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  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • Thanks Wilson Dizard~ glad you went to the zoo afterward to be with the civilized.

      How freaking depressing and frightening. Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1 & 2, now maybe Trump vs Cruz vs Kasich...

      For more heartburn: "‘Allies for Armegeddon’: The GOP candidates on Israel/Palestine" - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Saw something this morning that was not too terribly hilarious (imho), but quite on topic and effective:

  • Censorship in Brooklyn: Food Coop bars 'any events related to BDS or Israel' from meeting room
    • ditto that!

      "Wellington says the new rule is not going to thwart organizers who demand that the Coop take a stand, true to the Coop’s mission statement, “…to avoid products that depend on the exploitation of others.” She adds, “Free speech, the democratic process and cooperative behavior are at grave risk at the Park Slope Food Coop.” "

      Good luck to Sarah and the other organizers who stand up and fight this abomination!!!

  • Vice News spins Israeli army propaganda as 'leaked report'
  • The banality of evil as captured in a selfie
    • ... plus c'est la même chose

      From 2010:

      link to cbsnews.com

      ad nauseam

      Naked, dressed, with or without weapons, etc. These are sadists that would make the Marquis de Sade puke.

    • Such unimaginable pain that will never go away... the real stuff of nightmares.

      Thanks for sharing that, Refaat. It's good to 'see' you again.

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • "Incidentally the abuse of Mr Livingstone by John Mann has generated a petition which has gathered thousands of supporters."

      Hope that it gathers many more!

      I just read this headline in Haaretz:

      "Conservative London Mayoral Candidate Forced to Run Nasty Campaign Against Muslim Frontrunner"

      Just below it:

      "Zac Goldsmith is badly trailing Labour candidate Sadiq Khan in the polls. With the May 5 election just a week away, it is time for extreme measures."

      ...The main issues facing the mayor of London are the housing shortage, which is pushing working- and middle-class Londoners out of the city, and the high cost of public transportation. In recent weeks, however, the campaign has focused largely on Conservative Party allegations that Goldsmith’s main rival and the race’s front-runner, Labour MP Sadiq Khan, has links to Islamic extremists. The Labour Party has responded by calling the Conservative accusations a “smear campaign” that is stoking Islamophobia, but they have dominated much of the coverage. ...

      ... A son of the late Jewish financier Jimmy Goldsmith, he never had to work for a living — his father left his children an inheritance of 1.2 billion pounds, and Goldsmith married into the Rothschild dynasty. He seems to have spent most of his 20s traveling and bouncing between universities and think tanks, before becoming editor of an environmental magazine owned by his uncle. A graduate of Britain’s most elite school, Eton, Goldsmith shares with fellow Etonians Prime Minister David Cameron and the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson the knack of seeming comfortable in any surroundings. ...

      ...To win, Goldsmith needs to retain Johnson’s strongholds. One of these is the city’s Jewish community, where Khan has also been campaigning energetically. Jewish concerns are easily linked to Goldsmith’s security agenda.

      “It is incredibly depressing” Goldsmith says about the intense security surrounding the building where the interview is taking place. “I’ve done public meetings where the majority of the audience are Jewish and there’s an anxiety etched on everyone’s face and people just want to know that London is not going to become like Paris,” he says, adding that the French capital has become a symbol of Jewish flight.

      “They must be going through the same thought process that people were going through in the 1920s and 30s in parts of Europe, and it’s unbelievably depressing. They’re packing their bags and they’re leaving Paris.” There’s no indication that a similar thing may be happening in London but Goldsmith insists: “I know that there are many, many people here in London who love London, whose roots are here in London, who worry about the future of London, who don’t take the relative harmony we have in London for granted.”

      And just as in any election with significant numbers of Jewish voters, even one that is focused on local problems, Israel becomes an issue. “Israel matters” in this race, Goldsmith says. He has been to Israel and is open about his affinity with the country, though “I would never pretend to be an expert,” he adds.

      “Yes. I love Israel, I’m excited by Israel, the relationship between London and Tel Aviv is an important one and for the community here that, I think, matters. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people here have strong links to Israel and represent miniature bridges between the two countries, that’s the only democracy in that part of the world — I think those bridges are important.”

      Israel is another issue on which he believes he can criticize Khan, who in recent meetings with Jewish groups has said he is against boycotts and sanctions of Israel but had in the past been in favor of sanctions.

      “Khan has shown incredibly bad judgment,” Goldsmith says of his rival’s dealings in the past with radical Islamists, back when Khan was a human-rights lawyer. But something about Goldsmith’s character doesn’t allow him to go all the way in attacking the front-runner, as other politicians would not have hesitated to do.

      “I’ve never suggested Sadiq Khan has extreme views, I’ve never said that, I’ve never even hinted. I’ve no idea of what his views are. But I do say he’s shown poor judgment in not standing up and not challenging people who mean to do us harm,” Goldsmith says.

      “Zac is really a nice guy,” says one Conservative Party insider who asked not to be identified by name and who seemed hard-pressed to say anything else positive about Goldsmith. Many in the party have questioned whether Goldsmith has the killer instinct necessary to win a tough election.

      One thing that Goldsmith has not done is to trade on his name and his roots in an attempt to attract more Jewish voters. “My Jewish roots have not been a particular factor in this campaign,” he says, though he claims that visiting synagogues, as well as Sikh temples and other places of worship, was one of the most enjoyable parts of the campaign for him. “You don’t enjoy everything in a campaign,” admits Goldsmith, a nice candidate being forced by his party to run a nasty, and most likely also a losing, campaign."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Of course this is an Anshel Pfeffer article, but this witch hunt is so transparent...

  • Woman and child killed in Iraq as US adopts Israeli 'knocker' bombs and leaflet drops
    • Nifty article in The Guardian today by the Presidents of ICRC and MSF:

      "The airstrike on an Aleppo hospital is a wake-up call for the UN. It must act now

      ...Sadly, this is not an isolated case. From Afghanistan to the Central African Republic, from South Sudan to Yemen and Ukraine, ambulances, hospitals and health centres have been bombed, looted, burned and destroyed. Patients have been killed in their beds; health workers have been attacked as they rescued the wounded. ..."

      link to theguardian.com

      No mention of Gaza, Palestine at all. Several folks have pointed that out in the comments... nothing about Iraq, either.

    • Timely, eh?

      "U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital Isn't a War Crime, Military Probe Concludes

      October 3 strike, which killed forty-two people in the Doctors Without Border hospital, was due to several factors, including human error, chief of U.S. Central Command says.

      A U.S. military investigation has concluded that a deadly air strike in Afghanistan last year that destroyed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders did not amount to a war crime but was caused by a number of factors, including human errors. 

      Forty-two people were killed and 37 were wounded during an Oct. 3 strike that destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. 

      "The investigation concluded that certain personnel failed to comply with the rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict, however, the investigation did not conclude that these failures amounted to a war crime," General Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters on Friday. 

      Votel said it was not a war crime because none of the service members were aware that they were striking a hospital. ...

      ... MSF, known as Doctors Without Borders in English, has in the past publicly cast doubt on the idea that the strike could have been a mistake but did not immediately comment "

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Seems that the US investigates itself just as Israel does, too. Although the article does state that:

      "On Thursday, Reuters reported that the U.S. military has taken disciplinary action against 16 service members over the air strike, including a general. 

      The report said that General John Campbell, who was then head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, took action against 12 personnel. 

      "The actions included suspension and removal from command, letters of reprimand, formal counseling and extensive retraining," the report said. 

      Five personnel who returned to the United States were investigated by Votel. 

      "(General) Votel took action with respect to four of these five personnel, including four letters of reprimand and admonishment, and boards to evaluate the flight certification of three aircrew members," the report added. "

      Still looks like a war crime to me...

    • yep!

      Speaking of illegal and war crimes, just as we are awaiting the 'official' report on the horrendous US attack (war crime) on the MSF- supported hospital in Afghanistan, there is this:

      "U.S. Says Assad Forces Solely Behind Aleppo Hospital Strike

      Denies Russian claim that a U.S.-led coalition plane was seen over Aleppo Wednesday evening.

      REUTERS - Indications are that Syria's government was solely responsible for an air strike on a hospital in Aleppo, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday, urging Russia to use its influence to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the attacks.

      U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Washington was still learning more about the attack on Wednesday night that killed children and doctors at the hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders. ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      uh-huh.

  • Israel closes crossing to Gaza for Passover
    • True, Kay.

      Hope that you read this in Kate's compilation today: "Did the Arabs betray Palestine? / Ramzy Baroud Palestine Chronicle 27 Apr" - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      The people in the US and Europe have choices, many MENA folks do not.

    • It's unbearable to read about the execution of those precious siblings and children of Palestine. May they rest in peace.

      Surely so much unmitigated savagery by these illegal settlers and their protectors (the IOF) and far too many others cannot go unpunished/enabled forever...

      Shame on the US DOS for not meeting with "Raji Sourani from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Shawan Jabarin from Al Haq" !

      As for the IOF- made conflagration~ moral negligence and massive destruction from this bunch of #@$%^. The good news is that they can't deploy those specific phosphorus munitions against civilians anytime soon...

      What a great piece by Ramzy Baroud~ thank you so much for sharing it here, Kate. Kudos to the wonderful Palestinian medical team, and hurrah for Rabai al-Madhoun's win!

      Thanks for this long list of atrocities ending with a breath of fresh air, Kate.

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • "i totally agree. heading out to sabeel conference and won’t be around to continue this conversation for awhile"

      Have a great and invigorating time, Annie!!!

    • O/T, but it's holy smokin' time for BDS of Eurovision Song Contest!

      "Palestinian Flag Banned From Eurovision Song Contest

      ... The Eurovision flag policy did note that national flags of non-participating countries would be allowed as long as those nations are members of the UN. The Palestinian Authority has observer status at the UN and does not appear on the official list of member states cited by the EBU. ...

      ... Rainbow flags, used most frequently by the LGBT community, will be "tolerated," said the EBU, on the condition that they are "not to be used as a tool to intentionally make a political statement during the show."

      Eurovision 2016 will take place in the Swedish capital of Stockholm with the winner to be announced on May 14. ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Wonder what Margot Wallström will say!

    • "However, we in the movement have also long lamented the continued intrusion of privileged white, pro-Western, pro-Americanism activists into the space meant for the liberation of oppressed."

      Please provide evidence of this. I am in the "movement" and I've not heard your alleged lamentation~ ever. As a matter of fact, this odious comment (imho) completely distorts the essence of Nada's message here. My guess is that you are anti- solidarity and have your very own idea of supremacy, among other issues. The "space" should be WIDE open.

      "I imagine anyone who would publish an article on this subject would incite a far uglier tantrum from the readers here."

      Where's the ugly "tantrum here"???

    • Page: 124
    • You should check out the comments on that article now, Kay24...

      link to haaretz.com

    • Bravo!!! So very well said and so necessary, imho.

      Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • How Chris Van Hollen learned to love Israel
    • omg~ that's an amazing article! Thank you so much for sharing it here, German Lefty.

      (be still my heart & hope springs eternal!)

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • Thanks, diasp0ra~ I was trying to conjure a response. Yours is eloquent.

    • I actually read your second post first and thought immediately :

      1) So grateful to see you here~ spreading your insight, your experience- based intelligence, and your critical thinking.

      2) Echoes of Avigail Abarbanal...

      Then I read the first and the second again, and I had to literally stand up and shout 'Yeah'!!!

    • Great comment, Shmuel. Thank you.

      (thanks for this extensive interview, MW and Professor Finkelstein.)

  • Two more young Palestinians are shot dead -- this time after one allegedly throws a knife
    • To your point, Ossinev:

      "Labour Suspends Former London Mayor After He Said Hitler Supported Zionism
      Ken Livingstone said Hitler supported Zionism 'before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.' At least ten Labour lawmakers demanded Livingstone's removal from party, including MP John Mann, who called him a 'Nazi apologist.'

      ... Former London mayor and veteran Labour politician Ken Livingstone is the latest Labour politician to be suspended for controversial remarks on Zionism, one day after lawmaker Naz Shah's suspension for her anti-Israel comments.

      Labour MPs called on Thursday to suspend Livingstone from the party after he rushed to his colleague's defense and allegedly calling Hitler a Zionist, the BBC reported. ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      It's freaking crazy and so much more...

    • Not really O/T~ Levy nails it... again:

      "America’s 83 Ignoramuses Are Enabling Destruction by Israel ...

      The 83 U.S. senators who urged the president to increase military assistance to Israel are 83 ignoramuses and their letter is a disgrace. Israel of all countries? Military assistance of all needs?

      Increasing military aid won’t add one iota of security to Israel, which is armed to the teeth. It will harm Israel. Those 83 out of 100 senators base their extraordinary demand on “Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges.”

      What are they talking about? What “rising challenges”? The rise in the use of kitchen knives as a deal-breaking weapon in the Middle East? The challenge for one of the world’s strongest armies to survive against young girls brandishing scissors? Hamas’ tunnels in the sand? Hezbollah, which is bleeding in Syria? Iran, which has taken a new path?

      It’s time they expanded their narrow view and reduced the enormous aid they shower on Israel’s arms industry – one of the world’s largest weapons exporters – and its army.

      The United States is allowed, of course, to waste its money as it sees fit. But one may ask, senators, if it makes sense to invest more fantastic sums to arm a military power when tens of millions of Americans still have no health insurance and your senate is tightening its purse strings despite the challenges of climate change.

      A world power is arming a regional power as part of a corrupt, rotten deal. Your money, senators, is largely being spent on maintaining a brutal, illegal occupation that your country claims to oppose – but finances.

      The weapons you provide are for a brazen state that dares defy America more than any of its allies does. It ignores America’s advice and even humiliates its president. It gets twice the aid you give Egypt, an ally that needs the money much more. It’s three times more than you give Afghanistan, which is devastated in part because of you.

      It’s almost four times more than you give Jordan, which is in a precarious state due to refugees and the Islamic State. To Vietnam, which you destroyed, you gave $121 million, and to Laos, which you ruined, $15 million. Impoverished Liberia received $156 million and awakening, liberated South Africa $490 million.

      But for Israel, even $3 billion a year isn’t enough. It gets more than any other country in the world yet insists on $4 billion, not a cent less, including an unconditional commitment for a decade.

      If you’ve already decided to pour such huge sums on Israel, why on its army of all things? Have you seen what its hospitals look like? And if you’re financing weapons, why not condition it on the only democracy in the region’s appropriate behavior?

      What do you have over there in the world’s most important legislature? An automatic signing machine for letters supporting Israel? An ATM for the Jewish lobby’s every whim? Only 17 of 100 senators were courageous enough, or bothered to think for a moment, before they signed another scandalous venture by AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy.

      More money to arm Israel will end in blood. It must end in blood. There are old weapons that must be used and new weapons that must be tried (and then sold to Azerbaijan and Ivory Coast).

      This destructive, murderous force will fall again on devastated houses in Gaza, and America will finance it all once again. The money will also corrupt Israel. If this is the prize for its refusal to make peace and its flouting of international law, why shouldn’t it behave this way? Uncle Sam will pay.

      The senators who signed the letter didn’t act for either their country’s good or Israel’s. It’s doubtful whether they know what they signed. It's doubtful whether they know ...

      Maybe among them are people of conscience or people familiar with their country’s national interests. But the blood money will serve neither those interests nor morality."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      P.S. Bernie Sanders was not one of the "83 ignoramuses"

      link to salon.com

    • Thanks for that.

    • Noticed that, too Blownaway.

      "Brother and sister slain at checkpoint were executed, Palestinians say ...

      ... Indications of execution

      Statements made by an Israeli spokesperson and eyewitness testimony suggest that the siblings, Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, a 23-year-old mother of two small children, reportedly five months pregnant, and Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha, may have been executed.

      Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner tweeted that Abu Ismail was “shot by Border Police before she could carry out the attack,” indicating that the woman didn’t pose any immediate threat to anyone’s life when she was killed. ...

      ... Witnesses told the Ma’an News Agency that “the two were apparently unable to understand Israeli officers yelling in Hebrew, and stopped walking.”

      “Witnesses said it appeared that Ibrahim attempted to grab his sister’s hand and move away from the officers, when they opened fire on her. Maram fell to the ground and when Ibrahim attempted to aid her, he was shot in his tracks,” Ma’an added.

      “[Maram] had reportedly obtained a permit from the Israeli authorities to enter Jerusalem for the first time when she was crossing on Wednesday,” the agency stated.

      Eyewitnesses told Palestinian media that Israeli forces fired a barrage of bullets at the pair – “more than 15 rounds into the woman’s body, confirming her death,” the Ma’an News Agency reported.

      A witness named Ahmad Taha told Ma’an that “Israeli officers approached the two after they had been shot and on the ground before opening fire on them again ‘to ensure that they were dead,’ adding that the officers ‘could have moved the two away without opening fire.’”

      The man alleged that the knives police said were carried by Maram and Ibrahim were planted.

      Medical care denied

      The Palestine Red Crescent Society told Ma’an that Israeli forces denied medics access to the woman and child.

      Video from the scene shows Israeli forces turning away a Palestine Red Crescent medic and preventing a cameraman from filming.

      A brother of Maram and Ismail told Haaretz that he doesn’t believe his sister intended to carry out an attack, saying that she was on her way to a doctor’s appointment when she was shot dead.

      “We have no details about what transpired and no one briefed us, but I don’t believe this whole terrorist attack story,” Hassan Taha said.

      “She was probably lost, or didn’t understand what was going on at the roadblock, and the soldiers shot her and my brother,” he added.

      An uncle of the siblings told media that the pair were killed “in cold blood.”..."

      More from Maureen Clare Murphy @ link to electronicintifada.net

    • I've read a couple of sources that report that they were brother and sister:

      "BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother after they allegedly attempted to carry out a stab attack on border police at Qalandiya military checkpoint near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, police and witnesses said. ..."

      link to maannews.com

      RIP

  • Chabon calls occupation 'the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life' and says he is 'culpable'
    • Thanks for the article. It's great news, indeed.

      In other wonderful news:

      "Rabai al-Madhoun wins International prize for Arabic fiction

      ‘Arabic Booker’ goes to Destinies, a novel that ‘invents a new fictional form’ to depict Palestinian experience"

      The entire article and video here: link to theguardian.com

  • Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel
  • Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is 'right all the time'
    • Pilkington:

      "Candidates spar over Israel and fate of Palestinians in Democratic debate

      Sanders broke the unwritten rule of presidential politics by criticizing Israel and speaking directly about plight of Palestinians before the New York primary

      The Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on Thursday night was electrified by a series of feisty exchanges, but one especially pugnacious discussion stood out as a potentially historic moment in presidential politics: the candidates’ dispute over Israel and the fate of Palestinians.

      Close observers of New York politics and the place within it of the city’s prominent Jewish population were astonished that Sanders spoke openly and directly about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza while criticizing Israel and its prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for responding disproportionately to Hamas provocations. Never before had such an outspoken pro-Palestinian message been delivered from the presidential campaign stage.

      During the debate, Sanders did not describe himself as a secular Jew but he did allude strongly to his heritage by saying that he spent “many months of my life when I was a kid in Israel”. He was also careful to describe himself as “100% pro-Israel”.

      But what was unprecedented about his intervention was that he broke the unwritten rule that has held firm in US presidential races for decades: that candidates emphasize their commitment to supporting Israel while maintaining virtual silence over the Palestinian side of the Middle Eastern equation.

      Sanders tore that convention apart by talking at length about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, where unemployment stands around 40% and where there is a landscape of “decimated houses, decimated healthcare, decimated schools. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people.”

      It was an extraordinary moment in presidential politics, said Chemi Shalev, US editor and correspondent of the Haaretz newspaper. It is extremely rare for presidential candidates to express sympathy for Palestinians, and the two individuals who came closest in recent times – Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008 – still went nowhere near where Sanders did in talking directly about it on the campaign trail.

      “Carter and Obama were much more careful, speaking about the need for peace as an imperative for Israeli security rather than as a matter of justice for the Palestinian people,” Shalev said.

      Clinton, by contrast, remained true to the presidential rulebook, refusing to engage with the Palestinian issue. Her remarks, more conventionally, stuck to expressing sympathy for Israelis living under the burden of Hamas terrorism.

      “I don’t know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist attacks, rockets coming at you. You have to defend yourself,” she said.

      The Clinton campaign clearly sees Sanders’ overt support for the Palestinians as a potential electoral bonus coming just five days before the critical New York primary on 19 April, in which she is hoping to make her lead over her rival unassailable. Before the debate, held in a former navy yard in Brooklyn, had even ended on Thursday, her press team had circulated a memo to reporters headlined: Hillary Clinton and Israel: A 30-year record of friendship, leadership and strength.

      On a national and international level, Sanders’ remarks are likely to reverberate for some time in that they arguably shifted the parameters of the public discussion. Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby group J Street, said it was an “extraordinarily important moment in American politics. There is now an honest debate for about the first time on a national political stage, and that is important for American foreign policy and for the state of Israel.”

      More immediately though is the question of how Sanders’ comments will play on next Tuesday’s vital election. It is hard to overestimate the role that Jews and the Israel-Palestine question play in New York politics: the city is after all the second largest urban collection of Jews in the world outside Tel Aviv, though its Jewish population has declined from more than 2 million people in the 1960s to about 1.2 million people today.

      On the other hand, there have been seismic movements within the American Jewish community in terms of its relationship to the Middle East over the past decade, brought about by the drawn-out nature of the conflict, disillusionment with Netanyahu’s government and a dilution of the role played by Israel as a commanding issue. A J Street poll conducted in 2014 found that Jewish support for the Democratic party remained rock solid at 69%, but Israel ranked 10th on a list of 14 issues that had motivated voters of which the economy and healthcare were supreme.

      There has also been a shift towards a younger generation of New York Jews who are more open to seeing the Middle East crisis as a double-sided conflict in which the Palestinian case should be given due prominence. It is possible that Sanders was making a play for that demographic, as well as appealing to the left wing of the Democratic party that has a strong pro-Palestinian tradition.

      But seasoned analysts of New York Jewish politics underlined the political risk that such a stance involves for Sanders. Mitchell Moss, a professor of New York University who has written extensively on the role of the Jewish community in the city’s politics, said that he expected the senator for Vermont’s remarks to give Clinton a bounce.

      “The New York primary is a closed contest that only registered Democrats can participate in. Many younger Jewish New Yorkers aren’t registered at all, and that makes Sanders’ comments self-destructive as they could drive the older Jews who will turn out to vote further into Hillary Clinton’s camp,” ...

      Against that, Sanders may be calculating that New York also has a growing Muslim population that today stands at well above half a million. For Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York and a surrogate for Sanders, the candidate’s remarks on Thursday night demonstrated that America is changing.

      At 36, Sarsour, a Palestinian American, said that it was “the furthest that any presidential candidate has gone in my lifetime. To hear the Brooklyn crowd cheering in the debate room showed me that the United States is moving towards the realization that the Palestinian people must be treated with respect.”"

      link to theguardian.com

      Good people all over the world agree that the Palestinian people deserve their land, their freedom, their clean water, their homes, justice and the respect and apologies of millions and millions of the thieves and their enablers that have robbed them of everything but their sumud and dignity.

      "Hillary Clinton and Israel: A 30-year record of friendship, leadership and strength."

      This has been an ongoing train wreck of a policy for all involved.

  • Note to Progressive Jews: The right of return is not the 'i'm-doing-you-a-favor' of return
    • A most wonderful and inspiring article. Thanks so very much for sharing it with us, Donna.

      (I love the image above, btw!!! It remains so freaking, sadly, and shamefully true 8 years later from when "Anna Baltzer and Haithem El-Zabri's" great photo of the action was taken...... and too many decades, hours, minutes and seconds since the beginning...)

  • Israel demolishes children's playground near Nablus
    • This compilation is especially difficult to read, Kate. Thanks to you, I am fortified with a heavier heart, wetter eyes, increased knowledge/truth and more resolve every. single. day.

  • 'NY Times' has double standard for Arab and Jewish reporters
    • The NYT is only imitating the real Israel. See this from Amira Hass:

      "How and Why Radical Right-winger Bentzi Gopstein Was Acquitted

      The judge’s faith in Gopstein is interwoven in a process of acceptance, separation and differentiation.

      Judge Dov Pollock believes in Bentzi Gopstein’s honesty. This faith forms the basis of his decision to acquit the chairman of Lehava (an NGO seeking to prevent assimilation in the Holy Land) of the charge of attacking two left-wing activists, Daniel Dokorovich and Ezra Nawi.

      “I accept the claim,” Pollock wrote in his decision, “that the defendant subjectively felt a clear danger to himself and to neighborhood residents who stood next to him when Ezra, Daniel and their colleagues decided to climb the gate and enter this way, arousing suspicion about their intentions. … The defendant made an honest mistake regarding the goal of their entry into the settlement … for the sake of preventing a supposed danger … presented by their entry. Thus, there is both a foundation for palpable danger and a foundation for the defendant’s subjective sense of urgency.”

      No one denies Gopstein’s attack. It was filmed and took place right under the nose of Judea and Samaria District police in Kiryat Arba. It happened on August 2, 2008. Two years passed until the Judea and Samaria District prosecution unit filed an indictment, and even that was only after those attacked kept “nudging.” The trial dragged on and on, and on Sunday the acquittal came down.

      The indictment is flawed by omissions, errors and deletions. This is further evidence that prosecution unit did not really try. ... let’s summarize the events: Another activist from Ta’ayush, a Jewish-Arab anti-occupation group, was arrested that morning at a protest over the blockage of a trail connecting two small villages. That has been the army’s solution for years. The settlers harass Palestinian passersby, the path is blocked to the Palestinians. Nawi went to pick up the detainee who was released from the Judea and Samaria police station in Kiryat Arba. Nawi asked Dr. Dokorovich to accompany him and examine some Palestinian children. There were two more activists with them.

      The small Givat Ha’avot settlement, where Gopstein lives, is adjacent to the police station. The activists entered the settlement by car via the main gate because that is the way to the police station. They noticed a large group of settler children throwing rocks at the Ja’abri family home right nearby. Despite the proximity to the police station and the presence of adults and soldiers, no one made the children stop. The Ta’ayush activists, true heroes, rushed to climb the gate separating Givat Avot and the Ja’abris’ land to stand with the family under attack. Their presence and involvement required the soldiers to disperse the settlers throwing stones.

      The activists then saw that a group of Israelis, apparently settlers, were walking suspiciously around their car. Afterward they would discover that the tires had been punctured and Dokorovich’s medical bag lifted. They sought to climb the locked gate and get back to their car on the other side. That’s where Gopstein attacked ... . The police arrested … the activists.

      This factual foundation, which the activists testified to in court, apparently seemed irrelevant to the honorable judge. Relevant was the emotional foundation of the attacker – who, in response to the police’s recommendation a year ago to try him for racist incitement, described the essence of his work as follows: “I represent the Torah of Israel, which taught us the importance of differentiation between Israel and the gentile peoples.”

      The judge’s faith in Gopstein is interwoven in a process of acceptance, separation and differentiation. He separates the defendant standing in front of him from the very well-known media personality. There will be those who call this objectivity, or professionalism. He accepts the emotional basis on which Gopstein makes his declaration, and which allows him to present a picture of reality in which he is the potential victim of an attack by Arabs and anarchists. At the same time, the judge ignores the fabric of objective facts that brought the true victims of the attack to Hebron and the settlement. In accepting Gopstein’s claims, the judge makes a differentiation. Between the attacker and the attacked. Between the settler and the one suspected of anarchism, leftism or Arabism. Between Israel and the gentile peoples."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

  • Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre
  • How I discovered what Phil Ochs thought about Israel
    • "... as said by sarte -it takes a mediocre mind-set and you took up the cause."

      Ooh la la! Say it ain't so. (Unh- unh... seriously?)

      Typos, abbreviations, and grammar aside, your thoughts are so freaking twisted, imho.

    • I read your nasty comment from this morning that was posted when I came home, Jackdaw. I was humming, singing along with, and playing Ochs' songs in my car whenever I got the chance, thanks to Peter Feld's great essay that jolted me into the past, present and future today. I often play his music on my home equipment~ loud and proud.

      I felt sick to my stomach when I read your comment. Then I reflected that it was you who wrote it and tried to calm my stomach and my head while at the same time I wondered why this world has people like you in it who cannot bother to read an article nor comprehend the message. I was sure that some other humanist that is hale and hearty would respond to you, ( or maybe even one of your fellow delusionists would come to your rescue), but you apparently stand alone. That's pretty good news.

    • Sincere thanks for this wonderful tale of evolution. You are very generous to share it with us, Peter.

      Phil Ochs is a personal favorite and hero of mine, too. Such enormous talent, an incredible voice and mind~ a tragedy that he had so much pain.

  • Advice to North Carolina
    • "...According to the Boss, a meaningful expression of “solidarity” with the “freedom fighters” who struggle for universal equality is “more important than a rock show. ...”

      You bet!

      Advice to Bruce Springsteen:

      Don't play TA. They execute "freedom fighters".

  • Israel demands correction from Sanders: it killed only 532 Palestinian children in summer 2014
    • Thanks for that Ossinev.

      Here's more legalized and state- sponsored fascism, racism, apartheid:

      Far-right Activist Gopstein Acquitted of Assaulting Israeli Leftists

      The judge dismissed the case against Lehava leader Bentzi Gopstein on the grounds that he may have thought he was attacking Palestinians.

      A far-right, anti-Arab activist was acquitted yesterday of assaulting two left-wing activists because the judge said that he could have thought the two people he attacked were Palestinians.

      The incident for which Bentzi Gopstein, leader of the Lehava anti-assimilation organization, was indicted occurred in August 2008. Left-wing activists who were in Hebron at the time said they saw settlers throwing stones at Palestinian houses, so two of them, Ezra Nawi and Daniel Dokorovich, went over to the settlers’ houses to tell them to stop. On the way, they ran into Gopstein, who attacked both of them with his fists to keep them from approaching.

      The indictment was based on video footage of the incident, and Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Dov Pollock said the footage clearly showed that an assault took place: Gopstein “pushed Ezra and Elad [another activist] and hit their fingers when they tried to climb the fence, and later pushed Daniel and Ezra.”

      Nevertheless, he accepted Gopstein’s argument that at the time the incident occurred, he had good reason to think the two people trying to climb the fence might be Palestinian residents of Hebron who were liable to attack the Jewish residents. Moreover, he noted, military orders forbid Palestinians from entering Hebron’s Jewish enclave, so had the two men actually been Palestinians, they would have been trying to enter the area illegally.

      Pollock acknowledged that this line of defense is valid only if Gopstein could legitimately have thought the Jewish activists were Palestinians. However, he wrote, that wasn’t inconceivable, because “the groups that come to protest [in Hebron] often contain both Jewish leftists and Palestinian Arabs.”

      Assaf Sharon, the left-wing activist who videotaped the assault, said in response to the acquittal. “Any reasonable person who watched the video clip and then read the verdict couldn’t help but be impressed by Judge Pollock’s acrobatics.”

      After the verdict was handed down, Gopstein wrote ..., “There’s no doubt my actions were justified, and when I saw Nawi and his gang breaking into the neighborhood, I defended the residents. Had I known it was Nawi, I believe I would have acted more forcefully. It’s time for the prosecution to put Nawi on trial.”

      Gopstein’s attorney, Itzhak Bam, said, “Ezra Nawi is a man who is all provocation, and I’m happy with the decision of the court, which didn’t buy the provocations of Ezra Nawi and his anarchist friends.”"

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      That's one heckuva "speedy" trial, too..... ugh. My guess is that Gopstein next stop is the Knesset or the office of the PM.

    • No "sorry" necessary, ritzl.

      I was somewhat similarly struck~ you bring up great points.

    • O/T (sort of...)

      "$655.5 Million Award for U.S. Victims of Palestinian Terrorism Faces Legal Test ...

      The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan is hearing arguments this week against a lower court award of hundreds of millions of dollars to 10 families who were victims of terrorist attacks blamed on the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

      The attacks in the early 2000s killed 33 people and wounded more than 400. The lower court's award in February of $218.5 million was automatically tripled to $655.5 million under a U.S. antiterrorism law.

      The court will hear arguments on Tuesday as to whether it was legitimate for the U.S. court to hear the case, The Wall Street Journal reports. The PA and the PLO say the U.S. lacks jurisdiction. ...

      "This appeal goes to the power of the  U.S. congress to exert the long arm of American law against people who kill Americans overseas," said Kent Yalowitz, a partner at Arnold and Porter LLP, representing the victimes, according to the WSJ."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Uh, what about the US bombs etc. used by Israel to terrorize and massacre folks? What about the US citizens who happen to be Palestinian there who are executed and terrorized??? So many questions, too few answers. *crickets*

    • Check this out from Max B. and Carlos Latuff:

      "Sanders Gets it Mostly Right on Gaza, but Cheerleaders for Israeli Brutality Attack Him Anyway

      An exclusive Latuff cartoon on Israel lobby outrage over Sanders' comments on Israel’s 2014 massacre of Gaza civilians."

      link to alternet.org

    • Quelle surprise! :

      "Israeli Army Closes Probe Into Officer Who Killed Fleeing Palestinian Stone-thrower

      Military advocate general finds that the officer's shooting was justified as part of the procedure to arrest a suspect, and that the fact he shot the youth in the upper body instead of in the legs was an operational mistake."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      RIP, Mohammad Kosba.

      Who's next, IEF and Israel?

    • !!! Spot- on, ritzl !!!

  • Israeli navy opens fire on Gaza fishing boats, then seizes boats
    • "... Hamoda was one of six West Bank dairy and meat producers to have their products turned back at the Beitunya checkpoint near Ramallah – the transit point for goods entering Israel – on March 9 when the ban started. The other companies were dairy producers Al Rayan and Juneidi, and meat producers Siniora, Salwa and Ghoshe. Israel says the Palestinian Authority has failed to provide adequate assurances that the products affected meet Israeli health standards."

      What "standards"??? Time for BDS'ers to ramp it up!!!

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Philippa Whitford.

      From wiki: "Just after the First Gulf War and during the First Palestinian Intifada at the age of 30, Whitford served for a year and a half as a medical volunteer in a UN hospital in Gaza.[3] "

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Gideon Levy:

      "There's No Place in Israel for an Honest Arab

      Zionist Union's Zouheir Bahloul dared to say the truth - that anyone who tries to stab a soldier at a damned Hebron roadblock isn't a terrorist - and started an almost fascist stampede.

      He wasn’t always like that. All his life he tried to be a good Arab. Only a year ago, he took part in the reality game show “Survivor.” He was still proud of himself for realizing the dream of an Arab boy from Nazareth who wanted to meet Benjamin Netanyahu. On International Women’s Day he chose Lucy Aharish as his heroine. Only two months ago, he participated in a Hebrew language conference ... .

      The Israelis rewarded him with affection and even let him into Hagashash Hahiver’s (an Israeli comedy trio) hall of fame. And suddenly, this spectacular flop!

      What did he say already? The most self-evident thing. He said that anyone who tries to stab a soldier at a damned roadblock in Hebron – a soldier who is part of a military force intended to make his and his people’s lives a misery and to deprive them of basic rights – is not a terrorist.

      He said that someone who does such a thing does it as resistance to the occupation – a resistance recognized by international law and natural justice. He said that there’s a difference between murdering civilians and murdering soldiers. He said that if the stabber is a “terrorist,” then the soldiers who execute him are terrorists.

      Zionist Union Knesset member Zouheir Bahloul was even willing to compromise on the term “murderer,” but not on “terrorist,” as his people are almost generically called. Terrorism by definition is directed against civilians, not soldiers. Trivial. Tzipi Livni has said it before, and during her term as foreign and justice minister.

      But times have changed and now it’s forbidden to say anything that comes even close to justice, equality or logic. The State of Israel versus Bahloul, the crusade against an Arab for being an Arab, the almost-fascist stampede in the state of gags and muzzles.

      Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, afraid of his own shadow, in the midst of a fight for survival, turned on Bahloul, proving once again his own shabbiness. But no less shabby was the squawk that arose from the backbenchers of his party, which would be crawling into the government were it not for the investigation against Herzog. None of them came out to defend the man who tried to tell a brave truth.

      Science Minister Ofir Akunis was also angry. So was Shuli Mualem Rafaeli, whose Habayit Hayehudi party knows something about terrorism. But that’s nothing compared to the prime minister, the man who encouraged the parents of a soldier murderer and kept mum when he heard Habayit Hayehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich’s maternity ward tales – but fell upon Bahloul.
      Channel 2’s Ulpan Shishi (Friday night news,) in the name of that haloed falsity balanced coverage, treated Smotrich and Bahloul equally. As far as Channel 2 is concerned, heinous racism is to be balanced with telling the truth about the legitimacy of the resistance. Each was presented as an “extremist.”

      Bahloul came out badly. The day he joined the Labor Party his fate was sealed. There’s no place in this party for an honest Arab. There never was. It wants them as liars and collaborators, like most of Jewish society.

      A few years ago, Bahloul hastened to retract worthy praise he uttered when interviewing a Lebanese activist who had organized a flotilla to Gaza. A few years later, he still dared to feebly rebuke his faction, which supported blacklisting Haneen Zoabi. Now he has come out of the closet of lies that all good Arabs are forced to hide in.

      You don’t have a chance, Zoheir. Not in the party you’ve chosen. You don’t have a chance to be a good Arab in Israeli eyes. They want you to broadcast soccer, not to tell the truth. As long as you describe the events on the field in your magnificent Hebrew, you’ll be invited to conferences in Rishon Letzion. But don’t you dare exceed the lines of your allocated field.

      However, the ball is round and it isn’t over till it’s over, as they say in sports. You can’t remain silent forever. You’ve come out of the closet, don’t try to get back in it. Count on your “friends” in the party and the “left-center” not to allow you to do that.

      In Israel there’s no place for Arabs. even those like you. For them you too are “Zoabis” (a denigrating term coined by Yair Lapid to describe Arab lawmakers.)"

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Thank you, Kate.

  • Why Clinton's Iraq decision matters
    • "Bernie Sanders' focus on Clinton's Iraq war vote isn't harping - it's necessary

      If there is one thing Bernie Sanders never fails to reference in the Democratic primary, it’s Hillary Clinton’s vote in favor of the Iraq war. He brought it up after answering a question about gun control, he continually references the vote during Democratic debates and he’s made his opposition to the war a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Last week he said, “I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq,” and on Sunday, he again questioned Clinton’s judgment based on her vote.

      The response from some journalists and Clinton supporters has been to derisively question whether he has any other notes, with a tone of: when is he going to stop complaining about something that happened over a decade ago?

      He shouldn’t stop. If anything, more politicians should be bringing up the Iraq war at every opportunity. The dismissive tone Clinton supporters have taken to the issue belies a callous indifference to the most disastrous foreign policy calamity in our lifetime – a decision that continues to directly affect US foreign policy across the entire Middle East. It is dangerously shortsighted and an insult to the countless people who died as a result. If anything, we should be talking about the Iraq war more, not less.

      Four thousand five hundred members of the US military died in the Iraq, tens of thousands of Americans were injured or maimed, and at least a half million Iraqis died as a result of the decision to declare war (some estimates put it as high as one million), for starters. Should we stop talking about those unspeakably tragic deaths because most happened 10 years ago, or because the majority of them weren’t American?

      But beyond the direct destruction caused by Congress and the Bush administration committing more than a $1tn of blood and treasure, it is beyond debate that the current chaos Isis is sowing across the Middle East can be directly attributed to the Iraq invasion, something that even the most hardcore Iraq war architects, like former British prime minister Tony Blair, readily admit. ..."

      link to theguardian.com

    • "In any case Krugman has now irreversibly aligned himself with the neocons/neoliberals and lost the respect of the progressive world. He isn’t the first one to travel that road."

      Yep. JATF~ (just another Tom Friedman) Ugh.

      Another reason "Clinton's Iraq decision" (full- throated support) matters:

      "Iran will not negotiate with US over missile program, ...

      John Kerry says US is prepared to address Iran’s concerns if it halts missile launches, as Iran official suggests US allies are providing arms to Isis

      Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday the country’s missile program was not up for negotiation with the US.

      The missile program and “defense capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not negotiable”, said Mohammad Javad Zarif after meeting his Estonian counterpart ...

      He added that if Washington was serious about defensive issues in the Middle East, it should stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

      A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and battling the Iran-backed Shia rebels in Yemen since March 2015. Iran also supports anti-Israeli militant groups.

      US secretary of state John Kerry said on Thursday the US and its partners were telling Iran that they were “prepared to work on a new arrangement to find a peaceful solution to these issues”.

      He said Iran first had to make it clear to all involved that it was prepared to cease provocative ballistic missile launches and tests.

      Zarif on Sunday also hinted that regional US allies were among those quietly supporting the extremist Islamic State group.

      “The US needs to view regional issues more seriously than raise baseless and threadbare allegations against Iran,” said Zarif. “Mr Kerry should ask US allies where the Islamic State’s arms come from.”"

      link to theguardian.com

      Sing it, Mr. Zarif!

      Louder, please.

    • Ask Kristol and Kagan and the others in the PNAC cabal...

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      then look into the Foreign Policy Initiative, The Saban Forum/Brookings, and various other groupthink tanks ad nauseam and don't forget AIPAC.

      "Barney Frank says Israel and AIPAC lobbied Congress to support Iraq war" - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      (Lots of people made money... all of it tainted with the blood of innocents.)

    • And then there's Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen ... nobody can convince me that she doesn't want to go after Iran, too!

      A multitude of sins and sinners that stretch from DC to Tel Aviv to Riyadh to Islamabad...

  • The Jewish-Israeli navel-gazers
  • 'Israel will not have better friend in White House than Hillary' -- Clinton adviser assures NY
    • "'Absurd' to Say I Created ISIS; That Was Assad, Russia and Iran, Says Hillary Clinton

      On CNN, Hillary Clinton responded to accusations from Bernie Sander's campaign manager that her foreign policy helped create ISIS."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      sheesh.

    • "Why Is Goldman Sachs Funding the Violent, Racist Jewish Settlers of Hebron?

      Even though the firm's Charitable Gift Fund consistently gives to right-wing Israeli groups or their U.S. fronts, the Hebron aid is a standout, as the showcase city for the worst of the Israeli occupation.

      In 2012 the Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund granted $18,000 to one of the most violent and discriminatory communities in the West Bank – the Jewish community in Hebron. Hebron is a perpetual nightmare. About 700 Jews live in tiny fortified urban settlements at the center of a city inhabited by 180,000 Palestinians. 

      The settlers of Hebron are known for violence. There are multiple videos online in which they yell “Death to Arabs!” and paint hateful Hebrew graffiti on the doors of Palestinian stores. Their children rampage through Palestinian markets, kick over tables with goods, and wreak havoc. Hebron settlers are also known to attack Israeli soldiers on the rare occasions they’ve attempt to curb the settlers' violent activities. 

      In parts of downtown Hebron Palestinian residents installed nets and metal grates over the streets to catch the garbage that settlers routinely throw from their windows. 

      Hebron is the showcase city for human rights organizations to bring tourists to when they want demonstrate the worst of the Israeli occupation. The largely abandoned historic center of Hebron is known as "The Ghost Town." The Israeli Defense Forces have welded the doors of Arab shops shut and prevent Palestinians from entering much of the area. 

      Here IDF soldiers segregate the roads and force Palestinians to use a narrow, unpaved and rough pedestrian passageways while their Jewish neighbors walk on the main street. Here the Jewish community worships the terrorist Baruch Goldstein, an American-born physician, who entered the Ibrahimi Mosque at Abraham’s tomb in Hebron in February 1994 and massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers and wounded 120, before being beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

  • Zionism is not really secular
    • Very interesting:

      "Israel Doesn't Exist in Its Own Right. It’s a Bluff.

      The categorical imperative of Israeliness is always striving to export; hello ma’am, hello sir, we have an interesting story. A small country. Occupation. Jewishness. Holocaust. Care to buy?

      Israel does not exist in its own right. There is no such country as “Israel.” It’s a bluff. A scam. Somehow we’ve been made to believe in something that has no logic. A sovereign entity? Who are you kidding? Not at all. Israel is a dependent country. An aircraft carrier of the United States, as some people put it. That’s not a joke or folklore. It’s reality. Israel’s sovereignty depends on external aid. We get the money from the Americans, the submarines from Germany, the working hands from Palestine, Africa and Asia.

      The European states support us tacitly and accord us a façade, the right to assume the European aura as though it were ours. The Chinese have bought the iconic Tnuva food manufacturer and soon will buy all the rest. They are also putting up buildings and digging tunnels for us. A foreign energy conglomerate is removing the gas from the sea for us. From the Australians we buy livestock. We get high in India and try to forget our traumas from our army days. Hey, we even stole the hummus.

      So what’s left? Hashahar chocolate spread? The game of Taki? Israel’s car, the long-deceased Susita? The separation barrier? Remotely piloted aircraft? Targeted assassinations? We didn’t even invent violence, just upgraded it.

      To be here and not to be here, that is the national ethos. Nationalism is the primary reason for being here, but it’s not strong enough to create autonomy. Patriotism falls apart in the face of the big world out there. The country’s citizens are peering out all the time, and the peering has become the peek forward. Because there, far away, across the sea, is where the real opportunities await. So it’s odd that people get upset at an organization like Breaking the Silence for being active abroad. What’s all the fuss about? That’s what we taught them. We were all educated to look outward.

      The Israeli lust for expansion is insatiable, because it acknowledges the smallness and limitedness of the place. Even if no one listens to you here, people will surely listen elsewhere. Breaking the Silence is only upholding the categorical imperative of Israeliness: always strive to export what you do inside. The organization is doing nothing exceptional. Nor are the other human rights groups, when they travel across Europe and the United States within the framework of the thriving peace industry. That’s what we know how to do: take Israeliness and trade in it. Like wagoners on the Silk Road, or smarmy salesmen. Going door to door with our wares. Hello ma’am, hello sir, we have an interesting story. A small country. Occupation. Jewishness. Holocaust. Care to buy?

      An Israeli television series can’t be broadcast only on Channel 2 or Channel 10. There’s no money in that, and no prestige. It has to be sold as a format abroad. If a book isn’t translated into at least three languages, why bother to publish it here? ... a few hundred people in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will read it? There’s no real value in that. Israeli chefs dream of opening branches in London and New York. They’re no patsies. Why make do with Rothschild Boulevard if you can sell shakshuka to the goyim?

      If you’ve directed a film and it hasn’t been accepted to at least four tiny film festivals in Eastern Europe, you have failed miserably. Where will your movie be screened? In the Sderot Cinematheque? Come on. You’ve formed a band and haven’t gone on a tour of 10 pubs in southern Germany? You’ve blown it, pal. And obviously you have to do a doctorate in Paris and a post-doctorate at Columbia and exit your app startup and relocate to Silicon Valley and do a residency in some hole in southern Italy. The politicians and senior business people in Israel smuggle their children out for a happy life elsewhere, even as they turn the country into heaps of ruins and fertile ground for exploitation. Local-ness is for losers.

      We live in a culture that is subletting itself to death. Everyone is looking for an exit – not to say escape – tactic. It’s not just the Ashkenazi obsession with foreign passports, or the over-ambition that characterizes migrant societies. It’s a quality that’s built into Israeliness; at the deepest level, no one wants to be here. Israelis understand that this place is limited and apparently temporary. That recognition generates incessant longing. Yearning for the diaspora we left. There is hardly any activity that is purely Israeli, that exists only in this place, at this time.

      It’s no longer a dialogue with other cultures. It’s a fatal attraction. A moral criterion in every respect. Everything that happens here is in the nature of a platform for realization elsewhere. As an Israeli, you are expected to “think big.” In other words, to go to the Western world, to transform yourself into Western mode, to show them that you have it in you. And if possible, not to come back. To stay there. Internationalism is a physical and spiritual last testament. And you shall tell your son: Go forth from your native land.

      There’s no choice but to admit that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is not a bad idea at all. It’s a blow to the soft underbelly. To the self-perception of Israel as belonging to the world and conducting relations of give-and-take with it. A boycott of Israel is also a boycott of the Israeli fantasy, of being here as though we are not here. Maybe BDS will force Israelis to grapple with reality. To stop thinking about export and import and simply to live what there is. That’s the moment we’re all afraid of. Understanding that Israel is all there is."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Give the stolen land, resources, freedom,respect, and justice back to the Palestinians~ NOW.

      That's "all there is". Be better humans, Israelis and Zionists.

    • Thank you, Shmuel, Jonathan and everyone for writing and participating here.

      "... So Zionism created the ‘Jewish State’. One could rightfully ask the simple question, how on earth could a state be ‘secular’ when by its very definition it is religious?

      This is the trick. Zionism took the myth of the ‘Jewish nation’ from Jewish culture. It extrapolated the nationalist stream inherent in Judaism, and made it into an ostensibly ‘secular’ national movement. But this nationalist element depends upon the religious ‘counterpart’ to exist.

      "Thus I reach my conclusion, that Zionism is a kind of religion, masked as mere secular nationalism."

      Sunlight is good. Drought isn't. This clever "trick" is finally being found out, indeed~ a "trick" that has justified mass murder, the Nakba, too numerous to count executions/assassinations of Palestinians and others, and way above the top claims to be a 'democracy' is finally being undone and unmasked with the help and the good grace of sentient humans everywhere on our planet. The US and the other weirdos that support this criminal gov't will face everlasting shame...

  • Bernie Sanders' record on Palestine
    • I have plenty of "pause".

      We don't have an alternative, though.

      ( There never has been one left alive or allowed to be successful in my lifetime.)

      Until the American people (yes, the unwashed masses and others) yell and scream and stamp their feet about the sickeningly bloated blank check and criminal support to this rogue state, a change ain't gonna come. The US has to start somewhere, and only Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have seemed to honestly mean to do better. They tried and have only been vilified for trying to right a teensy fraction of the vast wrongs perpetrated on the Palestinian people and on Palestine.

      JMHO.

    • A very good piece and mighty effort, Nicholas. Thank you very much~ I've already shared it with others.

      I found this from Asher Schechter in Haaretz today:

      "Bernie Sanders’ Candor on Israel Shows American Voters Are Changing Their Tune

      Gaffes aside, Sanders’ embarrassing New York Daily News interview actually illuminates one of the underrated strengths of his campaign.

      Bernie Sanders has been getting a lot of flack for his excruciating interview with the New York Daily News, in which, among other things, he made the mistake of claiming that Israel killed over 10,000 Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war, when in fact that number is closer to 1,500.

      Presumably, Sanders mixed up the number of fatalities (a horrific number in itself) with the number of people who were injured — which, according to the UN, is over 11,000. Regardless, it is an embarrassing error.

      But while Sanders has been slammed for his apparent lack of knowledge on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and while he’s been accused of being a foreign policy lightweight more generally, the thrust of what he had to say to the Daily News about Israel was actually pretty sensible.

      During the interview, Sanders spoke about the need for Israel to withdraw from some West Bank settlements, stating, "I think withdrawal from those territories is appropriate”. He also criticized Israel for its disproportionate response to terrorist rocket attacks: “I don't think I'm alone in believing that Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”

      Actually, much of what Sanders says had to say about Israel echoes the positions of the current administration. (Obama in 2011: “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”) The rest is just common sense. That any of this is controversial in a presidential election in 2016 speaks volumes about the American discourse on Israel and serves to illuminate one of the underrated strengths of Sanders’ candidacy: the way he is changing the conversation about Israel ... .

      For evidence of how shallow the debate over Israel has become, just look at some of the questions asked by the New York Daily News during the Sanders interview. Sanders was asked “who makes the call” about the illegality of the “so-called settlements” that he thinks Israel should pull out of. This is a strange question, since under international law every Israeli settlement is considered illegal, and since dozens of so called “outposts” in the West Bank are considered illegal even by Israeli standards. Israel Itself, by the way, has acknowledged the murky legal status of West Bank settlements by never officially annexing them.

      Indeed, over the past several weeks, after staying noticeably silent on the subject of Israel for a long time, Sanders has spoken about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a candor that’s been sorely missing from the statements made by other presidential hopefuls. He has been challenging the unwritten rules of how candidates should approach the Israeli issue, and renegotiating the limits of what serious presidential prospects can say about Israel, by daring to acknowledge Israel’s contributions to its own security crises, its disregard for civilian casualties and the illegality of Israelis settlements in the West Bank — subjects that no other presidential candidates dare discuss.

      Last month’s AIPAC conference was a fitting example of how constrained the “debate” about Israel has become in recent years. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, four very different candidates with very different world views, gave largely identical speeches, recycling the same old cliches about Israel being “a light unto the nations” and Palestinians fostering a “culture of hatred and death.” None, by the way, offered any policy recipes for helping Israelis and Palestinians move forward, and settled for promises to “not be neutral” and vague declarations about “unbreakable bonds.” 

      At the same time, Sanders — who skipped AIPAC — was in Utah giving a speech that touched on Palestinian suffering, the “absurd” suggestions of some Israeli ministers that building more settlements is an appropriate response to Palestinian violence, and the brutal reality of Israeli occupation. While his rivals were pandering to Jewish conservatives in Washington, Sanders spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the shortage of water Palestinians face in the West Bank. (It’s worth noting, by the way, that during this speech Sanders cited the correct civilian death toll of the latest Gaza war, suggesting that his Daily News error may have been no more than a slip). 

      Such positions are consistent with statements Sanders, who lived in Israel for a short time during the 1960s, has made in the past. In 1988, for instance, while still mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he said that that “the sight of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs is reprehensible” and that “the idea of Israel closing down towns and sealing them off is unacceptable.”

      What’s changed is that he’s now saying them while running for president of the United States, in a manner befitting his status as the anti-establishment candidate.

      Partly, Sanders’ willingness to express a more critical stance on Israel than other candidates reflects the shifting sensibilities of Sanders’ base, young voters who are critical of Israeli policies — among them, young Jews who don’t support Israel blindly as many of their parents did. With the rest of the presidential field too busy in AIPAC’s panderpalooza, that leaves Sanders as the voice of nuance. 

      Criticizing Israel has long been considered political poison, but perhaps Sanders’ campaign is an indication that that is beginning to change. Most likely, Sanders won’t win the Democratic nomination or the presidency, but in regards to Israel, his candor is paving the way for a conversation that is very different than the kind of shallow talk we’d been previously willing to accept from presidential candidates."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      The twitter headline for this article is "While the others are too busy in AIPAC’s panderpalooza, Sanders is the voice of nuance"

      link to twitter.com

  • Unitarian Universalists divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation
  • Iceland proves corruption is far from extinct in the Global North
    • Well written, "og".

    • Hear, hear and a big bingo to you, eljay!

      "But for some years now, many in the Icelandic elite have turned out to be just as greedy and dishonest as their criminal counterparts in Mexico or the Democratic Republic of Congo."

      Hello? The US has more than its share of "greedy and dishonest" folks and so do other nations...... why this focus On Iceland and comparison with? I happen to believe that the scandal was revealed b/c of the success of Putin/Assad in Syria. A success that only some are whispering about...

    • I am sorry that you thought this important enough to print while the US has been on a rampage all of my life.

      The man (PM) in Iceland stepped down.

      (btw, why is everybody in this crazy world making a big old deal of this but not of Putin's and Assad's rescue of Palmyra, his people, and the defeat of Isis there?)

  • Shocker: 'NYT' forum on anti-Zionism tilts toward equating Zionism with racism
    • Thank you.

      (You are a good 'oldgeezer' that I would dearly like to meet one day. 1S1P1V!!! Justice will, and must, happen in our lifetime.)

  • Execution of Palestinian exposes militarism and racism of Israeli culture
    • Burg:

      "The IDF: The Most Semi-moral Army in the World

      If half of the Israeli population is racist, violent, bloodthirsty, aggressive and ultra-nationalist, does that mean that half of the Israeli army is, too?

      Avraham Burg Apr 04, 2016 8:35 PM

      The lives of most human beings are full of contradictions, and that’s wonderful and enriching, as long as they are aware of that and admit it. But usually, most of them don’t invest time in thoughts and ideas, preferring to live within reassuring and comforting clichés. They feel comfortable with the headlines that define them concisely and spare them the effort needed for self criticism or, God forbid, change, moral commitment or political activism.

      That is true of the statement: “The Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world.” Already at the start I would like to cast doubt on the validity of the statement. Who checked? Who participated in the inspections? What were the criteria? How many years does the study cover? And in general, who was the control group? In short, it’s simply a meaningless statement, no more than lip service. Because in their heart of hearts anyone who understands that an army is a crucial political device owes himself an accounting about the way in which his country administers this central resource of power. And we know: There is no purity of arms, but to our misfortune some of those who bear them are polluted.

      Another cliché is “The IDF is the army of the people.” Because of it there is quasi-anti-Semitic public pressure against the ultra-Orthodox to become part of the new, Israeli-Jewish people. And the very same tool is used to exclude the Arabs from the Israeli whole (since for the Jewish majority, including Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan of Habayit Hayehudi, only a Jew is Israeli). But alas, almost half of this nation — as has been found in all the surveys, studies, examinations and institutions — is racist, persecuted, persecuting, violent, simplistic, bloodthirsty, belligerent, aggressive and ultra-nationalist. So if half the nation is like that, does that mean that half of the army is like that too?

      And let’s say that all those people leave those opinions of theirs at the army induction base and store them at home every time they report for reserve duty. In other words, in civilian life they are Baruch Marzels, La Familia and shadows of The Shadow, but the moment they don a uniform they immediately become the most moral soldiers in the world. Because the army’s orders are something exceptionally moral. Let’s say. Immediately a new problem in logic crops up: The army is no more than the country’s weapon, and its operating system is government policy. And that, woe is me, is corrupt to the foundations.

      All of Israel’s governments are based on two foundations. One is incomparably moral, and the second is the quintessence of impurity. On the one hand — every nation (Jewish or Palestinian) that so desires has a moral right to define itself as it wishes, and therefore the demand of the Jewish people to renew its collective sovereignty is worthy and moral. But on the other hand, the road to realizing this sovereignty is paved with objectionable intentions and immoral acts, from the war crimes of 1948 (see S. Yizhar’s book “Khirbet Khizeh” and the events of Tantura, Lod and other spots), and up to the disgraceful use of the army of defense for every indecent ideological mission.

      Even if we accept another hollow cliché from the study hall of settler Zionism, that “a nation cannot be a conqueror in its own land,” and the land really does belong to the Jewish people only, it is the owner of the asset, and the only one permitted to treat it as an owner — isn’t it subject to the international laws to protect the tenant? Since when is the landlord allowed to turn his tenants into slaves? To deny their most basic rights: freedom of expression and freedom of movement, freedom of association and the right to liberation and self-determination?

      There is no moral way to explain the reality except with a somewhat more accurate statement: “Even if the Jewish people is not a conqueror in its own land, it can and does act as conqueror over its non-Jewish inhabitants, and in any case, an army that serves these deceptive goals is an army in the service of falsehood, an impure weapon sent on unacceptable missions, and activated by patently immoral leaders.”

      The finger on the IDF trigger is an immoral finger, and when it fires, the shooting is manifestly immoral. In short: The heart wants to believe that we are still merciful, and don’t do to others what was hateful to us. But the reality attests that that is not the Jewish political teaching of our time. And the conclusion: The IDF is not the most moral army in the world, and by definition cannot be. Some of its soldiers still are, and fortunately we still have the other half of the nation, which ensures that ... is “the most semi-moral army in the world.”"

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      95% of Israelis approved of the massacre of Gaza and Palestine in the Summer of 2014... that's when the bell was rung and what's brought us to today. That's way more than 1/2 of Israelis. The folks from Breaking the Silence may be the only ones of the IOF/IEF with an ounce of redemption left in their souls.

      (link to breakingthesilence.org.il)

  • 'Morbid symptoms' in Palestine
    • I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say, Jeff Klein. Feuds happen everywhere, don't they? I'll bet they happen in Dorchester, too. It has quite a rep for crimes. Many notable (and some notorious) people come from Dorchester~ Joe and Rose Kennedy, Whitey Bulger, Sheldon Adelson, Spock, The Scarecrow and more than a few Puritans were/are from Dorchester, Mass. aka 'Dot'. MLK spent lots of time there with other civil rights folks while getting his PhD @ BU.

      How is this helpful to the Occupied and forever imprisoned Palestinians?

  • Play about 17-year-old Palestinian youth killed in 2000 tours Atlanta, St. Louis, New York
    • Super news, indeed! I hope that the tour is extended to more theaters and cities. Good luck and thank you!

      Speaking of attempted censorship and muzzling of free speech, I missed this entirely:

      "West Haven I-95 billboard on USS Liberty is anti-Israel, critics charge

      WEST HAVEN >> A billboard on Interstate 95 is sparking outrage from a local lawyer and criticism from the Anti-Defamation League for what they say is its anti-Israel message.

      But the veterans organization and its supporters that sponsored the billboard say it depicts one of the most controversial mysteries in U.S. Navy history and they are still demanding answers.

      The message on the billboard, in capital letters, reads: “Help the USS Liberty Survivors.” Underneath, in smaller letters, also all capped, the message continues: “Attacked by Israel.” The red, white and blue colors of the American flag are faded and serve as the background of the large sign. The billboard depicts a ship on one side and a wounded sailor on the other. The bottom of the billboard lists the website http://www.honorlibertyvets.org. ...

      ... But many veterans, including retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and Capt. Ward Boston, a former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation, believe the attack was deliberate, according to the USS Liberty website. Boston signed an affidavit stating former President Lyndon Johnson and his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident. Moorer calls it “one of the classic all-American cover-ups.”

      So, the controversy continues.

      Max Buxbaum, an attorney who lives and works in New York but grew up in New Haven and has a home in East Haven, says he did a double-take as he drove up I-95 Wednesday evening and spotted the billboard.

      The sign is located between exits 40 and 41 on the southbound side of the highway but is only visible to motorists from the northbound side.

      “Inoffensive to southbound drivers but highly offensive to northbound drivers,” Buxbaum said.

      In an email, Buxbaum said he was shocked when he saw the billboard.

      “It’s one of those conspiracy theories that are kept alive by the same sort of people who say that Jews are responsible for everything from Pearl Harbor to 9/11,” he wrote. “Considering that my father’s entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust, it was particularly troubling to me on a personal level.”

      He believes Alison Weir, founder of “If Americans Knew,” is one of the people behind it. Weir is a journalist who says her website “analyzes media coverage of Israel-Palestine” and “provides information on topics that are substantially misreported or unreported in the US media.”

      Weir acknowledges her allegiance to the veterans group and said “there really is no doubt about it whatsoever” that the attack on the Liberty was deliberate.

      “There is a great deal of evidence that Israel was very well aware it was attacking a U.S. ship,” she said.

      Weir said there is nothing anti-Semitic about the message on the billboard; rather it is a group of veterans — which includes Jewish servicemen who were on the ship at the time of the attack or their families — who continue to believe what really happened was covered up and they were “treated badly by the government, Israel and the media.”

      “Anytime you say anything that isn’t positive about Israel, you’re labeled anti-Semitic,” she said. “What about the Jewish sailors who are part of this? Are they anti-Semitic, too? I’m not young and I have a life’s history of opposing bigotry. All people are worthy of respect and dignity.”

      But Steve Ginsburg, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League-Connecticut, said that while the words themselves are not anti-Semitic, “the misleading ad targets Israel and that can have an anti-Semitic impact.”

      “It is clearly anti-Semitic in its conspiracy theory (against Israel) that has been proven wrong,” he said. “They have chosen not to believe it.”

      Bruce Barrett, co-owner of Barrett Outdoor Communications Inc., which owns the billboard, said he received one phone call about the billboard and immediately had his sales staff check it out and personally went to the USS Liberty website and clicked through the links to determine whether there was hateful language against Israel by the group or its supporters.

      “I found nothing that appears to be anti-Semitic,” he said. “My sales staff checked and determined there was no hate speech.”

      Barrett said his company would never condone putting up a billboard that contained hateful language, but he is a huge proponent of freedom of speech.

      “People have a right to challenge historical events,” he said. “They should have a right to say that.” ..."

      link to nhregister.com

      A LTE was published today:

      "Thank you for your report about the billboard asking Americans to help USS Liberty veterans, whose ship was ferociously attacked by Israel, killing and injuring over two-thirds of the entire crew. It is disconcerting to learn that the ADL opposes a billboard honoring these American veterans, the most decorated crew for a single engagement in the history of the U.S. Navy. Such a stance seems ill-considered, as it might suggest to some that the ADL’s loyalties are with Israel and not America.

      — Alison Weir

      Richmond, California"

      link to nhregister.com

      Thanks to Alison Weir et al, and Bruce Barrett.

  • Sanders is in Jewish tradition that rejected exceptionalist nationalism of Zionism
    • AIPAC mouths off again!

      "AIPAC Says Latest Iran Sanctions Are 'Too Weak' ...

      The American Israel Public Affairs Committee dismissed as “weak” recent U.S. sanctions on Iran for testing ballistic missiles, a sign of continued tensions between the influential lobby and the Obama administration in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

      “These limited sanctions are too weak to affect Iran’s behavior,” AIPAC said Monday of the new sanctions, which target an industrial group involved in manufacturing the missiles, the missile command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, and companies providing support to Mahan Air, which is affiliated with the Guards Corps.

      “America must respond to Tehran’s recurring provocations with swift and meaningful penalties,” the prominent Israel lobby said.

      AIPAC called for “crippling sanctions” that would “cast a wider net and target entities providing material support to Iran’s illicit ballistic missile program, including within financial and transportation services.”

      The AIPAC statement was notable for its rarity both for blasting an action targeting Iran and because AIPAC generally opposes administration policy through the backing of congressional legislation, shying away from public statements.

      AIPAC, however, in recent months has not been able to identify bipartisan Iran-related legislation suitable for backing. There are a number of bills backed by either Democrats or Republicans, but AIPAC abjures backing purely partisan bills.

      The “crippling” sanctions AIPAC calls for, targeting third parties, are precisely the category that the Iran nuclear deal has for now removed. The Obama administration is unlikely to reimpose them as long as Iran is complying with the sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal.

      U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, have said the missile testing violates the spirit of last year’s Iran nuclear deal, but say Iran is observing the letter of the agreement.

      The U.S. Treasury announced the new sanctions on March 24, months after Iran had tested the missiles, and after weeks of pressure from pro-Israel groups, U.S. allies in the region, and congressional Republicans and Democrats.

      AIPAC said the entities named by the Treasury are subsidiaries of already targeted entities, rendering the sanctions “largely symbolic.” ...

      ... The Obama administration has sought to reassure Israel and other allies in the Middle East that it continues to act against Iran for its hostile actions unrelated to the nuclear deal. On Monday, the U.S. Navy reported that on March 28, it intercepted an Iranian arms shipment for the third time in recent weeks. This time, the shipment was likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Sanction Israel.

    • Bernie gets another win!

      "Hillary ... is congratulating rival Bernie Sanders on his win in Wisconsin.

      "Congrats to @BernieSanders," she wrote on Twitter. "To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward!"

      Sanders is campaigning in Wyoming, which holds its caucuses Saturday. Clinton spent the evening fundraising in the Bronx."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      AND~ "Clinton spends primary night at NY fundraiser hosted by former AIPAC VP

      Hillary ... wasn't greeting voters at a rally, town hall or diner as votes rolled in from Wisconsin. Instead, she was spending her evening with top donors in New York City.

      She raised at least $60,000 Tuesday night at a fundraiser hosted by Jack Bendheim, the owner of a company that manufactures veterinary health products and nutritional supplements. Benheim, a former vice president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has deep ties to New York's orthodox Jewish community.

      The event underscores how costly the primary race has become for Clinton. Though she holds a significant delegate lead, Bernie Sanders has vowed to take his campaign to the party convention in July. That forces Clinton, who's more reliant on traditional fundraising than Sanders, to criss-cross the country raising funds."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

    • Lookie here:

      "Official Map of Jerusalem’s Old City Omits Key non-Jewish Sites ...

      The official map the Tourism Ministry distributes to those visiting Jerusalem’s Old City highlights one Muslim site and five Christian sites – as well as dozens of synagogues, yeshivas and Jewish-owned buildings, many of which local tour guides have never heard of.

      The legend of the English-language map lists a total of 57 sites in the Old City. Along with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, it also notes places like Wittenberg House, Eliyahu House, IDF House, Danon House, Reut House, Habad House and others. All these are buildings purchased by Jews in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, usually through the Ateret Cohanim nonprofit organization, and it isn’t clear why they might be relevant to tourists.

      The only Muslim site listed is the Dome of the Rock. It’s clear that the map’s editors took pains to omit the Arabic names of sites in the Old City. For example, it uses the terms “Har Habait,” “Temple Mt.” and “Mt. Moriah” for the Temple Mount area, but omits what most Old City residents call it – Haram al-Sharif, or Al-Aqsa. In fact, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is illustrated but not named; the area east of it is marked as Solomon’s Stables.

      Where the map key gets truly absurd, however, is in its list of all the buildings occupied by Jews in the Muslim Quarter. Of the 57 sites marked by number on the map, no less than 25 are such buildings, along with synagogues and yeshivas that even experienced tour guides have never heard of.

      By contrast, there was no room on the map to mark the Church of St. Anne, near the Lion’s Gate, nor is the Church of the Redeemer, which has the highest spire in the Old City, listed on the legend, although it appears on the map. While the Via Dolorosa is listed as a site, none of its stations along the road are marked, even though millions of pilgrims march between them every year. Other important Christian buildings, like the San Salvador Franciscan Monastery, don’t appear at all.

      While the Old City doesn’t have that many Muslim sites open to tourists other than the Temple Mount, there are several sites that are notable in terms of the city’s history and tourists’ interest. “There are 37 madrasot [schools], sebils [decorated public water fountains], and Lady Tunshuq’s Palace, perhaps the largest building in the Old City,” said researcher and tour guide instructor Dr. Shimon Gat.

      The bias toward the settler narrative continues outside the Old City walls. On the Mount of Olives the Maaleh Zeitim neighborhood of some 100 Jewish families is illustrated and marked, while no mention is made of the thousands of Palestinian families living in the area. The Beit Orot yeshiva and the City of David visitors’ center get listings, while the large Palestinian neighborhoods of A-Tur and Ras al-Amud are absent from the map, replaced by empty green hills.

      There are numerous errors and tendentious renderings on the map. In the middle of the Christian Quarter there’s a Jewish building marked as “Neot David,” alongside a street by that name, which does not exist. The font marking the Jewish Quarter is large, while the Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters are marked in a smaller font that’s harder to distinguish; the arrow pointing tourists toward the Garden Tomb, considered by Protestants to be Jesus’ burial place, is pointing in the wrong direction, among other errors.

      The map bears the logo of Israel’s Tourism Ministry, which does not deny its connection. It would not say who commissioned the map and who edited it. The map was produced by a company called Atir Maps and Publications Company. A company executive refused to address the details on the map, but said it was not ordered by a government agency. Nevertheless, as noted, this is the map given to any tourist who stops at the main tourism office at Jaffa Gate and asks for a map in English.

      Tour guides who looked at the map were sharply critical of it. “Not only did the Tourism Ministry test me on my knowledge of those Muslim sites that are missing from this map, it also expects me to conduct ‘public diplomacy’ for Israel,” said Shalom Bogoslavsky, a tour guide in Jerusalem. “How am I supposed to do that? ‘Oh yes, Mr. Tourist, we still haven’t decided if we’re a country or a shtetl, and that’s why some clerk made 1,300 years of Jerusalem history disappear from the map and instead marked his friends’ homes.”

      The Tourism Ministry said, “The Tourism Ministry of the State of Israel stands behind what’s presented on the map. The map, which was produced in cooperation with tour guides and took into account their recommendations and the vast knowledge they’ve accumulated, is useful and convenient, listing the main tourist sites.”"

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      OK, is it crystal clear to the thieving visitors to MW and their supporters yet??? The world and Nir Hasson is on to all of you......

      Thank you, Shalom Bogoslavsky.

    • Hurray! Stand strong UN and World!!!

      "UN Disqualifies Parts of Israeli Exhibit, Israeli Envoy Says

      Calling the decision 'outrageous' the Israeli ambassador to the world body, Danny Danon, accuses the organization of undermining country's existence as a Jewish homeland.

      The United Nations has disqualified about a quarter of Israel’s displays for an exhibition opening on Monday at the organization's main headquarters, Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the world body, ...

      Three out of 13 displays were ruled out, including one about Jerusalem, another about Israel's Arab population and another about Zionism, The Jerusalem Post reported.

      The poster for the Jerusalem exhibit presents which presents the city as a capital of the Jewish people says the Jews are "indigenous" and have "maintained a continuous presence in the land since 1000 BC."

      The display on Israeli Arabs calls them “the largest minority in Israel, making up 20 percent of Israel’s population” and describes them as “equal citizens under the law in Israel.”

      Zionism is described as “the liberation movement of the Jewish people, who sought to overcome 1,900 years of oppression and regain self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”

      Danon called the decision "outrageous" and urged that the exhibits be permitted to go ahead. "By disqualifying an exhibition about Zionism the UN is undermining the very existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people," he told Israeli media. 

      Danon also reportedly accused the UN of trying to censor that "Jerusalem is Israel's eternal capital." Most of the world does not recognize the city as Israel's capital, nor Israel's capture of East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and its subsequent annexation of the area. Palestinians want Jerusalem to be capital of a state they want to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

      Shahar Azan, executive director of StandWithUs in New York, the organization which provided the displays said “anti-Israel resolutions in the main bodies of the UN have become a sad, albeit common, phenomenon.”

      The UN has once again exposed its deep bias against the State of Israel,” was quoted ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

    • lolololololol!

      (I can't stop laughing, Mooser! That's precious!)

  • Palestinian on the run from Israeli soldiers for a week -- is 12 years old
    • Please let this horrific shot be the one that finally gets heard 'round the world.

      "Autopsy Reveals Hebron Assailant Killed by Head Shot, Coroners Say

      Haaretz has learned that pathologists – including Palestinian doctor who oversaw procedure – are in agreement that though Abed Fattah al-Sharif was also shot in his arm, shoulder, chest and lower body, none of those wounds were lethal.

      An autopsy conducted Sunday revealed that Abed Fattah al-Sharif, the Palestinian shot dead in Hebron last week after stabbing an Israeli soldier, died as the result of a head shot, according to a Palestinian pathologist present ... .

      Though Israeli medical sources would neither confirm nor deny the Palestinian pathologists findings, Haaretz has learned that during the autopsy the doctors agreed on the pathological findings, which show the direct cause of the assailant's death was from a bullet fired by a soldier at close range.

      Doctor Ryan Alali, director of pathology at the forensic institute at An Najah University in Nablus, told the Al Quds newspaper in Jeruslaem that he has agreed with the Israeli team that the bullet that brought about the Palestinian's death was a bullet shot to his head.

      Sharif was wounded by several bullets in his arm, shoulder and lower body. He also sustained a bullet wound to the chest, but none of those wounds were lethal. According to the doctor, the bullet that struck him in the head smashed his skull and created a huge hole, which reinforces the contention that he was killed as a result of this blow.

      The military prosecution believes that the evidence so far collected regarding the soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron is strong enough to support an indictment.
      The prosecution will be able decide what charges are to be brought against the soldier after receiving the report of the autopsy. The results indicate that the soldier will likely be indicted for manslaughter.

      The military court of appeals at the Israel Defense Forces' headquarters in Tel Aviv heard the prosecution’s appeal on Friday of the decision to release the soldier, whose identity is under gag order and is being referred to as Sergeant E., to open arrest at his base. It was ultimately decided, with the consent of the military prosecutors and the soldier’s defense team, to keep him at the Nahshonim base where his division is headquartered. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday.

      In response to the autopsy the Palestinian Prisoners' club said the "results prove that what the entire world saw and knows – the gunshot was fired deliberately, with the intent to kill.""

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Can anyone here even imagine the agony and pain of all of the first shots fired by the IOF/IEF cowards, much less the head/kill/fatal/assassin's bullet by the IEF/IOF 'medic'?

      (P.S. The opening paragraph is ludicrous. No 'Palestinian" is allowed to oversee anything that Israel does!)

    • Amira. Today:

      "How Israel's High Court Implicitly Aids the Soldier Accused of Hebron Manslaughter...

      To the attorneys of Sergeant E. [the Israeli soldier facing a manslaughter charge after fatally shooting a subdued Palestinian assailant in the head, in Hebron two weeks ago]: These lines are written in case you missed High Court of Justice ruling 143/12. Did it discuss making sure that a suspect, lying wounded and bleeding on the ground, is dead by delivering a kill shot? It did. Did it discuss the police fear of an explosive belt (a demagogic claim, since it all happened in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood)? It did that, too. Racist online posts? Did it ever. Justices Miriam Naor, Yoram Danziger and Uri Shoham saw fit in their ruling not to intervene in the State Prosecutor’s Office’s decision to close the investigation into the killing of Ziad Jilani, 38, by Border Policeman Maxim Vinogradov and his commander, Shadi Kheir al-Din.

      We will never know what exactly went through Jilani’s mind when, on his way back from Friday prayers on June 11, 2010, he pulled his car out from the line of vehicles progressing slowly down the main street of Wadi Joz in East Jerusalem. He suddenly accelerated into a group of 10 Border Policemen who were armed with rifles, handguns and batons. There were two mounted police there as well. Jilani’s American wife, Moira, finds it hard to believe that he really intended to run them over. That’s not the behavior of a man who had informed her on the phone an hour earlier that he was on his way home from prayers and that she and the girls should get ready to go on a picnic. Maybe he was frightened by the youngsters throwing stones at the police, and which perhaps also struck his car?

      He hit four officers, who suffered fractures and bruises. Their colleagues feared one of them would get killed and were sure this was a car-ramming attack. They shouted “Stop!” and fired into the air and at Jilani’s vehicle. He did not stop. Jilani had lived for many years in the United States and Switzerland. Might he have forgotten that police armed to the teeth are a common sight on the streets of East Jerusalem?

      The police fired again and again. Perhaps he lost control and didn’t brake because of the shooting? We will never know. He kept on driving, turned into an alley (where his relatives lived – although the police couldn’t have known that, of course), got out of the car and started running. The police chased after him and shot him again, his back to them. He fell to the ground, bleeding. Then one of the policemen shot him in the head. It transpired that the shooter had been Maxim Vinogradov, whose Facebook page contained posts like “Death to Arabs, I’m nervous.”

      Palestinian medical staff found two gaping holes between Jilani’s smashed jaw and his right temple, and other gunshot wounds in his leg, abdomen and hand.

      Vinogradov and his commander were questioned and gave their versions, and later revised them. The Justice Department unit that investigates potential police wrongdoings recommended closing the case. The deputy state prosecutor decided not to intervene. The family’s attorneys, from the Nazareth-based nonprofit Meezan for Human Rights, appealed. The state prosecutor decided not to intervene in the unit’s decision. Then the family’s attorneys petitioned the High Court of Justice to instruct the attorney general to explain why no indictment would be filed against the two officers. On July 20, 2014, the High Court ruled it would not intervene. The justices took care to note that their ruling did not mean Vinogradov’s actions were legal and proper.

      The justices quoted previous verdicts (including those handed down by the highest authority, former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak), which had tried to understand the situation facing soldiers and police. For example: “The court has ruled more than once that ‘margin for error’ had to be given to soldiers and police operating under combat conditions, or as part of an operation. The reason for this position lies in the understanding that ‘soldiers must be given reasonable margin for error that might be caused by conditions on the ground and the time available, which are the backdrop of the operational incident at issue, and require a quick decision without legal consultation on what is permissible in that moment.’”

      And look what they wrote about Vinogradov: “We cannot ignore, in this context, the young age of the respondent ... who found himself in a difficult and complex situation in performance of his duty. More than once, we are asked to examine in retrospect the actions of soldiers and police in the conscript army. In these cases, we must not forget that, in general, these are young and normative people, required to act under harsh and complex conditions that an older and more experienced person would find difficult. This gap between the young age and relatively minor experience of the police and soldiers in the conscript army, and the heavy responsibility that is often placed on their shoulders, should be reflected in the subsequent examination of their actions and judgment.”

      As for the racist Facebook posts, the justices wrote: “Indeed, these are infuriating statements that should be roundly condemned … [But] the claim that [Vinogradov] shot the deceased in the head out of racist motives is speculative and unfounded.”

      And so we will reiterate: Instead of being shocked at the voice of the masses in the case of Sergeant E., go and read the statements of the High Court justices."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      It is state- sanctioned murder and execution. Israel is NOT a democracy.
      Israel (and its benighted supporters) are only going to be remembered as the latest fascists, massacrists, thieves, and assassins to be dealt with.

    • Yep, ritzl.

      This is from Amos Harel:

      "The Hebron Soldier's Defense Is Working - He Is Now Every Mother’s Son

      Netanyahu’s phone call to the suspect’s father shows the shooter is the new Gilad Shalit, while attempts to scrap his trial aim to set a precedence of restricting legal interference in army conduct."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Didn't the Israeli AG launch a witch hunt against Palestinian Israeli members who met with the families of IEF- executed and assassinated 'terrorists'? Perhaps they can use it to dump Netanyahu and his cabinet of horrors, etc. that support this state- sponsored terrorist medic wearing a grin and full combat gear ...

    • Levy and Levac:

      "What Went Through Palestinian Parents' Minds as They Watched Son's Cold-blooded Execution? ...

      What goes through the mind of a father who sees a video of his son lying wounded on the road, and then being shot to death in cold blood by a soldier, at close range?

      What goes through the mind of a mother when she sees the superior officers and comrades-in-arms of the soldier who carries out the execution – with a bunch of settlers – standing around and going about their business as though nothing happened, while blood streams from her son’s head onto the road?

      What goes through the mind of his siblings as they see their brother’s body left untended in the street?

      The Al-Sharif family from Hebron saw it all. The father, Yusri, watched the video, taken by a volunteer from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, two or three times; he no longer remembers how many. The mother, Rajaa, saw it once. It’s not hard to imagine the impact the images had on them.

      This week, Israel arrested and is questioning the executioner-soldier involved in last Thursday’s incident; many Israelis turned him into their hero. His family, too, came in for plenty of sympathy and compassion. But no one really bothered to mention that the victim, too, had a family.

      The young man who was shot, Abed Fattah al-Sharif, lived with his parents on the second floor of an apartment building in the Hebron suburb of Jabal Abu Rumann. Twenty-one at the time of his death, he was the firstborn child of Rajaa and Yusri, who have two other sons and two daughters. A solitary memorial poster, bearing Abed Fattah’s photograph, is draped over the front of the building. There are no flags – not of Hamas, not of Islamic Jihad and not of Fattah. The parents say that theirs is an apolitical home, adding that their late son was also not political.

      A pot-holed dirt road, muddied by this week’s rains, ascends to the hilltop building. The interior decoration of the family’s apartment is dense and florid, featuring velvet-covered sofas, curtains and chandeliers. Yusri al-Sharif wears a blue designer jacket, a light-blue shirt and a black sweater. Abed Fattah, the bearded, dignified grandfather, who bears the same name as his dead grandson, is attired in an elegant brown robe with gilded fringes and wears a large white skullcap. The atmosphere is extremely suspicious when we arrive, though the suspiciousness abates gradually in the course of our visit.

      The family is concerned that what they say will not be conveyed accurately. They are also very fearful that the occupation authorities will want to take revenge on them for the things they are saying. At 2:30 A.M. on Sunday, 19-year-old Khaled was arrested. Soldiers raided the family’s home and pulled Khaled out of bed. He was terrified, the family says. His father hugged him and tried to lift his spirits before he was taken away. Since then they have heard nothing from him. The human rights organization Hamoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual informed them that Khaled had been interrogated in the Etzion detention facility in the West Bank and then transferred to Ashkelon Prison.

      The Israelis aren’t releasing Abed Fattah’s body. In contrast, the body of his friend Ramzi al-Qasrawi, who was shot with him in the same incident on March 16, was returned to his family, which has already given him a funeral.

      Yusri al-Sharif, 43, is a construction worker in Hebron. His late son was a carpenter. Two months ago he had opened his own carpentry shop, not far from his home. The young man was very enthusiastic about the new business, his father says now. “For him it was like he’d just become engaged.” Ramzi, a childhood friend, worked with him in the shop.

      On the day of his death, Abed Fattah left home at 7 A.M., as usual. There was nothing exceptional about his behavior, his father notes. His son told him he was going to Azariya, adjacent to Jerusalem, to take measurements for a bedroom set – the shop’s specialty – that clients had ordered.

      Abed Fattah walked to Ramzi’s house, a kilometer and a half away, and the two proceeded to the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron, a Jewish enclave, a few minutes away. According to Yusri, they intended to pass through the nearby Gilbert checkpoint and go to Bab al-Zawiya, where they could get a taxi to Azariya.

      Did they plan in advance to attack the soldiers at the checkpoint? What happened there that led to the stabbing of an Israel Defense Forces soldier? The family refuses to believe that Abed Fattah stabbed the soldier, because he kept his distance from politics and because he had a good life. “I don’t believe he had a knife,” his father says. “He had a new job and he was happy. He had a carpentry shop and he saw his future there.”

      Around 8:30 A.M. that day, at work, Yusri heard about the incident in which two Palestinians who stabbed a soldier at Tel Rumeida had been killed. From an Internet report he learned that one of them was from the Al-Sharif family, but never imagined that it was his own Abed Fattah. Maybe it’s a cousin, .. . He did not identify his son even when he saw a blurry photo of a young man lying on the road after being shot. But a few minutes later he saw a clearer photo. He completely broke down, he says.

      Yusri did not dare approach the place where his son’s body lay. He was afraid of the soldiers and the settlers in Tel Rumeida, and he knew that in any event he would not be allowed to get near the body. So he went back home, where people were already gathering to pay their condolences.

      This week, Yusri still thought that his son had died while in the embrace of Ramzi’s arms. A B’Tselem field researcher, Manal al-Jab’ri, set him straight. She added that the organization’s volunteer who had filmed the execution, Emad Abu Shamsiya, a father of five from Tel Rumeida, has been subjected to threats since he made public the incriminating footage.

      “Abed Fattah was always smiling and helping everyone,” his father says. “He didn’t like politics. It was from home to work and from work to home.” In the only photo in the living room, taken in a local studio on a recent holiday, Abed Fattah wears a red shirt and a black-and-white tie, and is holding a jacket behind his back. Gold stars glitter in the background. No montage with a Kalashnikov here.

      The family heard about the public furor that erupted in Israel in the wake of the B’Tselem video. But they probably aren’t aware of its scale or its essence: sweeping popular support for the murder of their son.

      “I am upset and angry,” the father says. “They should have cared for him and not killed him. There were officers there, and an ambulance. They should have taken him to the hospital and not shot him in the head after he’d been wounded. Afterward they could have arrested him, if necessary. But to kill him in his condition? I don’t believe how they could have done it. I don’t believe how they killed him.

      “All Palestinians,” he continues, “know [the far-right settler-activist] Baruch Marzel and Ofer Ohana [from the Save Judea and Samaria organization], who were there. They want death for the Arabs. We saw Marzel shaking hands with the murderer. It’s not only the soldier who should be punished. Everyone who was standing there should be punished: the settlers, the officers, everyone who was there and encouraged the soldier or didn’t lift a finger. Everyone who was involved.”

      The soldier claims he was concerned that your son was booby-trapped.

      “They killed him in cold blood. The soldier wasn’t afraid of anything. He murdered him. Everyone who saw the video saw that the soldier was not afraid and that he killed him in cold blood. All the people around backed the soldier who killed my son. It was a crime. It’s a criminal army, an army that commits crimes.”

      The soldier has become a hero in Israel.

      “Anyone who sees him as a hero is a racist and an Arab-hater.”

      Yusri then asked whether the occupation authorities would persecute him for what he is saying. “I have three more children at home,” he said in a subdued tone."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

    • Aargh! I was "off" yesterday and thought that I would peruse the news for information about Israel's and the majority of Israelis' neverending violent and illegal campaign against Palestinians and Palestine. I thought I had done a rather thorough (and sickening) review, and now I read your compilation and realize that it is getting only getting worse, Kate. How can this be??? I read/heard Levy speak with Max on the real news the other day:

      "Gideon Levy: Americans "Are Supporting the First Signs of Fascism in Israel"

      Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy talks to journalist Max Blumenthal about how the Israeli occupation has poisoned not only the region but much of the world, and how BDS might be the last standing hope to dismantle it"

      link to therealnews.com

      Then I read this today:

      "Inside the Mind of the Budding Fascist ...

      B. Michael Apr 02, 2016 5:26 PM

      Along the way to full, official fascism — especially fascism based on religious, ethnic or racial identity — a society must experience two critical stages.

      The first is the complete dehumanization of “the “Other” — that is, members of a different religion, nation or race. In the mind of the budding fascist, they must cease to be human beings. They must instead be turned into animals without rights, dangerous objects, natural threats. Or, in contemporary language, they must be turned into “two-legged animals” and “wild beasts” from the jungle beyond the fence. This makes it easier for the nascent fascist to subjugate and abuse them, to deprive them of their rights and property and ultimately to kill them like pests.

      Last week Israeli society proved it passed this stage with flying colors. The dehumanization of the Palestinian “other” is complete. In the neofascist Israeli consciousness, the Palestinians are like cockroaches. Even when they lie on the ground, helpless, their heads must be crushed with a slipper, or punctured by a bullet. Such is the fate of the cockroach.

      But the act of the soldier-murderer in Hebron was not the proof of the completion of the first stage. It was only the last in a long, bloody series of similar acts. (I know, he hasn’t been tried yet. It’s wrong to call him a murderer already. I’m only applying to him what I’ve learned from the saints in the right wing. They bestow terms such as “murderer” and “terrorist” on Palestinians without waiting for an investigation, trial or verdict. So why can’t I?)

      The response of the witnesses to the act attested to the completion of the dehumanization process. The total indifference. The relaxed calm. The silent, routine consent. It was as though a rat had been run over, as though a mosquito had been squashed. And when it was done, there was the soldier’s smiling handshake with one of the thugs of the late right-winger Rabbi Meir Kahane. The response to that too was indifference and tolerance.

      All doubt has therefore been removed; we can check off the “dehumanization” box and move to the next stage.

      Discomfitingly enough, to explain this next stage I must resort to an ancient German word, vogelfrei. Its literal meaning is “free as a bird,” but its meaning as a legal term is “fair game, like a bird.” In other words, an outlaw, whose property and whose very body are up for grabs. Even his life. Anyone who hurts or robs him will not be held accountable. If he is murdered, his body will not be buried.

      The term originates in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 20th century. Gypsies, homosexuals, blacks, some Poles and members of a nation that has meanwhile managed to forget the lessons of its past, were semi-officially but publicly declared vogelfrei. A despicable government deprived them of their rights, looted their property and allowed them to be killed.

      The sickening commotion now being raised by the supporters and defenders of the attacker from the Israel Defense Forces is about precisely this issue. It’s about completing phase 2. It’s about carrying out their desire to make the Palestinian “other” vogelfrei as well. Fair game. Deprived of all legal protections, so that they can maltreat him without hindrance, hurt him without having to justify their behavior. Plunder his property with impunity. And, of course, to shoot him at any time, without encountering the annoying questions of some traitorous minority, whose day is also coming.

      It is fitting that Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman should lead this riff raff. From their perspective, so it would seem, the Palestinians have long become vogelfrei."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      There are no "budding" fascists (except the ones waiting in the wombs of their Israeli mothers). They arrived a long time ago, and Netanyahu is their chosen leader who chose Bennett and Lieberman and all of the creeps in his cabinet of horror. It was never gonna be a "democracy", anyway. These are only the latest signals. Who can forget the summer when 95% of the population cheered and celebrated the massacres in Gaza and those few that did not were threatened and assaulted? That the US chooses to reward this state of horrors over and over again adds to their eternal shame.

      Thanks, Kate.

  • Where?
    • Elegiac.

      Thank you, Fidaa Abuassi. I will not cease trying to help you and every Palestinian be free in your home that is Palestine, and wish you freedom and respect wherever you choose to be/go.

      Thanks for including the art by Ismail Shammout, too. It is a perfect illustration to your words. Long live Palestine and you.

      (link to ismail-shammout.com)

  • As NY primary approaches, Clinton and Sanders separate, somewhat, on Israel
    • Don Futterman:

      "The Obama Doctrine and How America Is Disengaging From Israel

      Forget the candidates' AIPAC love-in. With the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, they’re all in basic agreement with Obama: pulling back from the Middle East is crucial for America’s future.

      The Obama Doctrine, Jeffrey Goldberg’s remarkably candid delineation of the reasoning behind President Obama’s major foreign policy decisions in the April issue of The Atlantic, should be required reading for all Israelis and supporters of Israel. ..."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      uh- huh.

    • The bigger problem is that the US keeps giving, Kay24...... Just the other day I saw a commercial by the "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews" begging for $25 bucks a box for food for all of the *starving and impoverished Jewish Israelis* that Occupy Palestinian lands, etc.

      (link to en.wikipedia.org)

      An interesting article:

      "What Drives US Policy Toward Israel?
      by LAWRENCE DAVIDSON

      In early March Professor Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wrote an essay explaining that American foreign policy generated by Democratic Party presidents has been much to blame for the disastrous fate of the Palestinians. The Democrats have allowed themselves to be suborned by Zionist special interests for reasons we will explore below. It is Democratic officials who also verbally attack any American who stands up for the rights of Palestinians, and do so, if anything, more strongly than their Republican competitors.

      Falk worked tirelessly from 2008 to 2014 to bring about justice for the Palestinian people – something that, if achieved, would have raised the esteem of both the U.N. and the U.S. among millions of Arabs. Officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama, including national security advisor Susan Rice and current U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, repaid Falk for his efforts with insulting ad hominem attacks. For instance, Power celebrated Falk’s departure from his post by asserting that, “his publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the U.N.’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council. The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.” It is to be noted that at no time did Professor Falk issue a report, or even make a public statement, that was not based on documented fact and a clear understanding of international law. One suspects that Ambassador Power knew this to be so and that her vitriol against Falk was the act of an amoral political agent of an amoral government.

      Professor Falk sees much of the U.S. government’s policy in the Middle East as a consequence of a State Department long populated by Zionists along with the power and influence of an Israeli-directed bloc of special interests. President Obama’s own efforts at Middle East policy formulation began, according to Falk, with the rhetorical assertion that the United States is “different because we adhere to the rule of law and act in accord with our values in foreign policy.” Yet this claim to has always been false, and very quickly, the president’s words lost meaning as lobby pressure bent policy (with the singular exception of the Iran nuclear deal) to the will of the Zionist cause.

      ***

      Watching the distressing kowtowing this past week to that same lobby by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has proven Richard Falk undeniably correct.

      In her speech to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an organization which, in truth, functions in the U.S. as the agent of a foreign power (Israel), Clinton proclaimed the following:

      *That as president she will take the U.S.- Israeli relationship “to the next level,” which entails lavishing on that state most of America’s latest defensive and offensive weaponry and the negotiating of yet another defense treaty – a “ten-year defense memorandum of understanding.” ..."

      More @ link to counterpunch.org

  • Birthright ends trips to Israel -- 'American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it'
    • Thanks, Adam.

      The following apparently really happened:

      "Belgium’s federal hotline for the extremist attacks in Brussels has fired an operator who told a Jewish caller that Israel does not exist and should be called Palestine instead.

      An unidentified Jewish man called the hotline, run by the Belgian Interior Ministry, telling the operator that he was a volunteer for the city of Antwerp’s Jewish Coordination Committee.

      He said he was seeking assistance for two people injured in the triple suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) on March 22, adding that they wished to be discharged from medical care as authorities “prepared to” transport them “to Israel.” The suicide bomb attacks at Brussels’ international airport and a metro station left at least 35 people dead.

      The call between the operator and the Jewish man was recorded and a Belgian Jewish monthly newspaper, Joods Actueel, posted an audio file of the call to its website.

      The operator responds to the statement that they will travel to Israel by saying: “That’s actually… see… back to Palestine.”

      The Jewish man responded: “Not Palestine, Israel.” The operator continued to say that Israel did not exist. “Yes, but that was before Palestine, of course. It’s called Palestine, sir.”

      The Jewish man challenged the operator, who said: “I know the Jews went to there, that Palestine received them and that there is a war between Israel and Palestine, of course. And the occupation… that’s what’s on the news, of course.”

      The editor-in-chief of Joods Actueel, Michael Freilich, said that the incident “defies imagination” that a state employee could display such anti-Israel rhetoric to a Jewish member of society.

      The call center company IPG, which has a contract to run the hotline with the Belgian Interior Ministry, subsequently fired the employee over the incident. “We wish to apologize to all members of the Jewish community and to the victims and their families in Israel,” Jac Vermeer, CEO of IPG, said. ..."

      link to newsweek.com

  • A 'Genius' approach for fixing New York Times pro-Israel bias
    • Gideon Levy and Amira Hass speak the truth that most Zionists, their supporters, and Israelis don't want to hear:

      "Israel Is Reborn Into a Monster - and No One Is Going Stop It ...

      Israel is forming a new national identity. The old one was problematic too, but the new one is incorrigible. It’s not a passing fancy, it’s the zeitgeist and the ortgeist, the spirit of the place, and it is patently irreversible. Some of the cultural decline is in a failure to recognize the gravity of the situation, even by those who don’t approve of a soldier executing a helpless Palestinian. Some of the blindness lies in the paralysis that gripped those who did not scream outside the Castina military court.

      The new situation, of which the the soldier in Hebron is just one symptom, is irreversible, because there’s no one to change it. One might think it could be fixed in the future, that the mood will change when the government does. But the situation is irreparable because there’s no one to repair it, not now or in the foreseeable future. Any attempt to write an alternative, hopeful, scenario, which gives some hope, is nipped in the bud. Try it and see. There is no such script, and one cannot even be imagined.

      Who will stop the decline taking place before our unsurprised eyes? With horrific speed, it is changing the ortgeist and with it, the nation and its values. These changes will be nearly impossible to reverse. See who protested in Beit Shemesh, who the thugs were in Ma’aleh Adumim, Ramle and Castina and who wrote on Facebook that killing Arabs reflects values. This is the next generation of Israelis, the face of its future. It’s doubtful that a nation so corrupt can be brought back to the straight and narrow. A people that has lost its moral compass, even its shame, will never find them again. How would it, and why? No one even seems to be trying.

      It’s not that all Israelis have become monsters. The worst of them, those who see the executioner soldier, as a national hero are not yet a majority. Those who think “death to Arabs,” who are convinced that non-Jews shouldn’t be allowed to live here; those who know they are the Chosen People and those who are sure that sovereignty is guaranteed by divine promise; those who think the Palestinians have no rights and those who are sure the Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world — are growing stronger and more numerous at a frightening rate. And no one stands up to them.

      After the orgy of 1967 came the turning point of Operation Protective Edge: In the summer of 2014, tolerance died, replaced by violence. The Zionist-religious demon genie escaped, and there’s no one to recapture it. All the social agents meant to protect society weakened or collapsed, nothing remained.The center-left politicians are paralyzed with fear at the pouncing tiger, while those on the right ride its back and kow-tow to reap momentary gains. It will throw them off too, in the end.

      The media have all but relinquished their genuine purpose. Israel doesn’t need a Ministry of Propaganda: The media perform that function, and civil society is being dragged down by the government, with the help of the media. The justice system is right on their tail. B’Tselem? Traitors. Lehava and La Familia? They’re principled. Need we say more?

      Who will stop this? Isaac Herzog? Yair Lapid? Gabi Ashkenazi? Gideon Sa’ar? Don’t make me laugh. The Supreme Court? The IDF chief of staff? The military justice system? The conference against the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that was sponsored by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper? The Channel 2 television news and “Fact,” after they return from carrying out investigations commissioned by Ad Kan? Who exactly will stop it?

      There are toxic seeds which, once planted, cannot be stopped from sprouting. There are plagues that cannot be stopped from spreading. We are there. When the execution of a wounded Palestinian becomes a value, all other values and hopes disappear. A new people has been created, between the ultranationalist and religious right on one side and the apathetic majority on the other. The People of Israel lives, and will continue to do so, its country is strong and steadfast and it will apparently survive forever. But this place will become impossible and intolerable for anyone who thinks differently. No one will stop this on their behalf."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      He's come to the US and the West over and over again and entreated Americans and the US gov't to stop their support for this loathesome state's practices.

      (Most folks like DaBakr marginalize and or ignore and sometimes denigrate his and Amira's voices. 'The World' is listening and watching, though... Israel is NO democracy.)

  • Israeli army stations dedicated PR officer at site of Hebron execution
    • Thank you, Boo!

      +1!!!

    • "Scumbag" is about right, Kay24.

      Amira Hass tells it like it is, again:

      "Policy of Contempt for Palestinian Lives ...

      As opposed to the IDF, the Beit Shemesh municipality refuses to cast E., the soldier from Hebron, out from society. It published his full name and picture under the title of “Hero of Israel” in a statement of support. Whenever the IDF is caught with its pants down, it turns its soldier into a loner, whether he will be put on trial or forgiven. This is a process of separating the individual from the collective and disconnecting from the facts, in which the soldier is the reflection of his army, and the army is the reflection of its government.

      E. and the rest of the soldiers, police officers and security guards who executed young women and men when it was possible to take them alive, were sent to carry out missions and they only followed orders: To guarantee the heart of Hebron remains empty of Palestinians. Let the settlements expand. Make the Palestinians behave well.

      And if something goes wrong (and is filmed), the brain forgets about the finger on the trigger. Low-ranking E. was exposed to a field court-martial, while the high-ranking Binyamin Brigade commander Yisrael Shomer, who shot a young Palestinian suspected of throwing rocks in the back, and in doing so executed him without trial, is exempt.

      A soldier who shot and killed a woman and her daughter in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was put on trial, but the brigade commander who ordered to bombard a house, and in doing so, killed and injured dozens of members of the Samuni family, is absolved of any blame. The commander of the Air Force, who bombed dozens of homes with their inhabitants still inside and killed hundreds of women, elderly and children (the social censor erases the term “murder,” with all its derivatives, and replaces it with “killing”), is excused from answering any questions.

      In comparison, the Palestinian is automatically considered to be dangerous as an individual, because he is part of a threatening collective. That is why it is justified to kill, murder, eliminate and neutralize him. The Israeli fear of the Palestinian collective has a spark of sincerity: Admission that we are causing them systematic and organized injustice and it is only logical that they intend to harm us in return. But this candidness is short-lived. The preacher from the Al-Aqsa Mosque who called for butchering Jews was convicted of incitement to violence, and it did not help him when he said these are matters of Koranic law. But the Jewish authors of the book “The King’s Torah” (Torat Hamelech), which is a “Jewish religious law discussion of the conditions under which it is permissible to kill a goy,” were not put on trial. They, as everyone knows, are marginal individuals murmuring words of Torah into their beards.

      Separating between the fallen pants and the creased uniforms is an essential step in the army’s defensive shield against any possibility in which the military and its leaders in uniform and in civilian clothes will be accused of carrying out systematic and ongoing crimes as a policy.

      The policy amounts to contempt for the lives of Palestinians while they are put to death, killed or murdered. Contempt for life while they are still alive, by demolishing their houses and not allowing them to build their neighborhoods, in separating their families, in the slums in Jerusalem and Ramle and Lod, in erasing their history, the Suspension Bill, the undrinkable water, poverty rates and impoverishment.

      Focusing on the filmed soldiers or the hilltop youth, and the fluctuation between forgiving them as individuals, and rejecting them as individuals, causes us to forget that the cumulative results of the establishment’s actions against the Palestinians are more destructive and lethal than all the acts of the individuals.

      The facts that for 70 years have promoted contempt for the lives of Palestinians have been efficiently isolated from the legal concept of “intention.” We have no intention of doing them harm, God forbid. Everything is by accident. And without intention there is no guilt and no punishment. But the intention is formulated every day by the results. And Beit Shemesh knows better: The intention, not just the act, is that of the Jewish-Israeli collective."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Pretty damning indictment of the "Jewish- Israeli collective" and the PTB of the US and others continue to support, eh? It's criminal and unfathomable, imho. April 15th is upon us and US and Western tax dollars support this grotesque and seemingly endless joint criminal enterprise ...

      (Have a peek: link to en.wikipedia.org)

    • ... "why are you fighting a battle that may take another forty years? That’s why there are these constant: ” this is big” “this will change everything.” You lack the perspective of time. You are wet behind the ears."

      Oh, puh- LEEZE. You obviously fervently wish that Israeli violence and injustice will continue with your slander and Zio- supremism, victimhood and other falderol (trumpery, rubbish, and nonsense). Don't lecture the good folks here who are committed to justice, peace and equality~ hang out in your own neighborhood as who you really are.

    • ... "“I was working and someone told me there were two guys killed in Tel Rumeida. “My brother called me and told me that my wife saw the pictures on Facebook and realized it was our son.”

      “I saw the pictures but didn’t know if it was my son or not because his face was covered. I tried to call Abdel Fattah. The phone rang but there was no answer. Then I tried to call my son but his phone was disconnected.”

      I thank Aziz al-Qasrawi for his time, give condolences and get up to leave. Still stoic, he thanks me.

      “Would you to eat with us?”"

      - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Dan Cohen, you have had, and do have, my everlasting respect. Aziz al-Qasrawi IS Sumud. God only knows how Palestinians manage day in and day out to keep their spirit alive while being tortured by Israel and the West, East, North and South......

      I believe that it's because all of their rights are inherent and their cause is entirely just. Who in the world would be so kind and gentle and generous in the face of such deliberate violence, theft and Occupation???

      RIP. May the Israeli murderers be punished, once and for all of the murdered and massacred. There will be no 'peace' without justice.

  • Netanyahu and Sen. Leahy tangle over Israel's killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18
    • "Senator Patrick Leahy Responds To Prime Minister Netanyahu About The Worldwide Application Of The ‘Leahy Law’

      “The Prime Minister of Israel knows – and it should go without saying – that the United States does not provide weapons or other aid to Hamas or any other terrorist group, and that no nation more strongly condemns and works to eradicate terrorism worldwide than does the United States. There are multiple laws prohibiting such aid to Hamas and other such groups, and one reason Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid is to help defend against terrorist attacks.

      “The congressional letter cites allegations of possible serious abuses, identified by respected international human rights organizations, by the military and police forces of Egypt and Israel. Under the Leahy Law it is the responsibility of the State Department to evaluate the credibility of such allegations. The Leahy Law, which has existed for nearly 20 years, applies uniformly, worldwide – no country is exempt – and it applies to specific military personnel and units, not to general security forces, when U.S. aid is involved. It has led to the suspension of U.S. aid to military personnel and units found to have committed abuses in many countries when governments fail to punish those responsible, and only when those governments themselves have failed to act. This is only fair to U.S. taxpayers, and it is necessary in upholding the rule of law that our country stands for.”"

      link to leahy.senate.gov

      link to leahy.senate.gov

    • Perhaps Kirby et al should read some Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and Kate. I am so sick of US and "Western" and others' deliberate obtuseness/willful and feigned ignorance with regard to Israel's horrific evils!

      "Never Have So Many Cheered Such Vile Murderer ...

      The rabble demonstrating and writing in support of the soldier-executioner in Hebron sees him as a hero. Not just a victim, like the convicted murderer Roman Zadorov, for example, but a hero. E.A. — his full name remains under a gag order — is a folk hero because he murdered a dying Palestinian. Because, not despite.

      This must be stated clearly. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the state, an abhorrent murder whose only obvious justification seems to be a hatred of Arabs and contempt for their lives, has become a heroic act. A murder that required no courage, a cowardly act of the highest order, has become heroic in the eyes of the masses, simply because it ended with a dead Palestinian bleeding on the road to the sound of their rejoicing.

      Never have so many cheered such a vile murderer. In the history of the Israel Defense Forces there have been quite a few obscene acts disguised as heroism — the reprisal raids of the 1950s, the Gaza Strip activities of the Sayeret Rimon special operations unit, operations Cast Lead Protective Edge — but never was an obscure murderer lauded as a hero. Shimon Bar Kochba, Meir Har-Zion, Yoni Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and … E.A. Who can retell the mighty feats of Israel?

      Israeli racism has reached a new peak. The murder in Tel Rumeida and the ensuing response are no less than seminal events. Israeli racism had previously been based on the arrogance of the Chosen People, to which everything is permitted, which is the very best and knows better than anyone else; on manipulating the perception of endless victimhood and persecution; on demonizing the Arabs, who only want to destroy us; on dehumanizing them, as if their lives are worth nothing; on incitement, denial, repression and lies and on Israel’s formidable military might. On these foundations we built a racist society, probably the most racist in the world today.

      Now all this has been taken up a notch, or perhaps down. To all the above we can now openly add bloodlust — unadulterated, uninhibited and undisguised.

      This combination of racism and thirst for blood is not only repulsive, it’s also volatile and dangerous. There is racism in many societies, generally hidden and marginal. In Israel it has become standard, perhaps the height of contemporary political correctness, and fighting it is seen as treason.

      Moreover, it’s doubtful there’s another Western society whose racism is accompanied by such bloodlust. Whites hate blacks in the United States and South Africa, Europeans hate refugees, Christians hate Muslims, but not with such bloodlust and murderousness. The cry “Death to the Arabs” has taken on shocking practical significance. E.A. is its executor. That’s why he’s being applauded.

      These are deep currents that are difficult to stop. They have settled deep in people’s hearts, the result of decades of incitement and brainwashing. Neither a severe punishment for E.A., which he deserves, nor the chief of staff’s letter to soldiers reminding them of the army’s ethics can suffice.

      Few have dared to confront these currents; most of our systems support or have capitulated to them. It’s enough to see the military prosecution grovel before the mobs outside, dropping the allegations from murder to negligent homicide, and even that is in doubt. The media outlets, which know what their audiences want, have of course joined in spreading the incitement. It sells well. Suddenly what happened is “unclear,” “not definitive.” The video incriminates as much as a thousand witnesses and myriads of evidence, and the picture is still “unclear.” What’s not clear?

      And the politicians, who as usual support the masses, are either silent or paralyzed with fear. The thuggish Avigdor Lieberman, with Sharon Gal tagging along, and the mobs at the military court in Kastina are the most Israeli things there are now. There’s nothing to stop them. It’s doubtful if it even pays to try.

      But they won’t stop at Kastina. After the Arabs will come the leftists, the journalists, the judges and who knows who else. Prepare for the next Israeli hero; he’s already polishing his gun."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      The 95% that supported the massacres in Gaza rises again...

  • National Lawyers Guild and human rights activists call for IRS investigation into charity status of Jewish National Fund
    • I just read about it @ Haaretz. It does not pass the smell test @ all. More BS being 'Telegraph'ed by the $$$ PTB, imho.

      "Britain Reportedly Cuts Funding for Charity Behind 'Israeli Apartheid Week'

      The Telegraph newspaper also reports it has obtained recordings of anti-Semitic comments at events held at prestigious universities, in addition to calls for Israel's destruction.

      The British government has halted funding to the "War on Want" charity for its sponsor of events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews, the Telegraph reports.

      The charity helped pay for "Israeli Apartheid Week" ...

      War on Want reportedly received some $370,000 (260,000 pounds) from Britain's Department for International Development in the past two years, the newspaper writes.

      A spokesman has said that department funding for War on Want has ceased except for a small project in Northern Ireland.

      However, in response, War on Want dismissed the report, saying it was a "fabrication."
      John Hilary, the group's director said "War on Want has not sought any UK government support for its operations for a number of years now, so it is absurd to suggest that we have had our funding 'pulled'. The insinuation that we have been criticized by the government for standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people is equally bogus. We will be contacting the Telegraph to help it set the record straight."

      At a rally sponsored by War on Want, a speaker was said to have alleged there was a "rumor" that Israelis were harvesting dead Palestinians' organs, the paper reported.

      In a related development, the newspaper says it has obtained undercover recordings of events where academics and others from prestigious universities have expressed anti-Semitism, demands for Israel's destruction, or support for terrorism."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      hmmmmmmm..... Really? Wanna bet that anti- Corbyn folks are behind this?

  • 'We don’t want to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa': A report from Israel's first national conference against BDS
  • Netanyahu defends Israeli military after soldier caught on tape executing Palestinian: 'Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous'
    • Kate's work is without parallel... how I wish the WH, the Congress, and every American taxpayer/voter/citizen would read it and absorb it.

      More on the IOF and the Israeli Injustice System from Amira Hass:

      "Israeli Judge Rejects Left-wing Activists' Lawsuit Over Army Harassment ...

      ... The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has rejected a suit for damages filed against the state by four volunteers from Ta’ayush, an Arab-Jewish political activist group. The four demanded 160,000 shekels ($41,000) because they and the Palestinians they were escorting to their land were harassed by soldiers in 2013. One of the plaintiffs is David Shulman, a professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and this year’s Israel Prize laureate for religious studies and philosophy.

      Judge Dorit Feinstein accepted the factual evidence presented by the plaintiffs, which was supported by video clips and stills. Still, in the ruling published last week she decided to reject the lawsuit and not to award them compensation because she deemed the soldiers did not use physical violence – despite filmed evidence to the contrary – and because the harassment is offset by harsh comments by some of the plaintiffs against the soldiers, including a warning that “they would end up in the court in The Hague.”

      The village of Umm al-Amad is located in the southern West Bank, and near the residents’ land is the settlement of Otniel. For several years until 2012, settlers and soldiers prevented the farmers from reaching their land, which is outside the jurisdiction of the settlement. The army did not declare the site a closed military area, so there was no legal reason for preventing access. Alongside the lawful activity of Rabbis for Human Rights, activists from Ta’ayush began escorting the villagers to guarantee their access to the land.

      On Saturday, April 27, 2013, a military jeep appeared next to the Palestinian farmers and shepherds and the Ta’ayush activists, who were making their way to the grazing land. According to the lawsuit, which was prepared by attorney Eitay Mack, the jeep driver tried to run over activist Guy Butavia and several sheep. Butavia shouted at the driver, “Are you trying to hit me? Are you normal? You retard.” The driver, an officer with the rank of major, had clashed with the activists during the previous week as well, in an attempt to prevent the Palestinians from reaching their land. This time he ordered the soldiers to prevent the activists from filming the incident, and according to the lawsuit even told one of the female activists, “I’ll mess you up if you continue to film.”

      On the day of the incident the officer and eight soldiers prevented the Palestinians from reaching the grazing land for about two hours, until they and their escorts were forced to leave the site. During this time the officer kicked at the herd and pushed a boy, and one of the soldiers pushed another Palestinian. On orders of the commander, the soldiers tried to prevent the activists from filming the incident, approached them threateningly and used their telephones to hit the lenses of the cameras and the lenses of binoculars belonging to Shulman and Butavia, until they were afraid they would break.

      One of the soldiers, a paramedic, shouted threateningly at one of the shepherds, and when Butavia protested, he raised his rifle in his direction and shouted, “I’ll put one to your head, I’m not listening to you, Jew hater.” The soldier cursed the activists (“sons of bitches, Jew haters”), and told one of the women, “Shut up, you put out for the Arabs.” Butavia told the soldiers several times that they were war criminals and that they would end up in the international court in The Hague.

      'Palestinian settlers'

      Attorney Moshe Willinger of the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office wrote in the statement of defense that although Palestinians from Umm al-Amad are not required to coordinate their visits to their land with the army, that would have prevented the incident, and therefore “the plaintiffs have nobody to blame but themselves.” He said that the troops were only trying to ensure that the “Palestinian settlers” and the left-wing activists would not come near Otniel, because part of their job is to prevent friction and ensure the Palestinians don’t enter the settlement.

      Judge Feinstein wrote that “the recorded events are not in dispute” and that she “accepts the version of the plaintiffs regarding the incidents themselves.” She also wrote that as opposed to the soldiers, the activists refrained from physical contact and only filmed. At the same time, she ruled that the soldiers did not try to break the cameras and only tried to prevent the filming. She rejected the claim that the remark “puts out for the Arabs” is sexual harassment, noting that the paramedic who said it underwent disciplinary proceedings (following a report in the press).

      The judge noted that one of the plaintiffs, apparently Shulman, told the soldier: “You don’t want it to be recorded, you want to end up in the court in The Hague? Believe me, you have a chance of ending up there.” At that point the soldiers were able to cover the camera lens and only the voices are heard.

      “It’s true that the plaintiffs are entitled to freedom of speech and freedom of movement,” wrote Feinstein. “But at a time when they are hurling insults and threats of legal proceedings at young and junior soldiers, if one of them gets angry and curses, there is no reason to require the state to pay compensation ...”

      Regarding the soldier who underwent disciplinary action, Feinstein ruled: “The soldier had an outburst after being filmed for a long time by the plaintiffs from every possible angle with four cameras, when time after time the plaintiffs (Shulman and Butavia) are accusing him and his friends of being war criminals and [telling them] that they would pay for their deeds.”

      She added: “It should be noted that the soldiers were sent to the site by the Israeli government, as has been done for decades, are engaged in safeguarding the settlements in the area and the security of the state, and did not resort to physical or verbal violence (until the one soldier’s outburst) against the plaintiffs, but behaved with great restraint.”

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Another grotesque IOF medic with a gun...

  • Hebron settlers file complaint against Palestinian who filmed execution
    • "Palestinians Ask UN to Investigate Israeli Killings

      ... AP - The Palestinian government has asked the United Nations to launch an investigation into alleged extrajudicial killings by Israel.

      Monday's request follows the deadly shooting last week by an Israeli soldier of a wounded Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground. The military has detained the soldier while it investigates.

      Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said that past Israeli investigations have failed to "serve justice" and instead, he claims Israel has been "rewarded with impunity."

      The shooting came amid a six-month wave of Palestinian attacks that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans.

      Over the same time, at least 188 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire. Israel says most of those were attackers while the rest died in clashes with Israeli forces.

      The Palestinians say the killings amount to extrajudicial slayings."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Swedish FM Margot Wallström got it right from the start. Hopefully, she'll embrace BDS soon...

    • Amira Hass:

      "Lieberman Is Right About the Hebron Shooting

      Is this the first time a soldier has executed a Palestinian in cold blood, or did the fact that it was caught on film make the difference?

      Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avidgor Lieberman is right when he says the “onslaught” directed at the Kfir Brigade solider who executed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in Hebron last Thursday after Sharif had already been subdued is hypocrisy. In other words, that the Israel Defense Forces spokesman and Prime Minister ... Netanyahu and others who condemned the soldier’s action are hypocrites.

      It’s clear, after all, that it is only because a camera documented a soldier shooting a “neutralized” Palestinian in the head that the people at the top rushed to disassociate themselves from the act. “That’s not how the IDF operates,” they said, meaning that the IDF is usually not so negligent as to allow the actions of its soldiers to be filmed so we know that it indeed is how armed Israelis conduct themselves – executing Palestinians suspected of carrying out stabbings when they no longer pose a danger.

      Here are the contours of this hypocrisy:

      * On September 25, 2015, soldiers in Hebron killed Hadeel al-Hashlamoun. She hadn’t stabbed anyone but had only gone through a checkpoint with a knife. Three bullets hit her lower body and seven her upper body while she was already lying “neutralized.” There was a foreign activist there who took still pictures that were sufficient to prove that Hashlamoun was not a threat to the soldiers. A storm of controversy ensued. An investigation was carried out and findings were released about a month after the beginning of the “stabbing wave.” The commanders found that the soldiers could have arrested Hashlamoun without killing her, but decided that they should not be punished. On November 4, I wrote: “Punishing them would have required punishing other soldiers who ‘felt that their lives were in danger’ and easily took a life.” 
I should have written “felt and will feel.”

      * With the typical egoism of an occupier, the current violent escalation is marked by Israelis as beginning on October 1, when a husband and wife, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, were murdered near the settlement of Itamar. But for Palestinians and particularly the Hebronites among them, the starting point is the date on which Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was executed in cold blood. And there are also those who mark it beginning from July 31, when the members of the Dawabsheh family were murdered in the West Bank village of Duma.

      * In an analysis on Friday in Haaretz, Amos Harel defines the shooting execution in cold blood and writes: “The ... soldier [a combat paramedic] shoots the prone terrorist in the head at very close range. No one standing around [soldiers and settlers] seemed particularly alarmed by what they had just seen.” There are several possible reasons for that: 1) That is the spirit of the IDF in their view; 2) They had already been present or participated in very similar incidents or knew that that’s what everyone does, only without a camera and 3) Despite remarks by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the army is not acting to instill the message among soldiers that killings should not happen when life is not endangered.

      * Most of those who have carried out the approximately 105 incidents of stabbing, attempted stabbing or knife-wielding since October 3 have been killed by soldiers, policemen and security guards. In all the cases that were not filmed by Palestinians, did the soldiers, police and security guards really act appropriately and had no choice but to kill? In other words, that the hand of God has decided that only what runs counter to the spirit of the IDF is what will be filmed?

      * Cameras actually did document the killing on October 29 of 24-year-old Mahdi al-Muhtaseb. He had fled from a soldier he stabbed, was apparently shot in the leg while on the other side of a checkpoint in Hebron and fell to the ground. While on the ground, a border policeman shot him several times until he stopped moving. Palestinians were shocked and alarmed, but the Israelis reacted as if it was the most normal conduct.

      * A security official told Haaretz at the time that when Muhtaseb showed signs that he was going to get up, the border policeman shot again. “That is what is expected of a soldier, because who knows? Maybe the terrorist would blow himself up or take out a gun and shoot,” he said. Blow himself up? In the middle of a Palestinian neighborhood? But that’s precisely the line of defense being put forward by the family of the paramedic who executed Sharif in cold blood.

      * A smartphone was used on October 4 to film the execution in cold blood of Fadi Alun from Jerusalem, a stabbing suspect who was already lying on the sidewalk after being shot. Palestinians were shocked and alarmed, but the Israelis reacted as if it was the most normal conduct.

      * Imad Abu-Shamsiyeh of Hebron, a former volunteer with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, was the person who filmed the paramedic executing Sharif. He told Haaretz that the solider had demanded that he move away, but he went onto a roof and took the video footage. He is active in the Hebron-based group Human Rights Defenders, but knew nevertheless that he had to turn the video footage over to B’Tselem so the Israelis could not dismiss the filmed evidence as some kind of Palestinian nonsense.

      * On Thursday, senior officials expressed shock that army paramedics had not administered medical care to the injured Palestinian. But many reports from the scene of stabbings or knife-wieldings in recent months have contained repeated accounts of the army failing to care for injured Palestinians who lay bleeding until they died. IDF spokespersons dismissed the claims as a common Palestinian fabrication.

      One may conclude that the only time there was a failure to provide medical care to Palestinians is when B’Tselem has had filmed evidence. When B’Tselem does not have such evidence, the soldiers are the Righteous Among the Nations."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

    • Richard Silverstein:

      ... "An IDF soldier who was a medic in the unit and who had treated the wounded soldier, asked permission from his commanding officer to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. Apparently the commander approved. The soldier walked to within six feet of the wounded Palestinian cocked his rifle and shot him. This practice is often called ‘confirming the kill’ in the IDF. Palestinian girls as young as 12 years-old have been executed in this fashion before. Last week, Bassam Massalha, after being wounded, was executed as video filmed his murder. In one of the earliest of such incidents in Jerusalem in 2002, the police commander, Mickey Levy, ordered one of his officers to execute a Palestinian, who had been captured and disarmed before he could detonate his suicide vest.

      Mickey Levy is now a deputy minister and key member of the center-right Yesh Atid party. An Israeli security institute hosted a screening of the film, Wounded Land, about a meeting between a suicide bomber and the families of his victims at the hospital where both were brought after the attack. Levy appears to have forgotten his sordid past when he told the film audience this entirely mendacious version of the Jerusalem attack in which ordered a summary execution:

      “Every time I hear that a terrorist has been “neutralized” I laugh. Because you can neutralize the danger, but never the terrorist. When there is intent to injure and the danger is imminent, you certainly may shoot to kill. But once the danger is past, the situation changes.”

      Levy then raises this same 2002 incident. But he makes dramatic changes in the actual story which flatter him and deface the truth. He says that when he arrived on the scene there was a terrorist who had a suicide vest still strapped to his body with the button to activate it visible. But he was in handcuffs and on his knees and a soldier stood over his body. No suicide bomber would ever be in handcuffs while still strapped to his vest. The Palestinian attempted to roll onto his belly in order to activate the bomb. Levy supposedly then asked the sapper whether he could disable the bomb. His officer told him he couldn’t because the terrorist was moving. He then ordered another soldier to kill the terrorist with two bullets to the head.

      These pictures of the same incident should refresh Levy and expose the lies he told his all to gullible audience. They show the alleged attacker arrested with no suicide vest in sight. There are policemen milling about and no one appears threatened by the possibility of a bomb exploding.

      Many Palestinians are similarly executed by Israeli security forces, but few in as blatant a situation is these in broad daylight and on camera.

      Back in Hebron, when the shooter returned to his commanding officer, he went through the formal rituals of confirming the use of his weapon and that was the end of it, they expected. Instead, a Palestinian activist had videotaped the entire incident. He gave the video to the Israeli human rights NGO, B’Tselem, which subsequently circulated the video far and wide, after submitting it to the military censor. (If anyone has access to the uncensored version, please be in touch.) It’s been reported by media outlets around the world, including the BBC and many others.

      The videographer, Imad Abu Shamsiyah, is in hiding. Settlers surrounded his home, stoned it, and shouted: “Death to Imad.” Neither Israeli soldiers nor police intervened.

      The IDF, as a result of the bad publicity, arrested the soldier. Lt Col Peter Lerner confirmed that the soldier killed the Palestinian, and that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing. However, there is no word that the commanding officer himself has been arrested or detained.

      Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time posting to Facebook and Twitter asking Israelis if they could help me identify the killer. Luckily, the Israeli far-right gossip forum, Rotter, has identified him along with pictures. He is El-Or Azarya, a resident of the poor Israeli town of Ramleh, near Tel Aviv.

      Other activists in Israel have helped further identifying him, finding Facebook accounts and photographs which document him before the execution. He is a devoted follower of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club. The most hardcore racist Beitar fans have formed a gangland-style fan club called La Famigilia. He’s also written “Kahane was right!” on his Facebook page.

      Among the pages he’s Liked on Facebook are the far-right Kahanist, Baruch Marzel; the racist rapper, The Shadow, who advocated burning Palestinians alive on his Facebook page; the La Famiglia page; Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked; and Avigdor Lieberman.

      It is highly unlikely that justice will be done in this incident. Normally, the IDF claims to investigate such incidents, does so, finds insufficient evidence to prosecute, and closes the case. ...

      ... Let no one think of this is a one-off aberration. Palestinians are executed in the same fashion virtually every day. Nor are these summary executions a product of Israeli policy over the past few months alone. Such murders go all the way back to the 2002 incident I described above. The murderers are rewarded for their callousness as Levy has been, by being a respected member of the Knesset.

      Some of the killings are videotaped and some aren’t. The ones that are not videotaped escape the world’s notice, except in the Palestinian community. The ones that are videotaped elicit a small measure of attention in Israel and no attention outside. The lives that are so snuffed out aren’t worth much either to the world media or to Israelis. But once in a while, if circumstances are right, when there’s a videotape that captures all the bloody action in broad daylight, then the world takes notice.

      I am publishing as much about this case as I can in order to expose not just this single murder, but all of the brutal illegal violence perpetrated by Israeli Security Forces against Palestinians."

      link to richardsilverstein.com

    • From Haaretz:

      "... The soldier claimed in his military police investigation that he shot Sharif because he feared for his life. He also said during the investigation "I carried out the shooting while the terrorist was alive. I did so because I felt in mortal danger." His attorney, Ilan Katz, said during a hearing last Friday at the Jaffa Military Court that the shooting was carried out in accordance with the military's open-fire procedures.

      On Sunday, Army Radio reported that the military investigation found that the soldier told one of his friends that the "terrorist needs to die" for stabbing another soldier. Despite the latter's efforts to calm him down, the soldier then shot the Palestinian. Attorney Katz denied this statement, but declined to comment on further details.

      It has been clarified to the soldier in his investigation that he is suspected of murder. Operational Affairs Attorney Lt. Col. Adoram Riegler said during the hearing that it constitutes "suspicion of very grave offenses." Court justice Lt. Col. Ronen Schur determined that the investigation material "indicates a reasonable suspicion that the suspect fired unlawfully under the circumstances, and that this shooting might have led to the death of the terrorist, who at the time remained lying on the ground after he was shot earlier."

      A poll published by Channel 2 News on Saturday showed that most of the public (57 percent) believed that there was no need to detain and investigate the soldier, compared to 32 percent who supported it. Forty-two percent of respondents defined the soldier's behavior as "responsible," 24 percent believed that it was a natural reaction to a stressful situation, 19 percent said it constituted a deviation from orders and 5 percent defined the shooting of the wounded assailant as murder – the offense the soldier is suspected of. More than two-thirds of the respondents had reservations about IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's decisive statements against the shooting, while 21 percent sided with them.

      The mother of the soldier suspected of the murder wrote to Ya'alon on Sunday. "I am the mother of the soldier that you sent on a mission to protect the country's citizens and you have abandoned him. A mother who sent her son to protect the country and its citizens, and the establishment reciprocates by firing back and silencing his voice. I am the mother of the 19-year-old boy who is standing alone in front of the political and military leadership and can’t take it on."

      "Bring us the boy back, bring us our lives back. Remember and don’t forget that you stood in my son's place, only in the room of Abu Jihad, and confirmed the kill of a despicable terrorist and murderer," she wrote, referring to Ya'alon's part in the 1988 assassination of a senior Fatah leader. "On Thursday my son also stood against a murderous terrorist, but the tables have turned and the terrorist who came to murder became a Righteous among the Nations and my son became the murderer. Have we gone crazy?!""  

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      Israel's been "crazy" for a long while now......

    • The top photo of the grinning duo reflects the most deeply depraved of Israel. Why, they appear proud of it, too!

      I thought that I couldn't be more sickened, but I am. The very nasty settlers and zealots Daniella Weiss and that evil crone Anat Cohen must be having a ball.

      Thanks for all of your diligent coverage of this latest war crime, Dan.

  • Israeli soldier filmed killing wounded Palestinian finds support among Israeli politicians
    • O/T but wow.

      "Israel backs down in row with Brazil over ambassador ...

      Israel has backed down in a long-running and bitter diplomatic dispute with Brazil, withdrawing its nomination of a controversial settler leader as ambassador after Brasília refused to accept his credentials.

      The seven-month long impasse over the planned appointment of Dani Dayan, a former chairman of the the West Bank Yesha settler council, came to an end on Monday when Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who is also the country’s foreign minister, announced he would be appointed consul general in New York instead.

      Rejection of a proposed ambassador is extremely rare and had drawn considerable attention to the Dayan case.

      According to Israel’s deputy foreign minister late last year, the Dayan case was the first instance in which a proposed Israeli diplomat had been rejected for his “ideological” views.

      The move comes despite repeated insistence by senior officials that they would ensure that Dayan – who lives in a settlement – would be allowed to take up his post in Brazil.

      Under diplomatic protocols, when a new ambassador is proposed if the accepting country does not officially accept the appointment – known as agrément – it is supposed to be understood that the appointment is rejected, the situation in Dayan’s case.

      Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, last summer sent messages to Israel making clear she disapproved of the appointment of the Argentina-born Dayan because of his involvement in promoting illegal Israeli settlement construction.

      Rousseff had also been lobbied by Brazilian groups and some MPs to reject Dayan as ambassador.

      Speaking at a conference opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Jerusalem on Monday, Dayan said: “I don’t think that we folded. There was no choice. Those who don’t want me in Brasília will get me in the capital of the world and to me that is a victory. I believe I can revolutionise Israeli public relations in the US, whose beating heart is in New York.”

      In an interview with Israel’s army radio, Dayan added: “I’ll tell you a secret: when the prime minister asked me to serve as ambassador in Brasília, I asked for the office of consul general in New York instead. Now I’m getting what I think I know how to do best.”

      Dayan had previously argued that should Brazil succeed in excluding him, it could create a precedent barring settlers from representing Israel abroad.

      In January it was widely reported in the Israeli media that Netanyahu had insisted that if Brazil did not accept Dayan, it would not offer an alternative candidate.

      “I believe that Dani Dayan is an exceptionally qualified candidate and he remains my candidate,” he insisted in January.

      Welcoming the appointment, Israel’s rightwing deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, said: “The appointment of Danny to one of the strategic locations in the United States is an important statement to the world.

      “The state of Israel will be blessed with a worthy representative who lives in [one of the] settlements in Judea and Samaria, and will carry an important message that the Israeli government stands behind Danny as a faithful and worthy representative of the state,” she said.

      Hotovely’s comments represented a sharp U-turn after she had earlier said that if Brazil did not approve Dayan, Israel would be served in the country by its number two diplomat there.

      Israel appears increasingly isolated on the international stage over its continued policy of settlement construction.

      Last week the United Nations human rights council voted to set up a database of Israeli and foreign companies operating in the occupied West Bank despite lobbying by Israel to block the move. ..."

      link to theguardian.com

      So, so sorry NYC.

    • Yech.

      Filthy 46% of the over 90% of Israelis that cheered the deliberate and gruesome murders of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and in Palestine numerous times over and over again.

      Disgusting.

      ( Hey Fatou~ what are you waiting for?????????????)

  • Jewish settlers threaten life of Palestinian who shot video of execution
    • The multiple, myriad, and loathesome masks of Purim have been removed yet again.

      Ascertain to whom and where your tax $$$ and vote goes and NEVER forget who is supporting this with your tacit and/or vocal support. Palestinians have been endlessly robbed, incarcerated, murdered, and tortured with the full support of the West and the Gulfies and Egypt and others...

      Bless this videographer, Imad Abu Shamsiyyeh, and his wife and family. Bless this executed man and his brethren- his sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers and children who only struggle to be free in THEIR land.

  • Top Israeli officials who issued directive to execute Palestinians hang Hebron killer out to dry
    • "Its sad that people are just now outraged over this incident."

      Yes, it is.

      But never forget that many of us have been outraged by the actions of the majority of Israelis and their enablers toward Palestinians and Palestine for most of our lives, Amar.

  • Finding 1 'Arab' in Israeli basketball, NY Times espouses Zionist racial theory
    • Exactly.

      Jewish folks in Yemen are Yemeni, Iraqi Jews are Iraqi, Iranian Jews are Iranian, Afghan Jews are Afghan, Ethiopian Jews are Ethiopian, etc......

  • Israelis don't exist
    • This is a great article, Jonathan. I have been enriched with all of your contributions to MW. Please keep writing, playing your violin, and teaching your nephew and others the truth in "little conversations" and pieces like this.

      Rigtig mange tak.

  • AIPAC apologizes for Trump, but cheers Cruz for vow to destroy Iran deal
    • ..."BLUMENTHAL: What role do you see AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby playing in making--in the transformation of Jewish Israeli society, where you say the stages of fascism are beginning?

      LEVY: Let's talk about the [inaud.]. I claim that AIPAC is an anti-Israeli organization, not a pro-Israeli organization. They corrupt Israel. Not only them, but they start this whole process, which enable Israel to continue the occupation with no limitations, with no restrictions. They stand behind this terrible phenomena in which a state like Israel, which is very well off, well-equipped, very strong, gets these enormous sums of money year after year which corrupts Israel. This American money that AIPAC is responsible for getting it, this money corrupts Israel. And therefore in my view, AIPAC is not only not pro-Israel, in my view AIPAC is one of the biggest enemies of the state of Israel. ..."

      link to therealnews.com

      Thanks, Philip.

  • Israeli soldier filmed executing wounded Palestinian man
    • My Mom taught me the Golden Rule and more... that has and always will serve me well.

      (So do those 10 Commandments...it's not rocket science nor is it mumbo-jumbo. It's Humanism 101. Respect.)

    • "UN envoy condemns Palestinian attacker's 'gruesome' killing by Israeli soldier

      The United Nations special envoy for the Middle East peace process joined the growing row over what he called the “apparent extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian assailant” by an Israeli soldier in Hebron, condemning it as a “gruesome” killing.

      Nickolay Mladenov’s intervention in the dispute over the killing of the severely wounded Abed al Fatah a-Sharif – who had already been shot and incapacitated during a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier – followed the release on Thursday of a video of the shooting.

      In a statement, Mladenov, who reports to the UN security council, said: “I strongly condemn yesterday’s apparent extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. This was a gruesome, immoral and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation.”

      Mladenov’s statement came as the family and lawyer of the unnamed soldier arrested for the shooting attempted to explain his actions, and as the investigation by the Israeli military was widened to take into account the actions of officers also at the scene. The soldier, a combat medic, is facing an initial court hearing in Jaffa on Friday.

      The killing, filmed by a volunteer with the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, and widely reported and circulated on social media, has drawn widespread condemnation including from senior Israeli and Palestinian ... .

      The video shows what appears to be one of the most flagrant cases so far of Israeli forces’ alleged use of excessive force in the wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that erupted in October.

      The incident was immediately condemned as an “execution” by B’Tselem and as a war crime by Palestinians.

      The soldier’s lawyer, Benjamin Malka, explained that the Palestinian assailant, who had just stabbed another Israeli soldier, was still “moving underneath his jacket, where he could have been hiding explosives or weapons”.

      In an interview with army radio, Malka called his client an “outstanding soldier, salt of the earth”, adding that “he has yet to be allowed to defend his innocence”.

      The reported defence does not explain why the soldier did not alert other soldiers, medical personnel or civilians standing nearby or why the two Palestinians involved in the attack would have used a knife in their assault when a bomb or other weapons were available.

      According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, the soldier told family members after his initial arrest by military police: “I did the right thing at the right time in order to prevent anything else bad from happening.”

      The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the soldier’s behaviour was not in keeping with the army’s values, and the defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the incident was being treated with “utmost severity”.

      “The IDF expects its soldiers to behave with composure and in accordance with the rules of engagement,” Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that the incident did not “represent the values of the IDF”.

      The incident has added heat to the debate over Israeli forces’ response to a wave of violence that has left 200 Palestinians, over half of whom Israel says were attackers, and 28 Israelis dead.

      In his statement, Mladenov welcomed Yaalon’s condemnation of the incident and called on the Israeli authorities to swiftly bring to justice the alleged perpetrator.

      Despite the controversy in Israel over the incident, the hawkish former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman defended the shooting, saying it was “hypocritical and unfair to gang up against the soldier”.

      “Better a soldier who makes a mistake but stays alive than a soldier who gets killed by a terrorist because he hesitated,” he said.

      “Morally speaking, a terrorist who tried to murder Jews deserves to die,” added Bezalel Smotrich, an MP from the far-right Jewish Home party. "

      link to theguardian.com

      It's one in a long, long, long line of gruesome executions, Nickolay. Make sure that you spread your outrage around Palestine~ there are plenty of Israeli executed Palestinian souls in the rubble. It's business as usual for Smotrich and Yaalon and Netanyahu and their immoral IOF and their 95% of citizens who celebrated the destruction of Palestinian lives and property in Gaza not very long ago.

    • "Why Did Israeli Police Ambush and Shoot at Palestinian Kids?

      This photograph has become almost iconic online. A wounded boy is lying on the sooty road of Kafr Kadum. He is trying to protect his head with his hand and is crying out for help. The image recalls that of Mohammed al-Dura, the boy who was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip in September 2000, while his father tried to protect him – but this time the ending is better.

      Video footage shot by Abdullah Shtaiwi, a volunteer for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, shows a boy pounding the asphalt repeatedly, screaming in pain or terror, trying to get up, crawling forward and collapsing again. It’s not easy to watch. Then a man is seen running toward him, picking him up and trying to extricate him from this hellish situation. But then he too collapses, shot by Israeli troops while trying to evacuate the boy. The live rounds were fired by Border Police officers who lay in ambush for the Friday demonstrators in Kafr Kadum, adjacent to the settlement of Kedumim in the West Bank.

      The event took place three weeks ago. As on every other Friday (and Saturday) for the past five years, demonstrators set out from the center of the village at noon to protest the blockage since 2003 of the entry road to their village. The army closed off the road because it passes next to the relentlessly expanding settlement, which was built on village land. At first, only cars that didn’t belong to residents were prohibited from using the road, but a few months later all vehicular traffic was banned – and finally even pedestrians were not allowed to use it. The creeping occupation. ..."

      read the rest: link to haaretz.com

    • From The Guardian's front page:

      "... Israel’s defence minister Moshe Ya’alon later described the soldier’s actions as being “in utter breach of IDF values and of our code of ethics in combat.” He added: “Even when the blood boils, we must not allow such loss of reason and such loss of control.”

      Ayman Odeh, leader of a bloc of Arab parties in the Israeli parliament also issued a harsh condemnation of the videotaped killing. “Israel has turned in recent months into a place in which executions are carried out in public with the encouragement of cheering mobs.”

      In January, concern about possible extrajudicial killings by Israeli forces during the current wave of violence was raised by the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström. The diplomatic row that ensued led to her being called “irresponsible and delusional” by Israel’s foreign ministry, and told she was not welcome in the country. The new footage is bound, however, to raise renewed concern.

      Commenting on the footage Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said: “The shooting of a wounded and incapacitated person, even if they have been involved in an attack, has absolutely no justification and must be prosecuted as a potential war crime.

      “Israeli forces have a long history of carrying out unlawful killings - including extrajudicial executions - in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with impunity. Amnesty has documented a number of similar cases during the upsurge in violence that began in October.” ..."

      link to theguardian.com

    • I am only surprised that they didn't run over him after the execution by the most immoral army of cowards and thieves in the world.

      (Fatou Bensouda, where are you and your do- nothing and highly compensated horde??? I am sickeningly certain that many Presidential candidates and the Congress and the media would 'enjoy' the video...)

      Thank you Dan Cohen, MW and B'Tselem.

  • Illinois lists 11 companies banned from doing business with state due to BDS
    • "UN rights council to vote on list of firms that trade in occupied terrorites

      Palestinian proposal for database, which Israel says would constitute blacklist, is opposed by US and UK

      The United Nations human rights council will vote on Thursday on whether to set up a database of all companies that do business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

      The database, which would be managed by the UN, would list Israeli, international and Palestinian companies.

      The move is being opposed by Israel – which argues that the database would constitute a blacklist – as well as the US and the UK. Palestinian officials believe they have sufficient support to ensure the measure passes at the human rights council (HRC) in Geneva when it is put to a vote on Thursday.

      The final draft – seen by the Guardian - requests the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, in consultation “with the working group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises ... to produce a database of all business enterprises involved in the activities detailed … to be updated annually”. The database would cover business activity in the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

      According to Palestinian officials involved in negotiations to produce the draft resolution, they have come under pressure from US and UK officials, who have warned them that if they do not remove the paragraph from the draft resolution it could affect both aid to the Palestinian Authority and bilateral ties.

      The resolution is the result of a Palestinian initiative, advanced with the help of Egypt, Pakistan and other Arab and Muslim countries and sponsored by countries including Bahrain, Venezuela and Algeria.

      Other EU countries are said to be concerned about the resolution and are believed to be planning to abstain, arguing that the database is too close to encouraging the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. Members of the HRC have no veto, however, making such a measure far easier to pass than a similar resolution on the UN security council.

      The resolution condemns continued Israeli settlement activity, saying that Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under international law, and warns companies and businesses against entering into business transactions in the settlements so as not to risk being involved in human rights violations.

      A Palestinian official told the Guardian on Wednesday that its delegation intended for the full resolution to go to a vote, unchanged, on the orders of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. “We are being offered incentives to remove it,” he said. “High-level meetings in Ramallah; the passage of the rest of the resolution condemning settlements by consensus. But the view is that this would be a concrete measure against the Israeli occupation.” ..."

      link to theguardian.com

  • 'NYT' finally mentions 'Goliath' -- in rightwing ad smearing Max Blumenthal
  • Why is AIPAC legitimating Donald Trump's bigotry?
    • Roy Isacowitz:

      "Protesting Bigots and Demagogues at AIPAC? Don’t Stop at Trump. Call Out Netanyahu Too

      American Jews are capable of recognizing the potential fascism of Trump, but not the existing tyranny of Israel’s rule over the Palestinians, under the decade-long leadership of Netanyahu.

      Many American Jews are angered at the prospect of Donald Trump addressing the AIPAC policy conference in Washington this coming week and are promising to abstain from attending, walk out of the hall or protest his presence in other ways.

      “Throughout his campaign Trump has made statements that have been bigoted, racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic – some could argue even statements that were anti-Semitic,” wrote Rabbi Jesse Olitzky, representing a group of professionals and clergy which calls itself Come Together Against Hate.

      “If we sit around and do nothing, even if we sit in silence, that shows complacency and that, by default, we agree with what he says,” Olitzky wrote. “It is imperative to me as a communal leader, and to all Jews there who are going, that we stand up to his demagoguery.”

      Which would make perfect sense, were it not for the fact that the American community, both as individuals and as communal leaders, has been sitting in silence and showing complacency in the face of demagoguery and racism for years already, without feeling the need to stand up and do something about it.

      APIAC, that bastion of Jewish values, has gone even further. Rather than sitting in complacent silence, it has given repeated and resounding standing ovations, year after year, to Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli demagogues and racists, who not only talk the talk – as Trump has done so far – but walk the walk, as well.

      Israel has already built the wall that Trump only talks about. It has blighted the lives of millions of Muslims, as Trump says he would like to do. Its behavior has been far more bellicose than anything Trump has exhibited so far and its racism is not only more extreme, but a lot more deadly.

      The supporters of Israeli Trumpism have assassinated a prime minister, gunned down worshippers in a mosque, burned a Palestinian baby to cinders in its bed and committed thousands of other racist atrocities. But when the Israeli Trump-in-chief arrives in Washington, he is feted by AIPAC as the true representative of Jewish values. The anti-Trump.

      What perversion allows American Jews – or the majority of them, it would seem – to regard Donald Trump as the antithesis of their Jewish values and Benjamin Netanyahu as their exemplar? What cognitive bypass enables them to recognize the potential fascism of Trump, but not the existing tyranny of Israel’s rule over the Palestinians, under the decade-long leadership of Netanyahu?

      Trump’s values, according to Rabbi Olitzky of Come Together Against Hate, “are not the values of the Jewish community. They are not the values of our founders’ vision of an America where all citizens are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.’”
      Does that mean that those unlucky enough to be born outside America weren’t endowed by the creator with unalienable rights? Does it mean that Jews in America, basking in the glory of their founders’ vision, need not be concerned when Jews in Israel deny others those same unalienable rights? ...

      ... Netanyahu himself has declined AIPAC’s invitation to address the conference in person, explaining first that he hadn’t been invited to meet with President Barack Obama while in Washington (a lie, according to the White House) and then that such an appearance would not be proper at the height of the American election campaign. 

      Coming from the man who thought it appropriate to address Congress at the height of the struggle over the Iran nuclear agreement, Netanyahu’s explanation exudes the sort of hypocrisy that AIPAC appreciates. Olitzky and his Come Together friends may be well-meaning, but they are no less hypocritical.

      Still, it’s a pity. Having both Trump and Netanyahu address the assembled ranks of Israel’s apologists at AIPAC would be a fitting tribute to an organization dedicated to dishonesty and myopia. It would cast American Jewish values in their true and unambiguous light – a value system that exempts Israel from every value it purports to hold dear.

      It is entirely fitting to have Trump attend the AIPAC congress, while Bernie Sanders stays away. The Democratic candidate may have been invited out of obligation, but his honesty, decency and barely-concealed skepticism about Israel are not welcome at AIPAC. The pomposity and bluster of the Trump-Netanyahu duo are a much better fit."

      read more: link to haaretz.com

    • Great post, Bandolero!

      Thanks.

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