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Total number of comments: 336 (since 2011-10-27 19:23:40)

Am passionate about the Palestinians seeing a fare end to their dilema

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  • Thomas Friedman justifies slaughter of Arab civilians by 'crazy' Israel
    • I seem to remember a time way back when in 1982, Friedman was the New York Times gun-ho American stringer in Beirut when Israel intervened in the Lebanese Civil War and Ariel Sharon, by means of Maronite proxies the massacred hundreds of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatyla . Bombs fell relentlessly. The man FLED with his tail between his legs over the border to Israel. The war, covered in depth by seasoned journalist Robert Fisk in "Beirut: Pity the Nation" was not on the N.Y.T.'s best seller list as was Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem"....which leads me to believe in T.F.'s case not only do old habits die hard........Once a propagandist, always a propagandist

  • 'We have taken Jerusalem off the table' -- Trump bullies Palestinians
  • Why liberal Zionists have nothing to say about Ahed Tamimi's slap and arrest
    • ..No, the Jewish Zionists wouldn’t have anything to say. Ahed Tamini is an embarrassment. First of all, at 16, she’s drop dead gorgeous, exhibiting a confounding likeness to an idealized portrait of an Israeli “Sabra”, those post -1947 first generation Israelis that went off to countrywide Kibutzes to make the dessert bloom. Not of the land, were only planted there in an acclimatimization experiment or a military secure and hold ploy. Many went back to the cities where economic, industrial, and research and development projects were more lucrative and ensuing connections to the wider world enabled Israel to grow in importance and stature. But the Palestinians couldn’t move off the land, nor were they availed of the dry climate irrigation knowhow, or chemically based insecticides. After 1970, Moshe Dayan saw it fit allow their hiring out as agricultural workers for a pittance, Until rebellion for better wages caged them further. Nevertheless they continued to feed their own and defended orchards and olive groves like devoted barnacles and still do, an embarrassment. Nor is it particularly shocking that an Israeli journalist, should hint that an unspeakable act of violence “might exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”…the defilement of the girl who walks in the streets of her ancestral homeland.
      The Tamini family is a prime example of this very quality, living in the dot -on-the-map occupied village of Nabi Saleh. The moral imperative of “Simud”, steadfastness, holding ones own against superior odds, because of the love and care of the land they dwell upon, should be an example to all of us in Trump’s age of forceful bullying rhetoric and American Congressional acquiescence….

  • Marc Lynch warns against the U.S. escalation in Syria
  • 'Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong' -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)
    • Mr. Pierce is to be commended for his honesty and tireless pursuit of Justice during his long and winding road. His greatest personal assets seem to have been keeping an open mind, and intellectual curiosity. Sadly both of these qualities go a begging in today's America where the loudest political and military voices duplicating aspects of a despicable past, seem to be the ones attracting the largest following.

      Donald Trump's constant refrain and campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” makes me shudder when thinking of the thousands slain in repeated military conflicts that needn't have been fought. If at some point in the last century and the most recent decades of this one' the United States has bee called out and truly sanctioned for war crimes and perpetrator, beyond a few bad apples, imprisoned , the current world might not be so bloody minded. The same holds true for Israel.

  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
  • After 10 years of ignoring an important story, 'NYT' finally gets to 'Breaking the Silence'
    • ....."It takes a lot of courage to speak out against the dominant voice in your society — especially when you are wearing the uniform and telling the truth can lead to military punishment. ....."

      In addition speaking out can negatively affect job opportunites, further education, and housing perks available to all young people that have served...

  • Top Israel advocate uses San Bernardino killings to attack Islam
  • Protesters stage citizen's arrest of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely at West Coast Ha'aretz conference
  • The only way to take on ISIS is to take on Wahhabi doctrine
  • Netanyahu: In wake of Paris attacks, world should condemn attacks against Israel
  • Rigged Netanyahu 'conversation' at Center for American Progress shows it's twilight of the Israel lobby
    • The decision by the Center for American Progress, which calls itself progressive, to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serves as another example of a phenomenon endemic in mainstream American politics called “progressive except Palestine,” observed Josh Ruebner, policy director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

      With co-sponsor Jewish Voice for Peace, Ruebner and his group organized a picket line in front of the offices of the Center for American Progress in downtown Washington, D.C., during the morning rush hour on Nov. 10. Netanyahu was scheduled to speak at the Center for American Progress in a question-and-answer format later in the day, with the center’s president, Neera Tanden, facilitating the discussion.

      “We, as progressives, are not going to sit by and allow a policy institute that calls itself progressive to be used to promote racist and apartheid policies that the prime minister will be spouting this afternoon,” Ruebner said in an interview on the picket line. “Would the Center for American Progress be hosting an American politician who said Latinos are a demographic threat? Of course not because that’s racist discourse, but the Israeli prime minister is allowed to say that Palestinians are a demographic threat and it’s okay for him to speak at a progressive think tank.”...........

  • Call from Gaza-Based Palestinian Student Blocs: Intensify BDS campaigns against apartheid Israel
  • 'We have martyrs every day in Hebron'
    • Israeli troops raided the offices of an activist group that monitors human rights violations by Israeli military forces and Jewish settlers, and took over homes in neighbouring districts, a rights group and residents told Al Jazeera.
      "The area is besieged," Issa Amro, coordinator of
      Youth Against Settlements in the Old City of Hebron, told Al Jazeera by telephone on Saturday.

      Amro said dozens of Israeli settlers gathered outside the building, celebrating the raid and chanting for Israeli troops to kill the Palestinians.

      "They are rejoicing that they took over my home and building," he said.

      "One of the soldiers said that they were [raiding the home] as punishment for speaking to the international media about what's happening in Hebron

  • The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic
  • Life in Israel during the 'wave of terror'
    • Thank you Ronit Dison for your sincerity in bearing witness to your feelings and impressions.........

      Supberb article by David Shulman:

      "Most Israelis profess to be surprised at the current outbreak. It has apparently never occurred to them that one cannot occupy the lands of another people for half a century, deny them elementary human rights, disenfranchise and humiliate them, repeatedly demolish their homes and villages, harass and even kill them with impunity, without at some point facing furious resistance. It has been over ten years since the height of the Second Intifada, long enough for a new generation of Palestinians to emerge, traumatized by the occupation, witnesses to the remorseless land-grab for Israeli settlement. I have no doubt that many young Palestinians today are prepared to fight. Some, I believe, will choose the path of non-violent resistance, which may yet achieve mass dimensions—if not today, then tomorrow.

      ......Quite apart from the clinical picture, there is Israel’s spiritual crisis—though “spiritual” is a word I rarely use and have, in fact, banned from my university classes on India. But I do not know what else to call the abject failure of the imagination and ever greater hardening of the heart on the part of so many. For half a century we Israelis, as a people, have treated Palestinians, both inside and beyond the Green Line, with arrogance, malice, and a coercive selfishness that makes a mockery of our common humanity. It would be good if we could acknowledge even a little of this history, sadly rationalized by the religious right in the name of supposed Jewish themes such as the sanctity of the Land of Israel or the sorry chosen-ness of the Jews or the God-given enmity of our enemies. Someday, I believe, we will be able to see this, but it won’t happen very soon. .....

  • Antony Loewenstein's contempt for journalists
    • Antony Loewenstein, has covered politics in Australia with regard to discrimination, warehousing of refugees, the domestic stance on the Israel/Palestine question for a host of global media outlets. He has every right to feel angry about the bias, jingoistic use of untruths, and lies by ommision found innewspaper articls and on line reporting. His criticism reminded me of a 2011 piece by Nir Rosen, who said as much in so many words about the inadequate coverage of the Iraq War.......

      Western media fraud in the Middle East Too many journalists report official narratives of the powerful, missing the stories of working class people.
      Nir Rosen 18 May 2011
      …..Journalists are the archetype of ideological tools who create culture and produce knowledge. Their function is to represent a class and perpetuate the dominant ideology instead of building a counter hegemonic and revolutionary ideology, or narrative, in this case. They are the organic intellectuals of the ruling class. Instead of being the voice of the people… Western journalists take reality and amputate it, contort it, and fit it into a predetermined discourse or taxonomy
      The American media always want to fit events in the region into an American narrative
      But the American media has been obsessed with Islamists, looking for them behind every demonstration, and the uprisings have been often treated as if they were something threatening. And all too often, it just comes down to "what does this mean for Israel's security?" The aspirations of hundreds of millions of freedom-seeking Arabs are subordinated to the security concerns of five million Jews who colonised Palestine.
      There is a strong element of chauvinism and racism behind the reporting. Like American soldiers, American journalists like to use the occasional local word to show they have unlocked the mysteries of the culture…..Islam is also treated like a code that can be unlocked, and then locals can be understood as if they are programmed only through Islam.
      A journalist doesn't have to live like an impoverished local. But the less local life you experience, the less you can do your job, and this is what readers need to understand. The average person anywhere in the world goes to work and comes back home. He knows little about people outside his social class, ethnic group, neighbourhood or city. As a journalist, you are making judgements on an entire country and interpreting it for others, but you don't know the country because you don't really live in it.
      Relying on a translator means you can only talk to one person at a time and you miss all the background noise. It means you have to depend on somebody from a certain social class, or sect, or political position, to filter and mediate the country for you.
      American reporting is problematic throughout the third world, but because the American military/industrial/financial/academic/media complex is so directly implicated in the Middle East, the consequences of such bad reporting are more significant. Journalists end up serving as propagandists justify the killing of innocent people instead of a voice for those innocent people.
      There are many brave and dedicated journalists working in the Middle East whose work deserves attention and praise. Some even work for the mainstream media. Too often their independent voices are drowned out by the mass of writers who justify power instead of opposing it. Our job should not be about speaking truth to power. Those in power know the truth, they just don't care. It's about speaking truth to the people, to those not in power, in order to empower them.

  • Majority of Palestinian citizens of Israel blame gov’t for violence, fear revenge attacks, limit their movements
    • "The presence of Jewish worshipers at the holy basin has been a factor in Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and across Israel ..."

      Despite claims it is seeking to calm tensions in Jerusalem, Israel is intensifying activities to encircle the al-Aqsa mosque and strengthen its control over the holy site, a group of Israeli archaeologists warned last week. ....But the archaeologists say the most pressing threats to the mosque, located on a raised plaza above the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, will be invisible to the cameras.

      They accuse Israel of making rapid changes to the physical landscape around al-Aqsa to obscure the area’s Islamic character and create an ever-more arduous “obstacle course” for worshippers.

      “The big picture is that Israel is weakening the Muslim and Palestinian presence there so that Israeli Jews can believe they are the true owners of the site,” said Yonathan Mizrachi, head of Emek Shaveh, an organisation of Israeli archaeologists opposed to the use of archaeology for political ends.....Various Israeli archaeological activities, he said, had almost completed Israel’s encirclement of the al-Aqsa compound, isolating it from Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. -

  • A majority of Palestinians support armed intifada as means of self-defense
    • "And so it's because of this complicity, this failure to hold Israel accountable, this willful participation in its crimes by the so-called international community, that Palestinians are once again rising up and taking matters into their own hands with the very limited means that they have. Sacrificing their lives to make the statement that we desire to be free. We desire to be free. We desire to be liberated from this ugly colonial apartheid regime. That's what Palestinians are saying........"

      Instead, EU representative Ms. Mogherini has called fo resumption of 3The Peace Process" with emphasis on "deliverables"....

      Everybody knows that Israeli occupation, colonization, war crimes, apartheid, are the problem. But they're not willing to confront it. And so they talk about resuming negotiations and process because they don't want to say it. Why couldn't Ms. Mogherini say, end the occupation? Give the Palestinians their rights. Stop stealing their land. Stop killing their children. Stop imprisoning them. She would never dare to use that kind of plain language.

  • On 'incitement'
  • 'Come and see!' (and you will understand)
    • Thank you for your moving account Dr. Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe. and to the many intrepid organizations world wide that take people to Israel/Palestine and show them what is really going on there behind the Wall and further afield. Having been a part of such a group on at least 9 occasions, I usually come away deeply moved on how my fellow travelers, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, are incredulous, dumb struck, angry at their country's media and invigorated to fight the good fight.....

  • Set up? Video appears to show Israeli soldier placing object next to Palestinian killed in Hebron (Update)
    • Palestinian youth Fadel al-Qawasmeh walked in the area on Shuhada Street not segregated for the benefit of Israeli settlers. Passing settlers as an Arab, was enough of a ‘crime’ for the point-blank, execution style shooting the 18 year old endured, only to be packaged and stamped as another Arab ‘terrorist’ when officials at the scene determined the boy had a knife.....(?????)

      In the immediate aftermath of the killing, when Israeli forces should have been utilizing photo and video evidence from witnesses at the scene as well as eyewitness testimony, rather, they went on the attack. Palestinians in a home directly near the site of the killing had their home raided, terrifying the families inside and had their phones and computers confiscated only for settlers who were allowed to wander freely on the scene to be given glimpse of the evidence against them.

      And while a member of Youth Against Settlements who was filming was detained while his evidence was confiscated and evaluated, settlers were allowed to photograph the boy’s bleeding body who received no immediate first aid; a common obscenity between settlers and soldiers of humiliating Palestinians as they lay dying. Settlers served tea and snacks on the scene.

  • Israel gets away with it because it is a global arms supplier -- Halper
    • Some investigaive journalists with a green conscience should survey and calculate Israel's serious environmental over- consumtion and greenhouse gas emmesions surplus . Just consider the energy it takes to maintain electronic surveillance, the border fence panopticon, the entire water and electricity grid, not to mention daily sorties by the Air Force in fly-overs with sonic booming and those so often deadly helicopter gunshipt patrols....

  • Report from Palestine: The path of the revolt will be their own
  • Hillary Clinton expresses alarm for Israeli Jews, and not one word about Palestinian victims
    • ......Oh my goodness...!!

      Hillary is just too thrilled about getting the latest round of unconventional wepons tested to use in the intensification of America's global wars. I haven't heard about the goulish aspects of Elbit industies et al...until this interview of Max Blumental by Chris Hedges....

  • 'Replace' the mosques? Once again, 'NYT' soft-pedals Israeli extremism
    • ...Thank you bumblebye....

      Annie Robbins, like other posters, I was insensed at DoubleStandard's comment concerning Phil !!!

      To the comment's conclusion, " Symbols are just that….Symbols. And this one is becoming more and more tarnished as the days pass -

      I should have the likes of people like you.....

    • "The only reason that the mosque stands there is because the Temple did at one point. That spot would have no significance to anybody were it not for the Jewish scripture’s sanctification of it.
      I don’t get you Phil — regardless of what you would like, you are a Jew."

      This attempted guilt tripping over the what some Jews consider the Holiest of Holys is a slug below the belt...

      Symbols are just that....Symbols. And this one is becoming more and more tarnished as the days pass

  • Clashes break out across West Bank after Netanyahu declares ‘an all-out war’
  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • 232 Palestinians injured within 24 hours
      RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- At least 12 Palestinians were shot and injured, some with live ammunition, during the overnight clashes that broke out in Ramallah and al-Bireh, raising the number of injured persons to 232 within 24 hours.

      Five youths were shot with live bullets, while five others suffered rubber bullet injuries during clashes erupted between dozens of local residents and Israeli forces after the later stormed al-Bireh city. Many others suffered tear gas inhalation.

      The injured persons were transferred to hospital as they suffer moderate to severe wounds.

      The clashes broke out in the city after Israeli forces stormed in large numbers the city and opened heavy fire towards the local residents who responded by throwing stones at them.

      On the other hand, two other young men were hit and injured with live ammunition during similar confrontation that broke out in Jalazoun refugee camp in Ramallah.

      Over the past 24 hours, 232 Palestinians were injured during the clashes that erupted between Israeli forces and settlers on the one hand and Palestinian youths on the second hand throughout occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

      The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement issued late on Sunday that 18 Palestinians had been shot with live rounds, while at least 55 were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets.

      36 others suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, while 10 others were subjected to severe beatings by Israeli soldiers or settlers, the statement added.

      The Palestinian Red Crescent earlier declared a state of emergency across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers.

      The statement listed 14 attacks on Red Crescent staff and vehicles in a 72-hour period, in what it described as "a serious escalation of violations against PRCS, its teams and the humanitarian services they render."

      Earlier on Sunday, two Palestinian citizens were injured at an Israeli military checkpoint near Bethlehem. Eight others suffered different injuries during the continued clashes throughout West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

      Tensions had been steadily mounting in recent weeks across West Bank and specially in occupied Jerusalem due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Israeli settlers’ provocative attacks on Palestinian citizens and properties.

  • The refreshing bluntness of Ayelet Shaked
  • Israel approves sniper fire and 4 year mandatory prison sentences against stone throwers
    • uring the first intifada, the Swedish branch of save the children noted, "23,600 to 29,900 children required medical treatment for their beating injuries in the first two years of the Intifada"

      One debate has been regarding to what degree Yitzhak Rabin ordered the breaking of the bones:

      From Col. Yehuda Meir:
      "An Israeli colonel accused of ordering soldiers to break the limbs of Palestinians testified today that beatings were "part of the accepted norm in that period" of the Palestinian uprising.

      Testifying in his own defense, Col. Yehuda Meir told three military judges that his superiors did not question the beatings because "there was nothing special in it. . . . There was nothing out of the ordinary.

      Meir testified Thursday that former Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave orders in January, 1988, to break the bones of Palestinian inciters as punishment.

      Rabin rejected Meir's contention in an interview today on Israel Radio. He said he ordered the army to beat rioters only to bring them under control."
      Colonel Says Rabin Ordered Breaking of Palestinians' Bones

      Note: Col. Yehuda Meir's sentence was to be demoted to Private - no prison time (Human Rights Watch World Report 1992)

      According to the LA Times, Yitzhak Rabin announced a policy of "'might, power and beatings" in January 1990 (U.S. Jews Torn Over Arab Beatings)

      Israel refused to investigate claims that the orders came from the defense minister - several soldiers had claimed that breaking the bones was simlpy following orders...

  • What's behind Netanyahu's war on stone throwers
  • Why is the U.S. mainstream press hiding Israeli Colonel Ofer Winter?
    • To the military in the United States and around the world, Israel serves as a kind of laboratory for battle tactics, especially those involving counterinsurgency. Its wars with guerrilla groups like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah—four in the past nine years—are pored over by the Americans for the lessons they hold and the questions they raise. The story of Hadar Goldin raises one question in particular: How far should a modern military go to prevent one of its own from being captured?

      Israel has its own sophisticated technology, ....but it supplements those tools with a tactic the army revived in the aftermath of the Shalit ordeal—code word Hannibal—that calls for a massive use of force when a soldier is captured. Two Israelis familiar with the wording of the classified procedure described it as measured and restrictive. But for other Israelis in and out of uniform, it’s clear that soldiers often interpret it as something less nuanced—a kind of signal from commanders that a dead Israeli fighter is better than a captured one. Revenge on Gazans for the Hannibal directive failure was demonic....

      Of course none in Winter's Givati Brigade have ever faced prosecution for war crimes and therein lies the crux of the matter.....

  • How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror
    • Execution by fire has always been about more than just killing. It carries a message. The masked men who threw the Molotov cocktail into the Dawabshehs’ bedroom made their message explicit, leaving graffiti of a Star of David with NEKAMA! (Hebrew for revenge) sprayed on the wall.
      This brand of Jewish terrorism is not new. In 2002 a clandestine group of Jewish settlers attempted to blow up a Palestinian girls’ school. In 1994 an American-born Jewish settler gunned down twenty-nine Palestinians while they were praying in Hebron. A decade earlier a number of loosely connected underground cells carried out terrorist attacks against Palestinian targets, including the Islamic college in Hebron, public buses, and West Bank mayors.

      The roots of contemporary Jewish terrorism lie in the radical movements and individuals who roamed Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s. Two new books, Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers and Patrick Bishop’s The Reckoning, explore these roots.

    • Page: 3
  • Why the mainstream media is still ignoring Max Blumenthal's excellent book on Gaza
  • Iyad Burnat is detained in Bil'in amid clashes over weekly protest
  • Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child
    • ...Other nations have come to rely on the self same Israeli tactics: case in point the globalization of robocop violence to pacify protests....

      Jeff Halper interviewed on his new book....

    • Jeff Halper's main conclusion is disturbing. Israel, he says, is globalising Palestine. Halper argues that Israel is cashing in – both financially and diplomatically – on systems of control it has developed in the occupied territories. It is exporting its know-how to global elites keen to protect their privileges from both external and internal challengers. Halper’s book, entitled War Against the People, due out next month, suggests that Israel provides a unique window on some of the most important recent developments in what he terms "securocratic warfare".
      The book’s central thesis emerged as he tried to understand why tiny Israel hits way beyond its weight. Today, Israel’s growing influence, Halper claims, reflects its positioning of itself at the heart of the rapidly burgeoning “global pacification” industry, advising and assisting militaries, police forces and homeland security agencies around the world.

      Welcome to the future.....

  • Abbas’s resignation from PLO could mean consolidation of power, ouster of rival
    • ABUNIMAH: Well, first to clarify one thing is that Mahmoud Abbas did not resign as leader of the Palestinian Authority. He and these ten others resigned as members of the executive committee of the PLO.

      Now, that distinction is important because he hasn't really given anything of substance up. And the PLO executive committee, although it is on paper the highest decision-making body of the PLO, really doesn't represent anyone. The PLO long ago became a defunct organization. But what is happening here is that Abbas and his group feel very embattled and want to consolidate their power. This is a maneuver to force this vote or this meeting by the Palestine National Council, which is the PLO's parliament in exile, and to use that to bring in more Abbas loyalists.

  • A year after Shipman lost his Yale job for speaking out on Israel's actions, some Jews say the same thing
    • ...Pabelmont,

      I think you definitely hit on something in mentioning "Timing". The Sephen Salaita thing had begun in July 2014, and almost immediately took on a strident "Us versus Them " anti-Semitic tone. Although it dropped off the general public's radar screen those following the story were vindicated this August when Salaita won his suite in Federal Court.

      However in late summer 2014, the principled donors, faculty, along with "concerned" members of the student body at Yale must have recognized a golden opportunity, an "Ah-Hah/Gotch'ya" moment to rid university of an unsavory "truth teller" much in the way Chancellor Phyllis Wise of the University of Illinois at Urbana had done. It was an East coast establishment opportunity to follow Illinois's lead in a parallel ploy of gag order proportions and outrageous vengeful accusations and it worked.......for a year.

  • Just as Dermer turned the White House into a diplomatic battlefield, Danon will do the same at the UN
  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
  • Leading Israeli journalist says Israel is an Apartheid state
    • John Dugard's well quoted statement:
      I’m a South African who lived through apartheid. I have no hesitation in saying that Israel’s crimes are infinitely worse than those committed by the apartheid regime of South Africa. ... For seven years, I visited the Palestinian territory twice a year. I also conducted a fact-finding mission after the Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008, 2009. So I am familiar with the situation, and I am familiar with the apartheid situation. I was a human rights lawyer in apartheid South Africa. And I, like virtually every South African who visits the occupied territory, has a terrible sense of déjà vu. We’ve seen it all before, except that it is infinitely worse. And what has happened in the West Bank is that the creation of a settlement enterprise has resulted in a situation that closely resembles that of apartheid, in which the settlers are the equivalent of white South Africans. They enjoy superior rights over Palestinians, and they do oppress Palestinians. So, one does have a system of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territory. And I might mention that apartheid is also a crime within the competence of the International Criminal Court....

  • Israel begins using drones to monitor West Bank protests
  • Someone Else’s Normal: The Dawabshe tragedy and picturing Palestine
    • "The Israeli military has downplayed the change, saying the new specific rules were only meant to clarify what was supposed to be policy all along, that troops not fire unless there is a “clear and immediate danger.” Given how broadly soldiers have previously interpreted their freedom to fire on Palestinians, and done so with impunity, it seems the clarification was a long-time coming. ......"

      Maybe some higher-up had a twinge of conscience after Operation Protective edge.....

      There was one afternoon that the company commander gathered us all together, and we were told that we were about to go on an offensive operation, to “provoke” the neighborhood that dominated us, which was al-Bureij…. Because up until then, we hadn’t really had any real engagement with them…. [W]hen it started getting dark my tank led the way, we were in a sort of convoy, and there was this little house. And then suddenly we see an entire neighborhood opening up before us, lots of houses, it’s all crowded and the moment we got to that little house, the order came to attack. Each [tank] aimed at whichever direction it chose.... And that’s how it was, really—every tank just firing wherever it wanted to. And during the offensive, no one shot at us—not before it, not during it, and not after it. I remember that when we started withdrawing with the tanks, I looked toward the neighborhood, and I could simply see an entire neighborhood up in flames, like in the movies. Columns of smoke everywhere, the neighborhood in pieces, houses on the ground, and like, people were living there, but nobody had fired at us yet. We were firing purposelessly.

  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
  • Schumer defection raises fears about firewall on Jewish support for Iran Deal
    • In an effort to enumerate the global impact of BDS, I looked at the impressive list of countries where action has had had an economic effect:

      It’s Time to Boycott US Ben & Jerry’s

      Palestine Solidarity Campaign-Thailand launched a report denouncing Thailand’s complicity with Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.

      UK University of Exeter students vote to boycott Israeli settlement products in a landslide
      The King’s College London Student Council voted overwhelmingly to condemn the involvement of the university in an EU-funded research project that also includes Ahava
      Campaigners for Palestinian human rights today delivered rotten fruit to the lobby of the London office of the British-American investment firm Apax Partners over its ownership of major stakes in Israeli companies.
      British Trade Union Congress strengthens support for BDS -

      Ireland’s biggest food retailer drops Israeli produce, as European boycotts surge

      France Cartoonists to Angouleme Festival: Drop SodaStream
      Palestinian civil society warmly welcomes the declaration of the Arab Youth and Sports Council of Ministers in support of a boycott of Adidas due to its sponsorship of an Israeli marathon that violates international law and whitewashes Israel’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem –
      The tribunal of the 17th magistrate’s court of the Paris law courts has given a most important and clear ruling on the right of citizens and consumers to call for a boycott of Israel and its products.

      The Netherlands Dutch pension giant divests from 5 Israeli banks
      Netherlands: Retailers ban goods from settlements

      Italy Italian Water Festival condemned over Veolia and SodaStream links
      Two of Italy’s biggest supermarket chains suspend sales of settlement produce –

      Belgium Federation of Francophone Students in Belgium calls for academic boycott
      South Africa
      More than 10 000 South African School Students March Against Woolworths over Israel Trade
      Protests at the South African store will continue after it emerged that it will continue to sell Ahava products, which are produced in an illegal Israeli settlemen
      South Africa’s Karsten Farms have indeed violated the Palestinian BDS call by having a trade agreement with an Israeli cooperative, Hadiklaim (which also operates in Israel’s illegal settlements). -
      Australia First Brisbane BDS Walking Tour a great success
      Victory for Australia’s boycott campaign as charges of blockading chocolate store dropped

      Norway Major Norwegian retail chain stops sales of occupation products from Ahava
      14 June 2010 – The old Grorud borough district of Oslo, Norway’s capital, voted last week to boycott Israel, Norwegian news service NRK reported Friday. –
      40% of Norwegians: Ban Israeli products

      Japan Distributor in Japan Drops Israeli Company due to its Illegal Practices‏ -
      Scotland Glasgow Caledonian Palestine Society are delighted that Eden Springs no longer provide water anywhere on our campus.
      Switzerland The National Coordination produced a journal giving details about the Consumer Boycott Campaign in Switzerland –
      Sweden Coop Sweden stops all purchases of Soda Stream carbonation devices

      Argentina Argentinians call for boycott of Maim
      Global diamond industry Tell the Kimberly Process: Israeli diamonds are blood diamonds –
      Spain The Palestinian Campaign of Boycott, Desinvestments and Sanctions against the State of Israel in the province of Valladolid (Spain) Platform of Solidarity with Palestine-Valladolid It has been now five years since 9th of July of 2005.

    • Why did Chuck Schumer originally decide to oppose the Iran Deal is open to speculation.....
      From The Real News:

  • Burning Palestinian Children: Settler violence is not exceptional
    • As Israeli investigators released their findings that a right-wing Jewish terrorist network is gaining power throughout Israel and illegal West Bank settlements, they detained Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the late Meir Kahane, but declined to charge him with the arson attack Thursday night that burned a baby to death and severely wounded his mother, father and 4-year old brother.

      Ettinger's arrest came five days after the attack, and is the only one so far, despite eyewitness accounts that at least four men were seen running from the village after setting the house on fire with a firebomb and spraypainting it with racist graffiti.

      As Meir Ettinger was taken into custody, police investigators told reporters from Ha’aretz newspaper that they suspect the involvement of a right-wing network that is based in Yitzhar settlement, in the northern West Bank, and has planned and carried out dozens of terror attacks against Palestinians.

      Whether Meir Ettinger is charged or not, you can be sure there are plenty of radical settlers to take up the slack.....

  • The deep roots of vigilante violence in Israeli society
    • Investigators into Friday’s murder-by-arson of a Palestinian infant increasingly believe in the likelihood that the extreme rightist operatives responsible for the attack are affiliated with the same ideological group that has torched mosques, churches and Palestinian homes over the past year.

      The group's core consists of several dozen people whose operations are centered in West Bank outposts but wander all over the country, including within the Green Line.

      Unlike in the past, the understanding is that these assailants are no longer attempting to deter the government and security forces from evacuating outposts and settlements. Nowadays they have more ambitious aims, like destabilizing the country and overthrowing the government to establish a new regime to be based on halakha, Jewish law. They plan to use violence in a systematic, continuous manner irrespective of police conduct in the territories, investigators said

  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
    • Recommended viewing for Senator Lindsey Graham:

      The Trial of Viviane Amselam

      The courageous battle of one woman trying to divorce her husband and the endless objections by her husband who must grant the rupture as is plays out for years before the Israeli Rabbinical court..... (So much for sexual eqality, but then these people would surely approve)

  • Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack
    • Visible proof of Max B's "Goliath" premise (and pessimism) of the blind fury, power and violence of the radical right wing settler movement. If there is no legal condemnation of the arson attack and tragic death of a child, retribution followed by an Israeli escalation on Palestinians' desire for justice risks to engulf the Occupied territories in horror........

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
    • [....Not blocked out, simply 100 books and articles on the Gaza war cannot match an incident like the one in Chattanooga ...... it`s not some deliberate overlooking – simply, the attention span of people, as far as violent conflicts between Muslim groups and others goes.... ]

      Gosh Ivri, almost everyone in the world with media access was tuned into this "if it bleeds, it leads" story for 51 days. Although the IDF, national government and televised news all did their very best to muddy the waters , the slaughter of innocent and terrified civilians was "observable fact" made evermore obvious given the proportional ratios of dead on each side.
      This was a true game/opinion changer for many. Given this ideological shift and unpopularity of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I would venture to say, Israel would be loathe to kill Gazans again on such a grand scale ...

  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
  • In op-eds, church leaders say BDS is moral response to Netanyahu's rejection of Palestinian statehood
  • US press blacks out Israeli defense minister's citation of 'Nagasaki and Hiroshima' as model for dealing with Iran
    • ...."Two weeks ago, Electronic Intifada reported public comments by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in which he cited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as role models in responding to Iran. Ya’alon suggested that Israel might have to nuke Iran in order to prevent a long war: “at the end, we might take certain steps......”"

      The BBC has already produced a similar dystopian version of this insanity, adapted from a novel by Chris Mullin's "A Very British Coup". . The tale scrutinizes the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and big business, all of which are adament about a nuclear strike on Iran, for reasons one would suspect. Parliament's "Yes" vote carries the day..... It might be added that the outcome for the United Kingdom was well, not so good......

  • Gaza rules: Kill 2 Palestinian women on cellphones in an orchard so Israeli soldiers face zero risk
  • David Horowitz to OSU: 'Jews didn't expel the Arabs in 1948' and 'the occupation is a huge lie'
    • ....The horrifying foot note here, is that some people unfamiliar with how Israel has manipulated its fondation myth, actually will believe some or all of Horowitz's slanderous telling of the story.....

  • Now Obama needs to 'compensate' Netanyahu -- NYT pipes Israeli propaganda (Update)
  • Bibi talk: 'New York Review of Books' trivializes Israeli fascism
  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • ....Poignant and heartfelt piece on the realities of the Israeli Occupation..!!! Thank you!!!
      People have to see it and above all understand what they are seeing. Hopefully there will be more truthfully informed trips to Palestine in 2015

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
  • The political geography, of colony and bantustan, is the same on both sides of the Green Line -- Amira Hass
    • I concur with Amira Hass that there was never going to be a final “Peace Agreement”
      between Israelis and Palestinians and that Oslo was a sham from the beginning. So many “resolution” clauses were purposely open ended with the telltale adjuncts of…”as yet to be determined; in the advent of mutual understanding; in reciprocity to “their good will”; pending further negotiations….etc. And with a thoroughly demonized Yasser Arafat, deemed by Labor Premiere Ehud Barak, wholly responsible for the opportune Second Intifada (….Sharon’s visit, which was coordinated with Palestinian Authority West Bank security chief Jibril Rajoub….)
      it was obvious that there would never be a partner for peace on the Palestinian side.

      …..Barak seems to hold out no chance of success for Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, should they somehow resume, so long as Arafat and like-minded leaders are at the helm on the Arab side. He seems to think in terms of generations and hesitantly predicts that only “eighty years” after 1948 will the Palestinians be historically ready for a compromise. By then, most of the generation that experienced the catastrophe of 1948 at first hand will have died; there will be “very few ‘salmons’ around who still want to return to their birthplaces to die.” (Barak speaks of a “salmon syndrome” among the Palestinians—and says that Israel, to a degree, was willing to accommodate it, through the family reunion scheme, allowing elderly refugees to return to be with their families before they die.) He points to the model of the Soviet Union, which collapsed roughly after eighty years, after the generation that had lived through the revolution had died. He seems to be saying that revolutionary movements’ zealotry and dogmatism die down after the passage of three generations and, in the case of the Palestinians, the disappearance of the generation of the nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 will facilitate compromise.
      I asked, “If this is true, then your peace effort vis-à-vis the Palestinians was historically premature and foredoomed?”
      Barak: “No, as a responsible leader I had to give it a try..........”

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • ......."The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression....."

      So who's going to straighten out Jeb Bush's blatant misconception, one that is making him look like a complete idiot and an embarrassment!! But then again, I suppose the AIPAC people applaud this travesty as it plays so well to the audience of American ignoramuses....Get a map folks.....

  • Netanyahu and the unraveling of the British Jewish consensus
    • "When Bibi says “circumstances must change” he is in the realm of messianic times, that distant horizon when the moon and stars are aligned and all the Middle East is at glorious peace with itself. "

      ........"Given his paranoid style, it is unsurprising that Netanyahu has identified the leader of the suicidal Masada bandits, Elazar Ben-Yair, as one of his personal heroes in his ironically titled 1994 book, A Durable Peace. During his speech to the Congress just before the election, boycotted by 58 Democratic lawmakers and Vice-President Joseph Biden, Netanyahu channeled Ben-Yair’s final words: “For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why—this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Netanyahu’s comments present a coherent and chilling vision of his long-term strategy. His intention is to maintain singular Israeli control in perpetuity over the entire territory that the early Zionists were once happy to partition into two states. This course will eventually lead to pressure for Palestinians to gain a democratic voice within the institutions that control their lives, but Netanyahu treats that as illegitimate, as well. He proposes to snuff out every peaceful outlet for Arab political aspirations.

      In this light, his bumbling attempts to transform Israel’s alliance with the United States into an alliance with its conservative movement looks less like a blunder (as his former ambassador Michael Oren has described it) and more like a plan. In the long run, a deep American alliance with the kind of garrison state Netanyahu envisions will become untenable. The only remaining diplomatic strategy will be to deepen Israel’s ties with right-wing America, whose support for Israel is not contingent upon it fulfilling its liberal, democratic ideals. The Republicans who hailed Netanyahu as a Churchillian prophet are cheering a figure who no longer disguises his intention to bury forever the original Zionist dream.

  • On first campaign stop in West Bank, Netanyahu warns that 'radical elements' want to take over Israel
  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
    • Much has been made of the various influences on Prime Minister Netanyahu. A thesis could be written—perhaps by a scholar of psychology rather than politics—arguing that he sits at the center of a triangle formed by his father, his wife, and his brother. His father, Benzion, who died, aged 102, in 2012, served as private secretary to Vladimir Jabotinsky—the founder of Revisionist Zionism, the maximalist creed that insisted on a Jewish state holding the entire, biblically-defined Land of Israel (which would include the West Bank, Gaza and all of what is now Jordan).

      Nevertheless, the most obvious mentor is the one Bibi never met. Netanyahu has been re-enacting the Churchill story for more than two decades: as a junior member of the Knesset, he was warning that Iran was just “three to five years” away from a nuclear bomb back in 1992. He’s sounded the same alarm at intervals ever since. We are always on the brink, he is always the lone wise man, able to hear the rumble of the gathering storm.

      The great value of Churchill syndrome to one who suffers from it is that it is self-vindicating. The more Netanyahu’s warnings of the Tehran menace are dismissed, the greater his similarity to the cigar-chomping seer who was fatefully ignored in the 1930s. True, even Israel’s own defense and intelligence chiefs think Netanyahu is wrong on Tehran—the former Mossad boss Meir Dagan has described the prime minister’s approach as “stupid”—but weren’t the British brass similarly misguided about Hitler?
      None of this bothers Bibi. Isolation only convinces him he’s right. Much as he loves the adoration of Congress, which has become a home venue, the hatred of his enemies makes him stronger. Because it makes him more like you know who.

      As if to confirm the Israeli PM’s historical fantasy, his host, House Speaker John Boehner—whose unilateral invitation triggered the whole controversy— presented him with a parting gift, a statue of the only world leader besides Netanyahu to have been granted the privilege of speaking to Congress three times. The Israeli prime minister left Washington with his very own bust of Winston Churchill.

  • Factchecking Netanyahu: An annotated guide to the Israeli P.M.'s speech to Congress
  • Netanyahu claims to know 'details' of Iran deal -- and State Dep't mocks him
  • White House suggests Israel is lying about Iran talks-- as Obama officials shun Netanyahu
    • It would seem to me that Obama and Co. have played this poker hand well!! The White House, Pentagon and State Department know what they know about ongoing negotiations with Iran and have purposely left Netanyahu out on a limb to fill in the blanks with only products and insinuations of his twisted imagination. Israel's Icarus's wings seem to be melting. Let's hope for a condemning "gotch'ya" moment and an embarrassing crash landing in front of the toadies present in a half empty Congress.....

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
  • Speech to AIPAC could give Netanyahu his out
    • The leaders of the pro-Netanyahu lobby not only believe that the prime minister’s speech is essential, they are convinced that the White House is inciting Congressional Democrats against Bibi; they are seeking to exploit the situation in order to eat away at traditional Jewish support for their political rivals and they have, of course, one more critical characteristic in common.

      “It’s really an anti-American, anti-patriotic position to take”, according to Mort Klein, president of Zionist Organization of America, a group heavily funded by Sheldon Adelson. We will make sure people know that the Bibi’s boycotters “chose partisan interests and to stand with President Obama,” says Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), a group that basks in the largesse of Adelson, Sheldon. “If they boycott the speech, they’ll be casting their lot with the more liberal, not pro-Israel base of the party,” is the formulation proposed by Ari Fleischer, an RJC director who is also, you guessed it, close to Adelson. “There really isn’t any debate as to what the right decision is,”, says the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, Lee Zeldin, whose winning election campaign in November was helped by generous donations, direct and otherwise, from Adelson et al.

      So this is their plan: to inject even more inter-party venom into hitherto bipartisan support for Israel, to pour high-octane political fuel on the already burning fires, to stain Obama loyalists as Israel-haters whose place is outside the fence, where they should remain.

  • John Lewis tells D.C. crowd he will not attend Netanyahu speech
  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
  • How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of 'American Sniper'
  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • ...Merci Just... !!!
      The whole conjunction makes me nervous all the same....

    • Anti Muslim/anti Islam rhetoric has reached a fevered pitch at a time when several geopolitical and (American) cultural factors have miraculously (???) converged, beginning with the recent Paris bombings and Netanyahu’s photo-op with some of the world’s most unsavory repressive heads of State.
      “In the past several days we have experienced the same repeated shocks as all our fellow citizens. As Jews, we were profoundly upset by the horrible attack carried out on Jews solely because they were Jews. This can only evoke memories of the worst periods of Judaism in France….Israel's successive governments have addressed themselves over the same period of time to French Jews, urging them to leave France, with all its supposedly anti-Semitic Muslims, and make their aliyah to Israel.
      Many Jews have fallen into this trap, given their emotional and familial ties and their identification with Israel, and given Israel's history as presented in Zionist mythology. Little by little, they have become the potential "representatives" in France of the Israeli soldier or the Israeli settler, abandoning their critical judgment in the heat of increasingly problematic confrontations. They have at the same time sacrificed their own capacity for empathy with others, including occupied peoples, people deprived of all their rights and subjected to massacres, as in Gaza last summer. Their only concern is to preserve at any cost this "small, fragile state surrounded by enemies" and alone capable, they believe, of protecting them from anti-Semitism.

      The reason for bringing Netanyahu is that Boehner wants to craft a super-majority in Congress that can over-ride Obama’s veto of new sanctions on Iran. He doesn’t have enough Republican votes to do so, but if he can get Democrats beholden to the Israel lobbies of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to join the veto over-ride effort, he might succeed……US hawks in both parties and the Israeli political right wing want to prevent Iran from having any nuclear enrichment program at all, so as to prevent Iran from having the security that comes from the deterrence Lite produced by latency.
      The US Joint Chiefs of Staff looked at this issue and have decided that only an Iraq-style invasion, occupation and regime change could hope to abolish the nuclear enrichment program.

      On to the stage walks American Sniper, with its 7 Oscar nominations.
      Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who the Oscar-nominated box office sensation "American Sniper" is based on, wrote a book by the same name that encapsulates his hatred, bigotry and enthusiasm for killing Iraqi "savages". But Kyle's unrepentant bloodlust is missing from the movie, which valorizes him as an anguished hero. Given the cultural illiteracy innate in the majority of Americans the unquenched craving for revenge which is alive and well, it's no surprise that some moviegoers came away from "American Sniper" inspired to kill Arabs and Muslims.

      And last but not least, Sam Harris and his cohorts continue to appeal to the rational Cartesian minds of America's atheist intellectual class.

      The Israeli Prime Minister address to Congress will likely have a rapt audience based on recent and ongoing events both foreign and domestic. He has found the most “perfect storm”….

  • It's not the cartoons-- a contrarian perspective from a Muslim cartoonist
    • - Islam is not just a religion, but a way of life. By demonizing Islam, you demonize everything associated with it, including, of course, Muslims.
      – The vilification of Islam which morphed into massive western-led Islamophobia helped validate the actions of western governments, however violent and abusive. The dehumanization of Muslims became an essential weapon in war.
      – It was also strategic: hating Islam and all Muslims is a very flexible tool that would make military intervention and economic sanctions possible anywhere where the West has political and economic interests. Hating Islam became a unifying rally-cry from advocates of sanctions on Sudan to anti-immigrant neo-Nazi groups in Germany, and everywhere else. The issue is no longer the violent means used to achieve political domination and control of natural resources, but, magically, it all was reduced to one single word: Islam; or, at best, Islam and something else: freedom of expression, women rights, and so forth.

      The fact is that the role of religion in radicalisation (and deradicalisation) is grossly overestimated. There is actually no empirical evidence to support the claim that religion (any religion) and ideology are the primary motivators of violent extremism...[ Factors such as anger at injustice, moral superiority, a sense of identity and purpose, the promise of adventure, and becoming a hero have all been implicated in case studies of radicalisation. Religion and ideology serve as vehicles for an “us versus them” mentality and as the justification for violence against those who represent “the enemy”, but they are not the drivers of radicalisation.]

      Given his prior thorn-in-the-side status with the government, the Facebook comment for which Dieudonné was reportedly arrested was a convenient excuse and described as “justifying terrorism.”
      And of course the implications go far beyond the personal situation of Dieudonné.
      The French daily Le Figaro reports that Dieudonné was arrested by judicial police at his home near Paris for investigation of “apologie de terrorisme” – justifying or making an apologia for terrorism.Le Figaro published this screenshot of a posting on Dieudonné’s Facebook page that apparently precipitated the arrest. It is dated 11 January, the day of the Paris march.
      It states:
      After this historic march, what do I say… Legendary! A magic moment equal to the Big Bang that created the universe … or at least (more local) comparable to the crowning of [Gaullish king] Vercengétorix, I’m finally back home. Know that this evening, as far as I am concerned, I feel likeCharlie Coulibaly.
      Launching the French government’s newly declared (or re-declared) “war on terrorism,” and its crackdown on dissent, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that “racism, anti-Semitism and justifying terrorism” were “not opinions.”
      The arrest of Dieudonné shows that the government will decide what constitutes an “opinion.”

      Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents

      Prominent Rabbi Calls on Europe to Allow Jews to Carry Guns

      Capitalizing on division, pandering to bigotry and fear. We've seen this before, along with the harm it causes. In the end however, who benefits from the escalation of militarization surveillance and the imprisonment of dissenting voices....?????

  • When blasphemy is bigotry: The need to recognise historical trauma when discussing Charlie Hebdo
    • Blasphemy comes in many forms. The above comes after a discussion with a neighbor (Yes, I live in France) and a cynical educated view of deliberate scare tactics followed inevitably by legislated "shock doctrines"......

      Did the massacre at Charlie Hebdo succeed, in terms of furthering the interests of extreme jihadi al-Qaeda-type Islamic movements? The incident itself is over with the deaths of the murderers, but the degree of their success will only become clear when we see how far French political leaders are lured into an over-reaction......

    • “The satirical depictions of Muslims and Islam, however distasteful they may be, are not merely defensible because they are manifestations of free speech, they must be defended because the tempering of religious power through blasphemy is fundamental to liberty of expression in the French experience.”

      Nevertheless, 17 French citizens died at the hands of “radical Muslim extremists” a political reality that the French public saw enacted before them on national television. Front National political leader Marine LePen exploited two previous attacks over and over again and will make hay with this latest tragedy . Her ownership of the belief that Muslim hordes are destroying the country has a resounding appeal to “les Français de souche”...the average Joes who truly belief that assimilation is impossible because “those people with their Shari'a Law, strange religious practices, foreign attire and incomprehensible language(s)” constitute a cancerous 5th column, an avant guard for the future “Caliphate”. She is an advocate for canceling citizenship, deportation and a return of capital punishment, a platform that risks to sway voters in the upcoming Vote Départementale in March and Régionales in December 2015 if the Socialist government of François Hollande doesn't act quickly(....??????.....) to protect France.

  • Netanyahu crashes Paris unity march, French gov't fumes
    • PM Netanyahu's meeting with French Ambassador Maisonnave
      re he made the decision to go.........

    • Indeed, everything "fell into place" when Benjamin Netanyahu got wind that Avigdor Lieberman would be going to Paris in a covert (not really) "one-step-ahead" campaign maneuver in order to smooze bi-national French Jewish voters into his camp in view of upcoming elections March 17. In the wake of last week's violent attacks on Jewish victims, Bibi repeated again, I always say to Jews wherever they are -- come to Israel and make it your home..... we care about your safety."

      That triggered a war of words with Hollande, who slammed Netanyahu for turning the visit into a campaigning opportunity ahead of elections . "Netanyahu came to France to campaign," Hollande said in private remarks leaked by a French newspaper.

    • .....Attorney General Eric Holder had been in Paris for meetings earlier in the day, but he did not attend the march, which left American Ambassador Jane Hartley as sole representative of the US.....

  • Against self-determination
    • The number of Israelis who renounced their citizenship rose by 60 per cent in 2014, compared to 2013, according to figures collected by the Israeli authorities. ...In 2014, 765 Israeli citizens requested to renounce their citizenship, compared to 478 a year earlier, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported, citing data collected by Israel's Administration of Border Crossings, Population, and Immigration and Israeli embassies abroad.
      The paper said that one of the main reasons cited in the applications included the unwillingness to hold a dual citizenship while others said they do not want to be subject to the Israeli passport or don't see themselves living in Israel anymore.
      Most of the requests were received in Germany, United States, Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom, the figures showed.

  • Dissecting 'The Jewish Voices on Campus': a predictable but necessary endeavor
    • Less than a year after a small number of pro-Israel groups attempted to convince state legislatures and Congress to pass legislation punishing academic associations who took political positions critical of Israel’s human-rights abuses of the Palestinian people, many of the same groups are once again conspiring to deprive those deemed insignificantly deferential to Israel of academic freedom.

      While last year’s target was mainly the American Studies Association, who along with the Asian American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association endorsed boycotting Israeli state institutions complicit in human-rights abuses, including the abridgement of Palestinian academic freedom, some pro-Israel groups have now set their sights on a familiar target—Middle Eastern studies departments. A coalition of groups led by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the AMCHA Initiative are leading a campaign to end federal funding for college Middle Eastern studies programs unless they adopt means to oversee and police the alleged ideological content of those programs.

  • 'Israel is becoming an isolated ghetto,' says Amos Oz
  • On eve of University of California honor, Bill Maher defends anti-Muslim hate speech in Vanity Fair interview
  • You don't have to suffer alone . . . the CIA is here for you
    • Yes Lysias, very early on some people (myself included) expected as much. Israel, America's prime ally in the Middle East has been torturing its anti-colonial recalcitrant population for years, and in broad daylight without any more condemnation other than "this policy is not helpful.....for ongoing peace negotiations." To the list of copied procedures adopted by the US, we could add verbal "euphemism" or the Kafkaesque distortion of language; the condemnation, maltreatment and imprisonment without trial of human beings excluded from the body politic, the dissolution of families under duress, and intimidation of Human Rights organizations as well as journalist and whistleblowers....

      All these tactics are efforts to silence through fear, even the best of people, to go quietly into the dark night.....

  • Israel supporter used UCLA Hillel to funnel funds to student politicians opposed to divestment
    • This month, the union of graduate students at the University of California voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This marked the first time that the membership of a major American union voted to endorse BDS. I am a member of the union, which represents about 13,000 student-workers, and I fought the resolution, writing in opposition. But as I campaigned, I also came to realize a bitter truth: BDS will only gain strength, unless U.S. Jews provide another path to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

  • Liberal Zionists seek to strip Naftali Bennett of freedom to travel in hope of saving two-state solution
    • "A nascent group of well-known academics is calling on the U.S. government and European Union to impose personal sanctions on four prominent Israelis “who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.......Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) a group that describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace” is asking the U.S. and EU governments to impose visa restrictions and to freeze the foreign assets of Economy Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin and Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, a former Jewish Underground member who heads the Amana organization, which oversees the settlement enterprise, including illegal outposts."

      Apart from being an almost "random" act of designating naughty poster boys, if the move get AIPAC/Congressional attention, it may also galvanize the Knesset's fervent right wing and ardent settlers into heedless acts of reprisal.

      I can't believe that these Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) people still hold out hopes for a negotiated settlement while condemning BDS, to date the main act of leverage that has both American and Israeli Jews rattled to the core.....

      "“This would provide a way of mobilizing votes against blanket boycotts but equally against the attempts to make the occupation irreversible,” Shafir said. “It would allow us to find a place in the middle and remain distinguished from but remain part of the ongoing dialogue in a productive way that is protective of Israel’s ties with the U.S., the world and liberal intellectuals.”

  • We're all anti-American now
  • Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
  • AIPAC seeks to blow up negotiations between Iran and US
  • A defensive Netanyahu announces elections hours after firing opposition members Lapid and Livni
  • It's always been a holy war
    • Former President Shimon Peres has said that the law would “destroy Israel’s democratic status at home and abroad.” Netanyahu has insisted that he merely wants to require all Israel schools “to teach the history, culture, and customs of the Jewish people.” In fact, he clearly sees a conflict between democratic standards and Jewish national privileges, which, in his view, needs to be resolved in favor of the latter. The judiciary—governed by democratic standards, and unconstrained by a legally binding national purpose—is his real target. His unstated argument is that the courts advance an abstract concept of citizenship, which, unchecked, will erode the concept of Jewish national self-determination. “The judiciary, which recognizes Israel’s democratic side, will also have to recognize that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people,” he said, in a statement about the bill, at a recent cabinet meeting.

      If this law were, as Netanyahu mostly seems to want the public to believe, only about collective rights, it would be superfluous, irritating to the Arab minority, perhaps, but not inconsistent with democratic norms—and not even preëmptive of confederal relations with a future Palestine. Democracies everywhere protect their distinct national cultures and languages. The point is, however, that this new law is not really about conserving collective cultural rights, but rather about confirming individual legal privileges. Israel’s democratic freedoms are real, to be sure, but they coëxist with legalized inequalities between Jews and Arabs........this bill is about writing into the law old Zionist provisions that have morphed into racist and theocratic practices. It will make judicial correctives nearly impossible.

  • Israel has always been crazy
    • From recent events it would appear that "inter-cultural horizons" are narrowing drastically in Israel, folding back upon themselves into a restricted Talmudic/Zionist moralism. The religious nationalists have seized the day (almost) and we can see the idea of a true democratic country fading before the eyes of the world in real time. I should think those people who think of themselves as open-minded pluralists/multiculturalists might contemplate fleeing like rats would a sinking ship, if given the opportunity.

      How bad does the situation have to get before even those brave dissenting voices loose courage and walk away.....???????

  • Like an unrequited lover, 'NYT' confesses itself heartbroken over Israel's (latest) betrayal of democracy
  • Debunking Netanyahu's propaganda on Jerusalem
  • Palestinian students fear for their lives during attack on train car in Jerusalem
    • Karen Armstrong:

      ...... nationalism is hardly rational. But you know, we need mythology in our lives, because that’s what we are. I agree, we should be as rational as we possibly can, especially when we’re dealing with the fates of our own populations and the fates of other peoples. But we don’t, ever. There are always the stories, the myths we tell ourselves, that enable us to inject some kind of ultimate significance, however hard we try to be rational.

      We’re haunted by terrible fears and paranoias. We’re frightened beings. When people are afraid, fear takes over and brings out all kind of irrationality. So, yes, we’re constantly striving to be rational, but we’re not wholly rational beings. Purging isn’t an answer, I think. When you say “purging,” I have visions of some of the catastrophes of the 20th century in which we tried to purge people, and I don’t like that kind of language.

  • First they came for the Palestinians . . .
    • Annie Robbins.....wonderful and pertinent cartoon!! Thank you for reminding us the importance of brave dissenting voices who protest in the face of unlawful discrimination and harassment wrought by single minded governments......

  • Defend Palestine supporters from NY college president's anti-Semitism slander
    • .....My my...You don't say......!!!!

      Under his leadership, John Jay has been transformed into a senior college offering a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts program with new majors in Economics, Philosophy, Global History, Law and Society, Political Science, English and Gender Studies. The College expanded its Graduate Programs and is poised to launch John Jay Online. Since his appointment in 2004, President Travis has increased baccalaureate freshman enrollment by 58% and expanded full time faculty from 338 to 421. Over that time, John Jay College’s external funding for faculty research has tripled. President Travis also launched the College’s first capital campaign for $50 million, which will meet its goal ahead of schedule. Since 2005 Travis has served as a member of The Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council and was named Chair of that Committee in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Urban Institute......

      And for someone who penned several books about the reinsertion of "juvenile delinquents " back into society one would think he would have more compassion. But affiliation with the NYPD and its targeting of Muslims, might have killed that......

  • Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition
  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Precisely from such a society is one permitted to demand some attention to the Palestinian blood that is also spilled in vain; some understanding of the other side’s pain, or even a measure of empathy, which in Israel is considered treason.

      But this doesn’t happen. Aside from exceptional murders and hate crimes by individuals, there is total apathy — and the obtuseness is frightening. Killings (we dare not say murders) by soldiers and policemen will never shock Israel. The propaganda machine will whitewash everything, and the media will be its mouthpiece. No one will demand condemnations. No one will express shock. Few will even consider that the pain is the same pain, that murder is murder.

      How many Israelis are willing to give a thought to the parents of Yousef Shawamreh, the boy who went out to pick wild greens and was killed by an army sniper? Why is it exaggerating to be upset by, or at least give some attention to, the killing of Khalil Anati, a 10-year-old boy from the Al-Fawar refugee camp?

      Why can’t we identify with the pain of bereaved father Abd al-Wahab Hammad, whose son was killed in Silwad, or with the Al-Qatari family from the Al-Amari refugee camp, two members of which were killed by soldiers within a month? Why do we reserve our horror for the synagogue and not consider these killings disturbing?

    • ...."You are overstating it because you insist on always putting the worst spin on everything. There have been at least four terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in last couple of weeks......"

      Yes these attacks are indeed heinous, but how many attacks against Palestinians have been reported with Israeli "hasbara spin" or not reported at all...???? Then of course, there is the unacknowledged "back story" behind such acts of desperation......

    • So sorry for the unintentional double post....these things happen.

      Your right about Begin Seafoid. From his lofty perch in government, he started the ball rolling and now we have an avalanche.....

    • Today we have an unprecedented convergence of Mitel Europa political Zionism with radical religion-driven settler Zionism, a melding of epic proportions……

      At the beginning of July 1967, David Ben-Gurion spoke at Beit Berl, the “think tank” of the Israeli Labor party. He had about him the air of a prophet who had walked out of his tent to die, but had paused on this last journey to tell truths which the less farsighted could not see and which only a man possessed by the spirit would dare tell. He warned his listeners against the euphoria that had swept the Jewish world in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Ben-Gurion insisted that all of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state. He made only one exception of consequence: the Israelis should not relinquish control of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion’s most striking assertion that night was that he did not expect immediate peace with the Arabs; for its own inner health, he said, Israel needed only to give back the territories very soon in return for a workable set of armistice arrangements.

    • Today we have an unprecedented convergence of Mitel Europa political Zionism with radical religion-driven settler Zionism, a melding of epic proportions……
      At the beginning of July 1967, David Ben-Gurion spoke at Beit Berl, the “think tank” of the Israeli Labor party. He had about him the air of a prophet who had walked out of his tent to die, but had paused on this last journey to tell truths which the less farsighted could not see and which only a man possessed by the spirit would dare tell. He warned his listeners against the euphoria that had swept the Jewish world in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Ben-Gurion insisted that all of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state. He made only one exception of consequence: the Israelis should not relinquish control of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion’s most striking assertion that night was that he did not expect immediate peace with the Arabs; for its own inner health, he said, Israel needed only to give back the territories very soon in return for a workable set of armistice arrangements.

  • Israel sows despair and senseless violence
    • In a press conference immediately after the synagogue attack, Netanyahu made a U-turn on early elections, instead inviting opposition parties — those representing Palestinian citizens of Israel exempted — to join a national unity government. While Labor and the more dovish Meretz rejected the invitation out of hand, the parochial but pragmatic ultra-Orthodox parties are considering it. Even if expanding his coalition doesn’t buy Netanyahu much time, it could provide some buffer against pressure from the opponents whose challenge is most threatening: his coalition partners on the right.

      Until now, the hawks in his coalition have demanded more of what Netanyahu was already doing, such as expanding settlements and blasting Gaza. But on Jerusalem, they seek a qualitative change, looking to alter the delicate status quo in the city, especially regarding the Temple Mount. Pressure on Netanyahu from right-wing nationalist groups to expand Jewish access to the Temple Mount, home to Al-Aqsa mosque, has begun to lend an increasingly religious character to what was hitherto a primarily national conflict — just as religious violence is spiking across the Middle East.

  • Palestinians who targeted Jerusalem synagogue have sights set on U.S. -- Israeli propaganda
  • Netanyahu announces return of controversial punitive home demolitions widely viewed as collective punishment
    • As tensions seethe in Jerusalem the Israeli government has resurrected polices from the Intifada-era including punitive home demolitions as a measure of deterrence against attacks on its citizens......

      My, did "punitive home demolitions EVER stop.... or are we talking about a new "intensity factor" publically in order to "prepare" the international community for an up-tick in these abhorrent abuses???

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
  • What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple?
    • All the razzle dazzle "democratic principles" jargon coming out of the mouths of those interviewed... logical as many of ultra Zionists seem to have grown up in multicultural north America.

      But can some one shed some light on the WHY and HOW they became so single mindedly obsessed? It's as if evil deed Baruch Goldstein, an American doctor spawned a new generation with one aim in mind! Why from the States? Why from Canada?

  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • Zionism’s basic mistake in the eyes of religious extremists going back to Rabbi Kook the elder followed by Kook the younger and protégés, has been its attempt to bring Jewish Israelis back into the community of ordinary nations in the eyes of the world after 1948….one people among the peoples of the world and to grant its (Jewish) citizens legal, economic, medical and educational opportunities available to civilized democracies. After 1948, Palestinians in Israel remained trapped off stage and those in the West bank under Jordanian tutelage. But beginning in 1973, certain elements of the religious community (Gush Emunim) advocated “Torah isolationism” as they saw it essential in preserving the uniqueness of the people and the State and a legitimate means of upholding a recalcitrant stand when it came to accusations of breaches in international law.
      Today the right wing is fearful. The Jewish people remain in a situation in which formal peace with the Arabs will bring about forced “assimilation” of parts of the nation with the “Muslim Other”. The religious zealots almost see the state of war as the hand of divine supervision in order to preserve “apartness” out of reasons of moral and physical safety. The “wholeness of the People is preserved” under the guise of violent chaos, while more and more of the Land of Israel is corralled in an act of Redemption.

  • David Brooks's romance of community
    • But underlying this debate is a profoundly painful process that many liberal Jews, both in Israel and the Diaspora, are undergoing: They feel like let-down lovers. They wonder, what place can they give in their emotional lives and their identity to an Israel that does not correspond to their core values of universal human rights? Can they remain attached to a country that violates these principles, primarily through an occupation that has now lasted for two-thirds of Israel’s history?

  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
    • Under mounting religious tension (and housing takeovers in adjacent Silwan) there was bound to be "an Incident" which has more to do with steady disenfranchisement of traditional Waqf oversight of Muslim Holy places and displacement of Palestinians than outright "ethnic hatred" of Israelis;

      With East Jerusalem already smoldering, it emerged this week that the Israeli parliament is to consider a bill that could set the region ablaze. The measure would lift limitations on Jews visiting the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      Details of the measure have yet to be published. But one possibility is that it will overturn a prohibition in Israeli law on Jews praying at the site, ending also a rabbinical injunction against such activities. Other reports, however, suggested it would extend visiting times for Jews, possibly by forcing the Islamic authorities to divide the site and create a dedicated area for Jewish visitors.

      The bill that apparently has the backing of the Eli Ben Dahan - Israeli politican, Rabbi and the deputy religious services minister - would create arrangements similar to those already in place in Hebron where there are security procedures and restrictions on times of worship.

      Jewish settlers posing as tourists have been visiting al Aqsa in ever larger numbers. During the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot this month, hundreds of such “tourists” were escorted by armed police on to the esplanade, triggering a furious response from Muslim worshippers.

      Jordan, which is officially responsible for the site, protested to Israel. The Jordanian ambassador to Palestine, Khalid al-Shawabka, told Maan TV that "the al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem are red lines”.

    • ....with the restriction of " Muslim men over 50"........

    • So who are the Temple Mount Faithful and what do associated Rabbis believe.....????

      Though the arrests may suggest otherwise, the Temple Mount Faithful movement has recently made a giant leap towards the mainstream. Just last year, their activists were firmly planted in the far-right messianic fringes of Orthodox Judaism and were shunned by most religious Jews. This has ceased to be the case [2012] was also the first time activists for repealing the ban on Jewish ritual on the Temple Mount have managed to translate their predominantly theological campaign into a concrete political program. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has tabled a bill, and MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) made a public statement, both calling for changing the legal status of the Temple Mount for the first time since 1967, the year Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering the compound, as well as allocating prayer times for Jews. One of the main impediments to changing the status quo at Temple Mount has been the stern halakhic ban on Jews visiting the site, for reasons of religious purity. But that prohibition has worn off in recent years, as more and more Zionist rabbis have permitted visits to the site, and even gone themselves.

      "The messianic tension surrounding the Temple Mount could ferment Jerusalem and the whole region," warns Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu, among the founders of the Tag Meir forum, which is acting against religious extremism. "The attempts by the 'price tag' people to mount to Temple Mount and pray there, together with acts of arson and vandalism of mosques, might end up in some fanatic group damaging the mosques on Temple Mount, in a similar manner to the Jewish underground that operated in the 1980s," he said.

      Yehuda Glick, spokesman for the Temple movements’ coalition, says his goal for[2013] is for "Jews to become part of the scenery at Temple Mount." But the Rosh Hashanah cards the joint staff sent to their followers spell out a far more radical aspiration: "May this be a year of redemption… A year in which the disgrace is lifted from us, a year in which the Temple is rebuilt and the Kingdom of Judah takes back the reins."

    • Tomorrow (Friday) will be telling.......

      The Fatah movement in Jerusalem called for a day of rage against Israeli authorities on Friday following the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, in what many have compared to an extrajudicial assassination by Israeli security forces.

      Shot on the rooftop of his family home, Hijazi was still alive when Israeli soldiers entered the premises. Eyewitnesses say that instead of arresting him, the soldiers dropped a water tank on his injured body, killing him, and later stole his body from a Red Crescent ambulance that tried to take him away.

      The secretary-general of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, told Ma'an that the killing Mutaz Hijazi without giving him a chance to defend himself and without definitive proof that he was responsible for the shooting, was an "act of terrorism" by Israel.

      "Israeli crimes are systematically increasing to target Jerusalem through killing, detentions, assaults, demolishing houses, and preventing worshipers from praying inside the compounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque [ although Israeli authorities on Thursday evening decided to reopen Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound after ordering its closure and following Arab and US calls for Muslim worshippers to be allowed in].."

  • 'Chickenshit' attack enrages Netanyahu and lobby, but will it stir voters against Obama?
    • So Israeli papers, reporting the anonymous comments Wednesday morning, had to settle on something less evocative than “chickenshit.” The consensus translation that emerged among major news sources was “pachdan,” or coward. Haaretz did a little better, using “pachdan aluv,” or “lowly coward.”

      As any poultry farmer can attest, none of these are chickenshit. “Coward” lacks the crude, sandlot insult quality that “chickenshit” conveys. “Coward” is what you’d call someone before a duel. “Chickenshit” is what you’d call someone before a bar fight.

      To compensate, Israeli news articles put the word, in English, in their articles, such that “chickenshit” is clearly visible in the opening paragraph, running counter to the Hebrew text.

      A friend of mine suggested that Israeli reporters could have avoided all this by translating the phrase to Hebrew literally: “Hara shel tarnegolim.” Of course, that’s also not quite Hebrew: “Hara” is a swear word in Arabic.

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