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  • Show your support for Palestinian rights on World Keffiyeh Day
  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
    • "I am not a Zionist but I am a very proud Jew and hopefully soon Israeli."

      Why in the world would you choose to emigrate to the Apartheid State?

      How on earth can you eagerly look forward to and hope to justify occupying someone's home?

      Perhaps you should look inward. Please don't think that further colonization and destruotion of Palestine and Palestinians is helpful.

    • Danaa~ thank you very much for this that I also hold true:

      "All that being said, a world without the like of Ofir is a sad world indeed. I have never seen an article of his I didn’t like or appreciate. Of all the people out there, if I were Atzmon, I would let it slide, Even on a bad day. "

      Mr./Maestro Ofir is a reflective human that I've appreciated since his voice came upon this stage. I eagerly await his articles because are honestly presented, well- written, and factual. He is truly amazing and has the honesty and a voice that should never be quelled. Your voice is always welcomed, too~ a necessary voice of reason and a balm that makes me believe that justice and peace will, and can, prevail.

      I miss Taxi, Seafoid, Hostage, and Walid so much. Gilad Atzmon also has a voice that he needs to get out. He appears to be tortured , but ... that's his own journey, isn't it? I can only offer my condolences for his pain and appreciation for his journey toward the light.

      Thank you, Danaa and Jonathan.

  • Why not a probe of Israel-gate?
    • Little wonder why award- winning Robert Parry is not regularly invited to speak with the jokers posing as honest journalists that populate US infotainment, aka 'news'.

      I guess for the same reasons that Phil Weiss, Max Blumenthal, Prof. Stephen Cohen, Ray McGovern and so many more aren't either. Heaven forbid that the truth be told to the too- lazy, blindly quiescent (and therefore complicit) American taxpayers and their duly Israel- first elected reps!

      How I wish that they would get off their 'smart phones' and get some real smarts.

  • US body on religious freedom rebuffed Palestinian Christians-- and Zogby says group was 'bullied'
    • That Apartheid Israel is "excluded" from examination is a testament to the complicity of the USA in Israel's crimes against humanity. That is, anyone of any color or religion other that those extra- special Jews that were never indigenous to the region shall not have their rights protected because it's Israel first and always.

      The committee should be disbanded. It has delegitimized itself. So has Tom Lantos' Human Rights Commission.

      "“I had plenty of allies on the commission, just not enough,” Zogby said. “There were four Democrats who were supportive. We lost the vote of one who was afraid of the fact—as I said that we would be basically fighting not getting any work done—and I call that bullying.”"

      Whoopee, 4 Democrats... well, three. The US Congress has also shown their cowardly Israel- first stripes again. If it was not about Christians (et al) and Israel, they would have had the majority of the Congress behind this.

  • Traveling on Israeli government's dime, novelist trashes Netanyahu and ministers as 'sorceress and stupid apprentices'
    • Smashing comment, gamal! Thank you so very much.

      I found this curious as well:

      "... She says she is a proud Zionist, because Zionism liberated her parents from Iran and gave her freedoms that she would not have had living in Tehran."

      She ain't so "free" as she thinks she is, although she IS allowing herself to be used by the GOI that banned her tale.

      For further contemplation, I offer these two articles from The Guardian~ the first from 2004:

      "The exile's return

      They were young, talented and free in New York. Dorit Rabinyan was an Israeli novelist and Hassan Hourani was a Palestinian artist. Their passionate friendship, impossible at home, flourished abroad. Last year, visiting his family, Hourani drowned in Jaffa. Rabinyan writes him a farewell letter ..."

      https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/apr/03/fiction.israelandthepalestinians

      (I admired the letter so much that I bookmarked it long ago. It gave me so much hope and a very real belief in the kind of humanity &l love that I was raised with and have been a grateful witness to.)

      More recently:

      "Censored in Israel, praised by Merkel: the novelist who is a ‘threat to Jewish identity’

      Dorit Rabinyan’s story of an affair across the Israeli-Palestinian divide became a cause célèbre. As the book is published in Britain, she talks about her year in the firing line ..."

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/dorit-rabinyan-novel-censorship-israel

      Not so sure yet that she's not still grieving her loss while reaping rewards from same. It might be sorcery after all. Alternatively, perhaps she still needs to have the zio~ scales really fall from her eyes.

      Nevertheless, it must have been a better production at the "Free Synagogue" than that of Rabbi Hirsch. "New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/rabbi-links-jewish/#sthash.fzLMV13V.dpuf"

      How do you do it, Phil?

      Thank you for your dedication to the truth and for your attention to events .

  • 800 Palestinians have been arrested based on Israeli computer program that analyzes social media posts to predict attacks
    • Reading this array of Israel's crimes against Palestinians and their land/resources that happen every single day, one has to wonder if there is anything at all good or worthy about the Apartheid state. It certainly is not worthy of the largesse heaped upon it in the form of taxpayer dollars, munitions, goodwill and BFF status. What is there to respect other than those Israelis fearlessly facing the truth and daring to tell the world about it? (Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, etc.)

      Here's something today by Gideon Levy that may bring tears... of rage:

      "The Longest-serving Palestinian Inmate in Israeli Prison ...

      The three photographs on the chest of drawers at the entrance to the living room tell the whole unbelievable story. The first shot, from 1978, shows a long-haired youth. The second, taken 15 years later, is a portrait of a prisoner between his two aged parents, both of whom lean on canes. It was taken the last time they met. The third is of an elderly man, at the time of his release from prison.

      Thirty-nine years separate the first and third images, and Nael Barghouti, the man in all of the photos, spent most of that time incarcerated in an Israeli prison for murdering an Israel Defense Forces officer, in 1978. There is no longer-serving prisoner than Barghouti, and no crueler arbitrary treatment by the authorities than that demonstrated in his case.

      Barghouti was released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal in October 2011, after serving 33 years, but was sent back to prison 32 months later on the grounds that he had violated the terms of his release. He had been one of 70 prisoners freed as part of the deal – which involved an exchange of Palestinian inmates for the captured IDF soldier – who were rearrested in the wake of the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June 2014. The arrests were made solely to placate the settlers, and shortly after the bodies of the three youths were found, Israel launched a brutal attack, known as Operation Protective Edge, in the Gaza Strip.

      The accusations that led to his being locked up again – indefinitely? Giving a talk at a university about his experiences in prison, and reports in the Palestinian media that he was a candidate to become the Palestinian Authority’s minister for prisoner affairs. That was apparently a sufficient basis for Israeli authorities to claim that he was in breach of the terms of his release. And enough to utterly devastate a person who already paid a debt twice as long as the average for his deed. ...

      Now he’s once more the “dean of prisoners,” having chalked up 36 years and four months behind bars. Because of his age and his seniority among prisoners, Barghouti – who will turn 60 this year – is not taking part in the current hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners. He’s already gone through more than enough hunger strikes in Israeli detention facilities.

      Waiting in a lovely home with its breathtaking view, high up in the village of Kobar, northwest of Ramallah (and also the birthplace of one of Nael’s relatives, and the most famous Palestinian prisoner of all, Marwan Barghouti) is Aman Nafa, Nael’s wife. She too is a former prisoner, one of the heroines of the Palestinian struggle: She served nine years and was released, together with all the other Palestinian women then in prison, as part of the Oslo Accords.

      Graceful and attractive, wearing a black head scarf and a traditional dress, Aman looks younger than her 53 years. She and Nael spent only 31 happy months in this house after their wedding – which took place a month after his release – before he was rearrested again. During those months they renovated the house, planted fruit trees in the garden that are now producing a yield, and dreamed of having a child. ...

      Until the night of June 17, 2014. Nael was watching television in the living room, unable to sleep. Aman woke from a dream in which she saw herself surrounded by a group of 14-year-old children. He told her that it was sign of the children they would yet have; he fell asleep but she was awake. At 2 A.M., Israeli soldiers arrived. She was afraid to wake him up. After he was roused by the noise, she recalls, Nael was more frightened than she’d ever seen him. The soldiers made him kneel on the floor and then bound him, hands on his head. A terrible sight, a devastating image that she will never forget – her husband’s humiliation. Nael was silent. She started to shout and protest, and was moved to another room where a young soldier guarded her.

      Nael’s interrogators wanted to know if he was with Hamas, or if he received money from the movement. The house was turned upside down in the course of a 90-minute search. “Aman, they want to take me,” he shouted suddenly from the other room. The soldiers did not let them say goodbye. She ran after him with a shirt, so he wouldn’t catch cold. The soldiers tried to drive her off. At that stage, she says, she wouldn’t have cared if they’d shot her.

      “We never thought it would happen to him,” she says now. “We were sure that we were done with that chapter in our lives.” The following morning she went to the International Red Cross and to the Palestinian Prisoners Club in Ramallah seeking information about Nael.

      Her world collapsed around her, but she keeps smiling. That “is the secret of the Palestinian people,” she says. Nothing, it seems, can break this strong woman. ..."

      read much more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.785948

      Thank you, Kate.

  • New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad
    • "Each time they want to suggest something about Syria, Russia uses it’s veto and nothing happens, each time they suggest something about Israel, U.S. uses it’s veto and nothing happens. So the whole Council seems to have become just a useless stage for such eternal theatre which never leads to anywhere in action."

      Apples and oranges, my dear. There's been plenty of "action"~ just ask the victims. The US has officially supported and been complicit with Israel with their vetoes, munitions, taxpayer dollars and vociferous support for all of these long and dreadful years. 100%, even with the horrifically rare and recent 'abstention'. The world has documented evidence of Israel's long criminal history and ongoing crimes. To compare Russia's veto of UNSC action against Syria for the gas attack attributed by the West and Israel to the Syrian gov't is really not fair or just. Where's the proof that Assad is to blame? The US and its allies provided the world with ISIS. Never forget that the US and its allies are responsible for much of the death and destruction of MENA.

      If, and only if, Fatou Bensouda will get off her arse and take the myriad war criminals to court and provide some justice for the stricken, then we can see a change. Maybe.

      Don't hold your breath, though. With Nikki Haley and Congress and the MOAB Trump WH (Kushner, Friedman, etc.), justice seems far, far away.

    • "Free Synagogue"? What? He's free to spew hatred and the congregants are free to gulp down the zio~ swill? Perhaps he will celebrate and join this racist hands with this insane caucus:

      "New Republican caucus aims to shift U.S. policy from peacemaking to 'defeating' Palestinians ...

      WASHINGTON – Three Republican members of Congress spoke at the launch of a new Congressional caucus supporting Israel on Thursday in Washington. The new group, named the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, aims to shift United States policy toward the goal of “defeating” the Palestinians without either creating a Palestinian state or giving Palestinians civil rights. 

      The new caucus – an initiative of the Middle East Forum, a right-wing think tank based in Philadelphia – consists exclusively of members of the Republican Party, at least as of now. The caucus is opposed to diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, putting it far to the right of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which is currently aiming at restarting the peace process ahead of Trump’s expected visit to Israel in May. 

      The two co-chairmen of the new caucus, Republican representatives Bill Johnson from Ohio and Ron Desantis from Florida, spoke at the event launching the caucus, which was in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

      The congressmen said that Palestinians liked living under Israeli military control in the West Bank. Another speaker, the Middle East Forum’s president Daniel Pipes, said that Palestinians will be better off if they accept Israel’s victory and give up on statehood, independence or equal rights. “Palestinian defeat is what leads to Palestinian normality,” Pipes said. 

      Desantis said he assumes Trump will eventually move the U.S.Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, perhaps even during his upcoming visit to Israel next month. Trump promised to move the embassy during the election campaign, but has stopped referring to the issue since he entered the White House. The last administration official to speak on the embassy move was Vice President Mike Pence, who said last month that Trump was “seriously considering” it. ...

      In response to the launch of the caucus, the left-wing group J Street said “this caucus is trying to mainstream a hateful ideology that can only lead to endless conflict – which would spell disaster for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Right now, with so much uncertainty surrounding US policy in the region, leaders in Washington and in the American Jewish community need to challenge and sideline the dangerous ideas of this extreme fringe.”"

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.786154

      Every US citizen should be protesting this abomination. These congresscritters need to be out on their keisters asap. They have disgraced the office.

  • Barghouti: BDS is growing as Israel becomes associated with far-right movements around the world
    • The "protesters" really "listened intently"? Bravo~ perhaps some truths, gentility, and humor pierced their brains.

      I was just reading an article penned by the humanist and realist, Hagai El- Ad. He's the executive director of B'Tselem:

      "B'Tselem Doesn't Take Orders From Netanyahu. Nor Does the World ...

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to block Germany’s foreign minister from hearing some facts about the occupation from B’Tselem this week. This failure followed Netanyahu’s failure to prevent Belgium’s prime minister from hearing these facts a few weeks ago, nor could he prevent their presentation to the United Nations Security Council a few months ago. The world has heard, is hearing and will continue to hear about the occupation, and there’s only one thing the Israeli government can do about it: to end the occupation.

      The facts have been known for a long time. Less than two months before the 50th anniversary of the occupation, the whole world knows that Israel controls the entire territory and all the people between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. They know that this violent control of millions of people in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and in the Gaza Strip manifests in a cruel daily routine of dispossession, destruction, killing and subjugation of the Palestinians, every minute of every day for half a century, at their Israeli masters’ whim.
      For the majority of its history, and each day anew, the state has chosen to maintain its control of the Palestinians. All of our administrative, legal, planning and military institutions are partners to this. But there is no ethical or legal cloak that can conceal the profound implications of this daily violence. Decent people will do everything that is in their power to end this injustice.

      So if the facts are known, what is Netanyahu afraid of?

      The prime minister and his coalition colleagues, along with most of the “opposition” parties, have no intention of ending the occupation. They have grown accustomed to the prevailing situation of the past half a century, in which Israel gradually advances its interests on the backs of the Palestinians without paying an international price for this. It is an “Israbluff” of historic proportions; Israel does not meet the most elementary preconditions of democracy, yet benefits from membership in the club of democratic nations. This makes it possible for us to continue ruling over another people, while defying fundamental moral principles and international law.

      As Israelis, we cannot reconcile ourselves to the continuation of the 50-year-old occupation and the resultant violations of human rights. But as long as the world remains indifferent to the situation and refrains from taking action, the Israbluff will continue to thrive. For that reason, the international community must be firm in spelling out to Israel that its actions beyond the Green Line cross red lines.

      The possibility that this will eventually happen: That is what frightened Netanyahu and all the other supporters of the status quo.

      Israelis who oppose the occupation should be very encouraged by this. International officials who are weighing their policies must pay careful attention to these events. After all, B’Tselem is a small organization, its annual budget barely a tenth of what is spent on guarding the settlers who live in the heart of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods. The state, on the other hand, has for 50 years spent billions to preserve and maintain the moral atrocity of the occupation. An entire army of politicians and judges, PR flacks and diplomats, prison guards and Shin Bet security service agents, police officers and soldiers, bureaucrats and clerks is invested in the occupation. And still, Netanyahu is afraid.

      The anxiety of the status-quo supporters should be our work plan. The nonviolent path to ending the occupation depends on being able to persuade the world, and especially Israel’s friends, that they must clarify to Israel that what was is not what will be, and that the occupation’s continuation will lead to international action.

      We don’t take orders from Netanyahu. Nor does the world. Above all, one cannot order the facts to disappear, nor can one instruct evil to masquerade as justice. Today, just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the occupation, there is a hope that by resolutely pursuing the struggle here and in every important international arena, it can be brought to an end."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.785801

      BDS. The immoral and complicit Israel- first elected PMs, Presidents, Congressfolks, and members of Parliaments ziotroops all over this planet will finally have to listen and act in accordance with international law and with serious and meaningful sanctions or they will no longer be elected.

      Cannot wait for the day.

      The truth is out. Thanks, Jesse.

  • Why I'm keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day
    • Who the heck would do this???

      "Israeli Army Shows Fake Amputated Limbs, Paints Wounds on Kids for Independence Day ...

      An Israel Defense Forces display for Independence Day in the settlement of Tekoa in the West Bank featured a booth where children could have their limbs painted to resemble shrapnel and stab wounds, with people present saying children as young as 5 were joining in.

      The display, which was conducted by the Etzion Brigade’s medical staff, included dummies used in the army to illustrate battle wounds, including one that looked like a pair of amputated legs. A parent told the Times of Israel website that the soldiers even squirted a red liquid through the mock amputated legs to resemble blood flowing.

      “As part of the Independence Day events, a number of depots in the Central Command region were opened to the general public, at which the district brigades displayed their activities,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement. “This included dozens of displays including vehicles, surveillance and communications equipment. Among them was a display of the Medical Corps in which treatment methods were illustrated.”

      According to a military source, the events at Tekoa were “approved based on content from previous events and consultation with professionals. In general the day went well, and it’s clear that many families enjoyed it.”

      The IDF’s events on Independence Day at bases and depots have been criticized in the past for including activities that aren’t appropriate for small children, like an obstacle course or the throwing of used grenades. Many families show up to watch and take part in the activities, which the army considers “attractions” for the public, including demonstrations of how wounded soldiers are treated by army medical teams.

      On this Independence Day, the IDF displayed tanks, armored personnel carriers, other military vehicles, weapons and communications equipment at over 15 sites throughout the country, including in the settlements of Neveh Tzuf, Kiryat Arba, Ariel and Kedumim in the West Bank, Tel Aviv's neighboring city of Givatayim and Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.786884

      Golda Meir should have lectured her fellow Zionists about how to "love their children".

      This is vomitrocious and totally psycho.

  • After being blocked from importing limousines to Gaza, a Palestinian wedding planner built one out of five cars
    • Look and see what the dummkopf has done now:

      "Prime Minister Netanyahu Cancels Meeting After German FM Refuses to Snub Israeli Leftist NGOs

      Netanyahu won't meet with diplomats who meet with groups that slander IDF soldiers, his bureau says; Sigmar Gabriel refuses to take PM's call after demand he cancel meeting with anti-occupation groups

      Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his meeting with Germn Mian Foreignister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday after the latter refused Netanyahu's demand that he not meet with two leftwing NGOs, Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem.

      According to Der Spiegel, the meeting was canceled by Netanyahu because the German minister wanted "to meet with critics of the Israeli government."...

      "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy is not to meet with diplomats who visit Israel and meet with organizations that slander IDF soldiers and seek to prosecute them as war criminals," it said. "It wouldn’t cross those diplomats' minds to meet in the U.S. or Britain with representatives of organizations that call to prosecute American or British soldiers."

      "The IDF and its soldiers are the basis of our existence," it added. "The relations with Germany are very important to Israel and they will continue."

      Netanyahu asked to speak with Gabriel on Tuesday afternoon, but the German foreign minister refused to take his call.

      Sources in the prime minister's bureau said that Netanyahu wanted to speak with Gabriel to personally explain why he had reservations regarding the latter's meeting with Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem and why he decided not to meet with him. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.785594

      It's something to behold, eh? He's delegitimizing himself and his fellow Jewish Israelis. Who does this? A fascist and a totalitarian and a lying war criminal does this. In other words, not a leader of a functioning and vibrant democracy. Another tip o' the hat to The Apartheid Statelet. Good for Sigmar Gabriel. iirc, Netanyahu did nearly the same with Belgium and the UK... I say bring it on! Keep up the great dictatorial supremacism and ultimatums, Netanyahu et al. Sunlight is delightful~ soon 'allies' will shed the scales from their eyes and end their complicity with the GOI.

      Back to reading your compilation... the first story is a humdinger that brought a smile!

  • When it comes to Syria, our press is full of moralizing and propaganda, and short on analysis
    • Ben Norton offers a public service on Alternet:

      "Pundits Who Helped Sell NATO's Destruction of Libya Push for Trump to Lead Syria Regime Change

      Human slaves are now being sold in Libya, after NATO regime change. The pundits who backed it now have their sights on Syria.

      ... A coalition of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists helped sell NATO's war to the public, in the lead-up to and during the intervention in 2011. Since then, many of the NATO war's most vociferous advocates have fallen silent, avoiding any accountability for their colossal errors of judgment and imperial zeal. Virtually no one has expressed contrition.

      Given the impunity pro-war pundits have joined, war after war, it's no surprise that many of the same figures that cheered Libya's systematic destruction are ginnig up a new war of regime change, this time in Syria.

      AlterNet has compiled a list of the big-name pundits and newspapers that helped sell regime change in Libya, and are doing the same now for Syria.

      This is part one of a two-part series. Part one identifies the major regime change pundits; part two looks at the editorial boards of some of the top newspapers that justified military intervention in Libya and Syria, explaining how they got absolutely everything wrong. ..."

      much more @ http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/media-pundits-libya-syria-regime-change

      Then there is Iraq...

  • Settlers from Kushner family-funded community attack 3 Israeli grandmothers
    • "Six Israeli Jews, Including Two Soldiers, Accused in Series of anti-Arab Attacks ...

      Six Jewish residents of Be'er Sheva, including two conscripted soldiers and a minor, were charged with a series of racist attacks against Arabs in the city, police said Sunday.

      The suspects were said to have attacked their victims with knives, clubs, metal bars and other weapons beginning in December, 2016.

      The suspects were allegedly involved in at least five incidents of assault since then.

      According to police, the investigation revealed that the attacks aimed "to prevent the assimilation of Jews and Arabs in Be'er Sheva," and that some of them watched video material from the right-wing group Lehava that focused on "saving Jewish women who are married to Arabs." One of the suspects called himself a "supporter of the organization," but is not an active member.

      Indictments were to be served against the suspects in a Be'er Sheva District court on Sunday. The indictments were to include charges of "terrorist actions."

      According to lawyers representing some of the suspects, they underwent "difficult and long" questioning. Attorney Avichai Hajabi, from the Honenu organization, claimed that, "The basic rights of those arrested are blocked by the iron doors of the Shin Bet cellars." He protested that security personnel had prevented him from meeting one of the suspects.

      According to police, the most severe event the suspects were involved in was a stabbing on February 21, 2017. According to a source knowledgable in the details of the case, one Arab victim was wounded in the incident, but "not seriously."

      Before the attacks, the suspects allegedly confirmed that they're planned victims were Arabs.

      According to their lawyers, some of the suspects were prevented from meeting with their legal representatives for days after their arrest. The suspects were put under "significant emotional duress" and were handcuffed for hours with their eyes covered for part of their questioning. 

      One of the suspects also allegedly tried to commit suicide during his questioning. "It seems that when it comes to Jews suspected of quarreling with Arabs their rights are forgotten, trampled on and we are informed of new detention laws," said Sima Kochav, a legal representative for one of the suspects."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.785047

      Then there's these other terrorist attacks by illegal settlers since the grandmothers were attacked:

      "WATCH: Masked settlers attack left-wing activists in Jordan Valley

      Five of the activists, who were there to protect Palestinian shepherds from settler attacks, were themselves wounded by Israeli settlers. ...

      On Friday, the settlers advanced toward the activists armed with clubs and stones, and violently attacked them, as the video shows. Five of the activists were wounded, one in the head. The activists reported the attack to the police, whom they had informed in advance they would be accompanying the shepherds.

      “When we saw them approaching us we stood in a line with the shepherds behind us,” the activist recalled. “We yelled at them to get away but they kept coming and attacked.”

      “Because the attack took place in a location without any access roads, we were forced to walk down a steep path for around 40 minutes until we reached asphalt, where an ambulance was waiting,” he continued.

      “The police who showed up told us to go to the Binyamin police station in order to file a complaint, but when we got there the station was empty — not a single soul was there and we had no choice but to leave. If any of the activists want to file a criminal complaint they will have to come back to the station on Sunday.” ..."

      https://972mag.com/watch-masked-settlers-attack-left-wing-activists-in-jordan-valley/126804/

      And again, yesterday:

      "Settlers Attack West Bank Village With Stones, Palestinians Say
      Israeli troops fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse clashes"

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.784941

  • Tillerson and Haley's trash-talk on Iran was brought to you by Sheldon Adelson
    • Thanks so much for connecting the horrific dots, Phil. If they are watching MSNBC, Adelson, Abrams, et al must be nearly orgasmic with the talk of terror, Iran, NK, nukes, armadas, etc. They even pulled out O'Hanlon from Brookings!

      You neglected to mention Mad Dog Mattis:

      "... Mattis is on his third day of a five-day tour of the Middle East, having already visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt. On his first trip to Israel in his current capacity, he will spend the next two days meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

      Mattis is also expected to discuss the monitoring of Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with the major powers, as well as next month’s presidential election in Iran.

      Mattis is considered a relative hawk on Iran. He has said that the three most urgent problems for the United States in the Middle East are “Iran, Iran and Iran.” Lieberman has also advocated a tougher policy on Iran, which he considers Israel’s main problem.

      “Everywhere you look if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Mattis told reporters in Riyadh after meeting with senior Saudi officials on Wednesday.

      In Israel, Mattis was received at Ben-Gurion Airport by members of the U.S. Embassy and Israel's defense attaché in Washington, Gen. Mickey Edelstein.

      An honor guard at army headquarters in Tel Aviv will receive him on Friday, after which he will meet with Lieberman and hold a joint press conference. "

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.784681

      I literally went hysterical when I read that Iran is the root of all "trouble in the region"! C'mon! Really? KSA, Israel and the US are the major instigators and destroyers of life and liberty "in the region". Pakistan played no small part with their coveting of Afghanistan and neither was the Soviet invasion of same. So was US- supported Saddam with his chemical and other deadly munitions war against Iran~ that was until the US turned on him and had him eliminated with such spectacular results! And ISIS was born, thanks to so many of US "allies" and their own collective greed and desire for regional (perhaps global) hegemony .

      Jeebus~ do they all think we are ALL so stupid and forgetful?

      (for some background:

      "James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran

      Many in the Pentagon worry that Trump’s pick for defense secretary is looking for a fight in the Middle East. ...

      The military officials I spoke with say that Mattis is the quintessential Marine; it defines everything he does and believes, from how he treats his soldiers and disciplines his commanders to how he views the world. Most critically, perhaps, for the United States and its future, Mattis has embraced the Marine Corps’ longstanding grievance against Iran, one that goes back to the 1980s.

      In fact, Mattis’ anti-Iran animus is so intense that it led President Barack Obama to replace him as Centcom commander. It was a move that roiled Mattis admirers, seeding claims that the president didn’t like “independent-minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders.” But Mattis’ Iran antagonism also concerns many of the Pentagon’s most senior officers, who disagree with his assessment and openly worry whether his Iran views are based on a sober analysis or whether he’s simply reflecting a 30-plus-year-old hatred of the Islamic Republic that is unique to his service. It’s a situation that could lead to disagreement within the Pentagon over the next four years—but also, senior Pentagon officials fear, to war.

      “It’s in his blood,” one senior Marine officer told me. “It’s almost like he wants to get even with them.” ..."

      Much more @ http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/james-mattis-iran-secretary-of-defense-214500

      Back to the s.o.s on crack.

  • Hasbara-steria: Netanyahu ministers charge NYT with 'journalistic terror attack,' hunger striker with 'suicide terror attack'
    • Here's Gideon Levy responding to readers. In this case, a couple who've decided to take The Bouncer's advice to boycott Haaretz :

      "A Heartfelt Apology to Haaretz Readers ...

      Dear Orna and Moshe Gan-Zvi,

      I was saddened to read in Tuesday’s Hebrew edition of Haaretz that you’ve decided to cancel your subscription. I don’t know you, but I will miss you as readers. As someone who is partly responsible for your decision, as your article indicated, allow me to apologize. To apologize for writing the truth all these years. I should have taken into account that this truth wasn’t palatable to you, and acted accordingly.

      It was not pleasant for you to read the theory put forward by me and my fellow Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass about the occupation. You, who are active in Rotary Israel, who come from the business world, who are so proud of your children and the fact that they live in the West Bank. Your son was educated at the Eli premilitary academy, and your granddaughters proudly carry the last name Sheetrit. You, who are so pleased with yourselves and your values, with your children and your morals, don’t think you should be forced to read unpleasant truths. You simply don’t deserve it.

      Indeed, how could I have spent all these years publishing articles that even you, generously, admitted were touching, without ever, to my shame, checking how these Palestinian families ended up in their serious predicaments? Really, how did that happen? Of course it was their own fault, but I keep blaming the Israel Defense Forces – how could I? And how could Amira Hass be so one-sided and lacking in perspective that would explain how a people could prefer the elimination of another people over a democratic society? Really, how could you, Amira?

      I assume, Moshe, that if they were to lock you in a cage for years, you would continue your Rotary membership and refuse to back a struggle against your incarceration. I assume, Orna, that if foreign soldiers were to burst into your home in the middle of the night and arrest your Moshe before your eyes, kick him, force him to his knees, blindfold him, handcuff him, and beat him in front of your children who study in Eli – and then snatch him from your home for months without trial – you would be looking for some “creative leadership” for your people.

      I assume that you, who come from the business world, would lovingly accept those who confiscate your property and ban you from your own land. I’m sure it would never occur to you to struggle against those who have tortured you with such evil for so many years.

      What can we do? The Palestinians are different from you, dear Orna and Moshe. They were not born in such lofty heights as you. They are human animals, bloodthirsty, born to kill. Not all of them are as ethical as you and your children from the Eli academy. Yes, there are people who fight for their freedom. There are people who are forced to do so violently. In fact, there are almost no nations who haven’t acted this way, including the chosen people you’re proud to belong to. Not only do you belong; you are the pillar of fire that leads the camp, you’re the best, the moral elite – you, the religious Zionists.

      I apologize for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; the occupier and the occupied? Forgive me for daring to turn off your joy and pride in the land flowing with milk and Mobileye, and cherry tomatoes, too. There are so many wonderful things in this country, and Haaretz – with its “moral deterioration,” as you call it – is ruining the party. How did I not see that you don’t like to read the truth, and didn’t take this into account when I’d return from the occupied territories every week to write about what I’d seen with my own eyes?

      But now it’s too late. The call to boycott chocolate spread was too much even for you, so you’ve decided to boycott Haaretz. From now on, the only paper on your coffee table will be the weekly, right-wing Makor Rishon. They won’t write about how IDF soldiers sprayed five Palestinian car passengers with bullets three weeks ago, and I’m sure your Shabbats will be a lot more pleasant from now on."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.78435

      Kerpow!

      (I still cannot link the article that I referenced above... perhaps the "Hebrew edition" is special)

    • It never ceases to cause nausea.

      I keep trying to link to the piece in Haaretz from April 13th in which the usual deplorables criticize Haaretz for publishing an op-ed by Yossi Klein criticizing the 'religious Zionist' movement in its Hebrew edition...

      Lieberman even calls for... wait for it... a boycott of the paper!

      (can't figure out why I can't post it)

  • The bulldozers of Shavuot, 1967
    • A sobering reminder of the vicious and entirely planned destruction and theft of Palestine from the Palestinians that Israel chooses to 'celebrate'. I think it's the only way to properly 'commemorate' these sins that Zionists chuckle over while they continue to sin and break international law with alacrity and impunity.

      Ilan Pappe seems to have the same idea:

      "Jenin won’t forget Israel’s massacre

      Fifteen years ago this month the Israeli army bombarded and assaulted the Jenin refugee camp for more than 10 days. This was part of Israel’s so-called Operation Defensive Shield, during which it sent troops into the heart of six major cities in the occupied West Bank and surrounding towns and refugee camps that were ostensibly under Palestinian Authority control.

      In a report on the assault, the United Nations concluded that the Israeli army killed dozens of Palestinians in a camp that is just 0.4 square kilometers and hosts about 15,000 people.

      After the assault, a long debate ensued about the number of casualties. In the immediate havoc that reigned in the camp, the numbers were thought to be very high.

      Israel barred members of a UN commission of inquiry mandated by the Security Council from conducting an investigation, but a subsequent report compiled by the secretary-general concluded that at least 52 Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp.

      Almost 500 Palestinians were killed and another 1,500 injured in the course of Israel’s assault across the West Bank from March to May of 2002.

      However, it was not just the numbers involved that shocked the world at the time, but the brutal nature of an Israeli assault that was unprecedented even in the harsh history of the occupation.

      This brutality can be best appreciated when you visit the camp. This crowded neighborhood was assaulted from the air by helicopter gunships, shelled by tanks from the hills above it and invaded by monstrous vehicles – a hybrid of a tank and bulldozer which the Israelis nicknamed Achzarit, the brutal one, that razed the houses and made the alleys into highways through which tanks could pass.

      The tanks revisited the camp after the operation, usually coming in the dead of night, traumatizing children for years to come with their roar.

      “Geography of disaster”
      I went to the camp last week as part of a visit to Al-Quds Open University’s branch in Jenin.

      We rushed to the city and back from 1948 Palestine (present-day Israel), since the private company that manages the Jalameh checkpoint was to close the gates for the next few days so that Israeli Jews could celebrate Passover, while forgetting the besieged Palestinians in the West Bank.

      The army imposed closure on villages and neighborhoods inside the West Bank and incarcerated millions of people in local enclaves so that Israeli settlers could move around as if this was terra nullius – a land without a people.

      Al-Quds Open University caters for the children, among others, of political prisoners and martyrs. It is hosted in a rented building, with the hope that one day it will be moved to a proper campus – if the millions of dollars needed for its completion can be found. ...

      Clear view
      However, there is something else you notice when you are on the hill. You can see the whole region stretching from Jenin, which is in the northern West Bank, down to the Mediterranean Sea. You can see through Marj Ibn Amr – the fertile region also known as the Jezreel Valley – to the city of Haifa on the coast.

      The villages and towns that were there before 1948 were wiped out in the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias. Many of the people who used to live in them were driven to this area and could watch from the hill how their homes and fields turned into Jewish colonies and Jewish National Fund “forests.”

      The connection between what you see from the hill and the horrors of April 2002 is clear. It is yet another reminder of what the late scholar Patrick Wolfe articulated so well when he noted that settler-colonialism is a structure, not an event.

      In the case of Zionism, it is a structure of displacement and replacement, or to paraphrase Edward Said’s words, substituting presence with absence. It began in 1882 with the first Zionist settlements, reached a certain peak in 1948, continued with vehemence in 1967 and is still alive and kicking today.

      The attempt to break down the resistance to the displacement is what occurred in the camp 15 years ago.

      Pictures of the martyrs from 2002 and since cover the walls and streets. Beneath them sits a large number of unemployed youth – Jenin refugee camp has one of the highest unemployment rates of any camp in the West Bank.

      Talking to them it is clear that they are determined not to succumb to despair or apathy. Education offered by Al-Quds Open University is one way of coping with life in the camp and under oppression. But resistance is still an option.

      After all, this is the area from which the most significant anti-colonialist effort by the Palestinians sprang already in the early 1930s: the rebellion led by Izz al-Din al-Qassam.

      It is symbolic that on this visit I met his grandson, Ahmad. We talked briefly about how his grandfather’s historical image is distorted by anyone who compares him to present-day so-called jihadists. He was very far from being one.

      Had the British not killed him in 1935, he would have become the Palestinian Che Guevara. He was a charismatic anti-colonialist leader operating among the people who were the first victims of Zionism in the 1930s – the displaced peasants and tenants driven out of the lands which they had cultivated for centuries. ..."

      more @ https://electronicintifada.net/content/jenin-wont-forget-israels-massacre/20221

  • The war for 'The New York Times'
    • Here's Oren:

      "...Barghouti's byline drew immediate ire from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and senior Israeli politicians, including Israel's Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren who called on the government to consider punitive action against the paper—including possibly closing its Israel bureau.

      Speaking to Army Radio on Monday, Oren described the publication as a "journalistic terror attack", and railed the Times for publishing "fake news" that was "full of lies."

      "As for the New York Times, if someone in the paper helped him [smuggle the op-ed out of prison], the New York Times should be held accountable," Oren told Army Radio.

      Acknowledging that such a move might "sound extreme", he explained that there was precedent: "At the start of the Second Intifada, when CNN… helped terrorists," he said, "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not hesitate to close its bureau here."It was not immediately clear to what incident Oren was referring.

      Other Israeli officials echoed Oren's statements.

      Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, of the ruling Likud party, said the "very disappointing decision" to publish Barghouti's piece "legitimizes terrorism" and "seriously undermines the credibility" the paper.

      Oren, until recently Israel's ambassador to Washington, further accused the editors of the New York Times of running the piece deliberately on the last day of Passover in order to make it difficult for the Israeli government to respond.

      The New York Times declined i24NEWS request for comment on Oren's remarks, and referred to its published clarification."

      https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/142970-170418-consider-shutting-new-york-times-bureau-in-israel-deputy-minister-says

      Yeah, go ahead and shut it down. The truth is still out!

      (Remember this? "The explosion hidden inside the UN Apartheid report" - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/03/explosion-hidden-apartheid/#sthash.UOWh29J3.dpuf) No amount of jamming your ears, closing your eyes, all while sounding your "barbarous yawp" will change that. (h/t Walt Whitman)

    • "Barghouti's N.Y. Times Article Met by Israeli Ritual of Diversion and Denial

      Comparing article to terror attack and suggesting sanctions against the Times, as Michael Oren did, is more damaging to Israel’s image.

      ......After 24 hours of outrage and condemnation, an editor’s note conceded that further context was needed, pointing out that Barghouti had been convicted on “five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization.” News of the clarification spread like wildfire on social media. It was described in glowing terms as yet another historic victory of good over evil and of the Jewish people over its eternal enemies.

      It was another example of the time-tested Israeli ritual of accentuating the insignificant at the expense of the essence, the results of which are well known in advance. First you manufacture righteous indignation over a minor fault in an article or the problematic identity of its writer, then you assault the newspaper or media that publicized it and cast doubt on its motives, then you demand to know how this was even possible and who will pay the price. In this way, the Israeli public is absolved of the need to actually contend with the gist of the article or public utterance, in this case Barghouti’s claims that he was physically tortured, that almost a million Palestinians have been detained over the years, that their conviction rate in the Israeli military court system is absurdly high, whether it’s really wise to hold as many as 6,500 security prisoners in custody at one time and so on.

      The guiding principle of this perpetual war waged by Israel and its supporters against the so-called hostile press - to paraphrase a legendary John Cleese episode about a visit by German visitors to Fawlty Towers - is “Don’t mention the occupation!” After one spends so much energy on protestations and exclamations of how unthinkable, how outrageous and how dare they, there’s very little enthusiasm left to consider eternal control over another people or the malignant status quo that many Israelis view as the best of all possible worlds or how is it even possible that someone who is defined by former Israeli Ambassador and current deputy minister Michael Oren as a terrorist and a murderer on a par with Dylann Roof, who killed nine African American worshippers in a church in Charleston, is considered by many people around the world, including those at the New York Times, as an authentic leader whose words should be read and heard.

      In an interview with IDF Radio on Tuesday, Oren put the ingenious diversionary strategy on full display. He described Barghouti’s op-ed as nothing less than a “media terror attack.” To this he added a pinch of conspiracy theory with a dash of anti-Semitism by claiming that the Times purposely published Barghouti’s article on Passover, so that Israeli and Jewish leaders wouldn’t have time to react. Then he approvingly cited the wise words of his new oracle, Donald Trump, describing the publication of the article and its content as “fake news.” And for his grand finale, Oren intimated that the proper Zionist response would be to close down the Times’ Israel office, no less.

      In this way, anyone who wants to address Barghouti’s claims substantively, even if it’s to criticize them, is seen as collaborating with a terrorist and enabling terror. It’s the same system by which anti-occupation groups such as Breaking the Silence are tarred as traitorous, backstabbing informants so that no one dares consider the actual testimonies they present about the hardships of occupation and the immorality of forcing the IDF to police the West Bank. What’s hilarious, however, is that so many Israelis and Jews are convinced that articles such as the one written by Barghouti, which most readers probably view as yet another tedious polemic about an intractable Middle East conflict, somehow causes more harm to Israel’s image than a senior government official who compares a news article to a terror attack and who recommends closing down the offices of the most widely respected news organization in the world, a la Putin or Erdogan. 

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.784060

      "a la" Netanyahu or Trump... not so sure that Chemi Shalev has this correct, either:

      "... the offices of the most widely respected news organization in the world..."

      Thanks, gentlemen of MW.

  • Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's op-ed calling Israel 'moral and political failure' is buried in int'l edition of 'NYT'
    • Not only did the NYT bury this op-ed, but they also kowtowed to greater Israel, the hasbarists, and The Lobby et al:

      "New York Times Amends Marwan Barghouti's Op-ed Noting Murder, Terror Conviction

      Initial text of the opinion piece referred to the initiator of the hunger strike as a 'Palestinian leader and parliamentarian'

      ... In the editorial published on Sunday, Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for terrorism and murder in Israel, explained why he and hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike. Barghouti accused Israel of "mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners."

      In the piece, Barghouti relayed a number of personal stories about his run-ins with Israeli authorities and the subsequent imprisonments he has endured. He failed to mention the crimes for which he was convicted, claiming that "an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers."

      Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, in an op-ed in the Times of Israel, called the initial omission of Barghouti's conviction "an intentional deception." Lapid detailed the terror activities that led to Barghouti's sentence and accused him of "inventing stories about those who imprison him" while blaming the New York Times because it "didn’t even bother to explain to its readers that the author is a convicted murderer of the worst kind."

      Speaking to Army Radio on Monday, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren called the opinion piece a "journalistic terror attack." The former ambassador to the U.S. said that Israel should consider action against the New York Times for publishing something "full of lies," especially if it turns out the paper helped Barghouti smuggle his article out of prison.

      Around 1,200 security prisoners have joined the strike as of Monday. The number is expected to swell to over 2,000 participants.

      The prisoners are demanding improved conditions which deal with phone privileges and visitation policies, as well as the revoking of detention without trial and solitary confinement.

      Tens on thousands of Palestinians throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip marched in support of the striking prisoners on Monday, which also marks Palestinian Prisoners Day.

      Barghouti has since been moved to solitary confinement. The Israel Prison Service said it was trying to break up the hunger strike."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.783950

      Shame, shame, shame.

  • Israel will celebrate 50th anniversary of '67 war in -- an illegal settlement!
    • Look who Regev has lined up for this 'celebration' of illegality, theft, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine:

      "Michael Steinhardt, Birthright Founder and 'Wall Street's Greatest Trader', to Light Torch on Israel's Independence Day

      Steinhardt will be joined by Rabbi Marvin Hier and prominent Israelis in annual ceremony that marks the end of Memorial Day and the start of Independence Day ...

      Steinhardt lives in New York and is active in both business and the world of Jewish philanthropy, allegedly even introducing mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Together with Charles Bronfman he founded the Taglit-Birthright project, which is the official reason he was given the honor. He and his family also runs the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.

      A report in Bloomberg from 2014 described him as "Wall Street's greatest trader," with Forbes valuing at $1.05 billion, as of February 2017.

      According to different reports, Steinhardt also sent former President Bill Clinton a letter calling to pardon Marc Rich, who he called "my friend...who has been punished enough." Clinton famously pardoned Rich hours before leaving office."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.784258

      (Hier was the rabbi @ Trump's inauguration and is also the dean and founder of Simon Wisenthal Center...)

      Big US- monied folks from the 'diaspora' invited to celebrate their complicity in the debacle that their organizations have mightily aided and abetted by selling junk.

      Then there's this:

      "Israeli Settler Convicted of Inciting Violence Online Against Palestinians, Soldiers

      ... A right-wing activist from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar was convicted on Wednesday with inciting violence against Israeli soldiers and Palestinians on Facebook and an online forum.

      After Israeli security forces demolished illegally built structures in the settlement, Eliraz Fein wrote: “I’m in favor of throwing stones (at Jews; obviously, there’s no question about Arabs) in certain situations,” adding, “even if the stone leads to the death of a soldier!!!”

      The prosecution said that mere hours after Fein wrote the post, stones were thrown at Israeli soldiers in Yizhar. In another post, she wrote: “I’ll back stone-throwers against any outside body, even in cases where they weren’t necessary."

      Fein, who admitted to all the charges against her, was also charged with calling for violence against Arabs on Facebook.

      After Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, was murdered by Jews in July 2014, Fein wrote, “I’m proud and happy to discover that there are Jews who don't stand on the sidelines and remain silent!! I send a blessing to be strong and courageous to the detainees (who I don’t even know) suspected of the murder of the Arab in the Abu Khdeir family."

      After the arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in June 2015, Fein wrote, “Good morning! This time it was a church, out of consideration for Muslim sensibilities...”

      Following the Dawabsheh murders in the West Bank village of Duma in July 2015, she wrote, “Terrify them, make them understand that Jewish blood isn’t free for the taking ... I see this as a correct and appropriate deed.” 

      Charges were filed against her in August 2016. In his ruling on Wednesday, Judge Hagai Tarsi of the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court noted that she had admitted to the crimes.

      Her lawyer, Gil Eshet, commented that Fein had taken responsibility for "a number of statements that were mistaken," adding that she is a "young woman who has never been involved in any act of violence against anybody, nor done anything for others to carry out any violence whatsoever.""

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.784219

      Anyone want to guess whether her 'conviction' was because she sanctified throwing stones at the IOF??? Wonder what her 'sentence' will be.

      Anyone want a sick bucket?

  • Palestinian held in killing of Israeli soldier had seen two best friends killed in occupation
    • Not much to celebrate, but these stories brought a smile :

      "Gaza children rejoice at prolific eagle ray fishing"

      I loved this one:

      "Gaza’s only fisherwoman navigates dangerous waters"

      Huge props to UNICEF and the EU for the desalination plant. Also props to the EU for its actions in Area C.

      Thanks so much for all that you do, Kate. I'll save commenting on the rest as it would be peppered with rage and very 'colorful' language.

  • Trump makes war, and everyone swoons
    • Gideon Levy:

      "America the Liberator ...

      A star is born: U.S. President Donald Trump. One missile strike and the man the whole world feared became its great hope overnight. Yesterday’s Satan is tomorrow’s God. From German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel’s own Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, and of course, Yair Lapid, they’re all cheering him. Savior of children, humanist, man of conscience, modern-day Janusz Korczak, who, shocked and saddened by the dead Syrian children, bombarded their killers.

      If his Tomahawks saved even one Syrian child, dayenu, it would be enough. That’s already more than his predecessor did. But we must spoil the party, it’s premature and over the top. The Nobel Peace Prize can wait.

      Now is the time to recall what happens when America comes to the aid of other nations with military action: It always ends badly, usually in a Holocaust. The last time the United States saved the world through war was in 1945. That was the last just war. Since then, the United States, the greatest perpetrator of massacres since World War II, has caused the deaths of millions in wars meant to rescue and liberate them.

      When America liberates, it sows death and destruction and causes endless sorrow. Ask the Iraqis. What wouldn’t they give for America not to have come to their aid and free them from their tyrant. Their country would have been a safer and much less bloody place had the leader of the free world not decided to liberate it in a war that was dubbed, naturally, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Ever since, Iraq has known very little freedom and much more bloodshed. The U.S. occupation of Iraq was also the catalyst for the Arab world’s implosion. The poison gas of Syrian President Bashar Assad is an indirect by-product. The people of Libya will never forget their rescuer. The U.S. intervention in their civil war led to the removal of their dictator but also to the destruction of their state, which persists to this very day.

      America’s wars of liberation resemble, if not in their death tolls, those of Israel, its ally. In 1967, Israel liberated the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and ever since the inhabitants of these territories have been dumbstruck with appreciation for and gratitude to the liberator of Jerusalem and Palestine. They have never known such freedom. Before that, Israel liberated Jaffa and Haifa, Ramle and Lod, in a war that, naturally, became known as the War of Liberation. The United States liberated South Korea — two and a half million dead — and South Vietnam — four million dead. Together, six and a half million people killed in vain. And behind each such war against communism stood lofty causes and mass bloodshed.

      So it might be better were America not to come to the aid of Syria’s children, especially if the finger on the trigger is Trump’s. On the other hand, they must be rescued, whatever it takes, and the United States is the only one that can do the job. After years of vicious warfare in Syria, there is no magic cure. Some analysts suspect, in light of the results, that Trump’s Tomahawk missiles were coordinated in advance with Russia and, through Russia, with Syria, and that the strikes were in fact meant only to serve the president’s domestic political goals.

      But this could be a blessing in disguise. If the president sees the world cheering him for the first time in his first 100 days in office, perhaps he will persist. Perhaps this acclaim will lead to a new era, an era of action after his predecessor’s beautiful, high-flown rhetoric.

      Trump must turn first to Jerusalem, whose institutions do not need to be bombarded in order to exert pressure on the government. The president can achieve in Jerusalem what no missile could achieve in Syria. A reminder: The only time the United States was a partner to genuine success in uprooting an evil regime was in the face of apartheid South Africa. America did not fire a single missile. A diplomatic Tomahawk on Jerusalem would bring Trump more gratitude than did the 59 missiles of his nighttime strike on Khan Sheikhoun. Perhaps it would also save even more children."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.782389

    • Great cartoon and summary, Carlos.

      "Swoon" is exactly what all the pundits were doing. They still appear to be in full- blown salivating raptures.

  • IfNotNow is promising, but not without its problems. Here’s how it can improve.
    • Nothing about Israel is "outside USA borders"! Israel doesn't even have "borders"! It continues to steal Palestine from the Palestinians along with their resources and their lives. Many Israelis (including illegal settlers) are US citizens. US taxpayers fund the violent apartheid state where Israeli Jews have universal healthcare, nuclear weapons, an endless stockpile of US supplied weapons, and the ultimate coup of the grotesque and hypocritical US veto. Every true "libertarian" should be outraged by the intervention of the US on Israel's behalf and as the US' biggest recipient of welfare.

      d'oh.

  • Israel, naked under the microscope in Cork
    • Bless you for giving us all more than a glimpse of this conference.

      I so appreciate this wondrous article, Tom!

      Nice to know that the Zionists were true to form, too:

      "Prof. Geoffrey Alderman , of the University of Buckingham was welcomed to the floor to argue the Zionist case. Professor Alan Johnson, of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, was also scheduled to speak at the Conference, but he backed out in protest at the inclusion of Richard Falk." - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/israel-naked-microscope/#sthash.pyQu4Hyu.dpuf

      I'd be honored to share space with Richard Falk~ anytime, anywhere. Johnson is a coward.

      Nice to know that Barkan was able to make it to this conference and that Collier was doing his best worst.

      The entire event sounds as though it was energizing in the best possible way.

      Thanks again, and good on Cork!

  • Trump's new war has neocons, Clintonites, and Israelis applauding, but left and realists dismayed
    • "Syrian villagers near U.S. missile strike know the sound of battle — but never as horrific as this

      "It was less than a couple of hours before dawn when Wael Zefa heard a “horrific amount of noise” rumbling through the east Syrian village of Shayrat.

      During the six years of civil war ravaging Syria, Zefa has become used to the sounds of mortar shells and rockets. But nothing like this.

      “What we heard this morning … their sound was very, very loud,” he said.

      Explosions ripped through the morning. The ground shook. Windows broke. Walls cracked.

      What Zefa and his neighbors experienced was the pounding of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by the U.S. to clobber the Syrian government’s Shayrat airfield, less than a mile from the village.

      A total of 60 missiles were fired at 4:40 a.m. Friday in response to an apparent chemical weapons attack this week...

      Zefa’s house was shaken so severely that a chunk of the roof broke off and smashed to the ground.

      “There was no way we could stay at home,” Zefa, 38, said by phone from where he and his family have sought shelter.

      Zefa quickly sent his wife and four children to a nearby bunker before running to his roof for a better view. What was unfolding, he would learn later, was a new front in America’s involvement in Syria: After thousands of airstrikes directed at Islamist militants, U.S. missiles for the first time were directly targeting Syrian military assets. ...

      But Syrian state news operator SANA said six soldiers had been killed in the attack. It later reported nine civilians had also been killed, including four children, in the surrounding villages, though there was no way of independently verifying the reports. ...

      Mohammad Zefa, a 41-year-old oil ministry employee, had run outside with his family during the strike. When one of the missiles hit an ammunition warehouse, he said, “you stopped knowing where the explosions were coming from.”

      “We ran back inside the house. After, we saw a rocket had fallen thirty yards from our house,” he said in a telephone interview. “All the windows broke, here and at my neighbor’s house. Some older houses even had cracked walls.” ...

      For residents of Shayrat and other villages, the airbase was instrumental in keeping at bay Islamic State militants hiding in the eastern desert of Homs.

      Now with the base so severely damaged, Mohammad Zefa, a distant cousin of Wael Zefa, expected Islamic State to try to advance to the village.

      “Women and children have already started to leave Shayrat to go to Homs city. We’re not afraid of airstrikes. Our fear is the attack from the east,” he said.

      For him, Friday’s attack was “proof that the U.S. helps Daesh.” He referred to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

      When Islamic State first overran the city of Palmyra in 2015, it celebrated its takeover with a theatrical slaughtering of government soldiers. Mohammad Zefa insisted he would fight before suffering the same fate.

      “Here we are loyalists to the state to the highest degree,” he said. “It’s an existential battle for us.”"

      http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-attack-people-20170407-story.html

    • "Russia sends warship to battlegroup off Syrian coast

      Naval move will overshadow US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow

      A warship armed with cruise missiles has joined the Russian battlegroup off the coast of Syria as part of Moscow’s response to US cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase of Shayrat.

      Russia’s angry declarations, a world away from hopes of a rapprochement voiced in Washington and Moscow after Donald Trump’s election, have overshadowed US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s planned visit to Moscow. His anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin will now be dedicated to reaching an understanding on Syria and addressing concerns over Russia’s suspension of an agreement designed to keep the world’s largest nuclear powers from accidentally clashing there. ...

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/russia-sends-warship-syrian-coast

      (Lavrov says Assad did NOT use chemical weapons as reported on MSNBC).

    • This is repugnant and illegal bombardment, imho. There was no investigation nor proof that Assad's folks did this.

      "US threatens more military action against Syria after cruise missile strikes

      After the US missile attacks on a Syrian airbase, Russia, Syria and Libya say America's intervention violated international law.

      ...British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the chamber that President Assad had shown the world he is "capable of redefining horror".

      He called the US strike a "proportionate response to unspeakable acts".

      In an unusually personal reply, the Russian representative accused Ambassador Rycroft of using "unprofessional" arguments and of lying.

      He also requested a second chance to speak at the end of the meeting, asking Ambassador Haley to refrain from insulting his country.

      The Russian representative, along with the Syrian and Libyan ambassadors, argued that America's unilateral military intervention defied the UN charter and violated international law.

      The US, they said, had not acted in self-defence and had not sought the agreement of the Security Council, the UN body tasked with maintaining global peace and stability. ..."

      http://news.sky.com/story/us-threatens-more-military-action-against-syria-after-cruise-missile-strikes-10829063

      Trump's bombardment by 59 missiles also killed babies. His bombardment of Mosul also killed babies. Yemeni babies are dying by bombardment and/or starvation every single day. The MSM selectively ignores the truth and merely parrots the neocon line~ they were all breathless with apparent satisfaction in the coverage I could bear to watch. btw, Clinton herself is still going after Assad.

      "Hillary Clinton called on the United States to take out Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's Air Force on Thursday, days after a chemical attack killed more than 70 people in the war-torn country.

      "Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days," Clinton said in a speech at the "Women in the World" summit in New York City. "And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them."

      The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee against Trump in 2016 reiterated her support for a no-fly zone over Syria and more direct support for protesters...."

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-syria-assad/

  • Israeli Jews maintain the occupation because it is in their interest -- Noam Sheizaf
    • "Israel sunk in 'incremental tyranny', say former Shin Bet chiefs

      Ami Ayalon and Carmi Gillon speak out ahead of 50th anniversary of occupation of Palestinian territories

      Two former heads of Israel’s powerful domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet, have made an impassioned and powerful intervention ahead of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in June.

      One of the pair warned that the country’s political system was sunk in the process of “incremental tyranny”.

      Ami Ayalon and Carmi Gillon were speaking ahead of a public meeting at a Jerusalem gallery which is threatened with closure for hosting a meeting organised by the military whistleblowing group Breaking the Silence, one of the main targets of the rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

      During his recent visit to the UK, Netanyahu also asked Theresa May to cut UK government funding to the group – a request that baffled diplomats as no direct UK funding exists.

      “Incremental tyranny [is a process] which means you live in a democracy and suddenly you understand it is not a democracy any more,” Ayalon told a small group of journalists, including the Guardian, ahead of the event. “This is what we are seeing in Israel. The tragedy of this process is that you only know it when it is too late.”

      Ayalon cited recent moves by ministers in the Netanyahu government to change the laws to hit groups such as Breaking the Silence by banning them from events in schools and targeting their funding, while also taking aim at the country’s supreme court and independence of the media.

      Issues of freedom of speech and expression have become one of the key faultlines in Israeli society – in everything from the arts to journalism – under the most rightwing government in the country’s history.

      The Babur gallery is under threat of closure after being censured by the country’s culture minister, Miri Regev, for holding an event with Breaking the Silence on publicly owned property – a group which Regev claimed “hurts Israel’s image”.

      Gillon was equally bleak in his analysis of Israel’s trajectory, saying that the country was being “driven by this occupation towards disaster”. ...

      The decision by Ayalon and Gillon to make such a public show of support, was seen as a big coup for the human rights group, which has been facing increasing official efforts to limit its activities.

      The two also criticised the unwillingness of the Israeli media and senior opposition politicians to speak up for freedom of speech, in particular concerning the moves against groups like Breaking the Silence.

      “They do what they do because they understand it is their moral duty. They are soldiers who serve and like every gatekeeper they hold up a mirror image of the Israeli reality in the occupied territories. What they see is very ugly. So we hate the mirror and blame the mirror and don’t hear what they say,” said Ayalon.

      They added that they were also deeply concerned about a growing apathy in Israeli society where, after so many years, an occupation justified by the Israeli courts and legal system as temporary had come to defy the meaning of the word.

      Ayalon suggested an Orwellian dynamic that supported Israelis in a state of fear for political ends. “What is necessary to pave the way for this concept of incremental tyranny is an ongoing war. It is like 1984. There is always an enemy.”

      Just days ago Regev, a controversial rightwing minister, said that Breaking the Silence and others who supported it “had no place in Israel”.

      The two former Shin Bet chiefs were speaking as it was revealed that one of Israel’s main official ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the six-day war would controversially take place in the settlement of Gush Etzion in the West Bank.

      The two ministries will spend a total of 10m shekels ($2.74m) on events marking the anniversary of what the education minister, Naftali Bennett, and Regev described as “Israel’s glorious victory in the six-day war, and the liberation of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley”."

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/former-israeli-security-chiefs-warn-of-tyranny

      They're dreadfully late to the table. Perhaps some Israeli Jewish (those uninterested as well as those that are ultra- Zionist) folks and those other Zionists all over the world who are complicit in their unexcusable violations of international law will pay attention~ finally. The "tyranny" has been always been directed at the Occupied Palestinians of Palestine. Few Israelis in power spoke up, and most are still silent while basking in their comfort.

    • Hell's bells, "Israeli Jews" celebrate the Occupation:

      "Israel to Commemorate Six Day War in Event at West Bank Settlement of Gush Etzion

      Education chief and culture minister say 'liberation of the West Bank' should be celebrated with the 'respect it deserves,' drawing fierce criticism from the opposition

       Israel's official ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War will take place in the settlement of Gush Etzion in the West Bank, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Culture Minister Miri Regev announced on Wednesday, drawing sharp criticism from the opposition. 

      The ceremony will begin on the anniversary of the return to Kfar Etzion, a kibbutz that was destroyed during the War of Independence and re-established after the 1967 conflict.

      The two ministries will spend a total of 10 million shekels ($2.74 million) on events marking the anniversary of what Bennett and Regev called, “Israel’s glorious victory in the Six Day War and the liberation of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley,” that, according to Bennett, should be celebrated with “the respect it deserves.”

      “A nation that is concerned for its future must always look back at its past and know how to continue its dynasty,” Bennett said.

      Brushing off the disputed nature of the West Bank, Regev said, “Regardless of the conflict over these parts of the country, every Israeli should know and cherish these places as the cradle of the Jewish people and its culture.”

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the ministers’ plans. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.781878

  • 'New sheriff in town' Nikki Haley is gonna kick anyone who objects to latest Jewish settlement
    • Thanks for linking Prashad's Alternet article, Sibiriak. I especially appreciated this:

      "With Turkey now drifting toward the Russian-Iranian narrative and Jordan dragged into chaos by the refugee crisis, easy borders to resupply the rebels are no longer available. The defeat of the armed opposition, including the al-Qaeda proxies and others, in Aleppo was the greatest blow.

      For the Syrian government at this time to use chemical weapons in such a public way would not only be foolhardy, it would invite a U.S. attack. It seems only an utterly arrogant and blind leadership in Damascus would have committed such a crime. But the leadership in Damascus has shown it is crafty, using openings of all kinds to ensure its survival. This is not to say it would not have necessarily done such an attack. Eagerness to end the war before it can impose a political settlement on the rebels could have led to the use of such weapons. But this is not considered likely.

      Over half a million Syrians are dead. Half the population is displaced. There is sadness across Syria, from one side of the firing line to another. Aerial bombardment by the Americans, the Russians, the Syrians and others continues to devastate Syria and Iraq. The Americans recently admitted to a major atrocity in Mosul, where 200 civilians have been killed. That attack did not seize the Security Council or bring forth fulminations from the Western press. Hypocrisy is central to the morals at the Security Council. This does not mean one should not be horrified by what has happened at Khan Shaykhun.

      But more than anything, the international community must urge a thorough investigation of these events before rushing either to a forensic judgment about what happened and to a response—particularly a military response—in retaliation. Sober heads need to prevail. War is rarely the answer. Particularly when we don’t as yet know the question."

      Sad, though not surprising, that he never mentioned Israeli 'intervention', though.

      The hypocrisy of the West and its allies is legendary by now. Neither the US nor Israel takes responsibility for any of their violence, calls/action for 'regime change', or support for the "rebels".

      Keith~ thanks for the reminder. Pilger has been indefatigable in his pursuit of the truth and in telling it. The US/KSA/GB killing of Yemenis is beyond abhorrent. It's criminal.

    • Who could have predicted that she would turn out to be a Samantha Power clone?

      I did.

      Look at the former US ambassadors to the UN and their collective miserable and unforgiveably & horribly wrong stance, pronouncements, and vetoes while always being the protector and enabler of all things Israel!

      Remember this as well:

      "Israel[edit]

      Haley has been described by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham as a "strong supporter of the State of Israel".[70] As Governor of South Carolina, she signed into law a bill to stop efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.[70] This legislation was the first of its kind on a statewide level.[70] Haley also stated that "nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel".[71]"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

      Thanks for this, Jonathan. Perhaps Haley can use her heels to kick herself to the proverbial curb, because 'a change gonna come'.

  • A show of weakness: The 'Israeli Peace Movement' marches in Jerusalem
    • Agreed, oldgeezer. This was a most interesting speech:

      "'The occupation will collapse. And then we'll build a moral society here'

      On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinians and Jews gathered in Jerusalem for an anti-occupation protest marking 50 years since the occupation began. Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak spoke to demonstrators about the importance of solidarity and resistance to the violence and racism of the Israeli government. Below is a transcript of the speech, translated from Hebrew."

      https://972mag.com/the-occupation-will-collapse-and-then-well-build-a-moral-society-here/126361/

      Now for Yitzhak Laor:

      "After 50 Springs

      Once more it’s the “holiday of freedom,” with its hollow words. And behind them, like a tortoise’s shell, more hollow words: “A closure was imposed on the West Bank.” A huge prison, behind barbwire fences and gates. The Jews, beneath the even more hollow words “for taking us out of bondage,” open the door for Elijah the Prophet and there, outside, in the dark, there are millions of faceless people with no rights, subject to our troops, male and female; little pharaohs progress. At night they are permitted to burst into the homes of the natives and steal not only the firstborn sons; they are even proud, these heroic soldiers, when a woman bearing scissors is executed. “Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not.” Including teenagers.

      Then there is Holocaust Remembrance Day, another desecration of words. But we are not allowed to compare – not the fences, not the erasure of Arabic from the bus stops, and not the state racism. We will hear about the digging of tunnels out of the Warsaw Ghetto until the End of Days, but the tunnels of the Gaza ghetto under Rafah, to bring food and medicine, we consider a threat. And the tunnels under the fences toward the kibbutzim in the so-called “Gaza envelope” communities – more hollow words – we will portray as annihilation. And it will all be called terror.

      The destruction of the Jews in Europe became Zionist needles, with the uprooting of Sephardic Jewry threaded into the eye of such a needle: “Never say this is my final road.”

      Then will come Memorial Day for the Fallen of Israel’s wars, whose fallen were not sufficient so they added all those who were killed since the end of the 19th century – the more the shallower – and then added to the wars of choice and no-choice the victims of terror.

      And we gather to count and recount, and the hollow language is gradually emptied, from this Independence Day until the next one. Whose independence? From whom? Zaka will make sure to separate a torn Jewish limb from a shattered gentile organ.

      So they’ll say to us: There are days in which we have the right to commune with our dead – actually, every day of the year – and we mustn’t compare: not the little children’s fear; not the bereaved mothers; not the dead bodies at Abu Kabir; not the destruction of mourning tents; or the thousands of prisoners.

      For 50 years, children who were 10 when the occupation arrived have been calling out in fear. Now they are 60 and their sons and daughters remember nothing except the tens of thousands of Hebrew-speaking storm troopers who vote increasingly rightward with the help of the hollow language, break into homes and pull sleeping people out of their beds – because they’re “defending their home.” And their grandchildren also remember nothing except the lawlessness and the heartlessness. God is a soldier at a checkpoint; the indifferent laugh of a girl sergeant; a settler who cuts down a vineyard and prostrates himself before the idol of the Land of Israel; the size of the colonel who kills a teen and flees: “Thy beauty, O Israel, upon thy high places.”

      Yes, it’s spring in the land of the Bible, a quiz for the students of Zionist yeshivot and ceremonial flybys that at night scare the children of Gaza and Lebanon.

      The Israel Prize will be awarded with proper awe by that tiny bourgeoisie that needs state ceremonies. And then will come Lag Ba’omer and Jerusalem Day, with the centurions in their spiked shoes racing through the streets of the occupied city. “Thou God to whom vengeance belongeth.”

      I want to remember my teacher, Yehudit Itunin, of blessed memory. They whispered about her that she was “a Revisionist.” One morning in November 1956, when she told us in class 2A about the Egyptian destroyer Ibrahim el-Awal surrendering in Haifa Bay overnight and Moishele applauded, the teacher chastised him by saying, “In Cairo this morning, there are mothers crying.” (This was just after the fedayeen: in the orchard of the moshav near us, laborers had been murdered.) ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.781264

      He could have reached beyond 50 years ago... He wrote this in 2011:

      "...Liberation from Zionism is not a dirty word. In any case, what lies behind Zionism nowadays are interests related to water, real estate, strategic relations with the U.S. and a huge army hungering to justify its existence.

      If our fathers erred in their use of myth, we should part from it, for the sake of our sons and daughters. We don't have to leave this place or give up our lives. But for their sake, we have to get rid of Zionism."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/get-rid-of-zionism-1.365648

  • The Jewish revolution
    • You're so funny that you are ludicrous, Steve.

      I'll just repost your drivel for posterity:

      "JVP should fire Rebecca Vilkomerson too. After all, someone has gotta take responsibility for the disastrous decision of inviting Rasmea Odeh. They spent all that money at that expensive hotel and paid honoraria, travel expenses and accommodations for the speakers and then they invite Odeh who couldn’t be more of a PR disaster for JVP. And what do they have to show for it? Nothing. I apologize for sounding like a capitalist and looking at the bottom line". - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/the-jewish-revolution/#sthash.vgpfLi5F.dpuf

      The problem is that you cannot listen, care, or give a dammmmmmmm about anyone other than those that 'believe' like you do. You can be and sound "like a capitalist" and still be a human.

      Or, you can choose to be an ardent and proud and terribly misguided Chicagoan Zionist and have all of your supposed human senses severed and replaced by your horrific ideology. Your "bottom line" is not my bottom line, thanks be to other caring people and humanists.

      Giggle away. Grover.

  • Israeli police kill 17-year-old suspect rather than arrest him
    • How I wish that every single person in the world would take a walk in every single Palestinian's shoes for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a year, or a lifetime.

      I cannot comprehend the lack of concern and actions in support of and for Palestine and Palestinans. There is no excuse for not being aware anymore with the access one has to your compilations, Kate.

      There is also no excuse that Debra Nussbaum Cohen (a U.S. correspondent for Haaretz and more...) who wrote this piece and will perhaps 'get there' one day. As one of the privileged in the US, she has a long row to hoe. Perhaps there is hope for her and her offspring:

      "I've Been Reading About the Occupation for Years. Seeing It for Myself Was a Punch in the Gut

      Reading about the West Bank is no substitute for seeing it, from the obnoxious privilege of Silwan's Jewish settlers to Palestinians who dodge questions about terror, to a small village ringed by settlements."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.781093

      I must remark on the remarkable Jenny Higgins:

      "Teaching circus skills in Gaza: dynamic trio let an idea take flight

      A love of flying through the air, clowning and juggling is taken to new levels

      ....

      Sailing from Sweden

      Dubliner Higgins did not grow up in a circus. She was a mature student in UCC, and seeking friends outside the immediate university social circle. “I’d done all that drinking thing when I was younger,” as she puts it.

      She signed up with a circus school in Cork and tried aerial, which includes trapeze work and silks; where performers wrap themselves in fabric and tumble down as it unfolds. “It’s one of the most fun ways you can get fit,” says Higgins.

      She studied politics and did a masters in human rights, going on to do an internship at the United Nations in Geneva, worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs in their Middle East and North Africa unit, and then at Trócaire. All the while, she continued her circus training, including teaching aerial and acrobatic work at Taking Flight in the Chocolate Factory.

      It was when she went to Gaza on a work trip, that she began to think about giving circus classes there. She kept in contact with a fixer she had met there, Skyping in an attempt to learn some Arabic. “One evening, he sent me picture of people doing circus in Gaza.”

      In March 2016, Higgins went to Shane Holohan, who runs Taking Flight, and asked if he would be interested in supporting an application to Culture Ireland for funding to take circus training to Gaza. “I thought we had a really unique opportunity, and work said they would help with permits,” she says. (It is usually difficult for private foreign citizens to enter Gaza.) Holohan agreed, and the application for travel funding from Culture Ireland was put in by Taking Flight, with Higgins as project manager.

      Before funding was granted, Higgins began to think about what she wanted to do in Gaza. While she knew aerial work, she wanted to offer a variety of skills. A friend told her about Henrik Gard, who does acrobatics, juggling and clowning. ...

      They decided to offer a week of training, create a show with the people they had trained, and put it on in Gaza. “I thought it would be great if we could bring a photographer to document it,” Higgins says. Through word of mouth, she found Marquez Courtney.

      Their proposed project, Taking Flight in Gaza, was successful in receiving funding from Culture Ireland. Before departing, they did a fundraiser so that they could bring out equipment with them, raising €2,500. “We bought juggling balls, clown noses, clubs, a mini clown bike.” In total, the trio brought over 62 kilos of equipment with them into Gaza, sharing the load.

      Higgins also asked the circus community for donations, and Fidget Feet Aerial Dance gave them a trapeze, which Marquez Courtney put in her suitcase. Between the mini clown bike and the trapeze, airport security must have been puzzled that day by the nature of the luggage the trio were carrying.

      They were in Gaza for a week, and trained 15 people, all men. Higgins taught aerial, and Gard taught acrobatics, handstands, juggling, and break-dancing. All the training was via Arabic, with a translator. The final two days were spent choreographing and rehearsing for a show.
      The fixer Higgins previously met in Gaza put the word out in the community, and 400 people came to the free 90-minute show.

      Henrik Gard, circus performer with his boat at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club & Marina, in Dublin, he took part in a circus school in Gaza last autumn.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

      “We had to turn people away,” Higgins says. “There were air strikes 10 kilometres away on the night when the show was going on. It took people’s minds off it, hopefully. It’s such a simple but important thing; to be able to make people laugh.”

      They filmed the show, and Marquez Courtney also documented the week’s training in photography. When they came back to Ireland, they left all the equipment behind. Since then, the Gaza performers have been hired and paid to do the same show three times. Higgins now hopes to return and do the same training with a group of women.

      “I promised them I would go back,” she says."

      See the photos and read more @ http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/teaching-circus-skills-in-gaza-dynamic-trio-let-an-idea-take-flight-1.3010602

      Please read this excellent news from Higgens' fair city of Dublin:

      "Dublin's City Hall to Reportedly Fly Palestinian Flag in Gesture of Solidarity

      Dublin will fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall for a month starting May 15 ... , the Irish Independent reported on Monday. 

      The motion, reportedly passed by Dublin's City Council on Thursday, was proposed by People Before Profit Councilor John Lyons.

      "If the flag was to cause a bit of a debate amongst some people who are unsure of it flying over City Hall I think that's a welcome development," Lyons was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent.

      "I think the gesture itself is a symbolic one, the flying of the flag. I think more and more people are of the opinion that the very state of Israel and how it's behaving in an extreme manner is actually destabilizing its cause and argument.

      "I think it's opening more people's eyes just to the actual reality of the daily life of Palestinians living under occupation which is a brutal life really," he said.

      Lyon's motion said that the flag will fly "as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights and with the over 7 million displaced Palestinians denied the right of return to their homeland."

      Last month Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Zeev Boker, cabled a warning to Jerusalem that the Irish government was soon likely to recognize Palestine as a state.

      An official noted that Boker proposed working now to block the move, both by asking the new U.S. administration to pressure Ireland to avoid recognizing Palestine and by having Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu call his Irish counterpart Enda Kenny to discuss the issue.

      In December 2014, the Irish parliament passed a declarative resolution calling on the government to recognize Palestine. A few weeks afterward Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan said Dublin was considering it. Ireland is considered one of the leading critics in Europe of Israel’s policies in the territories. Nevertheless, two years have passed and Ireland hasn’t taken this step.

      In June 2016 Irish MP Darragh O’Brien submitted a resolution calling on Dublin to expedite the recognition of Palestine. Recently O’Brien has intensified his actions in the Irish media and in parliament to bring the resolution to a vote."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.781107

      Many thanks, as always.

  • With white nationalism on the rise in the US, JCC bomb threats stoked fear and solidarity
    • I thought Israel was the bestest wrt 'intelligence'...

      How come they didn't know about him? Did they know and stay mum?

      What about his Mama and Papa? Come on now, seriously? He was supposedly homeschooled!!!

      "JCC Bomb Hoaxer’s Mom Goes Public, Fearing Son’s Extradition to U.S. ...

      Weeping and emotional at times, the mother of the 18-year-old said her son was “not a criminal,” because he “didn’t know what he was doing” when he made the threats.

      “Forgive me, but he has a tumor in his brain!” she said, breaking down during the interview.

      “He’s autistic! This isn’t something he could control! He doesn’t think right – he has a problem with logic. He needs medical care. He’s in very, very bad shape.”

      The interview with the mother filled in details about the young man that were previously not made public – notably that the suspect had been diagnosed with autism from a young age and a tumor was first detected five years ago.

      When he was arrested, his lawyer, Galit Bash, referred only to a “medical problem” that she said affected his “ability to understand right from wrong.”

      The family’s concerns about extradition are justified. A request by U.S. authorities that he face criminal charges in the United States is highly likely, according to Eugene R. Fidell, Yale University lecturer and veteran attorney. “I think the odds are very high,” Fidell told Haaretz.

      “This is a serious matter that has been very disturbing to the Jewish community. Happily, no one was injured because it was fakery, but this is something the government can’t overlook. It’s not something that can be disregarded,” he said.  

      The threats in such a high number of locations spread fear throughout the American Jewish community, and triggered political controversy when they were presumed to be a sign of a new wave of anti-Semitism, triggered by the campaign and election of President Donald Trump.

      Fidell said the young man’s autism was not likely to fall into the legal categories of insanity at the time he allegedly committed the crimes. And since he was capable of allegedly making the threats and operating the complex technology needed to mask his identity, it is also unlikely he will be determined incapable of participating in his own defense.

      While his medical issues – both the autism and brain tumor – would likely be presented to U.S. law authorities, and the judge and jury in a bid for leniency, Fidell expressed doubt whether they would deter the United States from seeking extradition.

      The accused’s mother, whose face was hidden during the television interview, said she had been unaware what her son was doing on his computer until the police knocked on their door to arrest him. She said the family had actually discussed the bomb threats in the United States. Furthermore, when she mentioned she had a friend back in the United States with a child in a threatened JCC, she said her son worried about the child as she did.

      “I was in shock,” she said. “I wish I had known, and I could have prevented it.” Later, she repeated herself: “I was shocked. I’m still shocked. It makes no sense, this is a kid who loved Judaism.”

      The mother related the story of her boy – an only child, born in the United States to her and her Israeli husband when she was 40. She said he was always different – at a year old he was unable to speak but could easily put together complicated puzzles. At 5, she said, he went to a Jewish school in the United States, but refused to sit still and “would get up and wander around,” and was sent home after a month.

      Shortly afterward, she said, they moved to Israel and tried once more to put him in first grade. Again he didn’t manage in school, even when she sat next to him in the classroom, and since then he was homeschooled. The mother displayed the maps her son drew obsessively throughout his childhood and the tickets he had collected from every bus or train ride he had ever taken.

      Five years ago, she said – showing her son’s brain scans as proof – a tumor was detected in his brain. She felt this explained his regression from merely reclusive and quirky behavior to the level where he was threatening Jewish institutions around the world and warning that “Jews are going to be slaughtered. There’s going to be a bloodbath. Their heads are going to be blown off,” in an electronically disguised voice.

      "I’m so sorry about what happened, but he’s not guilty – it was the tumor,” she said. “This could happen to anyone who has a tumor on their brain.”

      Pressed over how she had remained unaware about the bomb threats, the mother responded: “I didn’t know how many hours he was spending on the computer. I would return from work and go to sleep, and didn’t know how much time he was spending on the computer.”

      The young man’s father, who works in high-tech according to the television report, was also arrested on suspicion that he was aware of his son’s alleged crimes or assisted him in some way. He was released to house arrest last week under restricted conditions.  

      The father’s lawyer, Maayan Haimovich, contended in the television report that neither the mother nor father “had any idea what was going on,” particularly because their son would use his computer when they went to sleep. “They had no control over what their son did in the middle of the night,” she claimed. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.781025

      Now for Papa:

      "Father of JCC Bomb Hoax Suspect to U.S. Jewry: 'We Apologize From the Bottom of Our Hearts' ...

      The father of the American-Israeli teenager suspected of making more than 100 fake bomb threats against North American Jewish community centers and institutions expressed great regret for the threats on Monday.

      "To all of the Jews in the United States, I want to convey a clear message. We very much apologize from the bottom of our hearts," the father, told Channel 2 television. "We are good Jews. We don't hate you."

      "I was in total shock over what happened," said the father, who faced the investigation, which is conducted by police and the FBI, over whether he knew about his son's alleged threats at the time they were purportedly committed. The parents of the suspect, who live with him in the coastal southern city of Ashkelon, have denied knowing anything about the threats before the teen's arrest, but they did not deny the allegations against their son.

      "The world has to understand. This boy in different, he's unique" said the father in the television interview. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.781272

      "The world" does NOT have "to understand." You might want to apologize to all Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, law enforcement, etc. and NOT just to "US Jewry".

      None of this passes the proverbial smell test. He's been making threats for @ least 2 years and his parents (and Israeli 'intelligence') never knew a thing?

  • JDL member arrested for attacking Palestinian-American teacher ran anti-Muslim website
    • "Eyewitness: JDL Beat Up Peaceful Protestors Outside AIPAC and Tried to Burn a Quran

      They called us Nazis and Kapos, attacked us with their flagpoles, and ripped up a Quran, while AIPAC participants came out to cheer them on.

      On March 26 I stood with IfNotNow and around 1,000 other young Jews to #ResistAIPAC, .... We were there to voice dissent on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, now entering its 50th year, and AIPAC’s role in perpetuating it. During the protest, I was assigned to be a marshal, meaning that it was my job -- along with the other marshals -- to keep everyone at the protest safe.

      Our plan for the action was to shut down two of the major entrances to the convention center where the conference was held; the entrances were about block away from each other. The march was to split in two when we arrived at the primary entrance to the convention center on Mt Vernon Street, with the second half rounding the corner and blocking the second entrance, on L Street.

      As we approached the convention center, I noticed a small group, waving large yellow and black flags. As we passed, they shouted “Kapo” at us and swung their flags high, which featured a Star of David with a clenched fist in the center. I would later learn they were members of the Jewish Defense League - and organization that the SPLC considers a hate group and that the FBI labeled a terrorist organization in 2001 - but as I walked past them, I had no idea who they were. I wasn’t scared of them; if anything, I felt emboldened by their epithets - our program during the action would be proof enough of the fact that we were stewards of the Jewish moral tradition.

      I was assigned to the second entrance, so I followed the march past the JDL members, around the corner to L Street. Shortly after I arrived, an action coordinator with a concerned look on her face came up to me and asked me to lead a group of marshals to the primary entrance. Apparently something had happened there, and they wanted reinforcements.

      When I and about twenty other people arrived, there were more JDL members, about two dozen of them, waving the same flag, along with American and Israeli flags. Most were men who were large and burly. A number of police officers stood outside their cars on the sidelines, seemingly watching the situation but not intervening.

      The marshals I led walked past the flag-carrying men and into the crowd. We stood on the perimeter of the protest, between the IfNotNow protest the line of flag-bearing JDL members. A marshal who had been at this entrance the whole time came over to tell us what had happened. Before he could explain the situation to us, the JDL rushed us.

      At first I didn’t know what was happening. After a moment of confusion, though, it was clear that we were being attacked. The flags that the JDL members had been waving earlier were tilted down, the butt of the flagpoles pointed towards us. I - along with the other marshals - put my body in between the JDL and the rest of the crowd. We held them off, preventing them from rushing into the crowd for minutes; eventually, police officers came and pulled the JDL away from us.

      Somehow, miraculously, we prevented them from causing mass injuries to protesters in the IfNotNow crowd, though the JDL flagpoles later gave one of our members a concussion and sent a Palestinian professor to the hospital.

      Once the police pulled the JDL off of us, they continued to harass us. Though a police line separated us, one JDL member stood across from me and stared, yelling “You’re worse than a Nazi” and other epithets directly at me. I stood, holding hands with IfNotNow members on either side of me, and smiled. We sang traditional Jewish songs and prayers, as well as songs from current and historical Jewish social justice struggles. I was - and am - proud to be part of a movement that makes joyousness central to its mission. While the JDL expressed violence and rage, I and the rest of IfNotNow expressed ourselves through joy and love for each other, our Jewish heritage, and the moral community we are building that centers freedom and dignity over occupation and division.

      A few minutes later, men wearing AIPAC lanyards came out to join the JDL protesters. They joked with them and slapped them on the back. When the JDL chanted “Kapos” at us, the AIPAC members joined them. One JDL member tried to burn a Quran. When she couldn’t get it to light, she ripped the pages out and stomped them into the ground; her JDL comrades and the AIPAC participants cheered her on.

      AIPAC spokespeople have claimed that they condemn “the violence that occurred” outside the conference, but have ignored the fact that attendees of their own conference cheered it on, rather than attempt to stop it.

      This, of course, is unsurprising: AIPAC routinely advocates for violent policies that uphold the occupation. Though the attacks outside of the AIPAC conference were committed by the JDL, they were done in defense of AIPAC and were entirely consistent with AIPAC’s ideology: that Jews must defend Israel at all costs. Most often, this is structural, occurring via Israeli policies that incite conflict with Palestinians through the building of settlements and illegal land grabs. In this case, though, it was personal: through a group of Jews attempting to beat up others Jews for the public expression of their beliefs. The violence committed by the JDL outside the AIPAC conference was merely a small manifestation for us, as American Jews, of what the consequences of AIPAC’s actions are for Palestinians every day.

      I have a message to the JDL and AIPAC.

      To the members of the JDL: you thought your violence would intimidate us. Instead, it made us stronger.  Your violence only demonstrated the extent to which Jews will seek to attack and bully others for speaking their conscience about Israel and Palestine.

      And to AIPAC: your complicity and silence speaks just as loudly as the JDL’s violence. It is outrageous that you have refused to condemn the JDL’s violence on your doorstep.

      As the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories enters its 50th year, we must reject the JDL, AIPAC and all that they stand for. In place of a Judaism built upon and expressed through violence, hatred, and unchecked nationalism, we must reclaim and reimagine our Judaism to be one that stands for joy, dignity, and freedom for all people."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.781618

      One has to wonder why the DC police did not intervene immediately... were some of the officers given the legendary and usual tips and training by the IOF?

    • My guess is that you choose neither to read nor comprehend, asherpat.

      If it cain't git in yer head, it didn't happen, right?

      Read it, please:

      "It was the close of a family trip from North Carolina, four days of sightseeing and dinners out that included a stop at the Holocaust museum.

      The AIPAC conference coincided with the vacation. Nayfeh saw news reports about protests around the event and thought his daughter Danya, a law student at Georgetown University should not be close to the commotion. She wanted to attend. They compromised. Minding the heavy afternoon traffic, the plan was Nayfeh would drive the family to the AIPAC event, drop off his wife and children, park the car alone, then they would all meet on the street to say goodbye. It was a last fatherly duty before motoring down to North Carolina.

      Nayfeh saw a group waving yellow flags. He did not know that was the symbol for the Jewish Defense League (JDL), which the FBI designated a domestic terror organization nearly two decades ago; the family had unknowingly found themselves in the middle of a cohort from an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate group."

      - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/03/arrested-attacking-palestinian/#sthash.psTGxfEs.dpuf

      And from your post below, "Beating up innocent people is definitely wrong." Please do take that back to your handlers both in the US and in Israel and do stop alleging that Americans who are Palestinian residents, teachers, travelers and students in DC are "probably provocateurs" just because they exist as human beings.

      Thanks so much for the opportunity to engage. You appear to be the one of many who are "dancing around", asherpat. Your dance is macabre and you've pretzel- twisted the truth ad nauseam.

      Have a cuppa, a nap, and a think.

      Allison Deger is simply reporting ugly events and the ugly truth.

  • 'Jerusalem' on Gaza TV set is as close as many Palestinians will get to real thing
    • Thanks for sharing that poignant memory, Maghlawatan.

      You said so much with a few words.

    • It did bring tears to my eyes and also tore a bit more from my heart. I hope that Ahmad and Mohammed continue to document the truth via words and photos.

      This absolutely gave me chills:

      "For Gazans, visiting Jerusalem is like a dream. The coastal enclave has been under siege for the last ten years, but there are travel exceptions granted in the form of special permits issued by the Israeli authorities. The two exceptions are as follows: Either these Palestinian 20-somethings must wait another 30 years to for their 50th birthday, at which time they automatically become eligible for a daytime permit to pray on Friday in the al-Aqsa Mosque, or they must become seriously ill or injured in order to receive an urgent humanitarian transfer to an Arab hospital in Jerusalem.

      And even if these youths win entry permits, they are forced to ride in locked buses with tinted windows and windshields.

      For the elderly in Gaza, up to 300 are allowed in at a time for Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Or the elderly parents of prisoners in Israeli jails (and children under 12) say those tinted windows are meant to prevent them from seeing the geographical features on the road to Jerusalem, so as to not arouse emotions about their displacement from the land of the Nakba, the 1947-49 war between Israel and Arab nations that made nearly 800,000 Palestinians refugees. Many of them and their heirs now live in Gaza."

      They might be "eligible" to enter Jerusalem @ 50, but it depends on the whim of the IOF. They might be "seriously ill or injured", but perhaps not enough for the IOF thugs or their whims. They might be killed on the spot and remain imprisoned while dead while the GOI cruelly holds the body hostage alleging everything "terror", proving nothing, and depriving the body of respect and burial and prolonging the family's and community's mourning and exacerbating their collective grief.

      All in all, to deprive Gazans and all/any Palestinians access to Al- Aqsa is an illegal and supreme theft of enormous proportions.

      "...I met Ra’ed Qandil, 29, who arrived at the site: “I went to a corner of the model city and wept silently…Do you know what it means to a man to shed tears silently? I envisioned everything about old Jerusalem, its people, narrow paths and arches, and even vendors of the city’s famous rings of sesame bread.”

      Qandil, who had never left Gaza, asked the actor dressed as an Israeli soldier to beat his face with an M-16 prop gun. He told me he wanted to experience the pain of Jerusalemites who have been roughed up by the Israeli police.

      The actor obliged and clocked Qandil in the face. “You really kicked my ass man,” Qandil exclaimed. "

      Take away hope, and grown men weep in silence...

      Shame on Israel. Shame on both the silent and vociferous supporters of the rigidly and cruel Apartheid State.

  • J Street attends rightwing anti-BDS summit-- and gets called 'anti-Semitic'
  • Palestinian college student on hunger strike after 22 days of interrogation in an Israeli prison
    • This is a must-read, imho:

      "'The occupation will collapse. And then we'll build a moral society here'

      On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinians and Jews gathered in Jerusalem for an anti-occupation protest marking 50 years since the occupation began. Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak spoke to demonstrators about the importance of solidarity and resistance to the violence and racism of the Israeli government. Below is a transcript of the speech, translated from Hebrew.

      These are dark, somber days. Our country is dominated by occupation, messianism, racism, ignorance, callousness, and violence. Blaming the right-wing government won’t help. Nor will sitting in our living rooms fantasizing about the day they’ll be replaced. And please, enough with the “Anyone but Bibi” rhetoric — Yair Lapid is no different.

      The change we need to enact here requires courage, honesty, and the willingness to sacrifice something – the willingness to give up privileges and pay a price. Show me one politician – one! – who wants to be prime minister and is also willing to do this.

      During dark days like these marked by daily violence, intensifying hatred, terrible racism, the occupation, there’s only one way to win: resistance. Struggle. Solidarity. That’s it. Resistance — that’s our strength and the regime’s weakness. Joining struggles is our hope, and what will bring about the collapse of the regime. Solidarity is our civil power, and the regime’s greatest fear. And there’s nothing more frightening for bad regimes than the moment when citizens stand up, resist, and fearlessly struggle.

      When Palestinians do so in nonviolent demonstrations in the occupied territories — in Bil’in, in Hebron, in Sheikh Jarrah — the regime’s response will always involve violence and force. This is why we need to join forces. Because resistance and civilian struggles are the only means to challenge violent regimes. They’re the only means that cannot be suppressed with guns or clubs.

      Solidarity is a state of mind. To be willing to sacrifice for the other and to understand that it’s the only act the regime can’t tolerate. Solidarity isn’t an empty slogan. It’s a tool which we’re neither sufficiently familiar with nor trained to use. This state of affairs is convenient for the regime, and has been fostered for decades by right- and left-wing governments – making sure we keep thinking solely of ourselves, keep living in existential fear, keep perceiving the occupation as necessary, and keep looking at racism as something that defines us. ..."

      much, much more @ https://972mag.com/the-occupation-will-collapse-and-then-well-build-a-moral-society-here/126361/

    • From the above link:

      "Talia Krevsky is the former Foreign Relations Coordinator at Breaking the Silence, a translator for Kerem Navot, and a member of Standing Together. Isaac Kates Rose is a Jerusalem-based member of All That’s Left, Free Jerusalem, and an organizer with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence."

      Seems that these writers of this article really meant it:

      "Hundreds of Jews and Arabs March in Jerusalem Against Israeli Occupation

      Rally comes hours after stabbing attack in Jerusalem, which organizers say 'was a painful reminder of the price of the occupation.'

      Hundreds of Jews and Arabs are taking part in a Jerusalem march against the occupation. 

      Saturday's event is the first in a series organized by Standing Together, an umbrella movement consisting of pro-peace organizations and left-wing parties, marking 50 years since the Six-Day War. The rally is meant to "protest against the continued Israeli control over the territories and especially East Jerusalem, and in favor of a peaceful solution and justice for both peoples," the movement said in a statement. ...

      The march began at Gan Hasus in the city's center and will conclude in the Old City with a rally near Jaffa Gate. Among the speakers are Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon, MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint List), Peace Now director Avi Buskila, and Mohammed Abu Hummus, the head of the popular committee of Isawiyah in East Jerusalem." 

      video & read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.780816

    • "U.S., Israeli Navies Launch Exchange Program for Cadets

      American cadets will study at the University of Haifa, while their Israeli counterparts get a chance to show off at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

      The Israeli and American navies are launching an exchange program in which Israeli cadets will train at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, for four months.

      The American cadets will be coming to Israel this summer to learn Hebrew. During their naval training − and academic course work at the University of Haifa − they will be provided with simultaneous translation. The American cadets will also sail with their Israeli counterparts.

      “It’s a student exchange with a considerable military add-on,” said the commander of Israel’s naval academy, Lt. Col. Eli Soholitzki. The new program is the latest example of cooperation between the two navies and follows Israeli participation in maneuvers with the Greek and American navies.

      On Thursday about 100 recruits joined the new class of the Israeli naval cadet course. In this round most of the cadets are religious students from yeshivas; there are no women.

      “There have been female cadets for more than a decade in every role − commanders of naval craft, platoon commanders on missile ships," Soholitzki said. "We have no restrictions other than on submarines, where the vessel doesn’t make that possible.”

      In placement decisions, he added, gender is not a consideration."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.780690

      wth??? Maybe the Israeli cadets can teach {"show off") the US naval cadets how to shoot little children playing soccer on a beach and then how their government can self- exonerate them all. Then they'll teach them how to shoot fishermen, too! Perhaps they can teach them how to kill peaceful people trying to break a cruel and violent occupation/ blockade of a couple of million people!

      Why do American cadets need to learn Hebrew? Why not French, Norwegian, Japanese, isiXhosa or Arabic???

      Your tax dollars at work.

      PS~There are US female sailors on US submarines.

    • Many thanks to the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh!!! Yay for these Scots!

      May the Nimr family know that many, many decent folks mourn their murders by the IOF. How I wish that someone had filmed both obscene murders so the 'world' could look since they won't/don't read...

      Noticed this over at +972 this morning, Kate. It's certainly not up to your level of journalistic/reporting acumen and diligence, but it does make some very good points...

      "50 reasons to resist the occupation in its 50th year
      Fifty reasons to join a growing coalition united in creating a more just future in the region, in order to make the 50th year of the occupation its last.

      By Talia Krevsky and Isaac Kates Rose ... "

      It ends with this:

      "50. Enough of despairing lists like these. Join the coalition this Saturday night in Jerusalem. On April 1 we start writing the List of Resistance: united for peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all."

      Read it @ https://972mag.com/50-reasons-to-resist-the-occupation-on-its-50th-year/126265/

  • Palestinian-American teacher brutally attacked by Jewish Defense League outside AIPAC conference
    • Reposting this here:

      ... "Kamal Nayfeh, a father of four and an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, was reportedly visiting his daughter Danya, a student at Georgetown University in Washington at the time.

      He was punched and kicked and clobbered with flag poles, leaving him with cuts and bruises all over his face and body. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital and treated for his injuries. He had to have 18 stitches around his eye.

      His daughter Danya, who can be heard screaming in the video “that’s my dad!”, recalled the attack in a statement provided to the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU):

      When I heard the screams and found out my father was being beaten nearby, I was horrified. I ran to him as quickly as I could. He appeared stunned and his eye looked awful, all swollen and cut up. They beat him after they heard he was Palestinian. He was not threatening at all, it’s perfectly clear that my father was brutalized simply because of who he is.

      Two of the JDL members who attacked Nayfeh were eventually arrested by the police and released, according to the IMUE. One was charged with a misdemeanor and another with felony assault.

      Speaking via phone with +972 Magazine, Danya Nayfeh said she had to repeatedly plead with police to arrest her father’s attackers, screaming “who did this?” and that officers threatened to arrest her instead for if she didn’t stop demanding they take action against the JDL men. She said the first people to pull JDL guys off her dad were other protesters, she assumes from IfNotNow." ...

      - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.4mvXLHRm.dpuf

  • History will make us pay for this
    • Check this out!!!

      "Video: Students walk out on Israeli ambassador in France

      Students at Sciences Po Rennes, a public university in northwestern France, staged a mass walk-out from a lecture by the Israeli ambassador on Thursday.

      The video above shows the students chanting “Liberté pour la Palestine” – freedom for Palestine – as the ambassador, Aliza Bin Noun, sits at the podium.

      Then, speaking in turns, students deliver an uninterrupted five-minute statement indicting Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, condemning efforts to censor the Palestine solidarity movement in France and calling for full support of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

      “We, students at Sciences Po Rennes, declare that we are firmly opposed to holding this lecture,” the statement begins. “Aliza Bin Noun was invited to our institution to represent the state of Israel, a colonial state governed by the extreme right.”

      Calling it an apartheid regime, the students list Israel’s decades of violations, including settlement building in occupied territory, home demolitions, the 10-year blockade and repeated assaults on Gaza that have left thousands of civilians dead and injured and Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians who resist.

      The students cite the landmark UN report, published this month and then quickly withdrawn under intense political pressure, that finds Israel guilty of apartheid.

      “In recent weeks, the embassy that Aliza Bin Noun runs increased the pressure on several universities in order to prevent the holding of events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week,” the students charge.

      They claim that members of a Palestine solidarity group received violent threats from far-right pro-Israel activists. ...

      Hypocrisy
      The ambassador gave her talk to the remaining students, but the event ended earlier than planned, an organizer told media.

      Bin Noun later tweeted that it was “a shame that the pro-BDS students preferred to disrupt the lecture rather than stay and dialogue.”

      In a statement published on the BDS France website, the student activists dismissed her comment in light of the efforts to censor Israeli Apartheid Week.

      “We also reject the hypocrisy of making believe that this is a conflict between two entities with equal power that can be resolved by dialogue,” they added. ...

      Effort to ban rally
      Meanwhile, the kind of censorship efforts the students condemn are continuing. France’s main Israel lobby group CRIF called on Paris police to prohibit a rally planned for Saturday in solidarity with Palestinians and in support of BDS.

      CRIF claims that the rally will be anti-Semitic. CRIF president Francis Kalifat wrote to the police chief demanding the “banning of this demonstration that is contrary to the laws of our country.”

      Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also urged the police to ban the rally, claiming it could endanger “public order.”

      But the rally is set to go ahead at a location a short distance from the original venue. The local group organizing the rally – which is separate from BDS France – says that the new venue is one that the police said would be easier to secure.

      Meanwhile, BDS France, the main coalition supporting the Palestinian-led boycott campaign, has not been deterred from mounting its own nationwide campaign. ..."

      more @ https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-students-walk-out-israeli-ambassador-france

      Superbe! Allons-y!

      (If only Congress, the MSM et al could manage to speak and act with the same moral grit as these students)

  • 'US is overwhelmingly partial to Israel,' Pelosi admits at AIPAC
    • Hagai El-Ad:

      "If the World Ignores Its Own Decisions, Why Shouldn’t Israel?

      UN resolution 2334 isn't just another piece of paper. It requires the international community itself to actively distinguish between Israel and the settlements. This time, inaction is complicity.

      The math is simple: one down, 199 to go. Last Friday (March 24), the UN Secretary-General submitted his first quarterly report to the UN Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2334. Adopted in December, the Resolution “[r]eaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”. It further instructs the Secretary-General “to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution.”

      Four reports a year over another half-century of occupation would add up to 200 documents (minus Friday’s report, that leaves 199 more to expect). How high could a pile of 200 such papers be? Probably lower than the rubble of a single demolished home in Palestine.
      Yet UNSCR 2334 was not meant to generate reams of international paper over decades of more-of-the-same. Indeed, carefully articulated in the Resolution is an expression of this very novelty: for it is not only Israel – the occupying power – that will find within 2334 certain provisions that it is expected to implement, and has thus far failed to carry out, but also the entire international community.

      Israel’s total non-compliance with the Resolution is as blatant as it was predictable: more demolitions, more settlement expansion, more impunity. This ongoing, gradual fragmentation of Palestine is not only an effective mechanism for controlling Palestinians but also the inevitable outcome of leveraging control over the 60% of the West Bank known as Area C, which Israel treats as its own despite refraining from formally annexing it.

      TAll these manifestations of exploitation and control have gone on for many a decade. Yet UNSCR 2334 did not stop at reiterating the international “demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” It went further.

      The resolution called upon the global community and their governments to not stand idly by, but to meet the minimal moral and legal requirement of not being complicit, whether directly or indirectly, in this ongoing denial of human rights from an entire people. As stated in Section 5, it called “upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

      On that specific call to action, the Secretary-General’s report to the Council is very clear: “During the reporting period, there have been no developments related to Member States’ distinguishing, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967.”

      If the world ignores its own decisions, why shouldn’t Israel?

      The report further details various negotiation efforts. To be sure, engagement between the parties, with the help of the international community, must be supported. But as long as the terms of engagement do not change, the results of these efforts are likely to repeat the failures of the past. Worse, they will provide further excuses not to act and will divert attention from the one process that is always advancing, always creating new facts on the ground, in the Occupied Territories.

      The world can continue talking about the occupation over the next 199 quarterlies. Or, it can choose to act. The choice is between implementing Resolution 2334 – or allowing more rubble to replace what used to be a home, and more blood to flow instead of life.

      One down, 199 to go, means that now is the time to act seriously upon UNSCR 2334. It is still possible for the world to demonstrate its sincerity about working against an occupation that has already lasted half a century. The resolution to act was already made in December; so far, the world has failed to implement it. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.780403

      Why is "the world" so cowardly, morally bankrupt, and complicit when it comes to Israel?

    • Lo and behold, here's an article about a Christian Zionist today:

      "Why Trump's Favorite Prosperity Preacher Loves Passover

      Many Christians, particularly evangelical, use Jewish rituals in an effort to recreate the Christianity of Jesus’ early followers.

      “It is part of your spiritual heritage that God designed as His own Holy Days with specific instruction given for their observance,” White wrote in a public letter to followers.

      “He set the divine appointment, Passover, with His people as a time of release from past bondage and freedom of new life,” she wrote. White has also called Passover “one of the most supernatural, miraculous seasons.”

      Perhaps surprising to some, many Christians, particularly evangelical, use Jewish rituals in an effort to recreate the Christianity of Jesus’ early followers, as they understand it.

      White is the pastor of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando and has been associated with “prosperity gospel,” which holds that if believers give generously, God will reward them with both earthly and heavenly riches.

      In other Passover messages posted on Facebook, White told viewers that the “blood of Jesus protects” Christians just as the blood of lambs protected the Israelites of the traditional Passover story from the angel of death. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.780234

      ~and~

      "White has been a personal minister to Donald Trump who discovered White by watching her TV show.[23] Trump would often bring her to Atlantic City for private Bible studies, and he has appeared on her television show.[3] White was credited in June 2016 by James Dobson as having converted Trump to Christianity.[24] White was part of Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board during his campaign for US President, and provided the invocation prayer during Trump's inauguration ceremony.[25][26] The subject with assistance from her own ministry board advisor, Jack Graham (pastor), have an ongoing spiritual role towards President Trump.[27]
      White was a 2009 Trumpet Awards Honoree.[28]"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_White

  • AIPAC speakers say the enemy is BDS, while 'biggest Jewish-led protest' surges outside
    • Mairav Zonszein:

      "WATCH: Jewish Defense League activists beat Palestinian-American at AIPAC
      Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, the violent men and women also attacked left-wing Jewish activists. At least one was arrested.

      Members of the Jewish Defense League severely beat a 55-year old Palestinian American man and assaulted several American Jewish activists with IfNotNow outside the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Sunday, new video footage provided to +972 Magazine shows.

      Kamal Nayfeh, a father of four and an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, was reportedly visiting his daughter Danya, a student at Georgetown University in Washington at the time.

      He was punched and kicked and clobbered with flag poles, leaving him with cuts and bruises all over his face and body. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital and treated for his injuries. He had to have 18 stitches around his eye.

      His daughter Danya, who can be heard screaming in the video “that’s my dad!”, recalled the attack in a statement provided to the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU):

      When I heard the screams and found out my father was being beaten nearby, I was horrified. I ran to him as quickly as I could. He appeared stunned and his eye looked awful, all swollen and cut up. They beat him after they heard he was Palestinian. He was not threatening at all, it’s perfectly clear that my father was brutalized simply because of who he is.

      Two of the JDL members who attacked Nayfeh were eventually arrested by the police and released, according to the IMUE. One was charged with a misdemeanor and another with felony assault.

      Speaking via phone with +972 Magazine, Danya Nayfeh said she had to repeatedly plead with police to arrest her father’s attackers, screaming “who did this?” and that officers threatened to arrest her instead for if she didn’t stop demanding they take action against the JDL men. She said the first people to pull JDL guys off her dad were other protesters, she assumes from IfNotNow.

      The violent confrontations went largely unreported in the coverage and social media buzz surrounding the IfNotNow protests against AIPAC.

      A second video shows his eventual detention after appearing to assault IfNotNow activists:

      In a Facebook status published Tuesday, IfNotNow member Shana Shawn Salzberg described a very scary confrontation with mostly “huge muscular white men”:

      One of them took a pole smashed it on a tall person’s forehead, which started bleeding. I was shoved hard with a closed fist and a pole in such a way that my head ended up behind someone’s arm which ended up cutting off my wind pipe for a second…. These were Jews shoving and stabbing other Jews in the name of Jewish protection.

      The Washington Jewish Week spoke with Meir Weinstein, who described himself as the coordinator of the JDL — before most of the violence occurred that day. He said that his organization was “primarily here to counter the anti-Israel mobs that are going to show up” and to protect Jews attending the conference, who he said were in danger of being attacked.

      The Jewish Defense League, founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, has been described as a terrorist organization by the FBI. The group is believed to be behind several fatal bombings in the United States several decades ago, although it was largely dormant until recently.

      The group’s Israeli affiliate, Kach, is outlawed in Israel and is listed as a terrorist organization in Israel, Europe and the United States. Kahane, who advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel and the West Bank, was later assassinated in New York City. ..."

      https://972mag.com/jewish-defense-league-activists-beat-palestinian-american-at-aipac/126240/

      wth were the DC police thinking?????

  • 'Scariest part' of Trump's draft peace plan promises he will be 'personally involved'
    • Yep. She is and her utterances are vomitrocious indeed. Now, Israel resorts to bullying and bribery:

      "Israel to cut $2 million from UN funding due to 'obsessive bias against Israel

      Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to cut $2 million from the funds Israel transfers to United Nations' institutions, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emanuel Nahshon said.

      The cut, Nahshon said, is in response to the "hostile proposals concerning Israel adopted by the UN Human Rights Council." The funds, the spokesman said, would be used instead to expand international assistance projects in countries that vote for Israel in international forums. 

      Nahshon explained that the decision was a part of a campaign being waged by Israel and its friends, with the United States foremost, to correct the "obsessive bias against Israel in the UN and its agencies."

      On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted four resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including a motion condemning settlement construction in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The motion calls on states and firms to avoid both direct and indirect ties with the settlements.

      The four resolutions were only declarative in nature.

      In 2016, Israel gave the UN $11.7 million in membership fees, determined by the international organization according to the relative size of each state. Following the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which severely criticized Israel over the settlements, Israel cut $6 million from its UN funding. After this new cut, Israel will only give $3.7 million to the UN. 

      On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told AIPAC that the Trump administration will not allow a repeat of last year’s United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel for its settlements. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.780331

      No surprise.

      More wah- wah- wah, victimhood, petulance, tantrums, shunning of international laws and opinion. Just remember that it's your tax dollars at 'work'. Please remember that the obnoxious Haley is this creature:

      "From pioneering anti-BDS legislation to skewering Obama's Iran deal, Nikki Haley, the South Carolina governor said to have accepted Donald Trump's nomination for United Nations ambassador, seems to have a lot in common politically with Israel's right-wing leaders.
      Under her leadership, South Carolina became one of the first two states to enact legislation outlawing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel (the other was Illinois).

      The South Carolina measure which Haley signed into law last year doesn't specify Israel by name but more generally prevents public entities from contracting with businesses engaging in the “boycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom South Carolina can enjoy open trade.”

      Law Number H3583 further bars "the state or a political subdivision of the state from accepting a proposal from or procuring goods or services from a business which engages in a boycott of a person or an entity based on race, color, religion, gender or national origin.”
      In January, Haley championed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's objections to the 2014 Iran deal in the Republican Party's official response to President Barack Obama's last State of the Union.

      While not mentioning Israel by name, Haley said that were the GOP to control the White House, “we would make international agreements that were celebrated in Israel and protested in Iran, not the other way around." ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.754913

    • Not off topic from my post: Anyone else see this?

      "Israeli Air Force Holds Joint Exercise With United Arab Emirates, U.S. and Italy

      Photos from Iniohos 2017 training from past days show F-16 aircraft from UAE alongside an American Air Force transport plane at the Greek air force base.

      The Israel Air Force began a joint exercise on Monday in Greece that included dozens of aircraft from foreign armies. Dubbed Iniohos 2017, an official report for the Greek air force noted that the air forces of Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Italy participated in the exercise. The training patch for the exercise includes the flags of the countries along with the slogan "Act with Awareness." ...

      ... This is not the first time that the Israel Air Force has cooperated with its UAE counterpart. Last year, Israeli pilots participated in the Red Flag training exercise in the United States in which pilots from Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Spain also participated.
      Israel and the UAE do not have official diplomatic relations although there are reports in foreign media from time to time of unofficial contacts or of contacts that remain secret. In addition, the Israel Defense Forces is expanding its joint training with other foreign armies. Last week, F-16s participated in joint training in Cyprus and were seen in the skies over Paphos.

      Next November, a wide-scale exercise will take place in Israel with the participation of representatives of foreign countries including India, the United States, Poland and Italy. As reported in Haaretz, the air force is outsourcing management of this international flagship exercise and is therefore seeking to hire the services of a civilian company. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.779823

      ho-hum. btw, UAE is the entry point to MENA for important 'business' critters from all over the globe. Handy, eh?

    • Bravo for speaking the TRUTH, Khalil Jahshan and for reporting it, Phil Weiss!

      It's been the truth for all of my life. Israel never, ever was earnestly (or otherwise) seeking peace. Never. It was and is a charade~ a dark, lucrative, cruel and filthy danse macabre for The Palestian People only supported entirely by every US administration and Congress. It's never been a democracy, and promises to never be one with every single Palestinian home that they bulldoze, with every inch of land that they steal, with every resource that they've taken, with every Palestinian life that they extinguish by bullets, bombs, prison, assassinations, and kidnapping. If anyone wants to speak whataboutery about Syria et al, I will. Israel and the US need to stfu and stay out, since they've instigated it and have supported the worst of the worst in this horrendous war. Anyone want to talk about Yemen? Of course not, because KSA is quickly becoming BFF with Israel (it was covert before) and has been BFF with the US forever.

      Trump's myriad bankruptcies will pale in comparison with this moral bankruptcy that he will "be personally involved" in with this squalid and unfaithful 'process' with Ivanka, Jared Kushner and his birth family, Friedman and his son and family, Dermer, Greenblatt, AIPAC, Congress, JDL, ZOA, ADL, and on and on and on......

      If there's money to be made, they will be at the table. If there's Palestinian blood that's shed, they'll shrug basking in their "security".

      "Provisional entity" is a disgusting and further denigration of the PALESTINIAN PEOPLE OF PALESTINE. They are a people with their own culture and history and they deserve abject apologies, and much more, from everyone on this planet.

      Everybody.

  • Broad coalition attends teach-in on Israel lobby ahead of AIPAC conference
    • Here's an in-depth article by Uri Blau that will most certainly interest many here:

      "Inside the clandestine world of Israel’s 'BDS-busting' ministry

      The Strategic Affairs Ministry's leaders see themselves as the heads of a commando unit, gathering and disseminating information about 'supporters of the delegitimization of Israel' – and they prefer their actions be kept secret. ..."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.779434

      It's cray cray.

    • Thanks for this powerful review of this important conference. Phil. iirc, I seem toremember reading that AIPAC wouldn't allow you press creds, and I really believe that your presence @ the Press Club was much more valuable and way more interesting. I very much wanted to attend. I wonder if the speakers peruse and appreciate MW. Did you get a sense of the attendees beyond their excitement?

      You might be interested in reading Chemi Shalev's latest:

      "In Topsy-turvy Trump Era, AIPAC Is Twisting in the Wind

      The lobby's attitude toward a two-state solution recounts the slogan of an old Israeli bra commercial – walk with, but feel without.

      You almost have to feel sorry for AIPAC.

      Almost, but not quite. The pro-Israel lobby is trying to grope its way out of a relatively dark era in its annals, but it has to contend with the wild uncertainty created by the presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the raw emotions that he generates in the Jewish community. As AIPAC’s annual conference convenes in Washington on Sunday, its leaders will try to project a strong, united and confident front – but under the veneer, apprehension abounds.

      AIPAC was under siege even before Trump came along. It’s been losing ground on the Democratic left for many years, for the simple reason that Israel itself has been losing ground on the Democratic left. AIPAC was traditionally viewed by the left as a center-right – if not completely right-wing – shill for Likud governments whose job is to maintain the status quo, which, if the Likud is in power, means the occupation. For the past eight years, AIPAC has had to fend off its first serious competitor, J Street, which was often treated by the Obama administration as its pampered child. 

      AIPAC lost even more ground with Democrats when, contrary to its better judgment, it had no choice but to publicly back Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial March 2015 speech in U.S. Congress against the Iran nuclear deal, which was seen as a direct challenge and insult to Obama.

      recently, however – and possibly more ominously, from its own point of view – AIPAC had also been under attack by the Republican right, for ostensibly opposite reasons. According to the ultra-right’s Israel-or-bust worldview, AIPAC simply isn’t “pro-Israel” enough. Sheldon Adelson had a famous falling out with the lobby over its support for a two-state solution; some Republicans were enraged that AIPAC failed to join the 2013 fight against the appointment of Chuck Hagel as Obama’s secretary of defense; and others accused AIPAC of lobbying only halfheartedly against the Iran deal. Deep conservatives faulted AIPAC for maintaining its “bipartisan” nature, because in the feverish world of the Breitbart-inspired right, Democrats can no longer be considered “pro-Israel” at all.

      Enter Donald Trump, who makes AIPAC’s life even more complicated. ...

      ...The lobby’s leaders must have heaved a huge sigh of relief this year when Trump declined to address the conference, sending U.S. Vice President Mike Pence instead. From AIPAC’s point of view, it was a lose-lose situation; if Trump were received too enthusiastically, Jews across the country would be offended. If he were given a cold welcome, Trump himself would be offended.

      At the same time, AIPAC seems to be trying to reach out to its detractors on the right: the revelation that it had contributed $60,000 to Islamophobe Frank Gaffney was a shameful sign of the group’s efforts not to burn its bridges with the rabid right. AIPAC is well aware of the talk on the right of setting up an alternative lobby, either through the structure of Mort Klein’s Zionist Organization of America – which has achieved peak prominence since Trump’s election – or through one of the groups associated with Sheldon Adelson, including the Israeli American Council of Israeli expatriates.

      Mostly, however, the growing disaffection with AIPAC on both ends of an increasingly polarized political arena has forced the group to try and strengthen its hold in the dwindling center. This seems to be the main theme of this year’s conference and its respectable roster of less than exciting moderates from both sides of the political divide. The group is also sporting its success in organizing widespread bipartisan support for a new sanctions bill targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism. But the center, too, has minefields: While AIPAC clings to its support for a two-state solution, it also tries to keep the issue out of the spotlight, given the uncertainty emanating from both Jerusalem and Washington on the subject. Caught between a rock and hard place, AIPAC is trying to posture itself along the lines of a once-famous Israeli commercial for bras: Walk with, but feel without.

      The Palestinian Authority is another case in point. AIPAC maintains a constant dialogue with Israeli security authorities; it knows full well that the PA is still fighting terror in the West Bank and is still considered vital to Israeli security, especially if one considers the alternative. But in the black-or-white world of right-wing ideologues on both sides of the ocean, the PA is both a remnant of the detested Oslo Accords and a front for terrorists, because in the end, many of them believe, all Palestinians are terrorists. So when Republican lawmakers call for cutting off funds for the PA because of ongoing incitement – which is overblown in the first place – AIPAC has no choice but to publicly nod in agreement with anti-PA lawmakers while beseeching them in private not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

      A centrist organization by design, AIPAC has to operate in an environment that is drifting towards extremes. The lobby has to find its place in a real world with all of its grey areas and ambiguities, but at the same time to cater to increasingly ideological fantasies of its detractors. And it wants to get its act together at a time when the White House is broadcasting ambiguity, uncertainty and division. AIPAC’s annual conference may get off without a hitch, but it can provide only temporary cover for the dread that lurks just beneath the surface."

      read the rest @ : http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.779431

      (PS~ thanks for using the too little used and wonderful word "mordant"...)

  • Bearing witness: a review of Alice Rothchild's book 'Condition Critical'
    • A most welcome discussion and overdue honest and soul- searching discussion should have been held long ago.

      It's too late for too many Palestinian victims of the State of Israel, but never too late for those living given the care and concern of Dr. Alice Rothchild, Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, and the many other numbers of Jews, Palestinians, and those other very present people committed to justice and human rights for the violently oppressed and Occupied Palestinian people~ those in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, in the refugee camps of other nations, and those in the diaspora. Some who know and see the truth have yet to find their voice and to bear witness.

      (A big hurrah for the incomparable and indefatigable Jewish Israelis, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass. They've been bearing witness and telling us all the truth for a long time... May many more join them in the not too distant future. May their voices ring out, their actions gain traction, and may the Palestinians of Palestine be free to be... themselves.)

  • Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: 'it's exactly like what the what the Old South was in America'
    • Thanks for your comment, JillyBeans. Here's hoping that some might read and absorb the following witness report about illegal, unjust, and Apartheid Israel:

      "Separate and Unequal: Inside Israel's Military Courts, Where the Only Defendants Are Palestinians

      The UN says Israel's West Bank justice system, which tries Palestinians exclusively and has reported an almost 100% conviction rate, violates international law. This is what I saw. ...

      It was June 2016, and the path to the small courthouses was enclosed by a metal fence topped with barbed wire. We walked through quickly to escape the 90 degree heat and waited in a lounge designed for family members and friends of the accused. A small kiosk sold pastries and candy.

      The trials themselves take place in glammed-up trailers, where military and court officials come and go, answering phones, high-fiving and greeting one another. It might have been out of place in many court rooms, but this was Israel’s military court system, a complete justice system that tries only Palestinians, and in 2010 self-reported a 99.74% conviction rate. Israeli settlers, even when committing a crime in the West Bank, are tried in civilian courts.

      In military courts, different rules apply

      Israel’s military courts differ notably from their civilian counterparts, including the types of acts considered offenses, and the lengths of punishment for an infraction. In military courts, “certain forms of political and cultural expression, association, movement and nonviolent protest, even certain traffic offenses” can be considered crimes, according to Lisa Hajjar in her Courting Conflict: The Isræli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza. 

      Under the Israeli penal code, individuals can apply for probation after serving half of their sentence. In the military courts, Palestinians must serve two-thirds of their sentence before applying. Israel has also passed laws allowing Palestinians to be held for 180 days without charges, renewable indefinitely. Over 700 Palestinians are being held without charges or trial, what a UN representative calls an “eight-year high”.  ... ...

      Just another day in 50 years of Israel's military courts

      For us as visitors, it seemed like quite a dramatic day in Israel’s military court system. In reality, however, this was just an average day in the 50-year life of Israel’s military courts. Since Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in 1967, it has sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in its military courts. Al Monitor reports that up to 20% of Palestinians have at one point been detained in the military justice system. 

      Though many Palestinians see it as a sham court, Israel keeps these courts running in attempt to legitimize its presence in the Palestinian Territories. The UN has repeatedly stated that the court acts in violation of international law. Military courts often lack the impartiality of civilian trials as the judge, prosecutor and translators are all members of the armed forces, rather than independent professionals hired by the state.

      Despite the criticism, Israel defends its system on the basis of self-defense. But as Susan Abulhawa stated in her novel ‘Mornings in Jenin’, “For if life had taught her anything, it was that healing and peace can begin only with acknowledgment of wrongs committed.” "

      read much more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.779748

    • Of course it should James, but it won't be. It has made news in a lot of papers, though. Kudos to Gere and his Breaking the Silence escorts.

      Here's Gideon Levy on another 'shocking' event~ this in Jerusalem.. :

      "Israel 2017, Now the Video

      The public outcry over footage of a violent policeman attacking a Palestinian truck driver is almost as nauseating as the video itself.

      The shock, tut-tutting and condemnation over Thursday’s video footage, in which a policeman is seen beating a Palestinian truck driver, are maddening and repulsive. Only the video itself is more repulsive. The policeman disgusts you? That’s exactly what the occupation looks like. It is as violent, ugly, brutal and loutish as the policeman; this is exactly how Israel has abused millions of people every hour, every day, for 50 years.

      It’s not just that the video reflects routine in the occupied territories: At any given moment, there are Israeli soldiers and policemen who strike Palestinians, kick, head butt, bark or swear at them, like in the video. What’s worse is that the footage reflects a far broader reality than the occupation.

      It is a situation report, an Israeli selfie. If the film “Exodus” aspired to present an Israel of the War of Independence era, the video of the violent policeman presents Israel 2017. Exodus was the dream, the policeman its fragment: watch the film and you’ll see us.

      Every Israeli has seen countless similar images in this “land of quarrels”: on the road; at the supermarket; in the hospital; on the soccer field or the parking lot ... in almost every line, this is the language, the Israeli lingua franca: bullying. Why pick on the policeman? He’s typical of his homeland. He did what everyone else did, almost. He’s also the son of us all. He’s a uniformed thug – so what?

      He was already suspected of beating a civilian once before, and the police force didn’t see fit to prosecute him then. So, he acted as expected. It’s important to note the type of violence used: this is seasoned violence, almost inbred violence. The head butt is the weapon of an experienced bully; an inexperienced bully does not head butt.

      You also have to listen to his language, the jargon of Israel. “I’ll pay for that? You son-of-a-whore … get out of my sight!” he shouts at Mazen Shwiki. “I’ll screw the mothers of all of you.” That’s how they speak in Israel. Not only in the occupation, not only on the road. It’s all here: the most important value of Israeliness – not to be a sucker (“I’ll pay?”); the immediate transition from threat to action; the power, the aggressiveness, the arrogance, the coarseness. The filthy language.

      The fact that he did it in uniform makes no difference. The policemen also speak Israeli. Israel is violent because it can be. It bombs in Syria and assassinates in Gaza because it can. It’s the neighborhood bully because no one stopped it. And it is also violent within because it’s possible.

      The policeman – who goes by the so-Israeli name Moshe Cohen – is also violent because he can be. The fact that he stood opposite a crowd did not deter him. He knew and they knew that he’s the strong one and they the weak; he’s the oppressor and they’re the oppressed, so he’s allowed to. He is lord of the land and they the dust at his feet. Everyone here fulfilled their role: the helplessness and fear of the Palestinian drivers who were afraid to come to the defense of their friend against the policeman’s rage. The uniform of the occupation against the helplessness of the occupied. The pistol in its holster, pay attention to the way the cop stands and walks: this is how the owner behaves. This is how our country behaves. ...

      ... It’s an ugly picture, really ugly, hence the instant outcry when we witness it. More than the outcry was aimed at the policeman – he’ll quickly be forgotten, and it’s doubtful he’ll face trial – it was directed at the mirror it put up, a self-portrait of Israel 2017.

      Which is why we’d like to forget this policeman. Let him be kicked out, let him be under house arrest for a few days, then get out of our sight (in his words); just don’t let him be put on trial. We had enough with the Sgt. Elor Azaria manslaughter trial: deep down, we knew we were all on trial.

      A few hours after the video was broadcast, a reception was held at the home of peace activist Alice Krieger. Guest of honor was Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the doctor from Gaza [who lost three daughters during Operation Cast Lead]. “Hatred is weakness,” the bereaved father said in Hebrew, a language that only a few are still able to understand in Israel. “Kindness, tolerance and patience are power.” In the darkness of the evening and the video footage, the doctor’s noble words reverberated as detached, ridiculous, almost hallucinatory."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.779438

  • The dispossessed
    • Thank you for sharing this with all of us, Howard. Thank you for caring and for standing in solidarity with the oppressed and brutalized Palestinians of Palestine. Thanks for standing with and helping Nur. May Yaqoub Mousa Abu al-Qia’an and his state- sponsored execution never be forgotten. May Nur and his family regain their home and homeland.

      You've obviously not lost your soul. Israel needs more humans and teachers like you.

  • Video: Israeli forces force crying 8-year-old boy barefoot through gravel looking for stone-throwers
    • Perhaps this is the photo you're thinking of, John O:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsvi_C._Nussbaum#/media/File:Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06b.jpg

      With regard to Hebron:

      "The Right Angle: A Nationalist Group Takes Israelis on a Tour of Hebron

      Im Tirtzu has launched tours of the West Bank hot spot in an effort to counter what it calls the 'delegitimization and lies' of left-wing tours of the city."

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.779062

      ~and~

      "Richard Gere on segregation in Hebron: It's exactly like the Old South

      ‘It’s exactly what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go: they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place,’ the American actor tells an Israeli TV station during a tour of the segregated West Bank city.

      Richard Gere visited the West Bank city of Hebron this week, guided by the Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence.

      Gere was in Israel to promote his new film “Norman,” and was accompanied to Hebron by director Joseph Cedar, an Israeli, along with a crew from Channel 2 News.

      In the report, broadcast during the prime time evening news hour Wednesday, Gere responds to what he sees in blunt terms. He compares occupied Hebron to the Jim Crow era in the southern United States.

      Looking around, Gere says to his guides, and to the television camera, “It’s exactly what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go: they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood — you didn’t cross over if you didn’t want to get your head beat in, or you get lynched.”

      Having internalized the understanding that he is standing in the middle of a deserted street in what was once a busy commercial area, Gere sees Jewish settlers moving about freely where Palestinians are forbidden to walk and says: “This is the thing that’s flipping me out right now…This is really bizarre, this is genuinely strange … who owns the city, and their feeling of ‘I’m protected, I can do whatever I want.’” ...

      The situation in Hebron is not a secret. Radical settlers are not popular in mainstream Israeli society and the ugly videos that show those settlers attacking Palestinians without provocation are often broadcast on Israel’s prime time news hours.

      Outrage, however, has not translated into change. There is no reason to suppose that a visit from a glamorous American film actor will have any impact on the status quo. But it is sobering to hear his unfiltered expressions of shock in response to the sordid reality of Israel’s 50-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories."

      https://972mag.com/richard-gere-segregation-in-hebron-exactly-like-old-south/126057/

  • Countering Islamophobia means ending the structural silencing of Muslim voices-- including their critique of Israel
    • Touché! Nicely done, Annie!!!

      ('Tis total bs that she/they are spouting, of course.)

      Thanks for keeping me informed, Ms. Annie. ;-) Thank you for all that you do.

    • Wow.

      Thank you for a most excellent, thoughtful, and long- overdue article, Hatem.

      Your students are fortunate indeed.

  • The explosion hidden inside the UN Apartheid report
    • I can't thank you enough for your careful reading of this excellent report and for your always invaluable contributions of plain and verifiable truth on these pages, Jonathan.

      Thanks for keeping the report 'alive'~ as it should, and will, forever be. The "explosion" continues apace. Try as many might, this can't be "shelved" nor buried ever again. Thanks to our access to various alternative sources to MSM, we have been, and are, witnesses in real time.

  • UNC SJP responds to ongoing debate over cancellation of Rania Khalek event
    • I think it's a shame that Rania Khalek was disinvited. I wish that UNC SJP could have risen above the usual hasbara whataboutery and the anti- Assad and anti- Syrian population campaign.

      btw, you forgot to mention Israel, StanleyHeller.

      "‘Israel in de facto coalition with Al-Qaeda & ISIS’ ...

      Published on Mar 21, 2017
      Tensions are escalating between Israel and Syria, after an incident on Thursday when Syrian forces, claiming that their military positions were under attack, retaliated by shooting down an Israeli jet. Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes in Syria, reportedly to prevent weapons from falling into terrorist hands. Author and journalist Max Blumenthal joins RT America's Simone Del Rosario to offer his insights."

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