TOOSDAY’S TOON ~~ #PokemonGo BANNED IN IRAN

Pokemon Go Banned in Iran Due To “Security Concerns”

Pokemon No. For real this time.

Full report HERE

Fleeing from Morality Police:  Cartoon on Iran's #PokemonGO  Ban  Posted by Linda Hemby

Fleeing from Morality Police: Cartoon on Iran’s #PokemonGO
Ban
Posted by Linda Hemby

 

THE FIRST TIME I EVER AGREED WITH A JERUSALEM POST CARTOON

Despite the Israeli ass kissing from both major parties, and despite both neglecting to even acknowledge that there IS a Palestine, here is how the right wing sees the election in Friday’s editorial cartoon ….

Race to the Bottom BY YAAKOV KIRSCHEN, JERUSALEM POST

Race to the Bottom
BY YAAKOV KIRSCHEN, JERUSALEM POST

 

ISRAELI APARTHEID CAUGHT ON VIDEO

For those who still might have doubts ……

Israeli soldier assaults child playing on Jews-only road

In September 2012, Israeli security forces put up a chain-link fence along al-Ibrahimi Street in Hebron, separating the paved road from a narrow, rough walkway. Since then, B’Tselem has twice documented security forces denying Palestinians access to the paved road, despite official claims that there is no such prohibition. On 25 July 2016, B’Tselem volunteer Raed Abu Ramileh filmed a Border Police officer seizing the bicycle of 8-year-old Anwar Burqan and throwing it in the bushes for riding it down the paved road, which is reserved for settlers.

 

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The separation and discrimination between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank does not involve public transport only. This video features footage of Border Police officers stating that one side of a newly erected fence is for Jews, the other for Arabs.

The separation principle is an official policy of the Israeli military separating Jews and Moslems in the city of Hebron. The policy is implemented primarily through severe restrictions on Palestinian travel and movement in downtown Hebron, where most Israeli settlement outposts are located. Some of the main roads in the area are completely off limits to Palestinians, and many roads bar any and all Palestinian vehicles. Israel’s strict restrictions have made the lives of Palestinians in downtown Hebron intolerable, forcing many to leave their homes and jobs.

On 23 September 2012 Israeli security forces laid out a chain-link fence, dividing the road lengthwise. On one side of the fence is a paved road and on the other, a narrow pedestrian passageway. Since the fence was erected, Israeli security forces have not allowed Palestinians to walk on the road. Instead they direct Palestinians to the narrow passageway, which is unpaved, rough and ends in a small staircase. The passage is completely impassible by wheelchair and is very difficult to navigate with a baby carriage, pushcart or bicycle.

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The military resumed its segregation on the main street of a-Salaimeh neighborhood, in force from Sep. 2012 to Mar. 2013 when it was abandoned following to the airing of footage by B’Tselem. The military again bans Palestinians from the main part of the street, directing them to a narrow side road. This is part of the military’s overall policy of severe restrictions on Palestinian movement in downtown Hebron, implemented ever since the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs perpetrated by settler Baruch Goldstein.

 

 

Full report by Ali Abunimah HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI

President Obama neglected to apologise for the slaughter on his recent visit to Japan, But these good people did.

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  Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN TOONS ~~ WELCOME TO RIO

Images by Carlos Latuff (Direct from Rio)

The Police welcome protesters

The Police welcome protesters

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Brazil  wins its first medal in the Olympics for shooting...Black and poor people!

Brazil wins its first medal in the Olympics for shooting…Black and poor people!

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President Michel Temer lights the torch

President Michel Temer lights the torch

And the real winner is ……

Let's get the Olympics started!!!

Let’s get the Olympics started!!!

 

UNMASKING THE (GAS)MASKS OF ZION

Israel buying gas masks from companies that worked with the Nazis

The Defense Ministry, Israel Police, Israel Prison Service and the Firefighting Commission have all for years been using HazMat gear manufactured by two German companies that also provided gas masks to Nazi soldiers operating the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
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Israel-buying-gas-masks-from-companies-that-worked-with-the-Nazis-e1470301010294
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Since the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel has been acquiring gas masks and filters from two German companies, which, it now transpires, also provided the Nazis with the masks used to protect themselves at the gas chambers in Auschwitz.

The companies are Dräger, a family-owned company from Lübeck, and another formerly known as Auer, which was acquired in 1958 by the American company MSA, but its Berlin factory remains active.These companies have been selling gas masks and filters to the Israeli market for years and are exempt from having to participate in a tender.

Among their clients are the Defense Ministry, the Firefighting and Rescue Commission, Israel Railways, the Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service.

The companies’ involvement with the Nazi regime was revealed in a study by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, which is based on a book by French scholar Jean-Claude Pressac, who researched the gas chambers in Auschwitz. The book describes in great detail how the SS soldiers operated the gas chambers and what substances and equipment they used.

According to Pressac, every Nazi soldier who was involved in the extermination of the Jews was equipped with a gas mask. The Nazi army used type GM 38 masks manufactured by Dräger, while the filter for the mask was manufactured at the Auergesellschaft (Auer) factory in Berlin.

The GM 38 masks were used by the Nazi army starting in 1938 to protect the soldiers from chemicals on the battlefield. The masks were produced in different colors—for example, sand-colored for the troops stationed in Africa—and were very advanced for the time, as they were also equipped with microphones. Some of the masks were also used by Nazi pilots.

The mask’s J type filter was used to protect the Nazi soldiers from Zyklon-B, the gas used for the extermination of the Jews.

A German document found in the book, titled “Directives for the use of prussic acid (Zyklon) for the destruction of vermin (disinfestations),” provides safety instruction to the Nazi soldiers: “When fumigating with Zyklon use only special filters, e.g. the filter insert ‘J’ (blue brown) of the Auergesellschaft Berlin or of the Draegewerke, Luebeck. Should gas seep through the mask, leave the building immediately and change filters after also checking the mask and its fit to see whether they are tight.”

Business with Israel

The dark chapter in the two companies’ history did not stop government and public institutions in Israel from acquiring masks and filters from them for dozens of years. The Israel Police, for example, purchased the breathalyzers from Dräger.

Some of these government and public bodies also issued tenders for the maintenance and inspection of the equipment that indicate it was manufactured by the two companies. The Israel Railways, for example, issued a tender for the “maintenance and routine inspection of self-contained breathing apparatuses manufactured by MSA.”  The Firefighting and Rescue Commission issued a tender for “kits and parts for audio and speaking for self-contained breathing apparatus masks manufactured by MSA.”

The Israel Police, meanwhile, issued a bid for “the maintenance of HazMat self-contained breathing apparatus equipment manufactured by Auer,” “maintenance of self-contained breathing apparatus by Dräger,” and “maintenance of HazMat gear, protective suits, self-contained breathing apparatus masks from Dräger.”

A book by Amos Gazit, whose company distributes Dräger’s products in Israel, reveals more details about Israeli acquisitions from the two companies.

Amos Gazit Ltd. began importing gas masks and other HazMat gear from Germany back in the 1950s. Four days before Israel’s Independence Day in 1967, as tensions were mounting in the country in the months that preceded the Six-Day War, Gazit was in Copenhagen. He writes in his book that he received a phone call from a senior official in Israel’s Defense Ministry who told him, “Drop everything and go immediately to the Dräger factory in Lübeck. Within 48 hours, you will receive a list of equipment we need immediately. On Tuesday, you will be joined by someone at breakfast who will identify himself using a codename. This is a sensitive matter; we don’t want to fall into any traps.”

Gazit changed his travel plans and arrived in Lübeck the next day. A man with a codename handed Gazit a long “shopping list” during breakfast at the hotel and explained to him the importance of acquiring the items on it. At another table at the back of the room waited a representative from Dräger—Mr. White.

“The difficulty was in getting gas masks and filtration systems for the larger shelters and equipment for the NBC protection system at the IDF high commander’s bunker, where Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin was situated. Among the items were also gas masks for civilians,” Gazit wrote.

The Dräger representative refused to fulfill the order, claiming that company CEO Dr. Henrik Dräger did not approve of the deal. Gazit asked to speak to Dräger, and the two met in the CEO’s home. During their meeting, Dräger showed Gazit a letter signed by a senior official in the German government that read, “Dear Henrik, I ask you to not provide even one gas mask to Israel.” Gazit asked him when was the letter from, and received the answer: “Last night,” to which Gazit responded: “Excellent. We agreed on the deal on Monday, and today is Friday.”

According to Gazit, “Dräger withdrew into himself, poured a glass of wine, picked up the phone and said, ‘Please start packing up the masks.'”

The Israeli Defense Ministry then sent an El Al plane to Hamburg to pick up the equipment.

During the first Gulf War, soon after Iraq’s invasion to Kuwait in 1991, Gazit ordered gas masks from Dräger. “I bought the entire stock and even before the IDF started distributing masks, I sold everything I had,” Gazit wrote.

About three months after the war broke out, the IDF needed to change six million filters, purchase protection kits for babies and protective airhoods, and restock its warehouses with more masks. Military representatives sent by then-IDF Chief of Staff Dan Shomron met with Dräger representatives, including with Dr. Dräger himself in Germany, following which a contact was signed for an order of 2.1 million filters from the company.

In 1992, Dräger opened a factory in Israel to service the protection kits. Dr. Dräger, Israeli officials and senior officials in the Defense Ministry attended the factory’s opening. After the servicing project was complete, the factory was closed down and moved back to Germany.

MSA, meanwhile, aided in setting up factories in Israel to manufacture gas filtration systems for the defense establishment.

‘Some of the best products in the world’

Dräger said in response, “Since our establishment in 1889, we have developed equipment, systems and services that protect, support and save human lives. These products are being used for security and public safety purposes. After the Nazi party came to power in 1933, Dräger received a growing number of orders from the German Defense Ministry to develop what was then said to be gas masks for civilians.”

MSA said in response: “As a company whose foundations are based in ethics, decency and the commitment to protect people, MSA strongly condemns the horrors Nazi Germany committed against humanity. For over 100 years, our sole mission has been to protect the well-being and safety of people worldwide. MSA’s masks helped in keeping firefighters, police officers, emergency teams, industrial workers and soldiers—including in the Israeli army—from harm. The American MSA did not provide the Germans with equipment during World War II, it acquired the Auergesellschaft factory in 1958, long after it was no longer providing gas masks to the German army.”

The Firefighting and Rescue Commission said in response: “We acquire life-saving breathing equipment from the two companies because these are quality products, among the best in the world. The Firefighting and Rescue Commission does not issue recommendations to security bodies to acquire this gear.”

The Defense Ministry said in response: “The two companies are licensed providers of the Defense Ministry. We are unfamiliar with the claims about their past history.”

Likud MK Oren Hazan is currently working on a bill to prevent in the future the purchase and use of equipment from companies that worked with the Nazis.

FROM

UNMASKING ISRAELI RACISM

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took to social media to apologise for last year’s notorious election-day comment, when he warned that “the Arabs are coming out to vote in droves” – a reference to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian.

The original video …

In videos released last week in English and Hebrew, Netanyahu urged Palestinian citizens to become more active in public life. They needed to “work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves”, he said. “I am proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success”.

Last week’s ‘apology …

And the reality …

Israeli racism unmasks Netanyahu goodwill video

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth (FROM)

Was it meant as an epic parody or an insult to his audience’s intelligence? It was hard to tell.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took to social media to apologise for last year’s notorious election-day comment, when he warned that “the Arabs are coming out to vote in droves” – a reference to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian.

Upstaged by reality

In videos released last week in English and Hebrew, Netanyahu urged Palestinian citizens to become more active in public life. They needed to “work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves”, he said. “I am proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success”.

Pointedly, Ayman Odeh, head of the Palestinian-dominated Joint List party, noted that 100,000 Bedouin citizens could not watch the video because Israel denies their communities electricity, internet connections and all other services.

Swiftly and predictably, the reality of life for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinians upstaged Netanyahu’s fine words.

In a radio interview, Moti Dotan, the head of the Lower Galilee regional council, sent a message to his Palestinian neighbours: “I don’t want them at my [swimming] pools.” Sounding like a mayor in the southern United States during the Jim Crow-era, he added: “Their culture of cleanliness isn’t the same as ours. Why is that racist?”

Dotan was no extremist, observed the liberal newspaper Haaretz. He represents the Israeli mainstream. Notably, Netanyahu did not distance himself from Dotan’s remarks.

State-sponsored humiliation

At the same time, Samar Qupty, star of a new film on Palestinians in Israel called Junction 48, was questioned for two hours and then strip searched at Ben Gurion airport and denied her hand luggage before being allowed to fly to an international film festival.

Stories of state-sponsored humiliation at the airport are routine for Israel’s Palestinian academics, journalists, actors and community leaders – in fact, for any Palestinian active in the public sphere.

The list of restrictions on Palestinian citizens is long and growing. A database by the legal group Adalah shows that some 60 Israeli laws explicitly discriminate against non-Jews, with another 18 in the pipeline.

Two laws passed last month intensify the repression of dissent. An Expulsion Law is designed to empower Israeli MPs to oust Palestinian lawmakers whose views offend them, while a Transparency Law stigmatises human rights groups working to protect Palestinian rights.

Recently leaked protocols reveal that the police have secretly awarded themselves powers to use live fire against Palestinian protesters in Israel, even if they pose no danger. Yet another law threatens jail for any Palestinian citizen who tries to dissuade another from volunteering in the Israeli army.

Growing numbers of Palestinian citizens, including poets and writers, are being jailed or put under house arrest for posts on social media the Israeli authorities disapprove of.

Abuse and marginalisation

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently compared the work of the Palestinians’ national poet, Mahmoud Darwish, to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Darwish is banned from school curriculums.

The culture minister, Miri Regev, meanwhile, has tied state funding for theatre and dance companies to their readiness to perform in Jewish settlements, illegally located in the occupied territories in the West Bank.

In his video, Netanyahu said: “Jews and Arabs should reach out to each other, get to know each other’s families. Listen to each other.”

And yet his officials have just halved funding for the training of Palestinian student teachers, though not Jewish ones, to deter the former from pursuing teaching careers. Jewish schools face severe staff shortages, but Israel’s educational segregation is so complete that Palestinian citizens cannot be allowed to teach Jewish children.

Netanyahu also extolled his government for a promise to increase funding for Israel’s near-bankrupt Palestinian local authorities. He forgot to mention, however, that he had conditioned the money on the same councils demolishing thousands of homes in their jurisdiction. For decades Palestinians in Israel have been routinely denied building permits.

PR exercise aimed at Europeans

Israel’s Palestinian citizens were not fooled by Netanyahu’s video. But as their leaders noted, they were not the intended audience. The video was a cynical PR exercise aimed firmly at the Europeans, who have been discomfited by Israel’s increasingly repressive climate and the government’s regular incitement against its Palestinian minority.

Netanyahu is worried about a backlash in the West, including growing support for the boycott movement, European efforts to revive peace talks, and potential moves at the United Nations and International Criminal Court.

Palestinians in Israel have known worse repression than they currently endure. For Israel’s first two decades they lived under military rule, locked into their towns and villages and largely invisible unless they agreed to do and say as they were told. Palestinian MPs could be elected to the parliament but only if they were first approved by Zionist parties like Netanyahu’s.

The Israeli right sounds ever more nostalgic for that era. Slowly the ethos of the military government for Israel’s Palestinians is returning – and the perfume of Netanyahu’s soothing words about ending “discord and hate” will not cover the stench.

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORK LIVES MATTER

stop-the-hate-because-all-lives-matter

On August 1st several hundred New Yorkers, Black and white, occupied New York’s City Hall Park. They demanded an end to police brutality and killings and an end to police occupation of Black communities. Among the many speakers two were Palestinians who represented Students For Justice In Palestine. They spoke of the unity between the Black freedom struggle and the struggle of the Palestinians to end the occupation of their homeland. They reminded the people there that with the killing in Ferguson the Palestinians sent a message of unity and instructions on how to deal with the tear gas being used against the Black protesters by the police.

   Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT FOR PRESIDENT?

“1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection” proves she sold weapons to ISIS in Syria [Video]

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HYDRO-APARTHEID

Water shortages are not new for Palestinians. Whether in the occupied Gaza Strip or the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the supply of water flowing into Palestinian homes is strictly capped or obstructed by Israel.

Palestinians collect water from a spring, in the West Bank village of Salfit on 27 June. Villagers had been without water for days as chronic supply shortages induced by Israeli occupation authorities continue to hit many parts of the territory. Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Palestinians collect water from a spring, in the West Bank village of Salfit on 27 June. Villagers had been without water for days as chronic supply shortages induced by Israeli occupation authorities continue to hit many parts of the territory. Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Israel’s hydro-apartheid keeps West Bank thirsty

Water shortages are not new for Palestinians. Whether in the occupied Gaza Strip or the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the supply of water flowing into Palestinian homes is strictly capped or obstructed by Israel.

As temperatures climb during the summer, taps run dry. Clemens Messerschmid, a German hydrologist who has worked with Palestinians on their water supply for two decades, calls the situation “hydro-apartheid.”

This year, Israeli journalist Amira Hass published data proving that the Israeli Water Authority had reduced the amount of water delivered to West Bank villages.

In some places, the supply was slashed by half. Her records contradict official denials that water supplies to Palestinian cities and villages are cut during the summer, even though that too is not new.

Cities and small villages have gone as long as 40 days without running water this summer, forcing those who can afford it to haul in water tanks.

When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it also seized control over the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, the territory’s principal natural water reserve.

The Oslo accords of the early 1990s gave Israel 80 percent of the aquifer’s reserves. Palestinians were supposed to get the remaining 20 percent, but in recent years they have been able to access only 14 percent as a result of Israeli restrictions on their drilling.

To fulfill the population’s minimum needs, the Palestinian Authority is forced to buy the rest of the water from Israel. But even then, it’s not enough.

Israel is only willing to sell a limited amount of water to Palestinians. As a consequence, Palestinians use far less water than Israelis, and a full third less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 100 liters per person per day for domestic use, hospitals, schools and other institutions.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with Clemens Messerschmid, who has been working in the water sector throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1997, about the engineered water scarcity for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Charlotte Silver: Is scarcity of water in the area driving the water crisis in the West Bank? Or is the scarcity engineered?

Clemens Messerschmid: Of course there is no water scarcity in the West Bank. What we suffer from is induced scarcity – it’s called the occupation. This is the regime imposed on Palestinians immediately after the war in June 1967.

Israel rules through military orders, which have the direct and intended result of keeping Palestinians short on water. It is not an ongoing gradual dispossession as with land and settlements, but was done in one sweep by Military Order No. 92, in August 1967.

The West Bank possesses ample groundwater. There is high rainfall in Salfit, in the northern West Bank, now known for especially hard water cuts.

The West Bank is blessed with a treasure of groundwater. But this is also its curse, because Israel targeted this immediately after taking control.

What we need is simple: groundwater wells to access this treasure. But Israel’s Military Order No. 158 strictly forbids drilling or any other water works, including springs, pipes, networks, pumping stations, irrigation pools, water reservoirs, simple rainwater harvesting cisterns, which collect the rain falling on one’s roof.

Everything is forbidden or rather not “permitted” by the Civil Administration, Israel’s occupation regime. Even repair and maintenance of wells requires military permits. And we simply don’t get them.

It is a simple case of hydro-apartheid – far beyond any regime in history that I am aware of.

CS: Israel has increased the amount of water it sells Palestinians, but it is still not enough to prevent villages from running dry. Putting aside the fact that Israel’s control over the aquifer’s resources is very problematic, why won’t Israel sell the Palestinians enough water?

CM: Israel first of all has drastically reduced the amount of water available to Palestinians. It has prevented all access to the Jordan River, which is now literally pumped dry at Lake Tiberias.

Then, Israel imposes a quota on the number of wells and routinely denies permits for much-needed repair of old wells from the Jordanian days – Jordan administered the West Bank from 1948 until the Israeli occupation – especially agricultural wells. That means the number of wells is constantly shrinking. We have fewer than in 1967.

Now, the only thing that has increased is the dependency on buying water from the expropriators, Israel andMekorot, Israel’s national water company.

This is reported over and over in the western press, because it is the point Israel stresses: ‘See how benevolent we are?’

So, yes, since Oslo, purchases from Mekorot have grown steadily. Ramallah now receives 100 percent of its water from Mekorot. Not a drop comes from a single well field we have.

The supply of villages by Israel was not done as a favor. It was initiated in 1980 by Ariel Sharon, then agriculture minister, when rapid settlement growth was starting. The water supply was “integrated,” in order to make the occupation irreversible.

What is important here is the structural apartheid, cemented and cast in iron in these pipes. A small settlement is supplied via large transmission pipes from which smaller pipes split off to go towards Palestinian areas.

Israel is very happy with Oslo, because now Palestinians are “responsible” for supply. Responsible but without a shred of sovereignty over resources.

The current so-called water crisis is not a crisis at all. A crisis is a sudden change, a new turn or a turning point in development. The undersupply of Palestinians is desired, planned and carefully executed. The “summer water crisis” is the most reliable feature of the Palestinian water calendar. And the amount of annual rain, or drought, has no bearing whatsoever on the occurrence and scale of that “crisis.”

I should stress that however routinely this occurs, in each and every single case, it is a conscious decision by some bureaucrat or office in Israel or the Civil Administration. Someone has to go to the field and turn down the valve at the split off to the Palestinian village. This, like every summer, was done in early June. Hence – water crisis in the West Bank.

CS: What factors may be contributing to the worsening water cuts this year?

CM: It seems settler demand rose drastically since last year. The Israeli Water Authority found 20 to 40 percent higher demand, which is quite remarkable.

Alexander Kushnir, the Water Authority’s director general, attributes this to expansion of settler irrigation in the mountains of the northern West Bank settlements, around Salfit and Nablus.

CS: How is it that people in present-day Israel are reportedly enjoying a surplus of water since the country has started using desalination, while the people under occupation in the West Bank are left with so little? Even Israeli settlers have reportedly experienced water cuts.

CM: It’s true that Israel declared for the first time a few years ago that it had a surplus water economy and iskeen to sell more water to its neighbors, from whom it expropriated water in the first place.

Palestinians are already buying water Israel stole, but as noted, not reliably or at sufficient rates.

Frankly, I don’t know. Why this special, elevated and aggravated desire of Israel not even to sell enough water to the West Bank?

In some areas, water is actively used as a weapon for ethnic cleansing, like in the Jordan Valley. Agriculture was always targeted from day one of the occupation.

But this logic does not apply to the densely populated Palestinian towns and cities in so-called Area A of the West Bank, that are still struggling. After 20 years, this still leaves me puzzled.

Another element is important to understand: Israel needs to constantly teach Palestinians a lesson. Any water procurement, any drop delivered should be understood as a generous favor, as an act of mercy, not as a right.

Israel has augmented water sales to the West Bank from 25 million cubic meters per year in 1995 to around 60 mcm/year now. Why does it not sell much more? It certainly could afford it waterwise – it has a gigantic surplus.

One of the material issues I can detect is the issue of price, and therefore meaning of water.

Israel wants to eventually get the highest price for desalinated water it sells to Palestinians. While we are only speaking about a few hundred million shekels a year [a few tens of millions of dollars] – which is not a lot for Israel – Israel wants to end the debate once and for all over Palestinian water rights.

Israel demands nothing short of a full surrender: Palestinians should agree that the water under their feet does not belong to them, but forever to the occupier.

By demanding full prices for desalinated water, Palestinians would admit and agree to a new formula.

A word on the Gaza Strip – unlike the West Bank, Gaza has no physical possibility of access to water. The confined and densely populated Strip can never supply itself. Yet, Gaza does not get such water deliveries from Israel. Only recently did Israel start selling to Gaza the five million cubic meters per year agreed in Oslo. A tiny cosmetic increase has been enacted.

In a way you could interpret this differential treatment between Gaza and the West Bank as an Israeli admission of a certain degree of hydrological dependence.

Israel receives the bulk of its water from the territories conquered in 1967, including Syria’s Golan Heights, but not a drop from Gaza.

Waterwise, Gaza has no resource to offer Israel. This is the same as with the main resource: land. Hence a very different approach to Gaza right from the start in 1967. Israel does not depend on Gaza in any material form. Ever since Oslo, Israel has demanded Gaza supply itself by its own means, such as through seawater desalination.

CS: How have donor countries acted in all this? Have they defended global minimal water standards or have they affirmed and bolstered Israel’s control over the water resources in the occupied West Bank?

CM: Unfortunately the latter. When Oslo started, we all were under the illusion that a phase of development would start. Wells that were forbidden to be drilled for 28 years would finally be put in place.

Soon, we learned that Israel in fact was never willing to give “permits … for expanding agriculture or industry, which may compete with the State of Israel,” as then-defense minister Yitzhak Rabin said in 1986.

What was needed then and now – and everybody knew it – was political pressure to extract the minimum well-drilling permits guaranteed under Palestinian-Israeli accords. This pressure never came. Never did the EU or my German government issue even a public statement in which it “deplores” or “regrets” the obstructions in the water sector. This is a true scandal.

But even worse, what was our Western answer to this? All donor-funded projects actually abandoned the vital branch of well drilling. The last German funded well was drilled in 1999.

As for the current so-called water crisis, we as donors are now busy generously funding anachronistic water tankering in the cut-off Palestinian towns and cities – adapting to and stabilizing the status quo of occupation and water apartheid.

TOOSDAY’S TOON ~~ THE REAL CHAMPIONS OF THIS YEAR’S OLYMPICS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Syrian Refugees, Champions of the Olympics of Survival

Syrian Refugees, Champions of the Olympics of Survival

WHY SHOULD AN ‘ISRAELI ARAB’ BELIEVE ANYTHING NETANYAHU HAS TO SAY?

‘THROW PAPA FROM THE TRAIN’

Israeli officials have forfeited the moral high ground in their denunciations of Palestinians. Pictured: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr Commons)

Israeli officials have forfeited the moral high ground in their denunciations of Palestinians. Pictured: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr Commons)

Yesterday I took a trip to downtown Jerusalem on the Light Rail. On the way home the train was stopped by Israeli Border Police because there was a Palestinian sitting in my car with his son. The Police rudely demanded to see his Identity Card and then ordered him to get off the train. He was dong nothing wrong, just going home with his son the same way I was doing …. They held up the train for ten minutes as the man protested that he was doing nothing wrong. By this time his son was hysterical as other passengers surrounded the man to give (im)moral support to the Police. Eventually he agreed to leave the train and we continued on our journey.

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Just another day in Jerusalem😦

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BUT you must remember …

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The man was a Palestinian … a major crime in the city of Jerusalem.

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This just a week after Netanyahu’s infamous speech where he said;

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Jews and Arabs should reach out to each other, get to know each other’s families.
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Listen to each other.
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Jews and Arabs should treat one another with the same dignity and respect you’d want for your own family

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Our land is too small, it’s too precious to fill it with discord and hate.

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Here is the complete speech on video …

So I ask, after what I witnessed yesterday, how is this Arab man and his son supposed to believe anything that Netanyahu says?

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Hate still rules in the Holy Land!

MEET THE ISRAELI RABBI WHO HATES BOTH GAYS AND WOMEN

Morgan Freeman hit the nail on the head with the following Tweet …

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The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

On the qustion of Gays … “Gays and lesbians should be treated with love and support, but they are sick or deformed.” (SEE THIS POST)

One can only wonder what Freud would say about this man …

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Meet the Israeli army’s misogynist chief rabbi

The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

The elevation of Colonel Eyal Karim to the rank of brigadier general and the position of chief rabbi was thrown into question after his past controversial statements were reported by Israeli media. After holding a private meeting with Karim, however, Israel’s chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot publicly proclaimed that he would support the appointment.

Once he is military chief rabbi, Karim will be responsible for making decisions with regards to religious matters in the armed forces. Karim currently serves as the second-highest ranking religious official in the Israeli army. His nomination to the top post has received the support of the State of Israel’s two chief rabbis and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Comments Karim made in 2003 when he was a civilian resurfaced after his appointment. In a column called “Ask the Rabbi” at Kipa.co.il, a popular Hebrew-language website catering to religious Jews, Karim responded to a number of anonymous letters inquiring about specificities of Jewish religious law, including a question about rape in times of war.

“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?” Karim was asked. He answered: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”

Karim’s comments first attracted notice in 2012, when dissident Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz first published them in English at +972 Magazine. Gurvitz says that when he asked the military to comment on Karim’s statements, he was rebuked by an army spokesperson and told that his query “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion.”

Public retraction

The day after Gurvitz’ article appeared on +972, Karim published a letter at Kipa, reported by Gurvitz, attempting to walk back his 2003 religious ruling sanctioning rape: “It is clear that in our times … this ruling is certainly not to be acted on.”

The military seemed to be satisfied with Karim’s disavowal of his previous edict; he continued to serve as the army’s second-highest religious official for the next four years. But the announcement that he was to be promoted to army chief rabbi elicited another round of outrage, as well as a more thorough examination of his previously published opinions.

In his Kipa column, Karim has promoted burning Christian bibles, killing wounded “terrorists” and torturing captives, stating: “Terrorists should not be treated as human beings, because they are animals.”

In one of his responses, Karim called for the transformation of the state into a Jewish monarchy and a genocide against the people of “Amalek.” The Amalek people mentioned in the Torah are not known to have any modern-day descendants, but some rabbis attribute their bloodline to Israel’s current enemies, dooming them to a divinely commanded death sentence.

Karim also ruled that the court testimony of females cannot be relied upon, because of their supposedly “sentimental” nature. He also ruled that Jewish men in the Israeli army may not serve under the command of a woman, as this would require them to gaze upon her.

Karim’s tenure as the second-highest-ranking religious official in the military did not pass without controversy.

In 2013, he produced a booklet for Israeli soldiers which effectively asserts that Jewish supremacy was divinely ordained and that this would always overrule the laws of democracy. The booklet states: “The concept that non-Jews have equal rights with Jews in Israel goes against the opinion of the Torah, and the state’s representatives have no authority to act against the Torah’s will.” The army later apologized for the book’s contents.

When Karim’s impending appointment was made public this month and the rabbi began to draw renewed criticism for his past comments, his detractors were again accused of “anti-Semitism” — and even of fabricating a “blood libel” — in an op-ed by columnist Dror Eydar in Israel Hayom, the highest-circulation newspaper in the country.

Threats of rape as instrument of oppression

Karim’s defenders insist that his comments on rape were misunderstood and that he couldn’t possibly have permitted sexual assaults against Palestinian women. But threats of rape have been wielded by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians.

In June 2014, Bar-Ilan University professor Mordechai Kedar publicly suggested that Israeli forces dissuade Palestinians from taking up arms by threatening the rape of their female relatives. The military seems to have quickly adopted Kedar’s doctrine; Palestinians taken captive that same summer during Isreal’s assault on Gaza say they were threatened with the rape of their wives.

Earlier this year, a lawyer representing Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq said that while Israel detained al-Qiq for months without charge, his captors threatened to rape him, his wife and their children unless he confessed to crimes. Al-Qiq was only released after refusing food for 94 days.

Actual sexual assaults of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli soldiers are not unheard of. During the early years of the state, soldier sex attacks on Palestinians were common enough that they were a source of consternation for Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. At a government meeting in 1951, speaking about army attacks on Palestinians, he declared, “I know some of the crimes, and I must say the situation is frightening in two areas: acts of murder and acts of rape.”

In recent years, Amira Hass, correspondent for the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, and the Israeli investigative journalist who goes by the pseudonym Eishton have reported on incidents in which Israeli soldiers allegedlyraped and sexually assaulted Palestinian females. And testimonies obtained by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel show that Palestinian men and boys held in Israeli custody have also been subjected to sexual threats and sexual abuse.

Sexual violence common

Recent high-profile cases reveal the pervasiveness of rape culture in Israel.

In April, an Israeli investigative news program revealed that the late Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi was a serial rapist and sexual predator during his decorated army service, in which he reached the rank of general.

Last week, a currently serving brigadier general who had been slated for promotion was indicted for rape and sexual assault against multiple female soldiers. The following day, his former commander told Israeli army radio that the accused rapist is a “hero” and cited the Torah in defense of his alleged actions.

Admittedly, the Israeli army is taking steps to stem the rate of sex assaults, or at least those occurring within its ranks. Until just four months ago, victims of sex attacks in the army would have to shell out for their own legal costs, while alleged attackers would have all their legal fees paid for. Under a new policy, the army will pay the legal fees of both accused and accuser.

In February, the army chief’s advisor on women’s affairs sent a letter to all Israeli soldiers calling upon them tostop printing out regalia that includes images and messages that objectify women and make light of rape.

The army also makes mandatory for all incoming draftees an instructional workshop on the topic of sexual assault. However, after ultra-Orthodox soldiers angrily objected to the sexual content of the workshop, the army buckled and granted exemptions to religious troops.

Meanwhile, Israel’s police force in recent years has seen a massive epidemic of sex crime allegations against top cops. In May, the Times of Israel reported:

“The past few years have seen a string of sexual misconduct cases involving top police officers, many of whom were forced to retire due to the allegations against them. In all, about half of the Israel Police’s major generals — the highest rank below that of the police commissioner — have been accused of such abuse, and many of them have stepped down.”

In 2013, after Nisso Shaham, the Jerusalem chief of police, was indicted for sexual harassment against several women, mainly subordinates, he protested that it was unfair to try him for these crimes. He argued that his behaviors were “in keeping with the conventional norms accepted by the police” and that they were “routine and common”.

Instead of combatting sexism in the police force, the top brass seems to be trying to sweep the problem of misogyny under the rug.

Roni Alsheikh, national police commissioner and former deputy head of Israel’s domestic spy agency the Shin Bet, recently reinstated a top police commander accused of sexual harassment and planned to promote another commander found guilty of harassment (that officer declined the appointment after Alsheikh’s announcement provoked outcry). Alsheikh also announced — on International Women’s Day, no less — that the force would no longer investigate allegations of sex crimes, unless accusers were willing to reveal their identities.

Rape culture

Rape culture is perpetuated by the country’s political class. Dozens of demonstrators recently gathered in Tel Aviv to protest plans to grant early release to Moshe Katsav, the former Israeli president currently serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of rape and other offenses. Katsav has often smeared his victims in the press, and has yet to either admit his guilt or express remorse for his actions.

The case of another politician from Kiryat Malachi, Katsav’s hometown, provides sobering evidence of the nearly free pass that rapists are often accorded in Israeli society. After mayor Motti Malka was charged with multiple rapes, along with his son, his deputy mayor and four other men, he reached a plea deal with police that saw him serve no jail time at all.

In the end, Malka was not even forced to pay a monetary fine because the Kiryat Malachi city council had previously purchased a policy for “sexual harassment insurance.” Just weeks later, the council invited Malka to attend the city’s official celebration of International Women’s Day.

The army is hardly the only sector of Israeli society from which sexual assaults emanate. But rape culture in the military is especially disconcerting, as its soldiers have access to deadly weapons and the license to use them. And now its chief rabbi is a man who once gave Jewish soldiers sanction to rape Palestinian women until he was shamed into retracting it.

NOTE TO PUTIN ~~ WAIT TILL HILLARY WINS THE NOMINATION THEN RELEASE THEM

THE TIME HAS COME!

And here is what Bill thought of the acceptance speech ….

 

IN TOONS ~~ #InternationalFriendshipDay IN TURKEY TODAY

Turkey’s best friend @ #InternationalFriendshipDay

Images by Carlos Latuff

Cooa-I5WAAAYeIR

*

CoocvBVW8AA-_EZ

*

At the expense of …CoodFfNXYAA0z05

*

JUSTIFICATION FOR ISRAELI RACISM AND APARTHEID

First read THIS post from yesterday

“In Arab culture, it is customary to bring lunch or dinner to the pool and when, usually, when it’s crowded, mess is left behind. My Jewish residents don’t make a mess and don’t leave trash behind.”

Aftermath of a Palestinian picnic

Aftermath of a Palestinian picnic

Did Israel Lawmaker Just Call for Swimming Pool Apartheid?

An Israeli mayor from the Galilee apologized for causing offense by saying that he does not want Arabs to use swimming pools of predominantly-Jewish towns and cities.

Speaking on the Kol Rega radio station Thursday, Motti Dotan, head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, said: “I don’t hate Arabs, but I don’t want them at my pools. I don’t go to their pools, either.”

His statement, published prominently by Haaretz and other media, provoked outrage and accusations of racism against Dotan, a member of the Likud party and a board member of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.

In Thursday’s radio interview, he ascribed his opinion to “cultural differences” and not racism. He cited different dress norms. In an interview for 103FM, he said: “I apologize if anyone was offended by what I said.”

Dotan noted that no Jews swim at an Arab-owned private pool near Kibbutz Beit Rimon, one of several Jewish communities and towns represented by his council. Neighboring Arab towns and villages are represented by a different regional council. But he also said “no one checks bathers at the entrance” to pools and that Arabs are free to enter any of them.

In the 103FM interview, he said Arab bathers tend to leave a mess behind them.

“In Arab culture, it is customary to bring lunch or dinner to the pool and when, usually, when it’s crowded, mess is left behind. My Jewish residents don’t make a mess and don’t leave trash behind,” he said.

“If [Arabs] would behave according to our norms, then I’d have no problem. But that doesn’t happen, so I generalize,” he said in the Kol Rega injterview. “When Jewish men and women will feel comfortable in an Arab town, then I will be happy to have them over. But until that happens, I don’t want them.”

Yousef Jabareen a Knesset member with the Joint Arab List party slammed Dotan’s comments, telling Haaretz: “In addition to being morally unacceptable, they constitute a criminal offense, and I am contacting the attorney general to open a criminal investigation.”

In a statement, the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a nonprofit that promotes coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arabs, quipped: “Motti Dotan .., isn’t a racist. He simply doesn’t want dirty Arabs in his pool. For his part, he promises not to go to ‘their’ pools (the imaginary pools existing in all of the Arab communities in the Lower Galilee).”

In April, a right-wing Knesset member was slammed for saying Arab and Jewish mothers in Israel’s maternity wards should be placed in separate rooms. In a Twitter post, Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party said, “It’s natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie down [in a bed] next to a woman who just gave birth to a baby who might want to murder her baby twenty years from now.”

Smotrich added that “Arabs are my enemies and that’s why I don’t enjoy being next to them.”

Soon after their posting, the tweets were criticized by party leader Naftali Bennett.

The leader of a local Israeli government council said Thursday that he doesn’t want to see Arabs using public swimming pools in his locality.

“I don’t hate Arabs, but I don’t want them at my pools,” Lower Galilee Regional Council head Motti Dotanhe told a radio station. “I don’t go to their pools, either.”

CATERPILLAR ONCE AGAIN USED AS A WEAPON IN PALESTINE

The D9 is the type of machine that an Israeli soldier used to kill American activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza in 2003.

idf-photo-caterpillar-gaza-august-2014

Israel uses Caterpillar equipment in apparent extrajudicial killing

Israeli occupation forces used a Caterpillar excavator to carry out the apparent extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian man using the so-called pressure cooker procedure in which construction equipment is employed as a lethal weapon, analysis by The Electronic Intifada shows.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, has long been the focus of boycott and divestment campaigns for selling equipment Israel uses in human rights abuses and war crimes, including the demolitions of homes and construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Late on Tuesday night, Israeli forces massed in the town of Surif, near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and launched an assault on a house in which they besieged Muhammad al-Faqih. The Israelis eventually demolished the house with al-Faqih still inside.

Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, claims that al-Faqih, from the nearby village of Dura, carried out a shooting near Hebron earlier this month that caused the crash of a car, killing an Israeli settler and injuring his wife.

According to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, the Shin Bet, whose use of torture is systematic, accused al-Faqih of the killing after obtaining confessions from two other Palestinians who allegedly assisted him, including al-Faqih’s brother.

As the journalist and close observer of Israel’s occupation Marian Houk noted, Israeli media reproduced the Shin Bet’s allegations as fact “without an ounce [or] gram of doubt” and without the need for any judicial process.

Anti-tank missiles

The Israeli army claimed that its forces “called on the operative [al-Faqih] to surrender, and he responded by opening fire and hurling explosives.”

The army said that it “responded according to procedure and returned fire” and that al-Faqih “was killed in the exchange.”

Military spokespersons also told media that soldiers fired anti-tank missiles at the house and then used an excavator to demolish it with al-Faqih inside.

Video published on YouTube shows Israeli soldiers pulling al-Faqih’s body from the rubble of the house and loading it into the excavator’s bucket before taking it away.

The Quds news website, citing witnesses, said dozens of Israeli military vehicles took part in the seven-hour siege and assault as drones circled overhead.

Village youths responded by throwing stones at Israeli forces, and several protesters were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets. Israel also sealed off the village, cut electricity and Internet services and barred Palestinian ambulances from entering the area.

The Ma’an News Agency reported that a woman was also injured during the operation and several people from Surif, including the owner of the destroyed home, were detained.

The lethal raid comes amid massive Israeli closures and arrest sweeps in the Hebron area in recent weeks following attacks on Israeli settlers, including the killing of a 13-year-old child in her home. A field director with UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, decried Israel’s closure for “collectively punishing innocent people for the acts of others.”

In his home village of Dura, al-Faqih’s family received condolences and his mother praised her son as a “hero” and as “stubborn,” adding that he would never have surrendered himself to Israeli forces.

“Pressure cooker”

While the Israeli army said that al-Faqih fired first, a claim that cannot be independently verified, the “procedure” its forces appear to have used is the “pressure cooker” in which construction equipment is deliberately used as a weapon.

Who Profits, a group that researches companies involved in Israel’s occupation, describes the pressure cooker procedure in a 2014 report on the use of construction machinery in Israel’s occupation.

Originally developed to handle alleged hostage-takers barricaded inside a building, the procedure was modified during the second intifada of the early 2000s and used against any Palestinians who were inside a house who Israeli forces wanted to detain.

First, the forces surrounding the house use a loudspeaker to order anyone inside to come out immediately. If the persons remain inside, the soldiers start shooting at the building first with small arms, then machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and finally tank shells or missiles.

If the persons survive and still refuse to surrender, an armored bulldozer or excavator is sent to the scene. The bulldozer initially shakes the house and then starts peeling off the walls, ultimately destroying the house and burying the target of the attack beneath it.

“Although heavy engineering machinery clearly plays a significant role in the human rights violations caused by different types of house and property demolitions, its brutal use in the framework of the pressure cooker procedure upgrades it from a potentially deadly tool to a lethal weapon used systematically for extrajudicial killings,” Who Profits states.

In August 2014, Israeli forces used a militarized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in a similar assault on a building in the village of Qabalan near the West Bank city of Nablus. Zakaria al-Aqra, the 24-year-old target of the attack, was killed, six of his relatives were wounded and the house was badly damaged during the eight-hour operation.

Armored excavator

Analysis of video and photos of the Israeli assault on Surif allows the large machine used to demolish the house where al-Faqih was besieged to be identified as the Bagger E-349 armored excavator.

As the Israeli army’s ground command website shows, this is a weaponized version of Caterpillar’s model 349E Hydraulic Excavator.

An independent UN inquiry into Israel’s assault on Gaza found that Palestinian resistance organizations used tunnels only to attack “legitimate military targets.”

“Primary weapon”

As long ago as 2004, Human Rights Watch called on Caterpillar to halt sales of bulldozers to Israel because of their use as a “primary weapon to raze Palestinian homes, destroy agriculture and shred roads in violation of the laws of war.”

Since then, pressure has mounted on Caterpillar as dozens of campaigns have urged institutions to divest from the firm. The Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ have voted to do so since 2014.

In 2012, Caterpillar was dropped from a leading index of socially responsible investments in part because of concerns over its products’ use by Israel to violate human rights.

Caterpillar has always tried to distance itself from the Israeli army’s use of its equipment but has done nothing to halt sales. The company says that the machines are not sold to Israel directly, but through the US government and that it “cannot monitor the use of every piece of its equipment around the world.” Caterpillar says that it does not militarize the machines it makes, but that this is done by Israel.

But photographs published by Evenor appear to show Israeli army weaponized bulldozers being serviced at Caterpillar corporate facilities in Israel, suggesting that the company’s complicity is more direct than it claims.

Additional research by Dena Shunra.

More photos at SOURCE

WHAT THE DEMS SEEM TO HAVE OVERLOOKED

JESUS WAS A BROWN SKINNED PALESTINIAN JEW

Image by Carlos Latuff

CogEbKaUEAAlkp0

Based on the following speech

Also see the following from WRH ….

(Click on link)

KILLING THE FAMILY OF JESUS

WHY IS THIS RACIST THEY ASK …

Can anyone answer this?

‘I don’t want to see Arabs in our swimming pools’

Galilee council head stirs controversy defending limitations on pool use in Jewish towns. ‘Why is it racist?’

How quickly they forget

no-jews-allowed-1

Lower Galilee Regional Council head Motti Dotan stirred up controversy on Thursday after he defended the practice of barring access to local swimming pools to non-residents, which some claim is used to prevent Arabs from using facilities in Jewish communities.

The former Labor member turned Likudnik said he “didn’t want to see them in our pools”, rejecting suggestions the desire for separation was rooted in racism.

Speaking to Kol Rega on Thursday, Dotan insisted he bears no malice towards Israel’s Arab population, but recognizes there are different cultural norms.

“I don’t hate Arabs,” said Dotan, “but I don’t want to see them in our pools.”

“I don’t go to their pools,” he added, saying that there is a clear difference between the two cultures. “Why is that racist?”

“If they would behave according to our norms, then I’d have no problem. But that doesn’t happen, so I generalize. When Jewish men and women will feel comfortable in an Arab town, then I will be happy to have them over. But until that happens, I don’t want them.”

 

FROM

ISRAEL’S REAL MESSAGE TO PALESTINIANS

Surely NOT THIS ….

THIS is more like it ….

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015

Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.

The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.

B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families.

The B’Tselem tally marked a higher count than the total number of houses destroyed by Israeli each year in the past decade, with the exception of 2013, when 175 homes were demolished.

The 2016 statistics marked a drastic increase from 2015, when 125 homes were demolished, leaving 496 Palestinians without a home.

B’Tselem further estimated that Israel had demolished some 1,113 Palestinian homes in the West Bank alone from 2006 to June 2016, primarily targeting Palestinian communities east of Jerusalem, in the South Hebron Hills and in the Jordan Valley — where a large number of illegal Israeli settlements are located.

The group added that during that decade, at least 769 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 340 minors, saw their homes demolished more than once.

During the Knesset conference on the report, Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List which brings together political factions representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, said the demolitions showed that in spite of calls by Israeli right-wing groups to annex all of the West Bank, “actually and practically, we know that Israel prefers to perpetuate its control in a gray area… while paying lip service to the international community.”

Beyond homes, B’Tselem highlighted the fact that Israeli authorities also demolished structures Palestinians depended on for their livelihoods, such as livestock pens, sheds, and bathroom facilities, and confiscated solar panels and water tanks.

“In doing so, the Civil Administration not only leaves these residents homeless but also severely lacking basic services and the ability to earn a living,” the report read.Joint List MK Dov Khenin denounced the demolitions during the Knesset conference as a deliberate move by the Israeli government to annex parts of Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.“

Demolishing houses, water tanks and solar panels does not happen by coincidence or by mistake,” he told the Knesset. “It is an organized policy that aims to change the current political condition, force Palestinians to leave the area and annex parts of Area C to prevent the two-state solution. Therefore, it is no longer a human rights case but a first-degree political case.”Natalie Grove, a representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also present at the Knesset, said that “Israel does not fulfill the minimum of its basic commitments as an occupying power.”

“Israel is creating humanitarian crises, and when the international community intervenes to solve these crises, Israel increases obstacles in front of these interventions,” Grove added. “This policy has led to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis and created the danger of population transfer which leads to a confrontation between Israel and the international community and raises fears that Israel is not serious regarding the two-state solution.”

The publication of the report came two days after some 30 Palestinian families lost their homes during demolition raids of unprecedentedly large scale in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiya and Ras al-Amoud, and in the village of Qalandiya in the West Bank district of Jerusalem.According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel only granted 33 building permits out of 2,020 applications submitted by Palestinians between 2010 and 2014.

The dismal number of permits granted by Israeli authorities has forced many Palestinians to build without permission, at the risk of seeing their homes demolished.

B’Tselem said Israel’s pretexts in demolishing so many Palestinian homes constituted “a spurious claim given the absence of any real possibility for Palestinians to build legally in the area.”

“The Israeli authorities impose an impossible daily reality on Palestinian communities in Area C,” B’Tselem concluded in its report. “Israel acts to establish facts on the ground and to create a reality that it will be difficult to change in any future agreement.”

 

Source

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