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Inspiration on the quiet streets of Palestine

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Palestinians in Iqrith dancing on Easter. (Photo: Christopher Hazou)

Palestinians in Iqrith dancing on Easter. (Photo: Christopher Hazou)

By the end of my grueling trip last year focusing on President Barack Obama’s jaunt to Israel/Palestine, I was despondentTime spent on the tails of power brokers can be thrilling, but when the adrenaline runs out, the feelings turn to a sickness of sorts.

This time was different. Earlier this month, I returned from a three-week trip to Jordan, Israel and Palestine.  Instead of despondency, I was invigorated.  

It is not that the reality in Israel/Palestine is different than last year.  It’s quite similar. The day always brings something new, but on a macro-level, the situation has stayed largely stagnant.  What changed is the people I spent time with–specifically, my time spent within Israel’s borders among Palestinians living there, mostly people who are around my age but live in a vastly different context than I do.

My colleague Allison Deger and I made the trek to Iqrith for my first reporting trip this go around.  There was an Easter celebration in a village that was formally wiped off the map in 1948. But the descendants of the Palestinians from Iqrith have begun to live there. They’ve returned in a way that the refugees outside Israel’s borders dream of. They can’t build any permanent structures there, like a house, but that hasn’t dampened their spirit, which was alive on Easter.  After the church service, youth from the village danced dabkeh and listened to music in a village overseen by a magnificent blue sky.  It was a thrilling moment.

The next weekend, I arrived in Haifa.  The port city I immediately fell in love with was made all the more beautiful by the spirit of Palestinians I interviewed, like Majd Kayyal, a journalist who was arrested for traveling to Beirut.  Kayyal knew he was breaking the law that prohibits Israelis from traveling to “enemy states,” though in practice it is only enforced when a Palestinian breaches the border. He went anyway, acting on a life-long dream to connect with a center of the Arab world.  

This simple act was a defiant rebuke to Israel’s attempts to divorce its Arab citizenry from the larger Palestinian populace.  You would have to possess a cold heart not to be invigorated by that spirit of resistance. And Kayyal is no anomaly.  He’s representative of a newly assertive generation that sees itself as an integral part of the Palestinian people, and an integral part of the struggle for equality–which explains why the Shin Bet and Avigdor Lieberman is so scared of them.

Kayyal explained it to me this way: in every generation, the struggle against Israeli colonialism draws closer to its center of power.  First it was in Jordan; then Lebanon; then in the West Bank and Gaza. And then: “The coming main clash between the colonial system and Palestinians will come inside,” said Kayyal.  “We are the next circle” to revolt. The large demonstration held in Lubya last week to commemorate the Nakba and demand the right of return was an affirmation of Kayyal’s prediction.

Yet before I get too polyannish, I must say that, at the same time that Palestinian citizen activists are asserting themselves, there is no mass political action on the horizon.  There are spurts of activism, attempts to remind Israeli Jews that their existence has come at the expense of the Palestinians. But for the most part these attempts don’t work.  One reason is that the attempts to shake up the status quo are in isolated pockets.  In the West Bank, the popular protest movement is small, there is little societal consensus on how to move forward and the leadership is much more concerned with remaining in power than taking confrontational risks.

Among Israeli Jews, there is no reason to confront the horrors happening a short drive away. They are not paying a cost for it.  With no intifada on the horizon, Palestine is out of sight, out of mind for ordinary people.  When Allison and I walked around West Jerusalem and asked people about the peace process and John Kerry, it was a miserable failure. Nobody wanted to talk about it. Many said they didn’t know enough to talk. There is no reason to think about.  They can shop ‘til they drop without being bothered by the home demolitions, the child arrests, the checkpoints, the wall.

There is quiet on the streets of Israel and Palestine.  Many Israelis–and their political leadership–seem to think that quiet can last forever.  The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement wants to change that, but so far, it has had a minimal impact on Israeli consciousness, never mind the Israeli economy.

Predictions are a fool’s errand, but I do not think the quiet can last.  It will be able to last for a good while. But the humiliation of Palestinians is too overwhelming for things not to go haywire.  

The day before I left, the Israeli defense minister announced that the West Bank will be under “general closure” due to the spate of holidays coming–Yom Hazikaron (memorial day for soldiers) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day). I panicked a bit. Would I have trouble getting out? It was a selfish thought, but that’s where my mind went.

Turns out that I had no trouble crossing Qalandiya checkpoint to reach Jerusalem–and neither did Palestinians.  I’m not sure what the “general closure” meant in practice.  But what I do know is that it was an example of the occupation’s randomness, an arbitrariness that can seem confounding but gels into a stable system nonetheless.  How long before this random cruelty–exemplified in announcing the West Bank is on lockdown for Israeli holidays–tests the last bit of patience Palestinians have?  When that patience runs out, Israeli nightmares of another revolt will turn into reality.  And Israel won’t have anybody to blame but itself and the cruel policies it has imposed.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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67 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 16, 2014, 11:37 am

    Alex: “Among Israeli Jews, there is no reason to confront the horrors happening a short drive away. They are not paying a cost for it. With no intifada on the horizon, Palestine is out of sight, out of mind for ordinary people.”

    The purpose of BDS is, of course educational and more to the point to force ordinary Israelis to “pay a cost for it”.

    But why is “an intifada” seen as a cost? The first intifada was a thrilling and society-wide anti-government protest but quite peaceful (or at least until Israel felt the need to inject violence) (all as I recall). The broader question is this: why does Israel put down protest and intifadas with such extreme violence?

  2. MahaneYehude1
    May 16, 2014, 11:37 am

    Philip Weiss,

    For the second time, I call you, please, to close this site. this site, especially the comment sections, became anti-Semitic and terror supporter. Many people here don’t want to promote peace and to see the end of the Israeli-Arab conflict, but to see the end of Israel as an independent state. Reading in this site, one can not find any balance and criticism against the Palestinian terror and incitement, only “facts” against Israel, many of them are pure lies.

    If you are an honest man, want peace and care about human rights, please, close this site and don’t allow people here attack my nation and my homeland.

    Regards

    • ritzl
      May 16, 2014, 1:15 pm

      @MY1- When you and people like you open your eyes, let alone your hearts, there won’t be any need for this site.

      You are your own solution. Be the change you seek from/in others.

      In the meantime, be well.

    • Felixio
      May 16, 2014, 1:23 pm

      Hasbara does the same thing but the other way around, so ?.

    • amigo
      May 16, 2014, 1:29 pm

      “Reading in this site, one can not find any balance and criticism against the Palestinian terror and incitement, only “facts” against Israel, many of them are pure lies.”MY 1, 2 or 3???.

      Would you care to explain why Palestinians die in far greater numbers than Israelis do.

      Would you care to explain why your beloved terrorist idf thugs break into Palestinian refugee camps at nightg dragging children away from their parents and then locking them up after a few sessions with your torturers that you are so enamored with.

      I could go on but what is the point with someone like you who has a terminal case of self inflicted myopia and can only see zionists as having rights.

      Go back and keep digging Yehudi.The gig is up.

      Read the latest from Germany!!.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.590996

      Angela and co have nixed subsidies for Gun Boats for Israel.They blame Israel for killing the so called Peace Talks.

      A good day for the good guys.Conversely, a bad day for the bad guys.(That would be your side.

      BTW –you dont like MW ,,,Try J post.You ought to get all the “Balance ” you need there.

    • just
      May 16, 2014, 1:36 pm

      MY1– perhaps you should leave this site if it bothers you so.

      We do have freedom of speech and thought here…still.

      • MahaneYehude1
        May 16, 2014, 3:02 pm

        @Just:

        I am sorry, but you are wrong: Freedom of speech in this site is limited to Palestinian supporters. Zionists are not welcome here and they can’t express themselves freely like you.

        I don’t want to leave this site – I want all of you stop with your blind hatred and open your eyes.

        Thanks

      • Walker
        May 17, 2014, 1:50 pm

        Zionists . . . can’t express themselves freely like you.

        Would you care to say exactly what types of speech are prohibited here? Don’t say anything that will get you banned, but please be as specific as possible about the types of things you can’t express freely.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 17, 2014, 10:37 pm

        walker, mehane probably works with a team. that’s why he knows lots of their comments do not get thru. here is an example of something i trashed a few minutes ago. this is an example of curbing their ability to ‘speak freely’:

        There is no palestinian people. Jews were palestinians in the British Mandate. It’s a bogus term

        Arabs oppress themselves. Israel is the only country in the Mideast where Arabs are free

        this is one of at least 20 trashed comment from a new poster we have, as of today. this is the kind of ‘free’ speech mehane thinks this site deserves, and it is thru ‘blind hatred’ we do not allow. when in reality, i think we’ve just moved past debating this kind of denial bs crap.

        and there’s another one sitting below, with 25 paragraphs of completely vile language, starts off ranting at alex and then launches into fogel blablabla and I’m not sure there’s a group of people who come even close to the evil that is Palestinian hatred for Israel. And you never, EVER see that hatred mentioned in sites like this. Or any mention of the kind of obscene rabid hatred….bla bla insert more rant…To kill all the Jews

        just that kind of stuff. (notice the continual accusations of hatred, my pet peeve) our trash pile is full of it. no, we do not let them speak freely to say stuff like this.

        a sometimes voracious poster such as mehane, with over 900 comments since august, should just try to figure out what does and does not work. some people have slow learning curves.

        edit: please take any other comments and complaints about the comments to the comment policy thread.

        thanks

      • ritzl
        May 17, 2014, 11:22 pm

        @Annie- Thanks for posting examples. I always wondered how high your waders have to be.

        Your efforts are much appreciated.

      • Ecru
        May 17, 2014, 6:31 pm

        @ MY1

        Zionists are not welcome here and they can’t express themselves freely like you.

        And yet – here you are. But it’s true Zionists might not be able to “express yourselves” as freely as they might like to here. Mainly because, Zionism being what it is, that would be classed as hate speech.

      • john h
        May 17, 2014, 10:02 pm

        It is not blind hatred of anyone. It is with open eyes that see continuing injustice, its source and its likely solution.

        You don’t have to leave this site, you are quite free to express your viewpoint here.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 17, 2014, 10:28 pm

        mahane, accusing ones adversaries of hatred is a broken record.

      • MahaneYehude1
        May 18, 2014, 6:04 am

        @Annie:

        Accusing one as an islamophobe and a fraud is a broken record:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/rothkopfs-jailbreak-captivity.html#comment-666727

      • Annie Robbins
        May 18, 2014, 12:34 pm

        the difference being mehane, is i can find dozens and dozens of your comments, and comments of you ideological allies, accusing your adversaries of hatred. and that is what makes for a broken record. where as , there simply are not dozens and dozens of palestinians or arabs distinguishing themselves as being on the frontline of the islamophobic industry a la pamela geller etc.

        also, this pertains to your personal accusations against other posters here and this site. it’s not really the same thing as discussing a public figure whose ideas are easily demonstrable.

        when you say I want all of you stop with your blind hatred , it is an accusation that “all of us” have hatred. seriously, we have discussed this before. if you want to know why some of your comments have not made it thru in the past, try examining what you are saying. there is literally no greater insult or accusation that accusing one of hate. so go read the comment policy. if this is your idea of speaking freely, after you’ve said the same thing over and over and over..we are not obligated to publish it repeatedly.

    • Bumblebye
      May 16, 2014, 4:51 pm

      Awww, Spudman feels thoroughly mashed!
      Not so chip-per any more?

    • Kay24
      May 16, 2014, 6:49 pm

      Aw, the “woe is us this is an antisemitic site” comment. If you are an honest man you will see that this is a site that criticizes Israel, and it’s occupation. I have yet to read one comment attacking Jews here. Folks here do not want to see the end of Israel, as you so dramatically put it here, but certainly they want to see the end of a brutal occupation, land grabs, and giving back the occupied their rights and freedom.
      If you care about human rights you too will criticize your zionist government for their atrocities. Shalom.

    • eljay
      May 16, 2014, 7:24 pm

      >> If you are an honest man, want peace and care about human rights, please, close this site and don’t allow people here attack my nation and my homeland.

      Dear Potato-man,

      When is your nation and homeland going to stop attacking, maiming, torturing and killing people? When will it stop stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land? When will it honour its obligations under international law? When will it stop being a supremacist “Jewish State”?

      If you are an honest man, want peace and care about human rights, stop being a Zio-supremacist.

    • Citizen
      May 16, 2014, 10:30 pm

      @ MahaneYehude1

      You have your choice to watch the whole of US mainstream media; it sings Israel’s song day and night always. This site is for people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who actually want to be informed about the impact of the US-Israel special relationship and how it impacts people, most especially the long oppressed Palestinian people.

    • talknic
      May 16, 2014, 10:45 pm

      @ MahaneYehude1 .. you’ve not provided any evidence for your accusations …. remember accusations are not evidence.

      Say .. I have an idea that should satisfy you completely… Given that the UN Charter and International Laws were adopted in large part because of what the Nazi regime did to our fellow Jews, this site could ban anyone who supports a state in breach of those laws and charter

    • Kathleen
      May 16, 2014, 11:44 pm

      Mahane..The Goldstone Report, Human Rights Watch reports, other UN reports of Israeli crimes against Palestinians are plentiful.

      • MahaneYehude1
        May 17, 2014, 12:52 am

        @Kathleen:

        That’s exactly the problem I speak about. Plenty against us, nothing against the Palestinian terror and incitement. Our victims are nothing for you.

      • Citizen
        May 17, 2014, 8:25 am

        @ MahaneYUehude1
        Plenty against us? You mean like the sole superpower US ignoring and/or dissing the Goldstone Report? You mean how the US mainstream media did the same? You mean how the US and its main media constantly ignores the plight of the Palestinians? How the same influences constantly ignore the tremendous imbalance of power as between Israel & the Palestinians? You mean the settler price tag attacks, the on-going Israeli land grabs? Is that exactly the problem you speak about? You come here, one of the few alternate media outlets to actually discuss the on-going US “special relationship” with Israel and what it has wrought, to complain nobody here to say, “Our victims are nothing for you”? You have it upside down. Mondoweiss is a samizdat operation, it’s not, e.g., the NYT.

      • Giles
        May 17, 2014, 10:06 am

        Apparently to some folks hundreds of Palestinian victims have less value than one Jewish victim

      • pjdude
        May 17, 2014, 4:47 pm

        Their existence is “incitement” to your people

      • Ecru
        May 17, 2014, 6:34 pm

        @ MY1

        Incitement? They continue to live, is that the type of “incitement” you’re talking about ……….?

      • Kathleen
        May 18, 2014, 9:56 am

        Israeli victims mean plenty. Killing of innocents is criminal. But the root causes and the disproportionate amount of Israeli force and violence against Palestinians is dramatic and criminal

    • Giles
      May 17, 2014, 9:54 am

      Please allow the Zionists to crush the Palestinians in peace.

    • NickJOCW
      May 17, 2014, 11:42 am

      Come, come. There is no blind hatred, nor is the site for Palestinian supporters only, Israeli supporters are frequently to be seen displaying their contorted logic and mythopeic enthusiasms. What you interpret as hatred, is simply impatience with their repetitive nonsense, but you do have a point, we can all try harder to guard against appearing too impatient with the intellectually or morally challenged.

      • lisa Bandrea
        May 17, 2014, 11:49 am

        “Palestinians” are not Israeli citizens &, thus, not entitled to Israeli rights. Arabs Israelis receive Israeli rights

      • amigo
        May 18, 2014, 5:52 am

        “Arabs Israelis receive Israeli rights”lisa bandrea

        “Businesswoman, lawyer, historian” lisa bandrea

        Better drop the Historian claim.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/comprehensive-discriminatory-legislation.html

      • talknic
        May 18, 2014, 3:39 pm

        “Businesswoman, lawyer, historian” lisa bandrea

        Better drop the lawyer claim

      • eljay
        May 18, 2014, 8:59 am

        >> “Palestinians” are not Israeli citizens &, thus, not entitled to Israeli rights. Arabs Israelis receive Israeli rights

        But because Israeli is a supremacist “Jewish State”, non-Jewish Israelis don’t receive the full complement of rights available to Israeli Jews. This is unjust and immoral.

        (We won’t delve into what rights are denied the non-Israelis victimized by Israel’s 60+ years and ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, occupation, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.)

      • just
        May 18, 2014, 4:04 pm

        @talknic

        she might be a personal injury lawyer — that kind of ‘businesswoman’.

        definitely not a historian.

      • Hostage
        May 18, 2014, 11:09 am

        “Palestinians” are not Israeli citizens &, thus, not entitled to Israeli rights. Arabs Israelis receive Israeli rights.

        Palestinians are entitled to the rights contained in the UN International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and the Geneva and Hague International Humanitarian Law (IHL) conventions. Israel has denied those rights apply, despite rulings from the treaty bodies, the ICJ, and a Declaration from the Reconvened Conference of the High Contracting parties. Palestinians are certainly entitled to protection from acts that constitute apartheid.

        It’s also a fact that so-called “Arab Israelis” only receive second class rights. Keep in mind that the Goldstone mission report described the illegal discrimination on the grounds or race or nationality in the occupied territories as a direct result of the application of Israel’s two-tiered municipal legal system, which provides superior rights and privileges to persons of Jewish descendancy and treats indigenous non-Jews as if they are aliens in their own country. Israel has actually adopted dozens of even more discriminatory laws, policies, and practices, since it’s own Or Commission concluded that Israeli Arabs were subjected to systematic and pervasive discrimination. The relevant treaty monitoring body has repeatedly observed that the lack of a constitutionally-guaranteed right of equality and maintenance of separate Jewish and Arab sectors and levels of funding in the areas of housing, access to public lands, and education raise serious issues in connection with the prohibition of apartheid and racial segregation contained in article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

      • James Canning
        May 18, 2014, 1:50 pm

        Some rights, but not all rights.

    • pjdude
      May 17, 2014, 12:52 pm

      Um maybe people want to see israel ended as an independent state because your incapable of not threatening your neighbors and committing war crimes?

    • lyn117
      May 17, 2014, 2:02 pm

      @MY1,

      OK, I’ll state unequivalently that I am against Palestinian “terror”.

      However, please be more specific as to what you regard as “incitement.” Does mentioning mass murders conducted deliberately by the Israeli army and the ethnic cleansing which has always been the policy of the mainstream Zionist project constitute “incitement?” Does stating fact that Palestinian Arabs are the indigenous people of all the territoritory occupied by Israel (including Israel proper) and most Jews are relatively recent immigrants constitute “incitement?”

      Please be honest. The Israeli negotiating team, in its stock demand that Palestinians end “terror and incitement,” never mentions the much greater Israeli terror and incitement, or its official policies of acquiring territory by war in violation of international law and ethnically cleansing as many Palestinians as it can from such territories. Neither do Israeli hasbarists ever acknowledge such.

    • just
      May 17, 2014, 10:02 pm

      MY1 writes: “If you are an honest man, want peace and care about human rights, please, close this site and don’t allow people here attack my nation and my homeland.”

      I would encourage you and your ‘people’ not to continue to attack your neighbors and their homeland, and stop all of the multitudinous crimes that are committed in your name against millions of Palestinians……..

      I also wonder if you encourage the many, many pro- Zionist websites to shut down.

    • Accentitude
      May 18, 2014, 4:48 am

      How pathetic are you, that you need to shut down any discussion that doesn’t go your way? If you truly claim to want to end the “Israeli-Arab conflict” (and I’ll let you get away with that remark this time but take note that it is not an Israeli-Arab conflict but an Israeli-Palestinian conflict) and you care about peace and human rights, don’t you think that you should allow intelligent discussions with others of various viewpoints regarding this conflict?

      Shutting down a website and ending access to dialogue and discussion is what fascist dictatorships do, not “western democracies” that “share ideals” with democratic nations in Europe, and the United States.

      There is also nothing anti-Semitic and in support of terrorism on this site. Unless of course you are one of those people. The type that think that any criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. However, you may think that but it doesn’t make it so. The very nature of Zionist Israel is anti-semitic as Palestinians are Semites. Did that not sit well with you either?

      Its also amusing that you put the word FACTS in quotes as to disregard the legitimacy of the evidence that is presented in many of the articles on this website. Do you then disagree that there is an occupation? That Israel denies basic human rights of Palestinians and continues torture despite signing and ratifying several international conventions? Do you deny that the Nakba actually happened or that Israel’s so-called withdrawal from Gaza is purely symbolic as the Gaza Strip is still under occupation? Do you disagree that Price Tag Attacks actually do happen and that had they been perpetrated by Palestinians, your government would label them “terrorism”? What other facts do you claim are “pure lies”? Everything I have mentioned is well documented and of course I don’t mean by internal Israeli investigations because we all know how ridiculous those are. So enlighten us.

      Perhaps Israel is your nation and homeland, and more power to you. I hope you enjoy living there. However, Palestine is my nation and homeland and I don’t need to submit a request to you in order to pardon my existence here.

      Regards

      • James Canning
        May 18, 2014, 1:57 pm

        Jewish Israeli v. Palestinian conflict?

  3. chet
    May 16, 2014, 2:07 pm

    “…the Palestinian terror and incitement” — this is this Israeli fanatic’s starting point, his fixed mindset — there is absolutely no point in attempting rational argument.

  4. just
    May 16, 2014, 2:40 pm

    That photo is enchanting, heartwarming, and simply beautiful.

    Many thanks for this, Alex.

  5. James Canning
    May 16, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Great piece. So, Israelis who are Jews can travel to Lebanon, but Christians cannot? Or is the restriction limited to Muslims?

    • Walid
      May 16, 2014, 10:33 pm

      James, Israelis of all colours are not officially allowed to travel to Lebanon by both governments, but it has to mentioned that they are both selective in the manner that they sort of allow it.

      To be allowed entry into Lebanon, the Lebanese would never accept an Israeli passport under any condition. Those Israelis that do come, are those with a dual nationalities, such as the journalist Lisa Goldman that went twice to Lebanon using her Canadian passport. She taped a news report for Channel 2 in Beirut in 2007 and got off easy in Israel with a 3-hour interrogation session only. There was another case with an Israeli bon-vivant that enjoyed travelling to Beirut to enjoy the nightlife there on a monthly basis over a few years using his French or German passport and was inadvertently finally caught by the Lebanese authorities that held him in custody for a few days and then released him to return home to Israel via France.

      In the case of Majd Kayyal the Palestinian-Israeli that you are referring to, he entered Lebanon using a pass issued to him by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Culture. He was eventually released by the Israelis. The difference in the way he was treated was that while Lisa Goldman was held for interrogation in an office for 3 hours before being allowed to leave, Majd was held incommunicado in jail for 5 days and had his house ransacked for it before being set free, because he is a Palestinian-Israeli.

      • James Canning
        May 17, 2014, 2:16 pm

        Fascinating, Walid. Thanks.

  6. Daniel Rich
    May 16, 2014, 5:29 pm

    @ Christopher Hazou,

    A very touching picture. I don’t know why, but it fills me with joy and sadness at the same time. I guess that’s why it’s so touching. Well done.

    • Elisabeth
      May 17, 2014, 5:12 pm

      I agree. And so many things go through my mind. Stuff like:
      “These are the people that really descend from the old Israelites”. But not that that means much: Equal rights for everyone, regardless of ethnic background!

  7. Daniel Rich
    May 16, 2014, 6:46 pm

    semi off topic: one more reason not to vote for Hillary Rotham Hillary Clinton talks tough on Iran at Jewish conference.

  8. palijustice
    May 16, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Yes, great peace indeed. The Palestinians in Israel, who have at least a few rights, may have found their voice to help lead all the Palestinians in their struggle for equal rights. I’m sure the Israeli government, and the Shin Bet are watching them very closely and will attempt to crush their spirit with the power they have. If there were more Jewish Israelis on their side to support them, it would make a big difference, but I don’t think they’re there now, at least not in any significant numbers.

  9. Kathleen
    May 16, 2014, 11:44 pm

    Alex thank you for this report. Up close and personal.

  10. amigo
    May 17, 2014, 2:58 pm

    Meanwhile back on planet Zio-,

    “Israel has launched a campaign calling for the United Nations to recognize Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur, as an official holiday.” Haaretz

    “Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor sent a letter to all UN member states saying there are three major monotheistic religions but only two — Christianity and Islam — are recognized by the UN calendar.

    “Such discrimination at the UN must end,” Prosor said in an excerpt of the letter sent to journalists Friday by Israel’s UN Mission.

    “In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews throughout the world seek forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said. “Jews fast, abstain from work, and spend the day in prayer and contemplation.”

    Prosor asked the 192 other ambassadors to join Israel’s campaign by signing a letter urging the United Nations to recognize Yom Kippur.

    “It is about time Jewish employees at the UN won’t be obligated to work on Yom Kippur,” he said

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.591129

    Is Prosor now the King of the Jews.

    I hope the 192 UN Member states tell Israel to mend it,s ways and then come back seeking special attention way above it,s pay grade.

    These people get more crazy by the day.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 17, 2014, 3:31 pm

      “It is about time Jewish employees at the UN won’t be obligated to work on Yom Kippur,” he said

      hmm, i don’t think it’s quite so simple. i read about this story last night on al jazeerah. i could be wrong but i think the request means the UN would close up shop on that day, like it does on the others. if that’s true it would mean ‘ all employees at the UN won’t work on Yom Kippur’. that’s different.

      • tree
        May 17, 2014, 4:57 pm

        That’s my understanding as well, annie. If it was an official UN holiday, no one there would work on Yom Kippur, regardless of their religion. And from what I understand Jewish UN employees already have the right to take Yom Kippur off if they wish.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 17, 2014, 11:00 pm

        yeah http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/israel-calls-un-recognition-yom-kippur-2014516221413930940.html

        On the dates of the four recognised religious holidays, buildings are closed and no meetings are held.

        These holidays were recognised after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1998, a vote likely to be needed to approve the Yom Kippur holiday as well.

    • Ecru
      May 17, 2014, 6:22 pm

      There really is nothing too petty for these a***holes to whine about is there.

      • James Canning
        May 18, 2014, 1:48 pm

        One wonders what discussions took place on this point, prior to the submission of the request.

    • RoHa
      May 17, 2014, 8:10 pm

      ““Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor sent a letter to all UN member states saying there are three major monotheistic religions but only two — Christianity and Islam — are recognized by the UN calendar.”

      Sikhs are monotheists. There are more Sikhs than Jews. Either their religion is major, or Judaism isn’t.

      • James Canning
        May 18, 2014, 1:53 pm

        Would the Mormons demand their UN hooliday too?

  11. Stephen Shenfield
    May 18, 2014, 9:31 am

    The practice of locking Palestinians up in their ghettoes during Jewish holidays goes back to medieval times. Only then it was Jews who were confined to their ghettoes during Christian holidays. To prevent them from spoiling the occasion — and for their own protection, of course.

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