to Jewish and Palestinian demography, from the Israeli public
 
Avnery pointed out in one of his articles several months ago that the  Palestinian population between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan was either equal to or slightly higher than the Jewish population.
 
For its part, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, a usually reliable think-tank, reported a few months ago that the Palestinian population in the West Bank. Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Israel proper was  nearly equal to the Israeli Jewish population in the same territories.
 
Palestinians will double their population in 3-4 decades
 
Palestinian as well as Israeli demographers calculate that Palestinians in mandatory Palestine will double their current population  figures within 3-4 decades due to their significantly  higher birth rate. In other words, Palestinians, baring an unthinkable  Israeli feat like expulsion  or some sort of genocide,  would become a numerical majority and Israeli Jews would become a numerical minority.
 
In addition, it is projected that in 50 years from now, Israel will be surrounded by 800 million-1 billion Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa. In other words, Israel would be reduced to  a small island in the midst of a huge sea of Arabs and Muslims.
 
Morbid dreams
 
Israel constantly  whishes  a miracle of some sort would occur and the Palestinian demographic “menace” would disappear or significantly subside. But we are talking about wishful thinking and day- dreaming which is more an expression of deep frustration than a realistic hope. It is also an expression of the deepening historical predicament facing Zionism.
 
True, Israel has always been trying to confine the largest possible Palestinian population within the smallest possible area of land. This is the reason Israeli bulldozers hasten to  destroy newly-built Arab homes in Area-C of the West Bank where Israel, according to the hapless Oslo Accords,  has full civilian and security authority. In the final analysis, Israel wants as much as possible of Palestinian geography and as little as possible of Palestinian demography. This is what Zionism is all about.  Nonetheless, this brashly racist  and manifestly fascist policy will eventually boomerang on Zionism and Israel  as Palestinians are already beginning to increasingly giving up the two-state solution and opting for one democratic and unitary state comprising  Israel and the Occupied Territories.
 
Israel has, whether we like it or not, has  already decapitated, once and for all, any remaining prospects for a viable and territorially contiguous state for the Palestinians. And the Palestinians would rather die than accept  a “dwarfed  state”, e.g., one  without East  Jerusalem, without the repatriation of refugees, and without ending the occupation that began in 1967. Needless to say, any Palestinian leader contemplating accepting such a scandalously dismal deal will most probably not live long enough to regret his folly.
 
Now, with the 2-state solution virtually dead, only two probabilities remain: 1- the one-state solution, which would spell  the end of Zionism, that is why it will be absolutely  rejected by Israel.
 
The other probability is open-ended conflict. That is the most logical scenario for the future.
 
But, once again, what would Israel do with, or more correctly to, 7 million Palestinians, who are expected to double their number in 3-4 decades which is not a long period?
 
Would Israel  poison them? Would it sterilize them to prevent them from procreation? Would it use against them secret but deadly  chemical agents that would make the death of millions look  quite natural? Would it withhold food and water from them? Would it banish them?
 
Or would it concoct some stark cause alibi like carrying out massive bombings of Israeli population centers and then blame the bombings on  Hamas? Or would it simply terrorize them into leaving their homes like Bashar Assad did to millions of “non-conformist” Syrians in active cooperation and collusion  with Russia, Iran and Hizbullah?
 
It would be utterly naïve and too gullible to rule out any of these hair-raising scenarios  especially in light of the likelihood that the US would almost certainly  support Israel, irrespective of the nefariousness  of Israeli actions including possible genocide in which millions would perish. ( some millenarian Messianic Jews are so eager to see an  evangelical president at the White House,  who would grant  Israel a total carte blanch to effect a final solution for the Palestinian issue as evangelical Christian Zionists are thoroughly convinced that Israel should be allowed to implement the Lord’s will)!.
 
In light, it is essential the Palestinians remain quite vigilant and steadfast because steadfastness  (e.g. preserving and consolidating  the demographic card) is the only winning card we possess and if we win it we win everything and if we  lose it we lose everything.
 
Finally, we must carefully refrain from giving Israel a pretext to take  draconian or unthinkable measures against our very existence.  Wining the demographic card is not only a matter of procreation. It is also a matter of wisdom, winning more friends, non-violence, resilience, and patience.

Related thoughts …

Israel is neither truly Jewish nor truly democratic
 
B Khalid Amayreh
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The usual mantra Israeli spokespersons and PR spinners routinely invoke to bamboozle people unfamiliar with Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians  is that Israel is both Jewish and democratic.
 
The truth of the matter, however, is that Israel is neither truly Jewish nor truly democratic.
 
To be truly Jewish, one should adhere to the tenets of the Torah, the central scripture of Judaism.
 
Israel doesn’t do that, apart from occasionally paying lip service to holidays and religious symbols as well as some historical events whose authenticity is highly questionable.
 
Otherwise, Israel is a hotbed of all sorts of vices and immoralities, including murder, theft, adultery, sodomy, and idolatry.
 
I am confident that if Moses the Prophet  were to appear today and see what has become of the very people who claim adherence to him, and the Torah and Ten Commandments he received , he wouldn’t hesitate to say: “sorry, but I’m not a Jew!”
 
In fact, a deep and honest appraisal of Israel should unravel the clarion reality that the so-called Jewish state is not only far from encapsulating the true prophetic traditions of Judaism, but is in fact an idolater antithesis of Judaism. One Orthodox rabbi described Israel as “the modern Golden Calf.” His description is not far-fetched.
 
For example, the Torah exhorts Israelites to treat “strangers amongst you” respectfully and honorably… because you were strangers yourselves in the land of the Pharaohs.”
 
Another example is the “Golden Rule” many Zionist Jews love to quote when speaking to non-Jewish audiences: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary”.
 
This golden rule, established by the Babylonian rabbi Hillel HaGadol, or Hillel HaZaken,  purportedly treats all humans as equal.
 
Unfortunately, we often see that the very same Zionists who invoke Hillel’s golden rule happened to be amongst the most vociferous defendants of Israel’s fascist and evil  behavior, especially its manifestly criminal treatment of the Palestinian people. Israel actually is a sea of oppression and inequity as far as the Palestinians are concerned. Israel tried every conceivable act of savagery and barbarianism against a people whose only “crime” is that they don’t belong to the “holy tribe.”
 
 
Commenting on the ongoing and seemingly unending Palestinian plight, the great Spanish writer Santiago Alba-Rico wrote:   “Perhaps Palestinians are not the most punished people on earth, but they are indeed the most openly punished people on earth; perhaps they are not the people who have suffered the most but they are the people whose sufferings are the most uninterruptedly visible. Paradoxically, this visibility (beyond the lies) makes the victims even more vulnerable; it confers a kind of biblical dimension to the aggression.”
 
In truth, the gargantuan oppression meted out to Palestinians by Israel should compel all honest people under the sun to consider Israel as no less than a gigantic crime against humanity, a crime no less horrendous and no less diabolical than history’s worst.
 
The Democracy claim?
 
I don’t deny that Israel does have many democratic features, including regular elections, a vigorous media and a lot of checks and balances.
 
However, we can’t ignore the fact that Israeli democracy is plagued with many crippling flaws which very much eviscerate that democracy of its democratic essence, rendering it a sham democracy.
 
Take for example the definition of Israel as a Jewish state first and a democratic state second. This unequivocally means that “Jewishness” always comes first and that democracy always comes a distant second.
 
So, one really wonders: How can Israel be Talmudic and democratic at the same time? This is more than a procedural paradox. This is a pure eternal oxymoron.
 
This structural built-in scandal has been enshrined into a law. Dubbed as the Nationality Law, whereby only “Jews” in Israel have the right to self-determination. The fascist camp in the Jewish state , including the Likud, Bayt Hayehudi and Avigdor  Lieberman’s party, have been trying desperately to defend the brashly fascist piece of legislation. Netanyahu, who has the gift of gab, but suffers from conspicuous intellectual shallowness, challenged critics to name a single Arab citizen whose rights have been undermined or compromised by the law. One Arab Knesset member retorted, asking Netanyahu to name a single individual Jew who was targeted by the laws of Nazi Germany.
 
The moral here is that once you target an entire group of people, you effectively target every member of the group.
 
Besides, the Arab citizens of Israel are not new comers to the land. In fact one can safely claim that 99% of Israeli Arabs predated 99% of Israeli Jews in Israel\Palestine.
 
More to the point, there are a thousand evidences corroborating the view that Israel is more a real shamocracy than a real  democracy.
 
We who live in this country know too well that Jews and non-Jews who commit the same crime don’t receive similar punishments. The non-Jew receive an extremely harsh punishment whereas the Jew receives an extremely lenient punishment.
 
The Israel press have reported cases of Jews convicted of murdering rather premeditatedly African refugees and only receiving a few months in jail. There are Thousands of examples illustrating the inherently racist and scandalously duplicitous justice system in Israel.
 
A truly democratic state gives equal weight to lives of people, irrespective of their creed and race. In Israel, however, your life carries a weight and has sanctity only if you are Jewish.
 
In 2014, the Israeli army mercilessly murdered hundreds of innocent Palestinians in Gaza who Israel admitted were totally “uninvolved” in hostilities.
 
However, the Israeli Military Advocate General found no criminal wrongdoing in the  army’s conduct. Israel concocts all sorts of mendacities,  prevarications  and verbal juggling to conceal the truth and make it look nebulous.
 
However, we all know deep in our hearts that the real reason for Israel’s refusal or reluctance  to carry out a meaningful investigation into the Nazi-like  massacres of Palestinians, carried out knowingly and deliberately, has to do with Israel’s racist perception of   non-Jewish lives.
 
Hence, it would be a sort of fornication with truth to claim that Israel is a democratic state.  In fact, it is an insult to language to call Israel a democratic state.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ WHAT ISRAEL CAN NEVER DESTROY

Image by Carlos Latuff

BELLA CIAO URI AVNERY ~~ A TRUE FRIEND ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

Veteran left-wing journalist, lawmaker and peace activist Uri Avnery died Monday at age 94 in Tel Aviv.

The Gush Shalom founder was one of the first Israelis to actively seek a Palestinian state as a peaceful solution to the conflict: ‘The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective’

Uri Avnery, Veteran Peace Activist and Among First Israelis to Meet Arafat, Dies at 94

Ofer Aderet

 

Veteran left-wing journalist, lawmaker and peace activist Uri Avnery died Monday at age 94 in Tel Aviv. A founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement, Avnery was also one of the first Israelis to actively advocate for the establishment of a Palestinian state, more than 70 years ago.

As a youth he fought with the Irgun pre-state underground militia and later in life moved to the left of the political spectrum. He was also editor-in-chief of the iconic liberal weekly, Haolam Hazeh, for 40 years.

The eternal peace activist never shirked controversy and was involved in fateful events in the country’s history, some of which he documented and others he actively took part in shaping. But while Avnery’s supporters saw his ideas as groundbreaking, detractors denounced him as an enemy of the people.

Avnery asked to be cremated, for his archives to be donated to the National Library, and his money toward peace activism. He summarized his life by noting that while his ideals “won a resounding victory” theoretically, in practice they “were defeated politically.”

Avnery was born in Germany in 1923 as Helmut Ostermann. He grew up in Hannover as one of four offspring of a comfortable, bourgeois family. The family immigrated to British Mandatory Palestine in November 1933, a few months after Hitler rose to power. After a few months at Nahalal in the north, the family moved to Tel Aviv, where he lived until his death.

Avnery started his political career on the right side of the political map. He said that as a youth he admired Zeev Jabotinsky and saw himself as a Revisionist. In 1938, when he was 15, he joined the Irgun to fight the British forces “for the right to our own state,” as he put it. “I was convinced that we deserved independence, just like everyone else,” he recalled.

In an interview with Haaretz in April 2014, Avnery said of his activities with the Irgun: “I distributed leaflets [during a period when the Irgun killed many people], and as such I bear responsibility. The Irgun planted bombs in markets in Jaffa and in Haifa, which killed dozens of women and children, and I supported that.”

Vocation in life

In his Hebrew-language memoir “Optimi” (“Optimistic”), Avnery wrote that his service with the Irgun taught him political lessons for later on his career: “We were freedom fighters,” he wrote. “In my eyes, the British authorities were a terrorist organization. Back then, I learned that the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective.”

Three years later, he dropped out of the underground militia. “The Irgun’s war against the Arabs bothered me a great deal. I was very much opposed to their anti-Arab line,” he said. He later explained he believed that, just as the Jews had the right to a national life, “The Arabs in the country have the same right.”

His older brother, Werner, joined the British army at that time and committed suicide during his service. Afterward, Uri adopted the name “Avnery” as his surname for its resemblance to the name “Werner.”

From a young age, Avnery saw himself as a politician. As someone whose life had changed completely as a result of politics – Hitler’s rise to power in his homeland – he saw it as the most significant vocation in life.

Initially, Avnery favored the idea of a single state, one in which a new people would arise as a union of two peoples – the Arabs and the Hebrews. The idea was espoused by the movement he established in 1946 which was called Bama’avak (“The Struggle,” aka The Young Israel).

He believed at that time that the national Hebrew movement was a natural ally of the Arab nation, and advocated cooperation between both movements under a joint name. “This is an ideal built on a culture partnership of homeland and history,” he said.

Accordingly, Avnery was disappointed on November 29, 1947, when the United Nations ratified the UN Partition Plan. “I couldn’t accept the partition of the country. Tul Karm, Hebron and Nablus were my country,” he said, adding, “The joy over carving up the country into pieces angered me a great deal. I dreamed of a joint national movement based on a common love of the land.”

This ideal didn’t withstand the test of reality. During the War of Independence in 1948-49, he discovered that “the vision of joint life in the country had died.” He later said: “I was a peace activist before the war, but the war was existential – a matter of life and death.”

Avnery served in the “Samson Foxes” commando unit. He was seriously wounded during the final days of the war, while fighting in the Kiryat Gat region. The worldview he adhered to until his dying day was formed during the period in which he was hospitalized for his wounds. One of those beliefs was the two-state solution.

In his memoir he wrote: “The war totally convinced me there’s a Palestinian people, and that peace must be forged first and foremost with them. To achieve that goal, a Palestinian nation-state had to be established.”

In this sense, Avnery was a groundbreaker. “During that period, there weren’t even 10 people in the world who believed in that,” he declared. “But today, it’s a global consensus. Even Netanyahu – who doesn’t think of realizing it – has been forced to say he supports it,” he wrote, referring to the prime minister’s “two-state speech” at Bar-Ilan University in 2009.

Avnery published his impressions of the war in Haaretz and Haaretz’s evening paper, Yom, Yom, while the fighting raged. At the end of the war, he compiled them in his first book, “In the Fields of the Philistines, 1948,” which became a best seller and briefly made Avnery a national hero.

But he felt the book did not provide a full description of the war, so in 1950 he published a follow-up, “The Other Side of the Coin,” which described the war’s darker side. Its publication stirred outrage and turned Avnery from “a popular man to top of the list of hated people; from a beloved person to someone who smeared Israel’s name,” as he put it.

In 1949, at the young age of 25, Avnery was appointed chief editorial writer at Haaretz. He left soon after, though, citing political differences with the newspaper’s then-editor, Gershom Shoken.

In 1950, Avnery and his friends purchased the Haolam Hazeh weekly news magazine from its founder, Uri Cesari. Avnery became its editor-in-chief for the next 40 years, and under his stewardship Haolam Hazeh became antiestablishment, subversive, sensationalist and a consensus-breaker. It operated under the legendary slogan “Without Fear, Without Prejudice.”

Avnery expressed his worldview in a number of areas: Opposition to worship of the military; religious coercion; the absence of a democratic constitution; discrimination against ethnic groups; and David Ben-Gurion’s anti-Arab policy.

The weekly sought to crusade against establishment corruption. It published a list of hard-hitting investigative pieces and exposed public and political scandals. Then-Shin Bet security service head Isser Harel defined Avnery at the time as “Government Enemy No. 1.” Ben-Gurion dubbed the magazine “that certain weekly.”

Alongside its political and social agenda, Haolam Hazeh also dabbled in tabloid journalism, publishing trashy gossip stories and photographs of naked women. This combination was seen by many as a journalistic revolution, in terms of both writing style and the magazine’s approach. The weekly also proved controversial, with its editorial offices being bombed on several occasions and its archive completely destroyed following an arson attack in 1972.

Avnery received belated recognition for his journalistic endeavors in 2004 when he won the Sokolov lifetime achievement award.

Political movement

In addition to journalism, Avnery increasingly became more political. In 1965, after the Knesset passed a law against defamation – which Avnery saw as specifically targeting his news magazine – he established a radical protest movement called Haolam Hazeh – Koah Hadash (New Force).

The movement’s political platform incorporated the values of liberty, equality and peace. Avnery was elected to the Knesset on this platform in November 1969 and was reelected four years later. His parliamentary activities included tackling religious coercion, promoting civil marriage, denuclearizing the Middle East and gay rights.

In his eyes, his biggest political mistake was voting in favor of the unification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. He subsequently explained his vote as an attempt to prevent the restoration of East Jerusalem to Jordanian rule, based on the hope of realizing a two-state solution and turning a united Jerusalem into the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

Avnery later returned to the Knesset in 1979 as a founding member of the Sheli party (aka Left Camp of Israel). In a speech that year in favor of ratifying the peace treaty with Egypt, he said: “They say we will have a small country, but there is no greater mistake than this. Peace doesn’t reduce the size of the country. It enlarges it exponentially. In another year, we’ll get in our cars and drive on the weekends to Cairo and Alexandria. Two days later, we’ll take the train to Damascus and Aleppo, we’ll fly to Algiers and Baghdad, we’ll sail to Casablanca and Sudan. When you wake up in the morning to the sight of the pyramids outside your hotel window, as happened to me, it will be like a dream. Is this a utopia? That word doesn’t frighten us.”

In his valedictory Knesset speech in 1981 (as he relinquished his seat to an Arab lawmaker), Avnery was the first lawmaker to present the Palestinian flag alongside the Israeli one. “Those who couldn’t believe yesterday that Sadat would ever speak here will not be able to believe that someday Yasser Arafat will speak here,” he said.

Avnery was one of the first Israelis to have contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He had his first contacts with an Arafat envoy in 1974, which led to his founding the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace in December 1975.

In July 1982, at the height of the first Lebanon war, Avnery met with PLO chief Arafat in Beirut – the first time Israelis had met with the Palestinian leader. Avnery said at that meeting: “The fact that we are sitting here together in the middle of this terrible war is a sign that in the future our two peoples will find a solution to coexist. Palestinians and Israelis. I believe there will be a Palestinian state alongside Israel and both sides will live together in peace in two countries that, little by little, will develop good neighborly relations, and even better.”

Several cabinet members called for Avnery to be put on trial for high treason, but the attorney general decided no crime had been committed.
Avnery and Arafat met a dozen more times in the years that followed.

Human shield 

In 1993, months after then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin expelled hundreds of Islamic activists to Lebanon, Avnery established Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) – a movement that supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, making Jerusalem the capital of both countries and dismantling the settlements in Palestinian territory.

A year later, when Arafat returned to Gaza, he invited Avnery to his reception and sat alongside him on the podium. In 2003, during the second intifada, Avnery spent time at the presidential compound in Ramallah, operating as a “human shield” for Arafat – for fear Israel might attempt to assassinate him.

Avnery had many critics who opposed his politics and ideology. Extremists labeled him a traitor and slanderer of Israel. While editor of Haolam Hazeh, he was subjected to physical attacks and once had both his arms broken after being ambushed. In 1975, he was seriously wounded after an assailant stabbed him on his own doorstep.

Avnery, and many in his circle, admitted he had some difficulties when it came to people skills. A friend once said: “Avnery is disabled like Trumpeldor was. Trumpeldor lacked an arm; Avnery lacks feeling.” The activist wrote in his memoir: “There’s something wrong with my emotional relations with people. And the worst thing about it is, I don’t really care.”

He said he only ever told his wife, Rachel, he loved her when she was on her deathbed, and that he had never cried – not even during funerals for his comrades in arms. His rivals would delight in highlighting his deficiencies as expressed in his mother’s will. She left him no inheritance “since he didn’t take care of me and instead went to visit that murderer Yasser Arafat.”

Avnery published seven books and a vast number of articles in various publications, including in the pages of Haaretz. “Optimist” was published around the time of his 90th birthday. “I feel like an imposter,” he said at an event marking his birthday. “Someone wrote by mistake that I’m 90 – I feel half that age.”

Avnery ended his life with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he was convinced he had turned his political ideas – first and foremost his support for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel – into a “global consensus.” On the other, he admitted he had failed to realize these ideas politically. “Life goes on, the struggle continues. Tomorrow is a new day,” he wrote on the last page of his memoir.

His wife, Rachel, a teacher and ideological partner, died in 2011. They were partners for 58 years and chose not to have any children.

FASCISM IS UNHEALTHY FOR ‘QUEERS’ AND OTHER HUMAN BEINGS

Considered Spain’s most celebrated poet. He was executed at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War for his sexuality, socialist views and support for the elected Popular Front government.

THE MUSIC CONTINUES DESPITE IT ALL! GAZA WILL CONTINUE TO SING TILL IT IS FREE!!

‘When Israeli forces destroyed the cultural centre, they thought they would also destroy our dreams’

ZIONISM DECLARED NOT KOSHER

Badatz to winery: ‘Remove Zionist label’

Beit Din Tzedek, or Badatz, the ultra-Orthodox body that grants kosher certificates and serves the Haredi community, told Psagot Winery to remove its kosher certificate from its labels celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary. As the wine labels, which featured a big number ’70’ had already been printed, the winery complied by covering up Badatz’s kosher seal with a sticker.

I spoke to one of the owners of the winery in question …. here is what he said;

“Good for sales — people have seen that article and because of it want to buy full cases of wine! 🙂 “

Here is a picture of the bottle of wine causing the friction..

either Eida or Israel, but not both on your wine

The latest kashrut brouhaha with the Eida Hachareidis is a report on Channel 11 News (Kan) is regarding a winery that put out a line of wine marketed with the celebratory symbols for Israel’s 70th birthday.  The Eida has told Psagot Winery that they must either cover up the Zionist symbols on the labels of the bottles, or must cover up the Eida hechsher.
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What a conflict! They want to market to a community that will only rely on the Eida hechsher and not any of the other hechshers available, but they also want to market their wine to people who will buy it as part of a celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday! And the Eida will only allow it to be one or the other, not both.
It is also possible that the Eida was simply embarrassed to have its logo on a bottle for a company that could not even spell the worth “birthday” correctly for a major marketing campaign taking advantage of Israel’s 70th birthday!

The Eida always claims that the kashrut division is independent of the rest of the activities of the Eida and is “kashrus neto” with no involvement in the anti-State activities of the Eida. An incident like this shows that this is not true – they are giving an ultimatum that it is either a symbol of the State of Israel or it is the logo of the Eida, but the two cannot reside on the same bottle side by side.

Being that this is purely a marketing issue, companies feel that having the Eida hechsher will bring them a lot more business, people need to make it known to the companies that the Eida hechsher will expose them to an entirely new market, but it will close them off from other markets.. If the Eida says it can only be one or the other, who can blame them for choosing Eida if there are no ramifications?

FROM

IMAGES OF THE DAY ….. ‘IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO, THE THINGS THAT YOU’RE LIABLE TO READ IN THE BIBLE’ ~~(THE WESTERN PRESS)

Israeli air forces pounded the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting over 100 sites in the besieged coastal enclave. The Israeli army said in a statement that forces struck 150 “terror targets.”

Images by Carlos Latuff

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What isn’t reported in the Western press ….

Israeli air forces pummel Gaza, killing pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old daughter 

Three Palestinians were killed during pre dawn Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip Thursday. Among the dead were a woman, who was nine months pregnant, and her 18-month-old daughter.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the pregnant woman as 23-year-old Inas Khamash, and her 18-month-old daughter as Bayan Khamash.

The two were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit their home in the Jaafari area of central Gaza. Khamash’s husband, Muhammad, was severely injured during the strike.

While some local media outlets were reporting that Muhammad succumbed to his wounds early Thursday afternoon, the Gaza Ministry of Health has maintained that he is still in critical condition and being treated in the ICU.

The third slain Palestinian, reportedly a Hamas fighter, was killed in an airstrike in northern Gaza. He was identified as 30-year-old Ali al-Ghandour.

The health ministry added that around 12 Palestinians were injured, two critically, and were transferred to the hospital for treatment.

Israeli air forces pounded the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting over 100 sites in the besieged coastal enclave. The Israeli army said in a statement that forces struck 150 “terror targets.”

In a statement on Twitter, the army said the strikes were “conducted in response to the rockets launched from Gaza at Israel throughout the night,” adding that 180 rockets — at least 30 of which were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system — were fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media outlets reported that 11 Israelis were injured in the town of Sderot. One woman was reported to be in serious condition, while nine others were taken to the hospital. Thirteen other Israelis were reportedly treated for “shock.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that they could not confirm the number of Israelis reportedly injured.

The Israeli army said they held Hamas “fully responsible” for the escalation in violence, and that it was “determined to secure the safety of Israelis, is on high alert, & prepared for a variety of scenarios.”

“Hamas is responsible & bears the consequences for the ongoing events,” the army said on Twitter.

The army’s rhetoric has been echoed by Israeli politicians and government bodies over the course of Thursday, with the Foreign Ministry saying that Israel was “defending itself from from Hamas’ aggression.”

The US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt released the following statement on Twitter: “Hamas regime again is launching rockets at Israeli communities.  Another night of terror & families huddling in fear as Israel defends itself. This is the Hamas regime’s choice. Hamas is subjecting people to the terrifying conditions of war again.”

Neither Greenblatt, the foreign ministry, nor the army made any mention of the killing of Inas Khimash and her daughter Bayan.

Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that it was Israel who was responsible for the violence, and that “in the event of continued aggression, shelling and killing of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the resistance will not be silent. It’s duty to respond and break the occupation.”

On Twitter, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri echoed similar sentiments, and called on the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities towards Israel’s aggression and siege.”

Thursday’s events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and international officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an unnamed senior Israeli commander as saying that the military is “nearing launching an operation in the Gaza Strip” if the current situation persists.

The official told Haaretz that Hamas “will pay the price for its violations in the last four months,” seemingly referring to the ongoing Great March of Return protests that began on March 30th, over which time Israeli forces have killed at least 160 Palestinians and injured 17,000 more.

“Hamas must go back to the understandings after the [2014 Gaza war], and if it doesn’t, it will understand the hard way,” Haaretz quoted the officer as saying.

With fears of a new Israeli onslaught on the horizon, reports have emerged of the UN scrambling to negotiate a ceasefire.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, said in a statement issued on early Thursday that he was “deeply alarmed by the recent escalation of violence.”

“For months I have been warning that the humanitarian, security and political crisis in Gaza risk a devastating conflict that nobody wants. The UN has engaged with Egypt and all concerned parties in an unprecedented effort to avoid such a development,” he said.

Mladenov added that “if the current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people.”

The Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians, over 70% of which are refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in present-day Israel when the state was established in 1948.

A more than decade-long Israeli air, land, and sea blockade has crippled Gaza’s economy, which boasts one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 44 percent, leaving an estimated 80 percent of the territory’s population dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Gaza has often been compared to an “open air prison,” and in 2015, the UN warned that the it could become “unlivable” by 2020 if nothing was done to improve the situation.

URGENT APPEAL FROM THE CHILDREN IN GAZA

‘When Israeli forces destroyed the cultural centre, they thought they would also destroy our dreams’

*

BREAKING NEWS…
This is difficult to write. Gaza Children’s Cinema team is mourning the destruction of the Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center which was levelled to the ground yesterday after Israeli fighter jets struck the five-story building with 10 rockets. The second largest cultural centre in Gaza was a venue for theatre and music performance in the besieged and isolated Gaza Strip. This cultural centre was one of the main places where Gaza Children Cinema team organised movie screening for children. The Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center provided spaces of entertainment and joy for generations of children and young people in Gaza; it is in total ruins now.

*

Dear Gaza Children Cinema friends and supporters,

First and foremost, we would like to repeatedly extend our sincere gratitude for your kind and generous support to our Gaza education community-based initiative: Gaza Children Cinema.

We have been silent in the last few months but invariably busy with organising fundraising events to extend the wonderful momentum of the project to further reach to children communities in Gaza. We also have been minutely working with our partner in Gaza, Tamer Institute for Community Education to plan for the second phase of cinema workshops implementation across the enclave Gaza Strip.

Children in Gaza need our help and support to heal. Please consider contributing to Gaza Children Cinema to provide spaces of fun, creatively temporary escapism through basic human engagement: watching a movie in a safe environment.

According to a recent study by Gaza-based university professors of psychological health, Dr Jamil Tahrawi and Dr Sanaa Abu-Dagga, “Drawings of Palestinian Children after the War on Gaza,” 82.3 percent of 445 children surveyed have drawn images related to war. These include: fighter planes, destroyed homes and mosques, Israeli rockets and missiles, dead Palestinians, various military vehicles, and fighters. The drawings showed fear, terror, and sadness over the those killed and wounded. The study is available in Arabic here.

But there is still hope. Dr. Tahrawi explained that art could be used as a bridge to a better future and that despite the gruesome content of many of the children’s pictures the drawings could help the children overcome their grief and move on.

“The children can relieve their stress by expressing their feelings instead of repressing them. I was surprised at the bright and cheerful colors used by certain children. I expected them all to use bleak colors such as black and brown. But the rainbow of colors is proof of their resilience,” according to Dr. Tahrawi.

“If they are given the chance and the same opportunities as other children they can overcome Gaza’s tragic history and circumstances. Unfortunately we don’t have sufficient people qualified in art therapy in Gaza,” added Tahrawi.

You can help in a number of ways, and all are greatly appreciated:

  • By sharing this update with your networks, you will increase the coverage of the work done by ‘Gaza Children Cinema,’
  • By donating via the crowdfunding link earlier in this page. Even the smallest contribution helps, and
  • By sharing contributing any special skills, time, energy or resources you may have. Please  feel free to get in touch!  Your input can help make the world a better place for some children who need it
Gaza’s children need consistent and age appropriate  interventions, in order to grow and flourish, is an environment of such severe ongoing conflict. Ahmed Ashour, the team leader of Gaza Children Cinema in Gaza, indicated that the impact of cinema sessions on children as “beyond description” and that children are always waiting for more screenings.

Through Gaza Children Cinema sessions, children are encouraged to draw their feelings and tell stories in images. Children are also encouraged to play out their experiences in supervised play sessions. These approaches enable the children to find ways to externalise the trauma, rather than letting it fester like an internal time bomb.

Thank you so much for making this initiative real.

Yours sincerely,
Ayman Qwaider

Here’s how YOU can help ….. Click HERE

RECENTLY DISCOVERED NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING

This is a Norman Rockwell painting called Murder in Mississippi. It depicts the final moments in the lives of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan 53 years ago this summer for registering people to vote. That’s not ancient history. It’s not even history. It’s current events.

Harry Belafonte These Three Are On My Mind

EYEWITNESS TO ISRAELI TERROR

Eyewitness onboard boat to Gaza says Israeli forces beat passengers and stole thousands of dollars, antibiotics during raid

Dr. Swee Ang is a medical doctor and was a passenger onboard the al-Awda, a ship headed to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli navy commandeered the vessel on July 29, 2018.

The last leg of the journey of al-Awda (the boat of return) was scheduled to reach Gaza on 29 July 2018. We were on target to reach Gaza that evening. There are 22 on board including crew with $15,000 of antibiotics and bandages for Gaza. At 12.31 p.m. we received a missed call from a number beginning with +81… Mikkel was steering the boat at that time. The phone rang again with the message that we were trespassing into Israeli waters. Mikkel replied that we were in International waters and had right of innocent passage according to maritime laws. The accusation of trespassing was repeated again and again with Mikkel repeating the message that we were sailing in international waters. This carried on for about half an hour, while al-Awda was 42 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza.

Dr. Swee Ang. (Photo: Blizard Institute
Queen Mary University of London)

Prior to the beginning of this last leg, we had spent two days learning non-violent actions and had prepared ourselves in anticipation of Israeli invasion of our boat. Vulnerable individuals especially those with medical conditions were to sit at the rear of the top deck with their hands on the deck table. The leader of this group was Gerd, a 75-year-old elite Norwegian athlete and she had the help of Lucia, a Spanish nurse in her group.

The people who were to provide non-violent barrier to the Israelis coming on deck and taking over the boat formed three rows – two rows of threes and the third row of two persons blocking the wheel house door to protect the wheel house for as long as possible. There were runners between the wheel house and the rear of the deck. The leader of the boat Zohar and I were at the two ends of the toilets corridor where we looked out at the horizon and inform all of any sightings of armed boats. I laughed at Zohar and said we are the Toilet Brigade, but I think Zohar did not find it very funny. It was probably bad taste under the circumstances. I also would be able to help as a runner and will have accessibility to all parts of the deck in view of being the doctor on board.

Soon we saw at least three large Israeli warships on the horizon with five or more speed boats (Zodiacs) zooming towards us. As the Zodiacs approached I saw that they carried soldiers with machine guns and there was on board the boats large machine guns mounted on a stand pointing at our boat. From my lookout point the first Israeli soldier climbed on board to the cabin level and climbed up the boat ladder to the top deck. His face was masked with a white cloth and following him were many others, all masked. They were all armed with machine guns and small cameras on their chests.

They immediately made to the wheel house overcoming the first row by twisting the arms of the participants, lifting Sarah up and throwing her away. Joergen the chef was large to be manhandled so he was tasered before being lifted up. They attacked the second row by picking on Emelia the Spanish nurse and removed her thus breaking the line. They then approach the door of the wheel house and tasered Charlie the first mate and Mike Treen who were obstructing their entry to the wheel house. Charlie was beaten up as well. Mike did not give way with being tasered in his lower limbs so he was tasered in his neck and face. Later on I saw bleeding on the left side of Mike’s face. He was semi-conscious when I examined him.

They broke into the wheel house by cutting the lock, forced the engine to be switched off and took down the Palestine flag before taking down the Norwegian flag and trampling on it.

They then cleared all people from the front half of the boat around the wheel house and moved them by force and coercion, throwing them to the rear of the deck. All were forced to sit on the floor at the back, except Gerd, Lucy and the vulnerable people who were seated around the table on wooden benches around her. Israeli soldiers then formed a line sealing off people from the back and preventing them from coming to the front of the boat again.

As we entered the back of the deck we were all body searched and ordered to surrender our mobile phones or else they will take it by force. This part of search and confiscation was under the command of a woman soldier. Apart from mobile phones – medicines and wallets were also removed. No one as of today (4 August 2018) got our mobile phones back.

I went to examine Mike and Charlie. Charlie had recovered consciousness and his wrists were tied together with plastic cable ties. Mike was bleeding from the side of his face, still not fully conscious. His hands were very tightly tied together with cable ties and the circulation to his fingers was cut off and his fingers and palm were beginning to swell. At this stage the entire people seated on the floor shouted demanding that the cable ties be cut. It was about half an hour later before the ties were finally cut off from both of them.

Around this time Charlie the first mate received the Norwegian flag. He was visibly upset telling all of us that the Norwegian flag had been trampled on. Charlie reacted more to the trampling of the Norwegian flag than to his own being beaten and tasered.

The soldiers then started asking for the captain of the boat. The boys then started to reply that they were all the captain. Eventually the Israelis figured out that Herman was the captain and demanded to take him to the wheel house. Herman asked for someone to come with him, and I offered to do so. But as we approached the wheel house, I was pushed away and Herman forced into the wheel house on his own. Divina, the well known Swedish singer, had meanwhile broken free from the back and went to the front to look through the window of the wheel house. She started to shout and cry “Stop –stop they are beating Herman, they are hurting him”.  We could not see what Divina saw, but knew that it was something very disturbing. Later on, when Divina and I were sharing a prison cell, she told me they were throwing Herman against the wall of the wheel house and punching his chest. Divina was forcibly removed and her neck was twisted by the soldiers who took her back to the rear of the deck.

I was pushed back to the rear of the boat again. After a while the boat engine started. I was told later by Gerd who was able to hear Herman tell the story to the Norwegian Consul in prison that the Israelis wanted Herman to start the engine, and threatened to kill him if he would not do so. But what they did not understand was that with this boat, once the engine stopped it can only be restarted manually in the engine room in the cabin level below. Arne the engineer refused to restart the engine, so the Israelis brought Herman down and hit him in front of Arne making it clear that they will continue to hit Herman if Arne would not start the engine. Arne is 70 years old, and when he saw Herman’s face went ash color, he gave in and started the engine manually. Gerd broke into tears when she was narrating this part of the story. The Israelis then took charge of the boat and drove it to Ashdod.

Once the boat was on course, the Israeli soldiers brought Herman to the medical desk. I looked at Herman and saw that he was in great pain, silent but conscious, breathing spontaneously but shallow breathing. The Israeli Army doctor was trying to persuade Herman to take some medicine for pain. Herman was refusing the medicine. The Israeli doctor explained to me that what he was offering Herman was not army medicine but his personal medicine. He gave me the medicine from his hand so that I could check it. It was a small brown glass bottle and I figured that it was some kind of liquid morphine preparation probably the equivalent of Oramorph or Fentanyl. I asked Herman to take it and the doctor asked him to take 12 drops after which Herman was carried off and slumped on a mattress at the back of the deck. He was watched over by people around him and fell asleep. From my station I saw he was breathing better.

With Herman settled I concentrated on Larry Commodore, the Native American leader and an environmental activist. He had been voted Chief of his tribe twice. Larry has labile asthma and with the stress all around my fear was that he might get a nasty attack, and needed adrenaline injection. I was taking Larry through deep breathing exercises. However Larry was not heading for an asthmatic attack, but was engaging an Israeli who covered his face with a black cloth in conversation. This man was obviously in charge.

I asked for the Israeli man with black mask his name and he called himself Field Marshall Ro…..Larry misheard him and jumped to conclusion that he called himself Field Marshall Rommel and shouted how can he an Israeli take a Nazi name. Field Marshall objected and introduced himself as Field Marshall ? Ronan. As I spelt out Ronan he quickly corrected me that his name is Ronen, and he Field Marshall Ronen was in charge.

The Israeli soldiers all wore body cameras and were filming us all the time. A box of sandwiches and pears were brought on deck for us. None of us took any of their food as we had decided we do not accept Israeli hypocrisy and charity. Our chef Joergen had already prepared high calorie high protein delicious brownie with nuts and chocolate, wrapped up in tin foil to be consume when captured, as we know it was going to be a long day and night. Joergen called it food for the journey. Unfortunately when I needed it most, the Israelis took away my food and threw it away. They just told me ”It is forbidden” I had nothing to eat for 24 hours, refusing Israeli Army food and had no food of my own.

As we sailed towards Israel we could see the coast of Gaza in total darkness. There were three drilling rigs in the northern sea of Gaza. The brightly burning oil flames contrasted with the total darkness the owners of the fuel were forced to live in. Just off the shore of Gaza are the largest deposit of natural gas ever discovered and the natural gas belonging to the Palestinians were already being siphoned off by Israel.

As we approached Israel, Zohar our boat leader suggested that we should start saying goodbye to each other. We were probably two to three hours from Ashdod. We thanked our boat leader, our captain, the crew, our dear chef, and encouraged each other that we will continue to do all we can to free Gaza and also bring justice to Palestine. Herman our Captain, who managed to sit up now, gave a most moving talk and some of us were in tears.

We knew that in Ashdod there will be the Israeli media and film crews. We will not enter Ashdod as a people who had lost hope as we were taken captive. So we came off the boat chanting “Free Free Palestine” all the way as we came off. Mike Treen the union man had by then recovered from his heavy tasering and led the chanting with his mega-voice and we filled the night sky of Israel with Free Free Palestine as we approached. We did this the whole way down the boat into Ashdod.

We came directly into a closed military zone in Ashdod. It was a sealed off area with many stations. It was specially prepared for the 22 of us. It began with a security x-ray area. I did not realize they retained my money belt as I came out of the x-ray station. The next station was strip search, and it was when I was gathering up my belongings after being stripped when I realized my money belt was no longer with me. I knew I had about a couple hundred Euros and they were trying to steal it. I demanded its return and refused to leave the station until it was produced. I was shouting for the first time. I was glad I did that as some other people were parted from their cash. The journalist from Al Jazeera, Abdu,l had all his credit cards and $1,800 taken from him, as well as his watch, satellite phone, his personal mobile, his ID. He thought his possessions were kept with his passport but when he was released for deportation he learnt bitterly that he only got his passport back. All cash and valuables were never found. They simply vanished.

We were passed from station to station in this closed military zone, stripped searched several times, possessions taken away until in the end all we had was the clothes we were wearing with nothing else except a wrist band with a number on it.  All shoe laces were removed as well. Some of us were given receipts for items taken away, but I had no receipts for anything. We were photographed several times and saw two doctors. At this point I learnt that Larry was pushed down the gangway and injured his foot and sent off to Israeli hospital for check-up. His blood was on the floor.

I was cold and hungry, wearing only one teeshirt and pants by the time they were through with me. My food was taken away; water was taken away, all belongings including reading glasses taken away. My bladder was about to explode but I am not allowed to go to the toilet. In this state I was brought out to two vehicles – Black Maria painted gray. On the ground next to it were a great heap of rucksacks and suit cases. I found mine and was horrified that they had broken into my baggage and took almost everything from it – all clothes clean and dirty, my camera, my second mobile, my books, my Bible, all the medicines I brought for the participants and myself, my toiletries. The suitcase was partially broken. My rucksacks was completely empty too. I got back two empty cases except for two dirty large man size teeshirts which obviously belonged to someone else. They also left my Freedom Flotilla T-shirt. I figured out that they did not steal the Flotilla tee as they thought no Israeli would want to wear that tee in Israel. They had not met Zohar and Yonatan who were proudly wearing theirs. That was a shock as I was not expecting the Israeli Army to be petty thieves as well. So what had become the glorious Israeli Army of the Six Day War which the world so admired?

I was still not allowed to go to the toilet, but was pushed into the Maria van, joined by Lucia the Spanish nurse and after some wait taken to Givon Prison. I could feel myself shivering uncontrollably on the journey.

The first thing our guards did in Givon Prison was to order me to go to the toilet to relieve myself. It was interesting to see that they knew I needed to go desperately but had prevented me for hours to! By the time we were re-x-rayed and searched again it must be about 5 to 6 a.m.. Lucia and I were then put in a cell where Gerd, Divina, Sarah and Emelia were already asleep. There were three double decker bunk beds – all rusty and dusty.

Divina did not get the proper dose of her medicines; Lucia was refused her own medicine and given an Israeli substitute which she refused to take. Divina and Emelia went straight on to hunger strike. The jailers were very hostile using simple things like refusal of toilet paper and constant slamming of the prison iron door, keeping the light of the cell permanently on, and forcing us to drink rusty water from the tap, screaming and shouting at us constantly to vent their anger at us.

The guards addressed me as “China” and treated me with utter contempt. On the morning of 30 July 2018, the British Vice Consul visited me. Some kind person had called them about my whereabouts. That was a blessing as after that I was called “England” and there was a massive improvement in the way England was treated compared to the way China was treated. It crossed my mind that “Palestine” would be trampled over, and probably killed.

Charlie Andreasson@Andreasson_C

We failed, we never reached Gaza. Once again Israel showed its ugly face and by force boarded our ship on international waters and stole our private belongings like watches, money, credit cards, driving licenses, etc. Once again we got to know what it’s like to be Palestinians

At 6.30 a.m. 31 July 2018, we heard Larry yelling from the men’s cell across the corridor that he needed a doctor. He was obviously in great pain and crying. We women responded by asking the wardens to allow me to go across to see Larry as I might be able to help. We shouted “We have a doctor” and used our metal spoons to hit the iron cell gate get their attention. They lied and said their doctor will be over in an hour. We did not believe them and started again. The doctor actually turned up at 4 p.m., about 10 hours later and Larry was sent straight to hospital.

Meanwhile to punish the women for supporting Larry’s demand, they brought hand cuffs for Sarah and took Divina and me to another cell to separate us from the rest. We were told we were not going to be allowed out for our 30 minutes fresh air break and a drink of clean water in the yard. I heard Gerd saying “Big deal”

Suddenly Divina was taken out with me to the courtyard and Divina given four cigarettes at which point she broke down and cried. Divina had worked long hours at the wheel house steering the boat. She had seen what happened to Herman. The prison had refused to give her one of her medicines and given her only half the dose of the other. She was still on hunger strike to protest our kidnapping in international waters. It was heart-breaking to see Divina cry. One of the wardens who called himself Michael started talking to us about how he will have to protect his family against those who want to drive the Israelis out. And how the Palestinians did not want to live in peace…and it was not Israel’s fault. But things suddenly changed with the arrival of an Israeli Judge and we were all treated with some decency even though he only saw a few of us personally. His job was to tell us that a tribunal will be convened the following day and each prisoner had been allocated a time to appear, and we must have our lawyer with us when we appear.

Divina by the end of the day became very giddy and very unwell so I persuaded her to come out of hunger strike, and also she agreed to sign a deportation order. Shortly after that possibly at 6 p.m. since we had no watches and mobile phones, we were told Lucia, Joergen, Herman, Arne, Abdul from Al Jazeera and I would be deported within 24 hours and we would be taken to be imprisoned in the deportation prison in Ramle near Ben-Gurion airport immediately to wait there. It was going to be the same Ramle Prison from which I was deported in 2014. I saw the same five strong old palm trees still standing up proud and tall. They are the only survivors of the Palestinian village destroyed in 1948.

When we arrived at Ramle prison Abdul found to his horror that he his money, his credit cards, his watch, his satellite phone, his own mobile phone, his  ID card were all missing – he was entirely destitute. We had a whip round and raised around a hundred Euros as a contribution towards his taxi fare from the airport to home. How can the Israeli Army be so corrupt and heartless to rob someone of everything?

Conclusion:

We, the six women on board al-Awda had learnt that they tried to completely humiliate and dehumanize us in every way possible. We were also shocked at the behaviour of the Israeli Army especially petty theft and their treatment of international women prisoners. Men jailors regularly entered the women’s cell without giving us decent notice to put our clothes on.

They also tried to remind us of our vulnerability at every stage. We know they would have preferred to kill us but of course the publicity incurred in so doing might be unfavourable to the international image of Israel.

If we were Palestinians it would be much worse with physical assaults and probably loss of lives. The situation is therefore dire for the Palestinians.

As to international waters, it looks as though there is no such thing for the Israeli Navy. They can hijack and abduct boats and persons in international water and get away with it. They acted as though they own the Mediterranean Sea. They can abduct any boat and kidnap any passengers, put them in prison and criminalise them.

We cannot accept this. We have to speak up, stand up against this lawlessness, oppression and brutality. We were completely unarmed. Our only crime according to them is we are friends of the Palestinians and wanted to bring medical aid to them. We wanted to brave the military blockade to do this. This is not a crime. In the week we were sailing to Gaza, they had shot dead seven Palestinians and wounded more than 90 with life bullets in Gaza. They had further shut down fuel and food to Gaza. Two million Palestinians in Gaza live without clean water, with only two to four hours of electricity, in homes destroyed by Israeli bombs, in a prison blockaded by land, air and sea for 12 years. The hospitals of Gaza since the 30 March had treated more than 9,071 wounded persons, 4,348 shot by live fire from a hundred Israeli snipers while they were mounting peaceful demonstrations inside the borders of Gaza on their own land. Most of the gun-shot wounds were to the lower limbs and with depleted treatment facilities the limbs will suffer amputation. In this period more than 164 Palestinians had been shot dead by the same snipers, including medics and journalists, children and women. The chronic military blockade of Gaza has depleted the hospitals of all surgical and medical supplies. This massive attack on an unarmed Freedom Flotilla bringing friends and some medical relief is an attempt to crush all hope for Gaza. As I write I learnt that our sister Flotilla, Freedom, has also been kidnapped by the Israeli Navy while in international waters.

BUT we will not stop, we must continue to be strong to bring hope and justice to the Palestinians and be prepared to pay the price, and to be worthy of the Palestinians. As long as I survive I will exist to resist.  To do less will be a crime.

REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA

“I AM BECOME DEATH THE DESTROYER OF WORLD” 

By Tom Karlson

 

August 6th nineteen and forty-five
Enola Gay flies high
8:15
bombs away, Little Boy

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized
two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,
zombies stagger down streetless streets
silhouetting their dead friends, family
a cityless city
called Hiroshima

on a standing wall an image of
a man, a woman, burned into the brick’s retina

the little haberdasher is not done
“using the bomb is no great decision”

August 9th,
he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,
ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized
Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

Eisenhower “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

MacArthur “…no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

“Albert Einstein…President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate.”

THE NEW UNTOUCHABLES ~~ THE KOSHER NOSTRA

As the ‘illegal’ roundup continues, there is one group that seems to be completely untouchable …

 An Israeli man who owns kiosks in shopping malls in seven states was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in jail for illegally employing Israeli nationals to sell Dead Sea beauty products.

Yet this criminal activity continues …. and the Feds turn a blind eye to it

Illustrative photo of an Israeli salesman demonstrating a beauty product at an American mall. (Creative Commons via JTA)

 

More info in the following …. (Click on links)

Dead Sea products mall kiosk owner sentenced to jail for illegally employing Israelis 

(related)

PHONY Israeli Owned Locksmith Compnanies Operating in the US

And from my archives ...

ISRAELI? >>> NO GREEN CARD?? >>> NO PROBLEM!

 

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!

 

THE CHANGING TIDE IN THE JEWISH DIASPORA

 

 

ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT ITS IMAGE ABROAD

HILLARIOUS VIDEO ABOUT A BOAT THAT WASN’T HIJACKED BY ISRAELI FORCES

Still funny years after it was made

PIRACY … OVER AND OVER AGAIN … WESTERN SILENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN

On Friday Israel attacked a Swedish yacht, in int’l waters exercising right of ‘innocent passage’ taking medical supplies to Gaza. All 12 people aboard kidnapped & illegally detained in Israel. Demand they be released to continue their journey.

Image by Latuff

Still little news of 12 people attacked & detained. Read account of 69yr old UK doctor, founder of re her similar experience when Israeli navy last week attacked . Their dehumanising experiences highlight what Palestinians face daily.

UPDATE ...

A second Gaza Flotilla boat named Freedom was hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) navy in international waters.  Freedom is sailing under a Swedish flag and its passengers and crew are from a number of nations. 

The whereabouts of the kidnapped participants is unknown.

Many boats in the past have been captured, however this should not be seen as normal. It is still violent and illegal. 

With your support the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement. Some people are doubling the size of their checks and sending them in for next year.

If you want to take action to protect the members of Freemom and future boats, you can contact the United Nations or the respective government officials from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/sos-just-future-for-palestine

 

Here’s an eyewitness account of the last hijacking …

The psychotic tenderness of being boarded by the Israeli navy at sea

 Yonatan Shapira

Yonatan Shapira was aboard the Al Awda boat in the Gaza Freedom flotilla when it was stopped in international waters by Israeli sailors three days ago and all on board arrested. His Facebook report in Hebrew was translated by Ofer Neiman, with the headline, “Israeli citizen and Palestine solidarity activist Yonatan Shapira on Israel’s dirty attack on the peaceful Gaza flotilla: יונתן שפירא מדווח מהמשט – עברית להלן” That translation follows.

So just as the IDF Spokesperson said: “The overtaking of the Al-Awda ship was carried out without violence and without exceptional events”.

And indeed, everything was as usual –

They slammed Herman the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.

A fist in the face of Arne Birge the old mechanic.

And the finest tradition: Electric shocks. This time we wore life vests of the type that covers the chest well. But don’t worry, the brave naval commando combatants just electrocuted [Tasered] Charlie, the first officer, in his head. And more electric shocks to Juergen the cook and to 60 year old Mike, a chair of a trade union and a human rights activist from New Zealand.

But at the same time, things were done with a kind of psychotic tenderness.

Like in a strange play, soldiers (men and women) with weapons and vests packed with munitions and personal cameras, but wearing white shirts with the national flag embroidered in a shiny blue color and wearing white masks on their faces. Last time it was all-black.

And let’s keep in mind: Had we been Gazan fishermen or children approaching the Gaza fence, they could have simply put a bullet in the head of each of us and that’s it.

The IDF Attorney unit has also confirmed that that there’s no need for an investigation.

PHOTO OF THE DAY … ONLY IN GAZA

Family reunion 😦

PIRACY AND TORTURE

UNBELIEVABLE THAT THE WEST ALLOWS THIS TORTURE TO CONTINUE

 Many people on the Al Awda were beat up and tasered when the IDF fascists boarded the boat.  The doctor on board had 2 ribs broken.  This remains a very dangerous voyage taken by our brave allies out of love for the people of Gaza and love of justice.

Read the instructions at the end of this post to see what YOU can do.

 

last group photo sent from Al Awda (The Return).

Two people from Al Awda (The Return) have been released, but most of the crew and participants are still in unlawful detention at Givon prison in Israel. We are still gravely concerned for their safety and well-being as we had no contact with most of them as of 14:00 CESTtoday. We continue to demand that our boat and the medical supplies on board reach their rightful recipients, Palestinian civil society in Gaza.

Although the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) claim that the capture of our vessel happened ‘without exceptional incident’, eye-witness Zohar Chamberlain Regev reports that at the time of boarding: “People on board were tasered and hit by masked IOF soldiers. We did not get our passports or belongings before we got off the boat. Do not believe reports of peaceful interception.” We urgently need to know the details of who was injured and how seriously, and what treatment they are receiving, if any. A military attack on a civilian vessel is a violent act and a violation of international law. Taking 22 people from international waters to a country which is not their destination constitutes an act of kidnapping, which is also unlawful under the international Convention of the Law of Sea.

From the time we lost contact around 13:15 local time on Sunday, we know that the IOF blocked all communication signals, including satellite phones. We are very concerned about this violation of journalists’ right to report freely and we remain gravely concerned about their ability to keep their professional equipment and their storage media. As Australian journalist Chris Graham recently observed “Bad things happen when good people stay silent, as history well records. But horrendous things happen when media are prevented from scrutinizing the actions of a state.”

Two of our participants, Zohar Chamberlain Regev and Yonatan Shapira, Israeli citizens, have been charged with attempting to enter Gaza and conspiracy to commit a crime, and were released on bail last night.  Boat leader, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, reports seeing blood on the deck of the Al Awda as the last participants were being dragged off the ship.

In comparison with the violence routinely directed at Palestinian civilians, including at fishers from Gaza, and the violent capture of Palestinian fishing boats, yesterday’s seizure and kidnapping may not be the most serious of Israeli crimes. What these violents acts have in common is that there is no accountability demanded by other governments and Israel continues to enjoy total impunity.

We call on national governments, civil society and international organizations to demand that Israeli authorities immediately release our boat so that we can deliver our much-needed medical supplies on

Al Awda and the fishing boat itself to the rightful recipients in Gaza. Detailed specification of our exact cargo on board are available on request.

Israel’s capture of the lead boat in this Gaza-bound flotilla may seem like a predictable outcome to some, but that doesn’t make it any less violent nor any less illegal. Our second boat

Freedom will follow Al Awda within a day or two, and the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement.

Details about detainees still in prison, including their last videos and personal statements, can be found on our website and Facebook pages.

 

https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/2-released-but-most-participants-in-still-in-prison-grave-concern-for-safety-and-cargo

 also: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/posts/2089230181108643

and here: https://twitter.com/GazaFFlotilla/status/1023927626719748096

 

Call/email/tweet for release of US participant Joe Meadors

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State

Tel: +1 202 647 4000 (ask for Israel & Palestine desk, and American Citizen Services, and/or Operations Center

Email: pompeom@state.gov

Website: http://state.gov

Twitter: @SecPompeo

 

Also call:

US Embassy in Israel

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

14 David Flusser

Jerusalem 9378322, Israel

Phone: 02-630-4000 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)

@usembassyjlm

 

Branch Office Tel Aviv

71 HaYarkon Street

Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel

Phone: 03-519-7575 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)

 

FUNNIEST VIDEO OF THE DAY ~~ MY MOM’S CRAZIEST STORY

MY MOM HAS NO BOMB!

Security is desired by everyone. But it’s high time we stop treating everyone as if they’re terrorists, not humans. Under the name of security, governments can do whatever they want (water boarding, Guantánamo, torture, etc). But sometimes they go too far and it’s the job of people like us to know when things are too far or not. 

Similarly, under the name of security, millions are given a sub-human treatment. I’ve always had the mindset that it’s possible to treat people as humans and still keep the world secure. If you don’t think it’s possible, then that’s a whole bigger issue!

Plus, this is a funny video not an angry one 

A PALESTINIAN ICON … AHED TAMIMI

Ahed Tamimi is free, but she hasn’t forgotten the other 5,000 Palestinians still trapped inside Israeli prisons. AJ+ spoke to Ahed about life inside an Israeli prison.

Insightful and wise beyond her years.

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