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Total number of comments: 284 (since 2011-10-27 19:23:40)

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

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  • 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.”...........

      link to counterpunch.org

  • 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

      link to aljazeera.com

  • 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. .....

      link to nybooks.com

  • 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.

      link to aljazeera.com

  • 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. -

      link to middleeasteye.net

  • 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.

      link to therealnews.com

  • 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.

      link to palsolidarity.org

  • 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 added......by 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.

      link to english.palinfo.com

  • The refreshing bluntness of Ayelet Shaked
    • ....This is refreshing...!!!

      The Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has exacted a major cost on Israel’s exports to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip....This victory is quietly acknowledged in a World Bank report released this week.....The World Bank warns that “the status quo is not sustainable and downside risks of further conflict and social unrest are high.” The international body calls for increased aid to the Palestinian Authority to offset this.

      link to electronicintifada.net

  • 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...

      link to quora.com

  • 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.....

      link to politico.com

  • 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.

      link to nybooks.com

  • 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....

      link to plutobooks.com

    • 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.....

      link to middleeasteye.net

  • 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.

      link to therealnews.com

  • 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
    • Merci eGard/Frogy

      Not everyone with media access has been mum!

      link to agencemediapalestine.fr

    • ...Opposing views are not going away. The latest incident dates back to August 15 when Paris Maire, Anne Hildago reserved the day as a tribute to Tel Aviv.... "Tel Aviv Sur Seine" during the annual "Paris Plage" celebration aimed attourists but with fun and games for some but not for all.

      Pro-Palestinian sympathizers came out in force to challenge the action increasingly prevalent since since the Charlie Hebdo killings. And yes, there has been a serious damper put on any public sympathy/ solidarity regarding Palestinian gatherings.

      The result was a spontaneous counter initiative and it displays thorough knowledge of the reasons behind the new bias.... (in French)

  • 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....

      link to democracynow.org

  • Israel begins using drones to monitor West Bank protests
    • ...I am figuring that nobody in Israel wants a sequel to "Five Broken Camers".....

    • ...A truly surreal turn of events, given that the Greek goverment has better things to do with bailout money thaat invest in military hardware.!!! As Citizen says....."Drones are everywhere" and I might add, an easy but such an unethical answer to "said" terrorism. Who the hell will be on the Greek's "Kill list" and who decides to fire away....

      link to therealnews.com

  • 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.

      link to byline.com

  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • “When you say to Israelis ‘European boycott,’ they think it means that this year they won’t get Camembert cheese on time,” he said at a security conference last year last year. “That is not the case.”

      Lapid has put the cost of even a 20 percent decline in Israeli exports to the European Union at $5.7 billion a year.

      link to thinkprogress.org

    • The Norwegians started the financial exit (in the form of divestment from pension funds) back in 2012.....
      In June 2012, Norway excluded Israel’s largest real estate firm from its government pension fund, also citing settlements.

      .
      In 2014, the Dutch pension fund PGGM announced on the front page of its website today that it had withdrawn tens of millions of Euros worth of investments from five Israeli banks. The fund cited the banks’ unethical and illegal practices in the West Bank.......

      link to electronicintifada.net

  • 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.

      link to bdsmovement.net

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

      link to therealnews.com
      -

  • 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.....

      link to imemc.org

  • 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

      link to haaretz.com

  • 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)

      link to imdb.com

  • 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
    • ....Connecticut has been on the front lines when it comes to defending the quest for Palestinian justice, but it is more than hypocrital that Pessin has now taken the posture of victim, alleging he’s been targeted because of his support for Israel, even as Protestant Chaplin Bruce Shipman was forced to resign from Yale when he criticized the Gaza War in a New York Times op-ed....

      link to theday.com

  • 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..........”

      link to nybooks.com

  • 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.”

      link to alternet.org

  • 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.
      link to nymag.com

  • 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.

      link to nybooks.com

  • Factchecking Netanyahu: An annotated guide to the Israeli P.M.'s speech to Congress
    • Netanyahu is appealing to the fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims that has been cultivated in the United States by many of the same members of Congress who are listening to Netanyahu to say it's all this big morass, and if we make a deal with Iran, then we're in effect supporting so-called militant Islam........

      link to therealnews.com

  • 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.

      link to haaretz.com

  • John Lewis tells D.C. crowd he will not attend Netanyahu speech
    • “It’s going to get worse”: Democratic backlash against Netanyahu speech continues
      With members threatening to boycott the Israeli PM's upcoming congressional address, a revolt is mounting .....(Goodie goodie...!!!)

      link to salon.com

  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
    • Mr. Kurtzer said while it was unlikely the Obama administration would take the extraordinary step of declaring Mr. Dermer “persona non grata” — the official method for a foreign diplomat to be ousted from a country — it could request that Mr. Dermer be reprimanded or removed...........

      link to nytimes.com

  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
    • In wake of the Boehner invite and the White House's Iranian dilemma, what has been going on in Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's back yard over the past ten days has all the makings of a dizzying cloak and dagger thriller where the accuser committed suicide that wasn't a suicide over a report" confirming" Shi'a nation was behind the 1992 bombings, accusing the President of an "oil deal' with Iran when Argentina has barrels of the stuff on it's own turf....

      link to en.mercopress.com

      link to abcnews.go.com

      link to en.mercopress.com

    • "It could do so by fracturing the lobby: by forcing pro-Israel Democrats to side openly with the American people’s interest over Israel’s interest. There are already reports that some Democratic hawks want to give Obama time on Iran rather than imposing new sanctions....."

      Lest we forget how impossible it is for most members of the US Congress to be rational enough to distinguish between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism when the stalwart backers of the Jewish State begin their hue and cry on the subject and throw in a smidgen of "Holocaust Denier" for added effect. Cave-ins can always be blamed on those pesky constituents back home, especially in an election year.....
      But I hope I'm wrong....

  • How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of 'American Sniper'
    • You may be right Walker. But add to the mix the fact that there was never a renowned Congressional authority figure with a following who publically came out against torture during the Bush/Cheney "dark side" reign, all of them being too intimidated by the prospect of ....the next attack....

    • Last Year we had Zero Dark Thirty. This year it's American Sniper. For a good part of the 52 week cycle of entertainment plus reruns, we've been treated to "Homeland". The themes are similar....."track 'em down and take 'em out... Who now could possibly be reaping the propaganda rewards.........??????

      link to counterpunch.org

  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • Here is some more ‘bizarre,’ ‘historic,’ ‘unprecedented’ stuff to throw into the mix....

      link to en.mercopress.com

      link to en.mercopress.com

      link to en.mercopress.com

    • ...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.

      link to truth-out.org

      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.

      link to truthdig.com

      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.

      link to storify.com

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

      link to rawstory.com

      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.
      link to counterpunch.org

      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.]

      link to theguardian.com

      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.”
      link to electronicintifada.net

      Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
      link to independent.co.uk

      Prominent Rabbi Calls on Europe to Allow Jews to Carry Guns

      link to israelnationalnews.com

      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......
      link to independent.co.uk

    • “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

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