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Total number of comments: 368 (since 2011-02-12 17:07:28)

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  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • Hophmi -

      if anti-semitism incidents amongst teenagers was as pervasive as you say in the 60's/70's in NYC & environs, reason and common sense dictate that there would then be traces of these events corroborated in newspaper articles and academic/organisational /governmental studies. I fail to see anyone bringing this hard evidence to the table....apart from Oren's subjective tales from his childhood. The historical record in the Northeast doesn't seem to back this up.

      Maybe there is a forgotten history that you can tap into and gather the evidence for, but just pointing to Canarsie without bringing data and not taking into account many other socio-economic factors will not pass peer review. It sucks, I know, but hey, look on the bright side, at least you aren't stuck under the blockade in Gaza waiting for construction materials a year later to rebuild your house (that is, if you are lucky enough to have a job and money to buy the materials if Israel ever lets them in)

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • The Inimitable Mooser:

      "Hard to know what’s worse, an unguided missile or a loose Zionist cannon."

      We need to do a book w/a compilation of your greatest quotes! <3 <3 <3

  • Human rights activists thank Lauryn Hill for canceling upcoming concert in Israel
    • Miriam: "YOU wish to curtail or block entirely the very freedom of association / communication between Israelis and Palestinians that could lead to a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians"

      I hear that there is lots of conflict resolution and negotiations going on at the Israeli-manned checkpoints and in the Israeli torture chambers. We'll keep hoping that these "freedom of association / communication" encounters between Israelis and Palestinians will prove fruitful in ending the "conflict".

      In Miriam's world, Oppression is just another word for Peace & Love.

  • Campus movement against Israel is largest since anti-Vietnam war movement, Cary Nelson says
    • "...a group of Pied Pipers in the U.S. who hate Israel are bewitching students and faculty..." - cary nelson

      The one and only reason Steven Salaita was targeted for destruction was because he was/is a leading and vocal academic activist supporting the American Studies Association 's BDS resolution. I think the resolution vote passed in March 2014; and all the liberal zionists freaked out and the anti-salaita coalition went into high gear soon after resulting in the administration bowing and scraping to the donors by the summer of 2014. The tweets were just an excuse, they really targeted Salaita to make an example out of this "pied piper" who is a proponent of the one thing liberal zionists fear most: an isolated, shunned, and boycotted Israel.

      I was surprised that they didn't go after more academics who were involved in getting the resolution passed. Perhaps they couldn't rally up any dirt on them, perhaps getting the administration to fire Salaita was enough of a general warning to any dissenting pied pipers, perhaps they didn't want to compromise their modus operandi and strengthen Salaita's case against UIUC. But one thing is certain, they have a list of targets and probably are itching to go after them.

      Cary Nelson is a major creep.

  • Caroline Glick says there were no Palestinian refugees
    • Annie,
      great reply, but so so so sad that an innocuous phrase such as "god willing" needs a lengthy explanation. No matter what the Palestinians say or do the zionists perceive it as threatening. The thought just occurred to me that if Palestinians were areligious the zionists would slander them for that too and use it as a justification for stealing the land from godless "heathens". Settler-colonialists must do what they gotta do and any duplicitous means justifies their ends.

      Your reply also reminded me of the scene in Donnie Brasco where he explains what "Fuggetaboutit" means?

      "And sometimes Fuggetaboutit just means Fuggetaboutit"

    • I recall some kids in a refugee camp in Palestine devouring these photos, mesmerised by the historical record, and so so proud of the achievements Palestinians had made prior to the Nakba. It was bittersweet to say the least, and it is impossible for anyone who knows this history not to let our imagination wander off and think: What if.....and not just a "what if" for Palestine, but for Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt too. The geo-politics of Zionism substantially affected the entire area.

      I often also think, what if the Jewish immigrants had integrated within the society that they went to live in? The social/cultural/economic/political developments that could have been realized are now lost and buried underneath all the violence that the zionist campaign engendered. I hope all is not lost for the current and future generations.

      Thanks very much for posting the photos and videos.

  • Selfies with Santa, fake trees, and businesses striving to stay afloat as Bethlehem celebrates Christmas
    • This is an excellent overview by Jonathan Cook of the apartheid developments in Nazareth/Upper Nazareth. As usual, there is lots of demographic engineering being used by Israel to constrain Palestinian population growth and advance the Judaization objective in the area. It is lengthy but a very worthwhile read.

      Nazareth Dispatch
      by Jonathan Cook
      published in MER267 (Summer 2013 edition)

      They are Israel’s Siamese twin cities, forced into an uncomfortable pairing more than half a century ago. Nazareth and Natzrat Illit, or Upper Nazareth in English, almost share a name. Although formally separated by a ring road, Israel has tied their fates together. Each is engaged in a battle with the other, from which, it seems, given the zero-sum terms of the Zionist project, only one can emerge as victor -- and survivor.

      Outside Israel, few have heard of Upper Nazareth. But for millions of Christians, Nazareth is identified with one of the most important stories of the New Testament: the Annunciation, the moment when the Angel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she was carrying the son of God in her womb. Nazareth is where Jesus is said to have spent most of his life. Each year, its churches attract hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors, mostly Christian pilgrims.

      Nazareth also enjoys a doubly unique status among the 1.4 million-strong Palestinian minority in Israel. It is the only Palestinian city to have survived the nakba, the great dispossession of 1948, with most of its inhabitants in situ. And, though today a majority of its 80,000 residents are Muslim -- many of them descended from refugees who sought sanctuary in the city from those same events -- Nazareth is still home to the largest Christian Palestinian community in the country.

      A 2012 survey showed that, of the 125,000 Palestinian Christians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, about a fifth were to be found in Nazareth -- nearly twice the number living in any other community. Christians comprise slightly less than 2 percent of Israel’s population, down from 8 percent of Palestine’s population in 1946, under the British Mandate.

      The need for Upper Nazareth -- Illit in Hebrew means both “above” and “superior” -- was born of a last-minute failure of nerve by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. The inhabitants of hundreds of Palestinian communities were expelled or fled during the nakba. But when the Israeli army massed against Nazareth in mid-July 1948, Ben-Gurion stayed the hand of his commanders, fearful that the flight of local Christians and Israel’s takeover of the holy sites would incur the wrath of the Vatican and alienate his key international allies. Instead, Nazareth was allowed to surrender.

      A few years later, in 1956, Ben-Gurion ordered construction of Upper Nazareth’s first neighborhoods after vast swathes of Nazareth’s farmland had been confiscated in the “public interest.” Upper Nazareth was the flagship of the Judaization of the Galilee program, establishing the blueprint for the later settlement project in the Occupied Territories. Its role was to corral its Palestinian neighbor to prevent it from realizing its potential as the political and cultural capital of the Palestinians inside Israel.

      Upper Nazareth was supposed to diminish Nazareth in several ways. After 1948, Nazareth was surrounded by seven surviving Palestinian villages. Without the state’s intervention, it would have merged with them, becoming the core of a conurbation today comprising a quarter-million inhabitants. Aerial views of Upper Nazareth show how its land-hungry tentacles of housing estates and industrial zones served to isolate Nazareth and separate it from its hinterland.

      Under British rule, Nazareth had been the administrative capital of the Galilee, home to government offices and local courts. But these services were soon relocated to the new Jewish city. Extensive industrial zones were created there, as was a shopping mall to serve both communities. Upper Nazareth, unlike Nazareth, was even made a tourism priority zone, encouraging the building of the first chain hotel in either city (Nazareth would have to wait until the 1990s for an upgrade in status). The transparent goal was to starve Nazareth of funds, redirecting resources to its Jewish twin.

      Upper Nazareth’s first homes and its administrative buildings, including the municipality, were located on a bluff above Nazareth. Just as with the settlements of the West Bank, its role was to stand watch over the Palestinian community below. Doubtless the choice of site was partly an act of psychological warfare, intended to convey a sense of Upper Nazareth’s superiority and invulnerability. But it also allowed Israeli officials to monitor developments in Nazareth, reporting violations of repressive and discriminatory planning rules designed to limit the Palestinian city’s growth.

      In the state’s early years, a military governor of the Galilee, Col. Mikhael Mikhael, confided that the rationale for establishing Upper Nazareth was to “swallow up” Nazareth and transfer “the center of gravity of life” to the Jewish city. [1] The Biblical city’s fate was supposed to align with that of other post-1948 Palestinian cities: Labeled “mixed cities,” they were in truth Judaized cities with a ghetto-like suburb of deprived Palestinians attached.

      Struggles of Judaization
      More than five decades on, Upper Nazareth has clearly failed to achieve its goals; its Palestinian twin enjoys too many historical privileges to be easily defeated.

      True, Upper Nazareth drastically limited Nazareth’s room for expansion, forcing hundreds of families to build houses illegally and live with the consequent fines and threat of home demolition. Meanwhile, Israel successfully starved Nazareth of the economic benefits rightfully due it from tourism: Most visitors, shipped in on buses, spend less than an hour wandering its main church before being shepherded on to the many hotels and restaurants in the nearby Jewish city of Tiberias.

      But Nazareth enjoyed the fruits of its other Christian institutions, ensuring its emergence as the Palestinian economic hub of the Galilee. Three hospitals, founded by religious charities more than a century ago, mean that patients from across the region head to Nazareth for treatment. More importantly, Nazareth’s success has been underpinned by a dozen private schools, set up by religious orders before Israel’s creation. Catering to Christian and Muslim pupils, these schools bypass the hugely disadvantaged and intellectually restrictive separate education system for Palestinian children, and are largely responsible for the emergence of Nazareth’s middle class. They educate the doctors and nurses, lawyers, hi-tech engineers and entrepreneurs who populate the city and have thrived in the face of state-sponsored adversity.

      By contrast, Upper Nazareth, despite being endlessly pampered, has struggled in its Judaization mission. Rather than becoming the Galilee’s metropolis, it still counts a population of no more than 55,000, a majority of them recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union directed to the city by Zionist agencies. These immigrants soon understand that they have been deposited in the “periphery,” next to Israel’s largest concentration of Palestinians, who, in Israeli culture, stand for all that is alien, primitive and menacing. Once acculturated, these immigrants seek to move south toward Tel Aviv and its sprawling suburbs. Since the late 1990s, no new sources of immigration have emerged to replace them.

      The gradual exodus from Upper Nazareth, combined with Nazareth’s growing middle class and stifling overcrowding, has created a unique problem for the Judaization program. Rather than swallowing Nazareth, Upper Nazareth is being slowly swallowed by its Palestinian neighbor. Wealthy Nazarenes, often Christians unable to build a home in their city legally, are paying above-market prices to buy the homes of Upper Nazareth’s departing Jews.

      “Code 20”
      Since 2005, the Israeli government has quietly classified Upper Nazareth under “code 20,” the designation for an ethnically mixed city. [2] Its mayor, Shimon Gapso, a far-right ally of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has conceded that his city is only 82 percent Jewish; others suggest that as many as one in four residents may now be Palestinian.

      The migration of Palestinians into Upper Nazareth has been underway for more than a decade now. Gapso was elected four years ago on an unashamedly anti-Arab platform, including a plan -- later abandoned after legal advice -- to set up a municipal fund to buy “Jewish homes” to prevent their “takeover” by Palestinian buyers.

      In the spring of 2013, as Upper Nazareth heads toward a local election in November, he has set about erecting a dozen outsize Israeli flags at every road intersection between the two cities. Nazareth residents understand the message: “Keep out!”

      Late in 2012, after Nazareth staged a protest against Israel’s attack on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Cloud, Gapso made headlines calling the city “a nest of terror” and demanding that the government declare it “a city hostile to the state of Israel.” Ideally, its residents should be expelled to Gaza, he added, but if that was not possible the government should instead cut off all funding. [3] State prosecutors rejected demands to investigate Gapso for racist incitement.

      A rumor circulating in Nazareth holds that Gapso has become so unhinged in his hatred of his Palestinian neighbors that he assumed the display of flags would provoke attempts to burn them down, thereby proving his point about the threat posed by Nazareth to the state and his own city. He was to be disappointed.

      More concretely, Gapso has repudiated the designation of his city as ethnically and religiously mixed. He has refused to allow a mosque or church to be built, or to allot a section of the municipal cemetery for non-Jews. In the winter of 2010 he went public with his ban on Christmas trees in public buildings, backed by the city’s rabbi, Isaiah Herzl, who said any such tree would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” [4] His officials have also failed to implement a 2002 court ruling to erect road signs in Arabic as well as Hebrew, leading the Supreme Court in 2011 to hold the city in contempt.

      The latest row concerns Gapso’s refusal to approve an Arabic-language school in Upper Nazareth. The city’s Palestinian children, now said to number nearly 2,000, are forced to scramble for places in Nazareth’s heavily oversubscribed private schools. When Israel’s largest human rights group, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, protested in January that Palestinian residents were entitled to equal educational provision, Gapso called the demand “a provocative nationalist statement.” [5] The Education Ministry has so far declined to intervene.

      Unsettled State of Affairs
      In May, Asher Levy, a resident of Upper Nazareth, staged a surreal political protest masquerading as performance art outside the city’s fortress-like municipal building. Captured, as is now inevitable, on YouTube, he drinks two liters of milk dyed Israeli flag-blue, as officials, including Gapso, are lured outside by the commotion.

      At first, Gapso seems intent on befriending Levy, but after he is ignored, the mayor petulantly withdraws inside the building. The milk consumed, Levy reads out a pamphlet entitled “Upper Nazareth: A Jewish Identity Forever” sent by Gapso to the city’s residents in April, in time for Israel’s Independence Day. Intermittently, Levy vomits the blue milk into a bowl and down the front of his white T-shirt, recreating a debased Israeli flag on his chest.

      Gapso’s pamphlet gives voice to his racist paranoia. “No more shutting of the eyes, no more nostalgic clinging to the law that allows each and every citizen to live where he or she desires. This is the time to guard our home!… All requests for foreign characteristics in the city are refused.… We have placed Israeli flags in the entrances to the city so that people will know that Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city.”

      Citing similar sentiments from Gapso, a January 20 Haaretz editorial castigated the mayor for his “benighted racist position.” But the newspaper, like Levy, misses the point. Gapso is simply following the Zionist imperative laid out by Ben-Gurion five decades ago to keep Upper Nazareth—like the Galilee—Jewish. Echoes of the city founders’ dogma can be heard in Gapso’s explanation to a disillusioned American funder: “Upper Nazareth was founded to Judaize the Galilee. That was its purpose and it remains so today.” [6]

      Although the spotlight remains firmly on the mayor, it is clear he has the full backing of the Israeli government. In December 2012, Joseph Shapira, an ombudsman known as the state comptroller, who monitors state institutions and local authorities, issued a report on Upper Nazareth. He found that, unbeknownst to local council members, Gapso had been employing an extremist settler rabbi from Hebron, Hillel Horowitz, since May 2010 to advise him on “settlement affairs.” The post, paying $55,000 a year, plus a car and generous expenses, was never approved by the city treasurer, the legal adviser or council members; Gapso bypassed them all and agreed upon the job description in a secret deal with the Interior Ministry. [7]

      Horowitz, along with Uri Ariel, a far-right Knesset member representing the settlers, has helped Gapso set up in the city the first hesder yeshiva, a religious seminary that combines Bible study with military service and is popular with the children of extremist settlers. Forty students have been recruited so far. In late 2010, Horowitz also moved 15 families evacuated from Gaza during the 2005 disengagement into an abandoned school building, in violation of planning laws and safety regulations.

      The biggest project overseen by Horowitz, however, was arranged with the Housing Ministry. Tenders have been issued for a new neighborhood, comprising 3,000 homes, for the ultra-Orthodox, Jewish religious fundamentalists known as the Haredim.

      Given the large size of Haredi families, typically with eight or more children, Gapso is hoping to swell the city’s population almost overnight by 60 percent, and correspondingly shrink the proportion of Palestinians in Upper Nazareth. In an April interview, Gapso said: “I am a secular Jew and yet I am interested in having ultra-Orthodox residents here. That’s the only way to reduce the percentage of the Arab population in the city to some 10 percent.” [8]

      But as Mohammed Zeidan of the Nazareth-based Human Rights Association points out, the high birth rate among the Haredim will not only change demographics in relation to Palestinian residents; it will transform them for the existing, largely secular Jewish population, too. In a decade or two, Upper Nazareth will be a city with a dominant and rapidly growing religious majority.

      Gapso cannot be unaware of the Haredim’s behavior in other cities where they predominate. In their neighborhoods in Jerusalem, for example, drivers risk being stoned if they use their cars during the Sabbath. The Haredim have also been prepared to use violence against women to enforce modesty rules and against shops accused of violating religious codes.

      Palestinians in Nazareth are already imagining such scenarios in Upper Nazareth, and concluding -- as Gapso presumably hoped they would -- that the future is too uncertain to risk seeking a home there, even if the only other choice is an illegal home in Nazareth. The flow of migrants to Upper Nazareth may be about to be staunched. Meanwhile, the existing Palestinian population of Upper Nazareth, as well as its secular Jews, are wondering what is in store for them.

      Gapso remains unrepentant. Noting that the Galilee is an area where a Jewish majority survives only precariously, he said: “In my eyes, the struggle for a Jewish majority in the Galilee is far more important than our presence in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. If we lose the battle here, we will lose it everywhere throughout the country.” [9]

      In Gapso’s worst imaginings, Upper Nazareth may be celebrating -- a generation hence -- its first Christian mayor. And like the foolish homeowner struggling with an infestation of vermin, Gapso is set on burning down the house to rid himself of his problem.

      link to merip.org

  • Israel should pay 1.4 million Palestinians to leave Gaza, Moshe Feiglin says
    • Yonah,
      I have a few questions with regard to your comment. Appreciate if you could provide more details.

      Y: I have been taught that the Jews of Palestine were more attached to the title Palestinian than the Arabs were.

      Can you elaborate further on where you were taught this, and why you would believe this to be true?

      Y: I am not asserting that as a fact, but i will use language that fits in with the history that I read, even if it does not fit in with the history that you read.

      You keep referring to "history that I read"; can you share with us what books you are referring to? In doing so it could help provide us with some understanding as to the basis of your assertions.

      Y: I wonder what percentage of Palestinians in 1939 would have recognized the Palestinian flag. I have no idea. I assume it is a small percentage- between 5 and 10% but i have no way of knowing.

      Wow, that is a rather ignorant and presumptuous statement. If you "have no idea" and "no way of knowing", why do you make assumptions that are so prejudiced to the Palestinian collective experience?

      Y: I have read that the national consciousness that flowered into the PLO was something that was not in full bloom in 1948.

      Again, where did you read this? I am genuinely curious to know what books you are reading that is (mis)informing you on Palestinian history. Are you aware of the 1916 Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire? Some historians attribute this (in part) to the nascent Arab secular Nationalist movement. It has been quite a few years since I focused on this particular history but do recall the basic historical events and the widely accepted interpretations/analysis. Palestinian society was significantly affected by, and participated in, these events, so to make a blanket assertion such as you do robs Palestinians of their historical experience.

    • Zofia,
      thank YOU for all these wonderful resources you are compiling, what a wealth of information - most of which I was not familiar with. I'm bookmarking them to explore further over the next few days.

    • Yonah,
      why do you need the UN transcript from 1948 when Zofia kindly provided you with extensive scholarly references dating from the 1400's to the early 1900's illustrating the usage of the term Palestinian/Palestine as a descriptive used by the inhabitants of the land when referring to themselves/their place of residence?

      In case you missed Zofia's reply (which I am sure took time and effort to compile) to you a few comments up above, here is the link: link to mondoweiss.net

      Why don't you read through it and absorb the information in Zofia's comment rather than exerting your energy in a rather transparent attempt to obfuscate Palestinian national identity and history.

  • What's he texting in the bomb crater?
    • LOL Annie.

      By gollie, I don't see a shovel in the photo so Jackdaw may be on to something ;-)

    • "@ambRonProsor, hey ron, bibi wants to know if you need more "attacks" to help you out with this whole EU/UN mess? perception is everything, lol. toda"

  • 'NYT' writer takes Salaita's side, saying U of Illinois violated 'intellectual and academic freedom'
    • I wish for a lot of things too, Yonah.

      I wish that I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner without any consequences, I wish that summer didn't have to end, that I could read all day long without guilt, and I really wish that adults didn't hurt children (I would give up ice cream forever if I could get this wish, and never ever make another wish for as long as I live)

      And right now I'm wishing that you had read the article above and actually comprehended Prof. Levine's reasoned argument. But mostly, anytime I read your obsessive ramblings I wish you would get a clue.

      Please read the article slowly and carefully and ponder the fact that expressing a wish is not committing an action. Did you factor in the circumstances under which the tweet was posted? And did you ponder the fact that you didn't get all in a tizzy when civilians in Gaza were actually being pulverized and crippled this summer? So relax, Yonah, the settlers are still there, nobody has disappeared them...and you don't have the potent smoking gun with Prof. Salaita's tweet that you think you do....that tweet will not save Israel from condemnation and will not make the anti-zionists magically disappear.

      But more important, expressing moral outrage in this way — intentionally breaching civility by refusing to merely engage in calm persuasion — is itself part of the very process by which social-political perspectives shift. ~ Professor Joseph Levine

  • PA to seek UN Security Council resolution giving Israel two years to end the occupation
    • This news was just posted by AFP and not a good sign at all. EU is going to challenge the EU court's decision on the removal of Hamas from terror blacklist.

      BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union scrambled to set the record straight on Hamas Wednesday after an EU court ordered the removal of the Palestinian Islamist group from its terror blacklist, infuriating Israel.

      The ruling threatened recent Brussels attempts to play a bigger role in reviving the moribund Middle East peace process, with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu saying it showed Europeans had learned nothing from the Holocaust.

      A vote by the European Parliament backing the recognition in principle of a Palestinian state just hours after the Hamas decision, following a series of such votes in European nations, added fuel to the fire.

      The EU insisted that it still viewed Hamas as a terrorist group, saying that the ruling by the General Court of the European Union was based on a technicality and that it might appeal the decision.

      "This is a legal ruling, not a political decision," European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

      She said the EU would "take appropriate remedial action" and pointed out that under the ruling the designation of Hamas as a terror group and the freeze of its funds remains in place for three months or pending the outcome of an appeal.

      She added: "The EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organisation."

      Britain also said it wanted to maintain the terror listing.

      Its embassy to the EU said the judgement "does not change UK or EU's position on Hamas, a terrorist group."

      link to france24.com

  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
    • John,
      in my estimation, eyewitness reports by impartial observers carry great influence in breaking through to folks who are otherwise unaware or indifferent. I love how unfiltered (in a good way!) your recounting of your experience is.

      I have lived in Palestine so seeing it once again through your eyes brought back many memories of how I experienced the occupation the first time I lived there. Shock, anger and indignation, feelings that have only grown stronger with each passing day.

      All I can say is that as much as Palestinians have lots of powerful agendas stacked up against them, they have far far far more friends around the world rooting for them.

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and for the links which I will visit.

  • Kahanists attack school after synagogue killings
    • Horizontal,
      I saw your question earlier and it stuck in my mind, so when I came upon this article just now on twitter and read through it, I immediately thought of your question. Even though the article is not directly about the draft, it touches upon how entrenched military service is within Israel society. Hopefully it will shed some light...

      "If you don’t serve in the army, you will carry a stigma for your whole life,” Rahav explains. "Whatever you apply for, you’ll always be asked if you were conscripted in the army, where and in which battalion and the degree you reached. Being an officer is an important distinction and a good business card for any future job."

      link to middleeasteye.net

  • Bay Area activists shut down federal building to protest Rasmea Odeh conviction
    • Posted by @Justice4Rasmea on Twitter (Nov 16):

      Take a moment to write to Rasmea:
      Rasmieh Odeh #144979
      St. Clair County Jail
      1170 Michigan
      Port Huron, MI. 48060

      #Justice4Rasmea

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • Thanks Annie,

      Yonah brings out the best in us :-)

    • Yonah,

      I wonder, do you know who Mulla Nasreddin is?

      For those who read this comment and know the beloved figure of Mulla Nasreddin, I think you will agree with me that Mooser's witty repartees have a certain Mulla Nasreddin quality, wherein, hidden within the layers of his witty responses are morsels of sage advice and moral lessons that try to elevate the consciousness of his audience. I often smile when Mooser uses the sufi/surfer pun - Mulla Nasreddin would probably have done the same if they had surfers in his time.

      So Yonah, you see, Mooser is trying to help you along on your quest to universal enlightenment but you are proving to be rather stubborn and reluctant but he sees the potential in you to elevate your consciousness....baby step by baby step. I can certainly see now why you feel bullied but we still haven't given up on you though, and more importantly, neither has Mulla Mooser!

      For good measure here is one story Yonah that may be helpful on your quest:

      Center of the Earth
      Friend: “Nasrudin, do you know where the center of the earth is?”
      Nasrudin: “As a matter of fact, I know exactly where it is.”
      “Where?”
      “Directly under the right hoof of my donkey.”
      “What! How can you be so sure?”
      “Well—if you don’t believe me, you can measure it for yourself.”

      And here is another, just because we all need a little light-hearted laughter to counter all the sadness of these past few days:

      The town’s new conqueror said to Nasrudin one day, “Hey Mulla, I have a challenge for you. Offend me in a way that your explanation will be a thousand times worse than the original offense.”
      The next day, Nasrudin came to the palace and kissed the conqueror right on the lips.
      “What was that!“ exclaimed the conqueror with great surprise.
      “Oh,” Nasrudin replied, “excuse me. I got you confused with your wife.”

      link to rodneyohebsion.com

  • Overcoming rage through action
    • Teapot - you are not the only one apparently. My cousins in Geneva responded back to my text and they were like: Who? Never heard of him.

      JJ is on twitter though (@jjs110)...I am sure that Ivri is one of his 209 followers.

    • so I took your challenge Mooser and clicked on that link and lo and behold I entered a portal to an alternate universe. What an adventure, I just wish I had brought along my sick bag and smelling salts, I barely survived the rolling fits of laughter. Look what other goodies I bring back from that portal:

      WHO WE ARE
      After bemoaning for years the fact that little seemed to be done to bring balance to the debate regarding the Middle East conflict, Rita Heller and Jean-Jacques (a.k.a. "J.J.") Surbeck (pictured) decided to do something about it and created T.E.A.M. for that purpose in 2008.

      File under: JJ and his phantasmagoric rabbit hole

    • "This person is a very serious and influential person in Switzerland."

      Oh, do tell us all about Ivri. How serious and influential is he in Switzerland? Apart from Surbeck's self-referential bio, on which evidence do you make such claims. I am all ears.

    • I clicked on the Jean-Jacques Surbeck link provided by Katie in the article. Lo and behold, JJ Surbeck was an attorney and also a North American spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Color me skeptic, but Surbeck certainly doesn't strike me as a humanitarian nor specialist on the Geneva Conventions.....more likely, a specialist in how to subvert the protocols of the Geneva Convention. Really ugly stuff.

      J.J. Surbeck is a Swiss-educated attorney who worked for 16 years for the famously discrete International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Swiss private organization which many have dubbed the “Guardian of the Geneva Conventions” (even though its name suggests that it is international in nature, in fact this refers only to its activities). He was the ICRC's P.R. point person for North America from 1984 to 1989, and subsequently served for several years as well with the American Red Cross.

      J.J. is currently one of the few former ICRC officials available on the speaker circuit to give lectures and seminars on the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, also called International Humanitarian Law.

      Recently, J.J. helped create - and is the Executive Director of - a non-profit organization called T.E.A.M. (Training and Education About the Middle East) with a focus on presenting a more balanced image of the Middle East conflict than the one projected by the media and many academics. The T.E.A.M. web site can be found at sandiegoteam.org.

  • Israel lobby stakes claim for Jerusalem at Supreme Court, but Kagan isn't buying
    • "Palestinians are actually under no legal obligation to negotiate and they are under no legal obligation to forgo any of their legal rights if they do negotiate."

      no objection from me on your excellent points....but for purposes of this court case it seems like the State Department's protocols in terms of nomenclature are adhering to internationally recognized standards; in other words, this is a matter that would appear to me to lie outside of the U.S. Supreme Court's adjudication and other countries are in no way bound to respect any U.S. ruling which goes against the International protocols, nor honor the bearer's passport.

    • According to the protocols outlined in the U.S. Department of State's "Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 - Consular Affairs", it seems very clear on how this matter should be handled:

      7 FAM 1360 APPENDIX D BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS
      Pages 10 - 12

      a. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of
      Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank,
      and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian
      territory, and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final
      status must be determined by negotiations.

      b. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports
      whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA.

      c. Birth in the West Bank or in the No Man’s Lands between the West Bank and
      Israel: The birthplace for people born in the West Bank or in the No Man's
      Lands between the West Bank and Israel is WEST BANK; Those persons born
      before May 1948 in the area known as the West Bank may have PALESTINE
      listed as an alternate entry. Those born in 1948 or later may have their city of
      birth as an alternate entry. Persons born in the West Bank in 1948 or later
      may not have Palestine transcribed as an alternate entry.

      d. Birth in the Gaza Strip: The birthplace for people born in the Gaza Strip, is
      GAZA STRIP. PALESTINE is the alternate acceptable entry provided the
      applicant was born before 1948.

      e. Birthplace in Israel: Write ISRAEL as the place of birth in the passport if and
      only if the applicant was born in Israel itself (this does not include the Gaza
      Strip, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the No Man’s Lands
      between the West Bank and Israel). Do not enter ISRAEL in U.S. passports as
      the place of birth for applicants born in the occupied territories.

      f. Birthplace in Jerusalem: For a person born in Jerusalem, write JERUSALEM as
      the place of birth in the passport. Do not write Israel, Jordan or West Bank for
      a person born within the current municipal borders of Jerusalem. For applicants
      born before May 14, 1948 in a place that was within the municipal borders of
      Jerusalem, enter JERUSALEM as their place of birth. For persons born before
      May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and
      later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the
      location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation. For persons born after
      May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and
      later was annexed by the city, it is acceptable to enter the name of the location
      (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

      g. Birthplace in Area Formerly Known as Palestine: An applicant born in the area
      formerly known as Palestine (which includes the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights,
      Jerusalem, or the West Bank) may object to showing the birthplace. In such
      cases, explain the Department of State (CA)’s general policy of showing the
      birthplace as the country having present sovereignty. The Senior Passport
      Specialist, Supervisory Passport Specialist, or Adjudication Manager at a
      domestic passport agency or center or supervisory consular officer or regional
      consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate may make an exception to show
      PALESTINE as the birthplace if the applicant was born before 1948. If the
      applicant was born in 1948 or later, the city or town of birth may be listed if the
      applicant objects to showing the country having present sovereignty.

      h. For a person born before May 14, 1948 in a place that was outside Jerusalem's
      municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, either PALESTINE or the
      name of the location (area or city) as it was known before annexation may be
      used as an alternate entry. For a person born after May 14, 1948 in a place
      that was outside Jerusalem's municipal limits and later was annexed by the
      city, the alternate entry is the name of the location (area or city) as it was
      known before annexation.

      ----> i. If the applicant lists as place of birth on a passport application a jurisdiction
      other than that provided in this 7 FAM 1360 Appendix D, the passport
      authorizing officer should annotate the passport application with the correct
      place of birth code reflected in this guidance. If the passport applicant objects
      to the listing of the current area of sovereignty as defined in this guidance, the
      applicant may elect to list the area or city name as listed in this section.
      However, Passport authorizing officers will advise applicants that foreign
      officials who examine the passport and are unfamiliar with (or object to) the
      area name may question its appearance in the passport and possibly deny
      entry to the bearer.

      Page 12 of the pdf has an easy reference chart outlining the DOS's rules

      link to state.gov

  • As conditions worsen in Gaza, residents ask: ‘Where have all the activists gone?’
    • you may want to connect with the folks at Rebuilding Alliance, they recently had a fund drive and published an article here on Mondoweiss about it.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      You can help. This Wednesday, Oct. 15th, “Clothe Gaza’s Children” is competing for a matching grant in the GlobalGiving Bonus Day, starting at 9am Eastern time. Please go to RebuildingAlliance.org and click GiveNow to receive a 30% match for your donation, while funds last. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Those warm items certainly come in helpful during the winter months when it can get quite chilly in homes and temporary shelters with scarce electricity!

  • SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for the Negev, but boycotters promise to not let up
  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
    • I haven't seen any photos in the English-language media, nor any postings on twitter. And in the reports I have seen only Feiglin has been cited and quoted as a witness to the Glick attempted-murder event. Perhaps in the Hebrew-language media there is more extensive coverage?

    • Witnesses to Moataz Hijazi's execution attest that he wasn't armed....and yet he was killed in cold blood. Wouldn't Israel want him alive to question him on the attempted murder of Glick and to investigate further on who else was involved in this murder attempt? Too many coincidences, too little evidence and a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, we'll never know the truth.

    • having trouble embedding the entire tweet.

      This was FM Wallstrom's response:

      "I'll happily send an IKEA flat pack for Avigdor Lieberman to assemble. He'll discover you need a partner, cooperation and a good manual"

      <<<>>>

    • Sweden FM Wallstrom's brilliant response to the bouncer:

      Sweden responds after Israel’s anger over recognition of Palestinian state. #TheWorldRightNow starts in 30 minutes. pic.twitter.com/Ab0ul01tde— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) October 30, 2014

  • Normalizing occupation, NYT runs whimsical story on time zones
    • Seems this quote by Malcolm X is most appropriate: “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

  • Shimon Peres gets one tough question -- on illegal settlements -- and Colgate University censors it
    • I"ve never understood why people fawn over Peres. When did he suddenly become a harmless old man who likes to put children on his knees? Did I miss something?

    • It really is pathological how Israel blocks all channels of economic progress and then blames the victims of their inhumane policies for being "backward".

      What else can a sane person do except BDS Israel?

    • A family that BDS's together, stays together :-)

    • Peres:
      Shimon explained that certain people have been able to capitalize on technology, while certain others “just don’t understand it…In the last 50 years the (Arab) population grew five times; the production did not.”

      Funny, I didn't expect a "peacemaker" to disseminate lies. Those "certain others" that Peres refers to live under Israel's draconian apartheid policies that are designed to suffocate any economic growth. LRB just published a short and damning expose on the mechanisms used by Israel to choke any economic development....Organised Hypocrisy on a Monumental Scale - Robert Wade on the Economic Occupation of the West Bank

      These are some of the economic restrictions on "certain others" as witnessed by Robert Wade, an LSE professor of political economy, on his first-time visit to the OT:

      The next day, on a dusty dirt road outside Nablus, with the Israeli security fence on one side and an olive grove on the other, I met two brothers walking towards the town some three kilometres away, where they lived. They had been working on their (ancestral) land on the Israeli side of the fence. The Israelis manned a gate closer to the town, they said, but opened it for only one hour in the early morning, one hour at midday and one hour in the late afternoon. If they wanted to come or go at other times they walked, or sometimes drove a tractor, several kilometres to the next gate, which had more extended opening hours. They also each needed a permit to cross the fence. The permits didn’t last long. The period varied but was commonly about two months. When it expired the men had to apply for another permit, which could take weeks. Last year they applied for a permit to cover the period for harvesting their greenhouse tomatoes, their main source of income. But it took 40 days to arrive, by which time the crop had rotted. They had two more brothers who were not allowed to cross the fence under any circumstances, because years before they had been jailed for protesting against Israeli rule.

      On to a nearby herder community, where fifty households tend several thousand head of sheep and goats on barren land. Electricity lines run overhead, water and sewage pipes run below, but the herders have no access to them. They buy water from an Israeli-owned water depot some distance away. They can pay for an Israeli-owned tanker to bring water to their cistern; but it was cheaper for them to tow their own water container to the depot behind a tractor, fill it, and pull it back home. In 2008 the Israeli authorities confiscated their water container, saying it did not meet standards. Now they pay the extra for the Israeli-owned tanker delivery.

      The Palestinian Hydrology Group, an NGO, has been working for more than twenty years to improve water and sanitation facilities throughout the West Bank. The Nablus office has provided toilets to fifty poor communities, including this settlement of herders. In Israeli eyes the toilets are illegal, because built without a permit. The PHG knows from experience that the chances of getting a permit are practically zero. So, backed by Spanish aid, it built quickly collapsible toilet cabins. With just a few minutes’ notice the components can be spirited out of sight and reassembled when the soldiers are gone. In Area C of the West Bank (more than 60 per cent of the territory) it is illegal even to mend a failing water cistern without a permit – which is rarely given. Solar panels would require a permit, too.

      The same restrictions mean that areas A and B of the West Bank (40 per cent of the territory), where Palestinians have greater scope for self-government, cannot be connected to scale-efficient infrastructure networks for electricity and water. The areas are fragmented (ghettoised) into small enclaves surrounded by area C land, where infrastructure projects require Israeli permits, which are rarely given. This greatly increases the cost of infrastructure services and restricts their supply to most of the West Bank population.

      Israel systematically blocks Palestinian external trade with other countries (70 per cent of the West Bank’s exports are sold in Israel). The only alternatives to Israel’s ports are two land bridges to Jordan. Israel often closes one of them, and the other is often choked by insufficient infrastructure. Israel levies murky forms of protection against Palestinian products, such as health and safety standards that Palestinian producers cannot comply with. Israeli law requires a wide range of products, including pharmaceuticals, to be certified before entering Israel; but Israeli security law also typically prohibits Israeli citizens from performing inspections in the Palestinian territories. Palestinian products subject to these rules therefore cannot be sold to the Israeli market, because they cannot be inspected by Israelis before entering Israel.

      The restrictions that the Israeli state imposes on Palestinians in the West Bank (to say nothing of Gaza, which I did not visit) are most visible in the Wall and security fence, which divides the whole length of the West Bank, including deep intrusions to annex additional land for Israel. But the restrictions also cover the movement of people, the import and export of goods and services, investments, and access to basic infrastructure (electricity, water, sanitation). They are so pervasive and systematic that it almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. Under these circumstances – which I’m happy to say I have never encountered elsewhere – political and economic development is barely possible.

  • A conversation with Abu Yazan, one of the founders of Gaza Youth Breaks Out
  • Rivlin commemorates Kfar Qassem massacre and speaks of 'equality'
    • He was in such shock at the carnage* that he temporarily lost his power of speech.

      *Rivlin is reported to be a vegetarian.

    • Rivlin is the spokeperson for the milder, gentler Israel. I am sure that Israel put out a SOS call to all the PR firms and of all the RFP's that were studied, they chose this one. I am sure that the Israeli Tourist Board put its stamp of approval on it too. Lots of brainstorming to do more brainwashing.

      PS: I don't doubt that Rivlin believes in these ideals.....hence why he was chosen to play the part. A win-win.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • seafoid,
      not sure if you saw this with regard to McKinsey...it's from Max Blumenthal's article: International Community Promises to Rebuild Gaza ... with Sweat Shops to Exploit Palestinian Workers

      Last year, a Palestinian businessman furnished me with a 14-page paper produced on behalf of the Quartet by McKinsey and Company which outlined the goals of the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy. It was a bizarre document that analyzed Gaza and the West Bank as though they were normal developing nations whose economic performance could be optimized with just a little technical know-how and a few innovative marketing strategies. Not once was Israel’s occupation of Palestine mentioned in the paper.

      McKinsey’s consultants found that the walled-in Gaza ghetto “underperforms on key tourism metrics,” but the brainy analysts couldn’t seem to say why, alluding only to “regional instability” and “low awareness of existing tourism destination sites." Ignoring the Israeli siege, the factor that made literally everything McKinsey proposed a total fantasy, the firm proposed “a range of new hotel offerings…underpinned by aggressive marketing.” If only Gaza could find a winning brand, McKinsey suggested, boutique spas would suddenly blossom along its coastline, providing stunning vistas of Israel’s naval blockade.

      To bring Gaza’s beleaguered economy back to life, McKinsey called for the proliferation of sweatshops that would churn out zippers and buttons for “high-end designers in Israeli clothing markets requiring relatively small, customized orders not handled well by bulk-order manufacturers.” So much for Singapore on the Mediterranean. Under international guidance, Gaza would become an occupied Bangladesh, producing accoutrements for trendy Tel Aviv fashionistas. And perhaps Gaza’s sweatshop workers might even fabricate some zippers for a custom order of Israeli army uniforms when the hipsters of Tel Aviv are called up for the next ground invasion.

      Nearly every construction and agricultural project envisioned by McKinsey has been nullified by Israel’s siege and its accompanying military assaults. Not a single dollar has been pledged to the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project, which was highlighted in the McKinsey document as one of the Quartet’s major achievements. And not one of the affordable housing units McKinsey proposed has been built. Instead, Israel damaged or destroyed at least 18,000 homes in Gaza this summer and obliterated 128 businesses while bombing the strip’s already overtaxed sanitation, electricity and water supply facilities to smithereens. So much for “transformative change” and “greater life-changing opportunities on the ground.”

  • 'Jewish students were barred from attending' pro-Palestinian event -- Alterman misrepresents
    • Yonah,
      I just googled the event and the information is still online with regard to admittance. According to the event details, anybody who wished to attend needed to
      1) be on the RSVP list or
      2) be on the waiting list or
      3) be either a student or faculty member of Brooklyn College

      Attendance details for the event are below:

      Thursday, February 7, 2013at 6:30pm in EST
      Brooklyn College E 27th St and Campus Road Brooklyn, NY 11210 Student Center Building PENTHOUSE
      *PLEASE READ CAREFULLY*
      We are sending out emails tonight to confirm the people on the Community RSVP list, waiting list, and Brooklyn College student/faculty list for tomorrows BDS event.
      -Community RSVP, if you receive a confirmation email from us tonight, you are on the RSVP list. (You must bring a photo ID with you)
      - Brooklyn College, the ones that came by our table today and signed their name is guaranteed a seat and the ones that did not sign their name will have to stand on the waiting line. The waiting line will be first come first serve basis. (You must bring your BC ID)
      - Waiting list, if you received an email from us tonight about being on the waiting list, it’s also first come first serve basis. Therefore, you will have to stand on the waiting line. (You must bring a photo ID with you)
      THE ONES THAT ARE NOT ON THE RSVP LIST, WAITING LIST, OR A BROOKLYN COLLEGE STUDENT/FACULTY WILL BE DENIED ENTRY.

      ~ link to facebook.com

      Yonah, did you follow the instructions as outlined above in order to attend the event?

  • Jaffa, indeed, Forever: A review of Adly Massoud Derhally's 'Jaffa Forever'
  • An open letter to Birthright participants past, present, and future
    • "If you take anything away from this letter it is that you should not feel pressured by your religious identity to identify with a geographic plot of land or to discriminate against others. It is important to emphasize that to be Jewish does not mean to be Israeli. That to be Jewish does not mean to be Zionist. That to be Pro-Palestinian does not mean to be an anti-Semite."

      Superb Hannah! But then again, once someone has reached this plateau of morality compliments are probably superfluous :-)

  • Allegations of anti-Semitism used to cover up anti-Palestinian hate crime in Brooklyn
    • jaynot - why shouldn't the Palestine Solidarity Network care about anti-semitism, I'm curious to know your opinion on this.

    • Brilliant Horizontal, that is the only sane way to frame this sordid story! The corruption definitely starts at the top.

    • It doesn't get better than this. Petlakh has been nominated for "emerging leader" award from the Russian-American Person of the Year organization. Voting is currently taking place online.

      According to the website: "Emerging Leader of the Year is awarded to a YOUNG professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills with a commitment to local, state, or national cultural communities"

      The takeaway: YOUNG Petlakh has lots more years ahead in which he can continue to abuse and assault people and then claim victimization.

      link to personoftheyear.us

    • Here is Leonard Petlakh's bio at the American Zionist Movement (AZM):

      Vice President Leonard Petlakh received his B.A. from Hunter College and his M.B.A from Baruch College, both CUNY schools. He has served as the Executive Director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA in Brooklyn since December 2006. The Y is the largest multi-program community center serving thousands of residents of the Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Homecrest, Midwood, Bergen Beach and Mill Basin neighborhoods of Brooklyn with a variety of programs for children and adults of all ages. Recently the Y has grown by adding its fourth location in Windsor Terrace, serving the Kensington, South Slope and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods of Brooklyn with programs for children and families. Petlakh served as the Associate Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society in NY from 1999 to 2006.

      Petlakh co-teaches an undergraduate Jewish history course at Hunter College and lives in South Merrick, Long Island, with his wife and two sons. The eldest spends his summers at Young Judea’s Sprout Lake Camp and is looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah in Israel in 2013.
      link to azm.org

    • Here is literally an actual example of a student being aggressed and attacked by an adult male, a teacher from the same college attended by the female victim, and I don't see any press releases or public emails from administrators condemning this violence. The hypocrisy is nauseating and only goes to prove that ANY pronouncements made by university administration is not worth the ink it is printed on.

  • 'Another Jew!' Speakers at 'Klinghoffer' rally blame Jews for promoting anti-Semitism
    • Some snippets from Adam Shatz' review in the LRB, "Who's Afraid of 'Klinghoffer'?":

      Still, you could make the case that if The Death of Klinghoffer caricatures anyone, it’s Palestinians, not Jews. The ‘Chorus of Exiled Palestinians’ that opens the opera features a group in Afghan-style clothes, evoking the vanished paradise of pre-1948 Palestine and the Nakba that robbed them of their land and future. Dressed in black and virtually indistinguishable, they’re designated mourners of Palestine, an undifferentiated mass united in suffering and thirsty for revenge. The women are all covered in full abayas, which is unusual among Palestinian women today, and was even more unusual in 1985. The men wear Afghan-style beards that, outside the Gaza Strip, are rare in Palestine. They wave the green flag of Islam, not the Palestinian red green, white and black flag that even Hamas prefers. The effect of the set design is to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an episode in a larger clash of civilisations between Islam and the West. The libretto, too, accentuates the ‘civilisational’ dimensions of the conflict. With their incantatory talk about Islam and their love of martyrdom, the hijackers sound more like members of Hamas (which emerged only in 1988) than of Abu Abbas’s secular nationalist PLF.

      I suspect that what disturbs the opera’s critics is that Palestinian suffering is expressed with such eloquence and compassion, not only in the libretto but in the score. Taruskin and others have complained that some of the most stirring music occurs in the ‘Chorus of Exiled Palestinians’. It’s a telling criticism, an example of what Talking Heads called the ‘fear of music’: the anxiety that musical beauty might act on its listeners in transgressive ways, and lead to forbidden forms of pleasure or sympathy. What appears to trouble Klinghoffer’s enemies most is that, through the force of his music, Adams has put Western listeners in the shoes of Israel’s victims.

      Those who are afraid of The Death of Klinghoffer because Palestinians have been awarded some of its most beautiful music haven’t listened very carefully – or haven’t stayed in their seats until the end. The heartbreaking aria that closes the opera belongs to Marilyn Klinghoffer, mourning her husband with controlled anguish. The loss that The Death of Klinghoffer invites us to experience most acutely is personal, not political.

      link to lrb.co.uk

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
    • very astute observation Annie. It is far easier from the IDF/Shin Bet's perspective to put pressure (psychologically and physically) and get information from a child than it is an adult. We know that Bassem al-Tamimi was arrested after they arrested a young boy from his family (nephew, cousin - I don't recall) and coerced "testimony" from the child. That child has to live with that guilt and shame, in addition to the emotional scars from his prison experience.

      During the 1st intifada, parents would warn their children/teens that if they got arrested not to reveal any information, that it would be far worse for them if they were suspected of collaborating....and the lawyers also told them that it is near impossible to secure their release if they admitted to anything. I heard many anecdotes about this, enough to realize it was commonplace, it was a part of children's way of understanding how to behave in their world. That in and of itself is a both a reflection, and indictment, of the draconian system of occupation the Palestinians live under.

    • how would you like your developmentally disabled child being traumatized, arrested, roughed up and thrown into the back of a military jeep by soldiers in helmets loaded from head to toe with weapons and can act at will to hurt you or your family?

      THE FATHER HAD TO PLEA - I REPEAT, THE FATHER HAD TO PLEA - to get his developmentally disabled child released. Can you imagine having to plea to secure your child's safety? How would that affect you, your child, your family? Extremely traumatic.

      I realize that the ziocane may have tampered with the neurons in your brain that release compassion triggers so what I just explained to you is probably pointless. How I would love to be proven wrong!

  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
    • That quote also left me perplexed. When did the persecution of the Palestinian people ever have a moral basis; and when did it suddenly become immoral?

  • 'I know how the brainwashing works'
    • Ivri, like all racists, associates "western style" with "civility"... the type of civility that recently murdered in cold blood 500 Palestinian children in Gaza, and left an additional 3,000+ children permanently maimed for life. Not to mention the "western-style" state-sponsored Israeli terrorist settlers that ran over little Palestinian girls of just 4 and 5 year old this past weekend in Sinjil.

      That is Ivri's beloved "western style" Israel and for which he sold his little racist soul to.

  • The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ passes divestment resolution
    • Becca,
      not once have you made mention of the brutal conditions that Palestinians endure whilst living under Israeli occupation/siege/apartheid. Perhaps in educating yourself you may want to start with understanding why Palestinians resist, and why millions globally are advocating for justice for Palestinians.

      We await your contributions with regard to Palestinian suffering, and how best communities can influence Israel to abide by International and Human Rights laws. I would imagine that you too will come to the conclusion that religious institutions that choose to divest from Israel's economy or companies that benefit from occupation are actually making a statement in favor of human rights, peace and justice. Something to think about.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • Parrots are considered intelligent creatures so that is a compliment.

      (PS: It is said that an honest man is like a child...see the video and it will make sense)

  • Islamophobia, liberalism and the dangers of Interfaith ignorance
    • So if you are not referring to any countries, then why did you initially ask:

      "What about the rest of the Muslim world, specifically those countries that have largely escaped Western intrusions? Are any of them legitimately Liberal or Modern?"

      Why pose the question if you already have all the answers wrapped up based on your historically myopic and selective pov?

    • rp1,
      It would be helpful to know which countries you are referring to.

  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • breathtakingly beautiful. Deeply grateful, Rico, you shared this with us.

      Souad Massi singing "Raoui (Storyteller)" is a perfect accompaniment.

    • Yes, Ivri, do show us your evidence.

      And then why don't we discuss all the instances of abuse anti/non-zionist holocaust survivors have received for speaking out against the crimes of zionism endured by Palestinians.

    • my brain seriously needed a detoxification, thanks for posting this!!

  • Israel and the g-word
    • Incitement to genocide was codified when Golda Meir said:

      There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.

      (As quoted in Sunday Times (15 June 1969), also in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)

      Israel has tried to EXISTICIDE the Palestinians, a form of genocide. Then add Gaza to the mix....and you get a one-way ticket to the ICC.

  • Put a spike in the wheel of injustice
    • right back at you 100x Mr. Just :-)

    • well, can you blame them? Who doesn't want a pied-a-terre in the sunny Mediterranean? Trouble is, they want it guilt-free with no strings attached. Rudoren certainly isn't complaining, hell, she only has to interact with the natives when she needs her laundry cleaning done.

      Who was it that said, for every action there is a reaction? Nevermind.

  • Ofra Yeshua-Lyth and the case for a new Israeli left
  • NY rabbi implores those in her congregation who are joining Israel's enemies to love the country
    • I was just online trying to find some information on Oriana Fallaci's xenophobia/Islamophobia and was struck by this sentence from a 2002 Guardian article:

      "The recent, well-orchestrated campaign alerting opinion to the rise of anti-semitism in Europe camouflages the fact that Jews are not the foremost victims in the carnival of hatred. That dubious honour goes to Muslims, Europe's largest religious minority, numbering over 20 million. "

      link to theguardian.com

      So, either anti-Semitism is a real and present and ever-constantly rising occurrence (may this never be the case, and may we all denounce any & all occurrences of bigotry) or we are always being hit over the head by claims of rampant anti-Semitism so as to deflect and keep zionism safe from condemnation? Of course, it should be noted that the War on "Terror" (principally targeting Arabs and Muslims) is real and has only increased, as past and present facts attest. So I am left scratching my head, which is a greater threat in the present context: anti-Semitism or Islamophobia?

  • Eight hours on Third Avenue

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