REDEFINING ANTISEMITISM IN GERMANY

It is infuriating how Jews are made victims again in Germany, and how philosemitism has substituted anti-Semitism. On the other hand, Germans who engage for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine, are  defamed and excluded. The bad conscience of the perpetrators‘ progeny is not entitled to label the victims‘ progeny with a kosher stamp for human rights and international law violations. Since Germans know what a system based on injustice was and is able of doing. 

bds-promosaik-evelyn-hecht-galinski

Do not buy from Jewish Occupiers!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

A Party Congress Resolution of the CDU has taken over the invented equalisation of the well-thought-out propaganda machinery of the Israel lobby and its sayanim (willing helpers) acting all over the world, according to which the global BDS campaign non-violently engaged for Palestinian rights and against occupation should be equivalent with the Nazi concept “Do not buy from Jews”!

However, it is a fact that the “Jewish State”, since its foundation, has been denying the occupied Palestinians their elementary rights, without no qualms, and that expulsion and land grabbing are part of the Zionist reason of state. What’s more is a system of racist laws, “streets just for Jews” for the illegal Jewish settlements, a settlement colonialism subsidised by the State with the final aim to possess whole Palestine, and the continuous ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

According to the 29th Party Congress Resolution of the CDU in Essen, Germany, the BDS movement was denigrated as anti-Semite; this way the victims of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine become perpetuators, a historical distortion of facts which cannot be accepted without protest. In addition, this Resolution takes over the fascist-racist politics of the “Jewish State” of the “good Jews” supporting this state and its politics, while the “bad Jews” criticising the politics of occupation and supporting the BDS campaign, are labelled as anti-Semite. Did the same not happen under the Nazi Regime where Reichsmarschall Göring said “I decide who is a Jew!” And today again German politicians decide who is anti-Semite and who is not, and as a consequence there is a new anti-Semitism defaming unapproved Jews.

It is not significant that the same CDU members, in the future election campaign, bring into play always more questionable subjects like the prohibition of double citizenship and the maximum limit for refugees, or submit main proposals affirming the unilateral “Christian-Jewish Community of Values” against Muslim citizens. And in the end, these proposals just support the right-wing parties and collect their votes. Based on the motto: CDU printed on packaging means that the right-wing German party AfD is inside. However, we notice exactly the same phenomenon in other right-wing populists, from Wilders to Le Pen and from Hofer to Orban, when it is the case of the “Jewish State” and the illegal occupation of Palestine. All keep silent about Palestinian oppression, or stand in solidarity with the Jewish Regime of Occupiers!

It is also anti-Semite, if German Banks like the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) cancel the account of the association „Jüdische Stimme“ (Jewish Voice) because of its support to the BDS movement. According to the statement of Jewish Voice the reason for cancellation was explicitly mentioned as being related to “political opinions and activities”.(1)

This outrageous procedure is inconsistent with ethical values, anti-Semite, and part of a sad tradition in Germany. As you can remember, German Banks and their CEO, from Dresdner Bank, today Commerzbank, to the Deutsche Bank, were in first position to cancel Jewish accounts and to actively support the Nazi Regime in its politics of aryanization. A fatal repetition of historical events! If at that time it was the Nazi ideology, which emarginated, dispossessed, expelled, and murdered Jews, today there is the ideology of philo-semitism, infected by the pro-Israel lobby, using the same methods against unaccepted Israel critics and BDS supporters. However, desperate diseases need desperate remedies. If peace organisations or people engaging for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestine get their accounts cancelled, this should set alarm bells ringing. We have to react immediately. For all customers, there is only one reaction and consequence in solidarity with the emarginated Jews: they should immediately cancel their account for protest!

The aimed aggressions against the freedom of speech of organisations, universities, and private people, engaging for a free Palestine, are only possible because the Merkel Government, the UE and the USA still financially, mentally and commercially support the Jewish State by armaments sales, and cowardly silence about the injustice!

The outrageous suggestions of German politicians cooperating with the Israel lobby to pretend from refugees to recognize the existence right of Israel as a requirement for their integration, has no justification at all, as long as this State which has not even defined its own borders, continues its illegal settlement policy by violating international law and carrying out the total ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Also the reception of the empty phrase of the reason of state for the security of Israel by Chancellor Merkel, although the concentration camp in Gaza remains blocked by violating human dignity and international law, the genocide is unatoned, and the illegally occupied West Bank, the illegally annexed East-Jerusalem and the illegally occupied Golan Heights are still judaized by the aggressive land grabbing of the Netanyahu regime. A “Jewish State” basing its existence, at the expense of an illegally occupied people, on crimes against international law and human rights, has no existence right to be supported!

Just recently Prime Minister Netanyahu praised future US-president Trump for his unbreakable friendship with Israel as confirmed on several occasions by his closest consultant, his Jewish son-in-law Kushner and for the announcement of the planned transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as eternally “undivided” capital of the “Jewish State”. And now Netanyahu will try to tip the Nuclear Agreement with Iran during his announced visit to Washington for a meeting with Trump. (2) (3) (4)

There is a new, horrifying initiative: under the auspices of Andreas Casdorff, editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tagesspiegel and Bild publisher Kai Dieckmann started a cooperation, in the guise of the promotion of a Holocaust memory culture in cooperation with the Israeli Holocaust memorial place Yad Vashem in order to send young editors under 30 to targeted seminars at companies and to events, in which also the Israeli Prime Minister, the President of the State of Israel, and the international high officials will participate. So in the end, they will be „enthusiastic for Israel“ and expose all according to the people inviting them. The results are visible today, if these journalists, as requested, write for the interests of the “Jewish State” and defend them. In this context, an incredible propaganda machinery of the Israel lobby comes into roll. So we have to ask ourselves about the newspaper, supporting this initiative – Berliner Morgenpost, DPA, Handelsblatt, Hufftington Post, JDB Media, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Rheinische Post, Rhein Zeitung, Sächsische Zeitung, stern.de, Südwest- Presse and Bild am Sonntag – if we can read them without prejudice by taking their information for granted without criticising them. I would like that the answer to this question is “no”! (5)(6)(7)

However, this is exactly the problem, in particular of German media; who can take them seriously with this nepotism and the connection with politics and stakeholders! A sad and dangerous political cartel aiming at all democratic habits.

We should never forget the Holocaust, and the same applies to the Nakba, the catastrophe of the displacement and dispossession by the Jewish State, also a consequence of the Holocaust!

This is a particular incentive to engage more than ever for the liberation of the illegally occupied Palestine. And this is precisely the meaning of “Do not buy from Jewish Occupiers”!

Hanns Eisler, the famous Austrian composer born in Leipzig, also created a sensation with his political works. I think that his “Ernste Gesänge” are as great as this wonderful sentence I would like to conclude my commentary with:

“I think we have to rethink the past. Who wants to have a future, has to cope with the past. He must purify himself from the past to be able to brightly move into the future”.

 

Originally appeared AT

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ DAMN YOU AMERICA!

unnamed-28

MOTHER PALESTINE ~~ THE INSPIRATION

More often than not, Latuff’s cartoons feature a women called Mother Palestine.

Here she is in 1948 …

mp1

And yet again in 1948 leading her Nation to the wilderness …

mp2

And here, the real Mother …. The Inspiration

Mrs. Zarefa the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine. Expelled from Zakaria village by Israel in 1948 and after 1967 to Jordan

Mrs. Zarefa the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine. Expelled from Zakaria village by Israel in 1948 and after 1967 to Jordan

Today she is leading her Nation back to their rightful Homeland!

mp4

THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE AGAINST PALESTINE

The Palestinian Conflict has almost disappeared from the headlines with the added tragedy that it is regarded in media and political circles as being “unsolvable” and consequently something to be ignored.

cos

The Conspiracy of Silence must be broken!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi, edited by William Hanna

The Palestinian Conflict has almost disappeared from the headlines with the added tragedy that it is regarded in media and political circles as being “unsolvable” and consequently something to be ignored. Occasionally a not too critical article – almost apologetic – will appear with careful avoidance of anything that may offend the Jewish lobby and its friends. Meanwhile in the illegally occupied Palestinian Territories the Palestinian people’s hope for freedom and a state of their own remains an unachievable dream.

While the daily expansion of new settlements is facilitated by Apartheid legislation whose brutal oppression violates all democratic principles, the Netanyahu regime can more than ever before safely relax with its Zionist smugness.

This is because the world community is too occupied in disguising the provision of arms and participation in illegal wars as being necessary and a blessing for humanity. While the EU is fast crumbling and becoming a populist time bomb fused with differences, Merkel and her colleagues have lost all sense of reality. This Chancellor – who always holds her “values” like a shield – has made no effort, not even a token gesture, to justly solve the Palestinian conflict. Such shameful inaction is also shared by party colleagues from the German Social Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Left who routinely submit to the interests of the Israel Lobby.

While Merkel presents herself as alternative-less leader of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and chancellor, the Middle East with its debris and ash is abandoned by a German Government intent on avoiding its obligation to support Palestine in its struggle against the injustice of the occupation.

Anti-Semitism has long since been replaced by philo-Semitism which is a more than dangerous phenomenon. A recent example of this occurred in Greece where the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Steinmeier — choking with emotion — was made an Honoured Member of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki. In fact, there have been numerous “Jewish” awards and honours for German politicians. This is the way Israel buys “friends” who then remain silent as gutless and complicit observers of the Jewish state’s crimes against humanity.

Even worse, is the fact that any criticism of Israel is labelled as “anti-Semitic” so that Germany has become a paradise of philo-Semitism. There is, however, a ray of hope because Volker Beck – having a sense of mission as “main philo-Semite” – was penalised by his colleagues in the Green Party who refused to give him a place on the list for the German Parliament despite his having the support of prominent Jews including Dieter Graumann, the ex-President of the Central Council of German Jews, the current President Josef Schuster, and Andreas Nachama of the Foundation Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror). Before the “Leo Baeck” prize winner and Talmud devoted Beck discovered the usefulness of  philo-Semitism, he wrote an essay published in an anthology published in 1988 that called for the “de-criminalisation of paedophilia.” This fact, however, was of no consequence for the supporters of this VIP. The same applied to his drug story which was shelved after he paid a 7000 Euro fine. Beck is currently sitting on his morally high throne while not shrinking from defamation against my dead friend Walter Herrmann and the Kölner Klagemauer.

It is shameful how German politicians go out of their way to provide support for the Jewish state of occupation; how the German media is complicit by not reporting the occupation crimes committed daily; and how the conspiracy of silence, continuous in the face of the Jewish state’s repression which includes measures against women, children, young people, and even journalists! There is no sense in arguing about this because in Germany this grave situation will not change as has been repeatedly confirmed by my friend Ilan Pappe.

During this Advent season it should perhaps be an incentive for “Zionist Christians” such as Merkel and Co. to think about the Christians and Muslims in Palestine who are denied their religious freedom by the Jewish occupiers.

Time is running and as the “Jewish State” – which has never intended having a “Two-State-Solution” other than as an illusion – continues with the ethnic cleansing so as create conditions that will make the illegal settlements permanent. This also concerns the illegally occupied Golan Heights, conquered by the “Jewish Defence Army” in 1967 and which Israel declared a closed military zone thereby preventing some 100.000 displaced former inhabitants from returning to their native villages.

Even the Syrian Civil War has proved to be advantageous for the Jewish occupiers who feel free to indulge themselves with occasional air strikes because the perception persists that anything Israel does is acceptable, while token Palestinian resistance against an unjust and barbarous persecution is regarded as terrorism.

It is therefore understandable that they try to hide both the expulsion of more than 700.000 indigenous Palestinians during the Nakba which led to the establishment “Jewish State,” and the subsequent displacements in the Golan Heights because there is nothing that the “Jewish State” fears more than the truth. Consequently, it is of vital importance the Nakba is publicised throughout Germany as an important contemporary historical document!

Since 2011, the so-called “Palestinian Papers” have revealed that the Palestinian Leadership, the “Vichy Abbas” Authority, was ready to make extensive scandalous concessions such as for example wanting to renounce East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State and the legal right of Palestinians to return.

Those secret protocols definitively proved that Israel has never wanted a peace that would require giving back the illegally occupied territories to the indigenous population and the self-abasing the Palestinian Authority. The “Jewish State“ will not be satisfied until it has all of it which will happen as the illegal settlement is extended and made permanent with courtesy of financial support for the illegal occupation, and reduced pressure from the U.S. and the EU for an end to settlement expansion.

As a consequence, there is no reason why the “Jewish State” should start the peace process while the Abbas System can be maintained in a “Utopian State,” wooed by the world community as “moderate leadership.” There is nothing that is better suited for the Jewish occupation power. We recently witnessed the Abbas show, when 1400 representatives re-elected him without there being any democratic elections, either under the Jewish occupation power or under the Abbas Regime because both know that the “twilight of the Gods” would then come. The young people who have been for decades rebelling against the betrayal of this old guard and the lethargy of their parents, are unfortunately the main victims

Consequently the only realistic option available is resistance against the all-powerful occupation, condemnation of Israel by all responsible citizens, and support for the BDS movement.

While here in Germany and Europe everyone warns against right-wing populists, in the Jewish State right-wing fascists are left undisturbed to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in accordance with the “Christian-Jewish” values of this alliance of mendacious hypocrites. The conspiracy of silence over the illegal occupation of Palestine is a complicit violation of international law that must be broken. Have courage! Let us be indignant in the struggle against the illegal occupation and for a Free Palestine!

 

FROM

WORDPRESS BOWS TO ERDOGAN’S DEMANDS

At the request of Erdogan, WordPress censors a critical Turkish blog that collects Turkey-related cartoons.

Here is a sampling of what was censored … (From the banned Blog)

Jaume Capdevila: “Erdoğan”

Jaume Capdevila: “Erdoğan”

*

Joep Bertrams: “Üstün güç”

Joep Bertrams: “Üstün güç”

*

Rainer Hachfeld: “Erdoğan’dan günün emri”

Rainer Hachfeld: “Erdoğan’dan günün emri”

*

Christo Komarnitski: “Erdoğan’ın Facebook profili”

Christo Komarnitski: “Erdoğan’ın Facebook profili”

*

Tom Janssen: “Türkiye’den diyalog manzaraları”

Tom Janssen: “Türkiye’den diyalog manzaraları”

*

Olle Johansson: “Kaldıraç”

Olle Johansson: “Kaldıraç”

*

Taylor Jones: “Dini bütün Erdoğan”

Taylor Jones: “Dini bütün Erdoğan”

*

Marian Kamensky: “Erdoğan”

Marian Kamensky: “Erdoğan”

*

Hassan Bleibel: “Erdoğan’ın gücü”

Hassan Bleibel: “Erdoğan’ın gücü”

*

Arend van Dam: “Erdoğan basına karşı”

Arend van Dam: “Erdoğan basına karşı”

*

Patrick Chappatte: “Türkiye’deki eylemler”

Patrick Chappatte: “Türkiye’deki eylemler”

*

Marian Kamensky: “Erdoğan’ın piyanosu”

Marian Kamensky: “Erdoğan’ın piyanosu”

*

Tom Janssen: “Sarhoş Erdoğan”

Tom Janssen: “Sarhoş Erdoğan”

*

Daryl Cagle: “Erdoğan”

Daryl Cagle: “Erdoğan”

*

Hassan Bleibel: “Suriye’ye yardım”

Hassan Bleibel: “Suriye’ye yardım”

WordPress’ censorship follows a trend started by Twitter and FaceBook, where our very own Carlos Latuff was the main target …. (Click on links)

#CensorshipInTurkey ~~ CARLOS LATUFF’S TOONS BLOCKED

*

FACEBOOK JOINS THE CENSORSHIP WAR AGAINST LATUFF

ISRAEL IS BURNING ~~ THE VIDEO

Israel is burning – a brave article by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

Text originally posted as (Click on link)

‘ONLY HE TO WHOM THE LAND DOESN’T BELONG TO IS CAPABLE OF BURNING IT’

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

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

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

They never announced my stop so I fell asleep 😦 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

FROM

SOLIDARITY FOR STANDING ROCK CONTINUES TO GROW

As the crisis in Standing Rock continues, so does the support  both internationally and nationally.

Solidarity has always been a thing of beauty in our hands.

unnamed-24

Cuba-Trained Doctors Head to Standing Rock

A delegation of doctors trained at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba announced they will head to Standing Rock to “serve in solidarity.”

In a late Thursday Facebook post, a group of U.S.-based medical professionals trained at Cuba’s famous Latin American School of Medicine, or ELAM, announced they will head to Standing Rock “to humbly serve in solidarity with the Sacred Water Protectors on the front lines of the current human rights and ecological crisis occurring right now in North Dakota.”

Dr. Revery P. Barnes, a graduate of ELAM, said in a post on Facebook, “We answer the call to serve in alignment with the mission and core principles of our alma mater and dedication to our commitment to serve underserved communities in our HOME country.” The delegation will work in collaboration with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

“While Cuba instilled in us an unwavering commitment to internationalism, with the acceptance of a full scholarship to medical school at ELAM, we made the moral commitment to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable communities here at home in the U.S.,” the statement continued.

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council – which has been providing emergency and chronic health care services to the thousands of water protectors gathered at Standing Rock – issued a warning about the grave health and safety threats posed by escalating use of violence by Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel, whom they described as creating “war-like conditions.”

While the Facebook statement did not give details about the size of the delegation or when it is expected to arrive, the announcement comes as thousands of U.S. Army veterans are expected to arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp this weekend in anticipation of the Dec. 5 eviction notice given to the camp by the Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota Governor, Jack Dalrymple.

Health and safety concerns for the thousands of Water Protectors, who are asserting their Indigenous sovereignty in attempts to block the multi-billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline project, are also on the rise as harsh winter conditions have been exacerbated by state law enforcement threats to cut off supplies and access to emergency services.

The Latin American School of Medicine was created in 1999 by the Cuban government and is one of the largest medical schools in the world, with approximately 19,550 students from 110 countries. All students receive a full scholarship, including room and board, and preferential treatment is given to applicants from marginalized groups who intend to return and practice in their own communities. The school plays a key part in Cuba’s widely-hailed medical internationalism, which has seen the socialist country send over 80,000 health care workers to over 94 countries to provide treatment and assistance to impoverished or underprivileged populations.

And from within ….

Family & Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Jim Williams is taking our flags to Standing Rock! He left Friday morning with a busload of veterans who plan to join 2,000 or more other veterans in protecting the indigenous peoples rights to their lands. He is the son-in-law of Lincoln vet Matti Mattson. Jim remembered helping Matti carry the VALB flag as well as the FFALB banner, and he wanted to take ours to Standing Rock.  As we waited for the bus in Manhattan early Friday morning, we had a chance to explain the significance of the Brigade and the flags. There were tons of supplies and food — and excitement. I felt as if I were sending them off to Spain!

unnamed-25

*

unnamed-26

*

unnamed-27

And the best news of the day …..

(Click on link)

Alternate Route for Dakota Pipeline to Be Explored

  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a major victory in a battle that has become a global flash point for environmental and indigenous activism.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers said that it would not approve permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline at a site that the tribe said would threaten a water source and sacred sites.

‘ONLY HE TO WHOM THE LAND DOESN’T BELONG TO IS CAPABLE OF BURNING IT’

64d1a30f25c240dd17a3123daba5f463c5d21790

Recently Israel was ablaze. The government was quick to declare the fires ‘arson’ set by Palestinians to destroy the land ….

But the reality is ….

“Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it”.

israel-brennt-evelyn-hecht-galinski-promosaik

Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

English translation by Milena Rampoldi, , edited by William Hanna  

With regards to the recent fires in the “Jewish State” we can only agree with Naftali Bennett who tweeted: “Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it”. He is the right-wing Minister of Education and the President of the Party “Jewish Home” and the “Settlers‘ King” who made of the racist settlers‘ party a powerful coalition partner within the Netanyahu regime. And it is him who dreams of  Eretz Israel, the Great Israel, from the Mediterranean to Jordan, and in addition wants to annex big parts of the illegally occupied West Bank.  

Who does the land belong to? Certainly not to the ethnic cleansing Jewish occupiers who have displaced the indigenous Palestinian people. As a consequence of the fires, Bennett and his right-wing colleague, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for an expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land and promptly authorized the building of 500 new settlement units! Also in this instance, the coward members of the German Government have remained silent because for them the existence of “a Jewish state” takes an important priority over human rights and international law.

This raises the question of “why is the Jewish state burning?” The majority of the hundreds of millions of trees planted since the Nakba by the Jewish National Fund, are conifers and particularly pines. The trees were planted for the benefit of the Jewish European immigrant ethnic cleansers so as to enable them to feel at home in a land for which they had no love, but simply wanted to possess.

Since Biblical times, trees planted in Palestine were suited for the dry land – such as olive trees – which were vital for the livelihood of Palestinian farmers and their families. Other trees included carob, mulberry, and low oaks which were all ecologically suitable vegetation. Such trees were and are still being systematically destroyed by the Zionist intruders to deprive the Palestinians of their livelihood.

This raises a further question of whether the current and previous fires – such as the 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire – were natural or cases of deliberate arson. The use of European monoculture to transform the “Jewish State” into a “Small Switzerland” is, however, doomed to failure. From the beginning, the Zionist intruders spoke about “Arabs” condescendingly with the Palestinians and their land being referred to as  “uncultured” and “uncultivated” as compared to the blossoming “Jewish” landscapes which alone were worthy of praise.

Consequently the effectiveness of this hasbara (propaganda) has deceived the whole world into overlooking the ethnic cleansing of Palestine while accepting Israel’s “green-wash” disinformation including that relating to the drainage of important lakes and water sources of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. The scarcity of water for Palestinians has been further exacerbated by decades of unrestricted theft by Israel of Palestinian water that is then used to supply the illegal settlements. The extensive damage caused by such water theft in the illegally occupied West Bank and the barbarically blockaded Gaza Strip is indescribable! So far,  the endless decades-long ethnic cleansing of Palestine has been tolerated by the hypocritical international community in general, and by the West and Germany in particular.

From the beginning, Zionism’s aim has been to erase the memory of the Nakba by rewriting history in favour of Israel and Judaising the map of Palestine. Such blatant “Nakba denial” must be also criminalized in line “Holocaust denial.” It is not without reason that the powerful Israel lobby repeatedly endeavours to prevent exhibitions that present the truth about the “Nakba” and the brutal forced expulsions that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Since its foundation in 1948, with its Zionist exclusive right to the stolen land, the “Jewish State” has not only systematically violated human rights and international law, but also all accepted ecological standards. The destruction of Palestinian fields and olive groves; the systematic poisoning of fields of Palestinian farmers; and the ethnic cleansing by the “Jewish State,” Jewish settlers, the Jewish National Fund JNF/KKL under the guise of green-washing and international sponsorship that only served the colonialism of an Apartheid Jewish State. In this regard, Germany stands guilty of always donating more woods in the name of German Federal Regions or with the name of politicians (Mißfelder!) for the JNF and Israel. While Palestinians are displaced and their trees destroyed, German politicians spectacularly plant trees in the “Jewish State” like German Foreign Minister Steinmeier!

It is frightening that to this day the false Zionist sound bite of “a land without people, for a people without land” continues to justify land expropriations despite international human rights laws prohibiting such practices. A particularly bad example in this context is the so called “Canada Park” grassed for millions of Dollars by the Himnuta Organisation, a 99% subsidiary company of JNF/KKL on the ruins of Palestinian villages, with secret financial sources and expenses. (1)

For these “green-washers” the future US-President Donald Trump comes just at the right time, having already supported Israel’s right to have Jerusalem as its capital! Under the guise of environmental protection — at the expense of the Palestinian people, and by means of the land dispossession supported by German-Israeli projects in forestry and irrigation — this will in time become possible through continual illegal occupation and by dispossession of the land and water resources of a people “thirsty for justice”.

Without the displacement of Palestinians there would be no “Jewish State.” It was the infamous Josef Weitz, President of the Jewish National Fund, and one of the most fanatic advocates of “transferring” the Palestinians who in 1940 noted in his diary that  “the transfer does not just pursue the aim to reduce the Arab population, but it also serves for the second objective which is not unimportant and consists of emptying the land cultivated by Arabs to make it free for Jewish settlement. The only solution is to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries. We have not to omit neither one village nor one tribe.” All this and much more is cited by Ilan Pappe in his commendable book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

To this day, this “transfer” concept has been is the policy of both politicians in the “Jewish State” and of Jewish Saloon-Zionists in diaspora. That policy has included as its first priority the denial to Palestinian refugees their legitimate right of return to their homeland so as to conquer all of Palestine – in violation of international law – for a strictly “Jewish start.”

However, as long as the duplicitous Western “community of values” is complicit in this injustice, and as long as the blazing flames of the illegal occupation are not extinguished, the “Jewish State” will burn.

“Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it” – what a truth!
From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free!

Written FOR

VETERANS STAND FOR STANDING ROCK

As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said.

Veterans join Standing Rock water protectors

Veterans join Standing Rock water protectors

Veterans Serve as Human Shields for Dakota Pipeline  

Christopher Mele

As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said.

The effort, called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend the demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force.”

The veterans’ plan coincides with an announcement on Tuesday by law enforcement officials that they may begin imposing fines to block supplies from entering the main protest camp after a mandatory evacuation order from the governor. Officials had warned earlier of a physical blockade, but the governor’s office later backed away from that, Reuters said.

Protesters have vowed to stay put. Opponents of the 1,170-mile Dakota Access Pipeline have gathered for months at the Oceti Sakowin camp, about 40 miles south of Bismarck. The Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes fear the pipeline could pollute the Missouri River and harm sacred cultural lands and tribal burial grounds.

The evacuation order issued on Monday by Gov. Jack Dalrymple cited “anticipated harsh weather conditions.” It came before a winter storm dumped about six inches of snow and brought strong winds to the area on Monday, making roads “roads nearly impassable at the camp sites,” according to Doualy Xaykaothao of Minnesota Public Radio, who was cited by NPR.

The governor’s statement said, “Any person who chooses to enter, re-enter or stay in the evacuation does so at their own risk.” The order was effective immediately and was to remain in place indefinitely.

The veterans’ effort will also run up against a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to close off access to the protesters’ campsite and create a “free speech zone.” Federal officials said anyone found on the land after Dec. 5 could be charged with trespassing.

“Yeah, good luck with that,” Michael A. Wood Jr., a founder of the veterans’ event, said in an interview.

Mr. Wood, who served in the Marine Corps, organized the event with Wesley Clark Jr., a screenwriter, activist and son of Wesley K. Clark, the retired Army general and onetime supreme allied commander in Europe for NATO.

Mr. Wood said he had initially hoped to attract about 500 veterans; he had to stop sign-ups when they reached 2,000. He said volunteers are from diverse backgrounds: “We have every age, we have every war.”

An online fund-raiser has drawn over $570,000 in pledges as of Tuesday afternoon to pay for food, transportation and supplies for the veterans’ “muster,” which was planned for Dec. 4-7.

One veteran, Loreal Black Shawl, said the mission to support the protesters was intensely personal.

Ms. Black Shawl, 39, of Rio Rancho, N.M., is a descendant of two Native American tribes, the Oglala Lakota and Northern Arapaho. She served in the Army for nearly eight years, finishing her career as a sergeant.

“O.K., are you going to treat us veterans who have served our country in the same way as you have those water protectors?” Ms. Black Shawl said, referring to the protesters. “We’re not there to create chaos. We are there because we are tired of seeing the water protectors being treated as non-humans.”

The authorities have used rubber bullets, pepper spray and water cannons against demonstrators, hundreds of whom have been injured, according to protest organizers. The clashes have been highly contentious, with the police and demonstrators leveling accusations of violence at each other.

Some protesters filed a class-action lawsuit on Monday against the Morton County police and others, alleging excessive use of force and seeking a court injunction to prevent the authorities from using rubber bullets, explosive grenades and water cannons, according to The Atlantic. One woman was injured and in danger of losing her arm after an explosion at the protest site this month.

By spotlighting issues such as the use of force by the police, national energy policies and the treatment of Native Americans, the protests have garnered national headlines and widespread attention on social media.

Ms. Black Shawl acknowledged that the operation could prove problematic because the veterans and the police both have military or tactical training. She said she had a “huge, huge nervousness and anxiety” about possibly being injured and what could happen to other veterans.

An “operations order” for participants outlined the logistics with military precision and language, referring to opposing forces, friendly forces and supporting units. Organizers encouraged attendees to wear their old uniforms.

Mr. Wood said they were discouraging active-duty service members from attending. “There’s no reason for them to get into hot water,” he said.

In a break from military custom, the gathering will have a “chain of responsibility” instead of a chain of command, he said. There are no ranks, and participants will refer to one another by their given names.

Mr. Wood said the early stages of the event will be logistical: setting up tents and organizing food supplies. The first arrivals are expected on Wednesday.

The premise is for the veterans to be fully self-sufficient, he said. “There will be civilian and tribe members watching us from behind but nobody supporting us,” the operations order said. “We are the cavalry.”

A spokesman for the North Dakota State Highway Patrol, Lt. Thomas O. Iverson, said in an email on Monday, “Law enforcement is aware of the upcoming event planned for December 4-7.” He added, “If the group remains lawful and refrains from blocking the roadway, there will be no issues.”

Some officials expressed the hope that the demonstrators would move on.

“The well-being and property of ranchers, farmers and everyone else living in the region should not be threatened by protesters who are willing to commit acts of violence,” Senator John Hoeven, a Republican, said in a statement on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, said in an email that he had no concerns that tensions could escalate.

“Everyone that comes knows our intent — to remain in peace and prayer,” he said.

MUCH ADO ABOUT WHO’S A JEW

Most Jews do not want rabbis to determine who is Jewish, and the Israeli government may need to consider changes to the Law of Return, a new study has found.

quote-i-will-decide-who-is-a-jew-hermann-goring-108-62-61

Most Jews Say Rabbis Shouldn’t Decide Who Is Jewish

Most Jews do not want rabbis to determine who is Jewish, and the Israeli government may need to consider changes to the Law of Return, a new study has found.

The report issued this week by the Jewish People Policy Institute recommends strengthening the sense of “Jewish peoplehood” among mixed families, partial Jews and non-Jews affiliated with Judaism.

It is the Jerusalem-based institute’s third report on the Structured Jewish World Dialogue, a systematic discourse that took place in 49 seminars worldwide on issues that are at the core of the collective interests of the Jewish people globally.

Dialogue participants said they believe that culture and peoplehood are the most significant aspects of Judaism, more than religion and ancestry, and thus they value caring for other Jews more than keeping the laws of the Torah.

While recognizing that religious denominations will continue to set their own standards for life cycle and other events, leadership seminars strongly endorsed the general posture of being welcoming to all who seek to participate in Jewish life. The more than 600 leaders also affirmed the desire to maintain selective communal norms that would affirm the more traditional standards. For example, the leadership almost universally wanted the professional head of North American federations to continue to be Jewish according to halachah, or Jewish law.

The report also suggests, in the wake of cultural and demographic developments in the Jewish world, whether Israel might consider changes in the criteria governing the Law of Return, which guarantees every Jew a place in Israel, to determine eligibility.

In addition, fewer than 25 percent of the participants believe that rabbis should decide “Who is a Jew,” saying that self-definition and community were better determinants.

The 129-page report considers other topics researched within the scope of the Jewish People Policy Institute’s project such as intermarriage, Israel’s role in defining Judaism, and the Jewishness of leaders and material resources.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ MOURNING WITH THE FANS OF BRAZIL

Image by Carlos Latuff

cyd4ombwqaazf18

#InPalestine ~~ ALARM CLOCKS AND PHONE APPS CAN REPLACE THE CALL TO PRAYER

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps. 

Image by Carlos Latuff

img_3008

The link between Israel’s forest fires and the ‘muezzin bill’

Jonathan Cook

Israeli legislation ostensibly intended to tackle noise pollution from Muslim houses of worship has, paradoxically, served chiefly to provoke a cacophony of indignation across much of the Middle East.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps.

But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. The bill’s environmental rationale is bogus, they note. Moti Yogev, a settler leader who drafted the bill, originally wanted the loudspeaker ban to curb the broadcasting of sermons supposedly full of “incitement” against Israel.

And last week, after the Jewish ultra-Orthodox lobby began to fear the bill might also apply to sirens welcoming in the Sabbath, the government hurriedly introduced an exemption for synagogues.

The “muezzin bill” does not arrive in a politically neutral context. The extremist wing of the settler movement championing it has been vandalizing and torching mosques in Israel and the occupied territories for years.

The new bill follows hot on the heels of a government-sponsored expulsion law that allows Jewish legislators to oust from the parliament the Palestinian minority’s representatives if they voice unpopular views.

Palestinian leaders in Israel are rarely invited on TV, unless it is to defend themselves against accusations of treasonous behavior.

And this month a branch of a major restaurant chain in the northern city of Haifa, where many Palestinian citizens live, banned staff from speaking Arabic to avoid Jewish customers’ suspicions that they were being covertly derided.

Incrementally, Israel’s Palestinian minority has found itself squeezed out of the public sphere. The “muezzin bill” is just the latest step in making them inaudible as well as invisible.

Notably, Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian Christian legislator from the Galilee, denounced the bill too. Churches in Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Haifa, he vowed, would broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer if mosques were muzzled.

For Ghattas and others, the bill is as much an assault on the community’s beleaguered Palestinian identity as it is on its Muslim character. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has dismissed criticism by comparing the proposed restrictions to measures adopted in countries like France and Switzerland. What is good for Europe, he argues, is good for Israel.

Except Israel, it hardly needs pointing out, is not in Europe. And its Palestinians are the native population, not immigrants.

Haneen Zoabi, another lawmaker, observed that the legislation was not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.

That point was illustrated inadvertently over the weekend by dozens of fires that ravaged pine forests and neighboring homes across Israel, fuelled by high winds and months of drought.

Some posting on social media relished the fires as God’s punishment for the “muezzin bill”.

With almost as little evidence, Netanyahu accused Palestinians of setting “terrorist” fires to burn down the Israeli state. The Israeli prime minister needs to distract attention from his failure to heed warnings six years ago, when similar blazes struck, that Israel’s densely packed forests pose a fire hazard.

If it turns out that some of the fires were set on purpose, Netanyahu will have no interest in explaining why.

Many of the forests were planted decades ago by Israel to conceal the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, after 80 percent of the Palestinian population – some 750,000 – were expelled outside Israel’s new borders in 1948. Today they live in refugee camps, including in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to Israeli scholars, the country’s European founders turned the pine tree into a “weapon of war”, using it to erase any trace of the Palestinians. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls this policy “memoricide”.

Olive trees and other native species like carob, pomegranate and citrus were also uprooted in favor of the pine. Importing the landscape of Europe was a way to ensure Jewish immigrants would not feel homesick.

Today, for many Israeli Jews, only the muezzin threatens this contrived idyll. His intermittent call to prayer emanates from the dozens of Palestinian communities that survived 1948’s mass expulsions and were not replaced with pine trees.

Like an unwelcome ghost, the sound now haunts neighboring Jewish towns.

The “muezzin bill” aims to eradicate the aural remnants of Palestine as completely as Israel’s forests obliterated its visible parts – and reassure Israelis that they live in Europe rather than the Middle East.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

BREAKING THE SILENCE ON ISRAELI RACISM

Where are the outcrys against this injustice?

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village

Racism

By Amos Gvirtz

Anxiety is fierce. Israeli citizens are in their homes, demolition orders hovering that may be acted upon any day now. What will happen to them? Where will they go? Where will they live? No one offers them any alternatives. They are not, after all, settlers who settled lands that are not theirs, violating Israeli and international law. They are citizens of Israel. Their sole “crime” is to have been born Bedouins in the State of the Jews. They were evicted of their land – of which they were dispossessed – in 1949. The Israeli government transferred them twice until it finally settled them, sixty years ago, in Umm Al Hiran and Attir. Now this government claims they are invaders! Invading the localities where the government itself settled them sixty years ago…

Why is it so important for the government to remove them from the localities it had settled them in? Anyone visiting Umm Al Hiran will see a vast, empty area all around. But apparently the government of Israel has decided to create a Jewish settlement, named Hiran, right where it once settled the Bedouin inhabitants of Umm Al Hiran. And plant a forest right where the government of Israel once settled the inhabitants of Attir!

The question is why does the government of Israel do this. Unfortunately, the simple answer is because it can. Because there are not enough citizens who oppose such racist policies.

The UN General Assembly once came out with an outrageous declaration, ruling that Zionism is racism. The insult was severe. How could once accuse the State of the Jewish Peoplel – who had suffered so long from racism – of racism? Indeed, a few years later the UN General Assembly revoked its own outrageous ruling.

In the 1980s the Isrsaeli Knesset (parliament) legislated a law against racism. I fear that this law is actually against racist incitement, not against racist deeds. The law in fact protects all the racist deeds committed by the government. No one may demand to outlaw the Israeli government because of its own racist acts.

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.

BLACK FRIDAY PROTEST AT HP

Reaching out to Best Buy shoppers on Black Friday with materials and information about HP’s role in human rights violations, protesters faced the rain for several hours to spread the word about Hewlett Packard’s involvement in the oppression of Palestinians.

hp-slider-image

NYC Black Friday protest draws dozens to protest HP involvement in oppression of Palestinians

nyc-hp-demo5

On the busiest shopping day of the year, protesters in New York City – hailing from Manhattan to Gaza – joined in the Black Friday kick-off of the International Week of Action against HP’s complicity with Israeli attacks on Palestinian rights, protesting outside Best Buy in Union Square.

nyc-hp-bds1

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized the protest, which highlighted HP’s role in providing servers and management systems to the Israel Prison Service that imprisons over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Hewlett Packard is also involved in providing imaging equipment for Israeli checkpoints and ID cards, enabling the siege of Gaza, providing services to Israeli settlements, and supporting other occupation infrastructure. The New York City event is one of over 99 protests around the world between 25 November and 3 December demanding a boycott of HP and an end to HP’s involvement in deportations, incarceration and oppression in Palestine, the United States and around the world. These protests were organized in response to a call from the International Boycott HP Coalition and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

nyc-hp-demo2

Reaching out to Best Buy shoppers on Black Friday with materials and information about HP’s role in human rights violations, protesters faced the rain for several hours to spread the word about Hewlett Packard’s involvement in the oppression of Palestinians.

nyc-hp-bds2

Several Zionist counter-protesters, including one person dressed in an Israeli military uniform, repeatedly heckled the protesters and attempted, yet failed, to provoke confrontations. Throughout the protest, demonstrators chanted loudly against HP and its complicity in the occupation of Palestine, urging shoppers to boycott Hewlett Packard technology products. A wide range of activists, groups and writers concerned with Palestine participated in the demonstration, while a group of youth from a video training class organized by Picture the Struggle interviewed participants. Picture the Struggle works to document justice movements, including the Black movement, in New York City, through video, photography and audio recording.

nyc-boycott-hp1

Samidoun is planning to join and encourages all to attend the protest on Monday, 28 November in New York City in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh, former Palestinian prisoner and torture survivor facing persecution in the United States. A major hearing in her case to determine the entry of evidence relating to her PTSD after torture will take place on 29 November in Detroit, which is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Rasmea Defense Committee is organizing protests and buses to Detroit to support Odeh, while protests are taking place in Tampa, Tucson, Fort Lauderdale, Salt Lake City and elsewhere to demand justice for Rasmea. In New York City, protesters will gather at Zuccotti Park at Liberty Street and Broadway at 3:30 pm on Monday.

nyc-hp-bds6

Photos 1, 3 by Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Photos 2, 4, 6 by Joe Catron

Photo 5 by Anne Pruden

 

WRITTEN FOR

FIDEL’S PALESTINIAN CONNECTION

The deceased Cuban leader and PLO chief Yasser Arafat enjoyed close relations and shared anti-imperialist ideology.

Cuban President Fidel Castro greets Palestine leader Yasser Arafat, right, at a dinner reception.

Cuban President Fidel Castro greets Palestine leader Yasser Arafat, right, at a dinner reception.

Fidel Castro: The Palestinian connection

Dalia Hatuqa

 It’s November 1974, and Yasser Arafat, sporting his signature Ray-Ban sunglasses and checkered black-and-white headscarf, is waving to a cheering crowd on the tarmac of Jose Marti International Airport outside Havana.

He descended from the Algerian Airlines plane that took him from New York City to the Cuban capital, where he was greeted and embraced by Fidel Castro, who was at that time prime minister and had been in power for 15 years.

Castro died late on Friday at the age of 90, according to the Cuban government.

The moment in Havana wasn’t the first time the two men had met – their initial encounter happened just over a year earlier at the 4th Summit of Non-Aligned Countries in Algeria. However, it was the first time they met on Cuban soil.

Despite not being a head of state, Arafat was given a presidential welcome in Havana: Cuban Communist Party officials, ministers and others warmly welcomed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader that day.

Later on, he was awarded one of the country’s highest decorations, the Orden Nacional Playa Giron, or Bay of Pigs Medal, which, according to Cuba’s government radio, is “awarded to Cuban citizens or foreigners who have excelled in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, or who have done great deeds for peace and progress of mankind”.

The iconic picture of Arafat and Castro walking on the tarmac – housed at the Yasser Arafat Foundation in Ramallah – tells the tale of how an unlikely relationship between the two men, and the PLO and Cuba, were forged.

And while Cuban-Palestinian relations can be traced as far back as the 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana, it was Arafat’s November 1974 trip that “cemented the official Palestinian relationship with Cuba”, said Hosni Abdel Wahad, the Palestinian Authority’s assistant foreign minister for the Americas.

“It was during that visit that the official PLO-Cuban ties were forged and the first [PLO] representative office was opened in Havana thereafter.”

Cuba recognises the PLO

It is believed that unofficial ties were made between Cuba and the Palestinians during a first-of-its-kind trip by Fidel’s brother, Raul Castro, and Che Guevara to the Gaza Strip in late 1959.

Events in the 1950s set the stage for this trip: during that time, all Latin American countries, with the exception of Cuba, consistently supported the Israeli position over that of the Palestinians in international forums.

Che Guevara, who was not Cuban but was an instrumental figure in the country’s revolution, spoke in support of the Palestinians in the coastal enclave and elsewhere.

This culminated in Cuba’s recognition of the PLO when it was founded in 1964, making it one of the first countries to do so.

The Cubans trained Palestinian cadres, and Fidel himself was a staunch advocate of the Palestinian quest for freedom and independence.

– Mansour Tahboub, former acting director of the Arafat Foundation

Many of Arafat’s pictures at the Yasser Arafat Foundation, which traces and commemorates the life of the late Palestinian leader, attest to a close relationship with Fidel Castro and Cuba.

The mostly black-and-white images document a series of visits by Arafat to the Latin American country – by some accounts, as many as eight; and these are just the official ones, said Mohammad Odeh, who heads Fatah’s Latin America department.

“That’s a significant number considering Cuba is such a geographically distant country.

“It was, at best, a 12-hour plane ride from any European country, yet Arafat made the trip on numerous occasions. Castro always welcomed him like he was a head of state.”

Mansour Tahboub, former acting director of the Arafat Foundation, said such visits were also a testament to the close historical ties.

“Cuba has always been a strong supporter of Palestinians in all realms: political, military, vocational training,” Tahboub said.

“The Cubans trained Palestinian cadres, and Fidel himself was a staunch advocate of the Palestinian quest for freedom and independence.”

The rare archival footage at the foundation provides a window into many milestones of Cuban-Palestinian relations, such as Arafat pictured on stage – with former Syrian president, Hafez al-Assad, in the background – condemning Egypt for signing the 1978 Camp David Accords with Israel, during the 6th Non-Aligned Summit in Havana in September 1979.

During that time, Egypt was suspended as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement after its agreement with Israel was criticised as “an act of complicity with the continued occupation of Arab territories”.

But these pictures show only a portion of the decades-long relationship between the two men. The PLO and Cuba were natural allies, as both championed what their leaders saw as a struggle against imperial and colonial powers.

Quest for independence

Indeed, Castro conflated Cuba’s “strife to fight imperialism” with the Palestinian quest for independence from Israel’s occupation.

“Cuba’s backing of the Palestinians wasn’t exceptional,” explained Abdel Wahad, who studied journalism in Cuba.

“It was part of the Cuban support system to all people struggling for freedom and fighting against colonialism.”

Castro reaffirmed this belief on numerous occasions, including during an interview with the French weekly Afrique-Asie in 1977.

“The Palestinian movements have shown their ability to resist imperialist … aggression … [The Palestinian cause] will prevail sooner or later in spite of the betrayal by Arab reactionaries, imperialist manoeuvres and Israeli aggression.”

In almost every one of Castro’s many speeches, he voiced support for the Palestinians alongside condemnations of US “imperialist plots”.

Following the end of the Six-Day War, Cuba condemned Israel for the first time at the UN. And of all the Latin American countries that had PLO representative offices at the time, only Cuba and Nicaragua granted the PLO full diplomatic status.

Yet despite its close relationship with the PLO, Cuba continued to maintain relations with Israel until 1973. It was during the Non-Aligned Movement summit of that year in Algeria that Cuba announced it would break off relations with Tel Aviv.

Several historical accounts refer to a dramatic scene unfolding at the event after Castro was reportedly convinced to cut ties with Israel.

Tales were told of an embrace between Castro and former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, and some claimed that “Arafat ran across [the hall] to embrace Fidel, and the applause lasted for minutes”.

During the Non-Aligned Movement’s heyday, before the end of the Cold War, Cuba also gave much-needed political support to the Palestinians in international fora, such as the UN.

Around that time, Cuba co-sponsored the UN General Assembly resolution that equated Zionism with racism.

Even when the UN later repealed the resolution in 1991, Cuba stood in opposition.

Quid pro quo?

Some argued that the prominence Cubans gave to the Palestinian cause was a quid pro quo for helping the Castro government secure influence among “Third World nations”.

“The symbiotic relationship between the two … enabled Castro, despite his role in Latin America and Africa as a Soviet client and surrogate, to assume a leadership position in the Third World and within the Non-Aligned Movement,” wrote David J Kopilow, a former consultant for the Hudson Institute in Washington specialising in Central America.

Cuba assisted the PLO – especially left-leaning factions like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) – in forging ties with neighbouring states.

The Cubans had a huge role in us seeking the status of non-member observer state, and we still liaise with them on all high-level international matters.

– Mohammad Odeh, head of Fatah’s Latin America department

“The Cubans played a vital role in facilitating our interactions on the Latin American scene,” said Hisham Abu Ghosh, a member of the DFLP’s political bureau.

The DFLP had an especially close relationship with the Cuban regime; the party’s leader Nayef Hawatmeh made dozens of trips to the island, the most recent of which was made in November 2013.

The PLO also found fertile ground in Cuba for political training and support, giving “logistical and professional guidance for Palestinian factions”, according to Abdel Majeed Sweilim, professor of political science at Al Quds University.

The Latin American state also took a special interest in providing educational support to Palestinians.

“Despite Cuba’s economic woes, the government would give more than 150 Palestinians annually opportunities to study medicine, engineering and other disciplines,” said Odeh, who studied dentistry on the island in 1970 under a full scholarship granted by the Cuban government.

Close relations have been maintained between the Palestinians and Cuba, but “the nature of the relationship has differed”, explained the PA’s Abdel Wahad. “There is an official relationship with the state of Palestine.”

Cuba was even consulted in the lead-up to the UN’s recognition of Palestine as a “non-member observer state”.

“I was in Cuba two years ago to consult with officials about the UN bid,” Fatah’s Odeh said.

“Not many people know this, but the Cubans had a huge role in us seeking the status of non-member observer state, and we still liaise with them on all high-level international matters.”

*

More from MA’AN HERE

From Palestine to Cuba: Palestinian leaders remember the late Fidel Castro

BELLA CIAO FIDEL

Images by Carlos Latuff

Comandante Fidel Castro

fi1

*

cymtpqjwiaas1g

*

cymtpzzwiaaba9j

Remember these?

lg-cuba

 

Bella Ciao with much love and admiration

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ BLACK FRIDAY SUPER SALE

Black Friday Super Sale!

unnamed-22

ANTI SEMITISM IS GOOD FOR ISRAEL

“It would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism.”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Anti Semitism - created and maintained by the Lobby and the ADL

Anti Semitism – created and maintained by the Lobby and the ADL

Why Israeli leaders are welcoming rise of anti-Semitism in US

One of Israel’s most prominent broadcasters says Israeli leaders are welcoming the resurgence of white nationalism and anti-Semitism in the United States that has accompanied Donald Trump’s winning presidential campaign.

In a column for Israel’s Ynet, Yaron London, long a prime-time host on Israel’s Channel 10, wrote that “a worldview which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests.”

London elaborates on why the rise of white nationalism, a political movement many of whose adherents openly identify with the Ku Klux Klan and even Nazism, would be seen as beneficial to Israel.

“To do the Netanyahu government justice, let me qualify my statement by saying that all forms of Zionism hold the perception that a certain extent of anti-Semitism benefits the Zionist enterprise,” London writes.

“If Trump’s people are more disgusted by Arabs than they are by Jews … we have struck quite a good deal,” he adds, noting that “Trump and his friends see Israel as a forefront against the barbarians.”

“To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism,” London states.

No Zionism without anti-Semitism

As a practical matter, London observes, Israel would not be viable without hatred of Jews: “Masses of Jews are shoved to this country rather than being attracted to it. The yearning for the land of Zion and Jerusalem is not strong enough to drive millions of Jews to the country they love and make them hold on to its clods.”

This is something Israeli leaders understand well, which is why they have exploited recent mass atrocities in France to urge Jews to emigrate from Europe.

London concludes that “it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism.”

Such views will shock anyone who does not know the long history of collusion between Zionism and anti-Semitism, which Columbia University professor Joseph Massad explains in a 2013 article for Al Jazeera English.

“Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the ‘Jewish Question,’” Massad writes. “What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the ‘solution’ to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.”

After Al Jazeera published Massad’s accurate account of history, former Israeli prison guard and current editor of The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg, denounced the network for allegedly publishing “one of the most anti-Jewish screeds in recent memory.”

Al Jazeera promptly took the article down, later restoring it, after an uproar over its blatant act of censorship.

It remains to be seen whether Goldberg will denounce Yaron London for actually welcoming anti-Semitism.

Israeli enthusiasm for Trump

Indeed, such has been the enthusiasm of Israeli ministers for the incoming Trump administration that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to issue a directive ordering his cabinet colleagues to stop trying to make contact with the president-elect’s team.

This came after education minister Naftali Bennett spoke at a New York gala of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) on Sunday, which Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon was expected to attend.

Bannon was chairman of Breitbart News, the website he described as the “the platform for the alt-right.”

The alt-right, or alternative right, is an avowedly white supremacist movement, whose leading figure Richard Spencer has called his quest for a white “ethno-state” a form of “white Zionism.”

Spencer has also hailed Trump’s presidential campaign as a vehicle that has helped usher his fringe movement increasingly into the mainstream.

Despite the reports about Bannon’s promotion of anti-Semitism, the Trump adviser has been embraced by Israeli leaders, including the head of a West Bank settler council, as well as by agriculture minister Uri Ariel.

In a letter published at Breitbart News, Ariel thanks Bannon “for your friendship with Israel.”

“While we do not know each other personally, dear friends of mine including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach have shared with me your strong opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement, which threatens Israel’s survival, your opposition to BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] and your opening of a Jerusalem bureau in Israel while head of Breitbart in order to promote Israeli point of view [sic] in the media,” Ariel adds.

Shared bigotry

Boteach is a right-wing celebrity rabbi who, as Rob Bryan reported for AlterNet’s Grayzone Project earlier this year, “appointed himself Trump’s top Jewish surrogate.”

Bryan predicted that Boteach’s job for the Trump campaign would consist of “applying the kosher stamp to a candidate who enjoys enthusiastic support from leading neo-Nazis.”

In a similar vein, Fox News commentator and self-identified “Ivy League-educated Jewish kid from New York” Wayne Allyn Root, is insisting that Trump be hailed as “America’s first Jewish president.”

Why? Because Trump “made his fortune in real estate,” has a home in South Florida and because “he could be the most pro-Israel president in history.”

Root also asserts that Trump’s promises to stop “the mass importation of Muslim refugees should be welcomed and enthusiastically embraced by every American Jew.”

As for Uri Ariel, he is a leading supporter of extremist Jewish settler groups who, with support from the Israeli government, aim to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and replace it with a Jewish temple.

Resistance

Zionist Organization of America leader Morton Klein told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz that Bannon had been expected at his organization’s gala on Sunday, and that Trump himself might have shown up.

But Klein said that the hundreds of protesters outside, many young progressive Jews from groups including IfNotNow, had deterred Bannon from showing up.

The gala was nonetheless a who’s who of pro-Israel extremism in the US.

Participants included former Harvard law professor and Bannon defender Alan Dershowitz as well as Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire funder of anti-Palestinian causes.

Klein gave a measure of his organization’s anti-Palestinian fanaticism, declaring to Haaretz that “it is a myth that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims” and asserting that “there is no occupation.”

Meanwhile, journalist Dan Cohen noted that “the Jewish generational divide” was clearly visible in the difference between the predominantly older attendees at the ZOA event, and the youthful protesters outside.

 What is also apparent is the growing political divide. On one side there are those who are willing to support Israel and Zionism at any cost, even if it means openly allying with Islamophobes, white supremacists and anti-Semites.On the other side, are all those, including Palestinians and Jews, united against this open embrace of the most poisonous forms of racism.

In a Facebook post, IfNotNow called its protest in New York a promising victory:

“If 700 Jews can keep Stephen Bannon from speaking at ZOA Gala, building the #JewishResistance can keep him from the White House and stop the violent policies of the Trump administration: racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, queerphobia and all forms of oppression.”

GIVING THANKS FOR THE ORIGINAL SIN

“I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the western view of the Indian. I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Teddy Roosevelt

thanksgiving-day-of-mourning-for-native-americans

Thanks Giving

 © By Tom Karlson

That original sin

Our original sin

Not a talking snake sin

No Adam or Eve sin

 

This original sin

This first holocaust sin

This First Nation

ten million

Double helixed

Chromosome

Long gone sin

200 languages silenced sin

This good, drunk, dead, jailed, Indian sin

as

310 million All-Americans

Sit at the table eating

Corn, sweet potatoes, turkey

Watching football

Giving thanks

« Older entries Newer entries »