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  • Hasbarah Bingo
    • Patrick Cockburn reveals who is the author of Israel's talking points:

      Sunday 27 July 2014
      Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
      World View: The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz

      Israeli spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire. But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.

      There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those "who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel".

      Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked "not for distribution or publication" and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled "The Israel project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its "dos and don'ts" for Israeli spokesmen.

      These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.

      Mark Regev Mark Regev The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that "Americans agree that Israel 'has a right to defensible borders'. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel's military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel's right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967."

      How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that "the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the 'separate but equal' words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don't like, don't believe and don't accept the concept of 'separate but equal'."

      So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a "demand", on the grounds that Americans don't like people who make demands. "Then say 'Palestinians aren't content with their own state. Now they're demanding territory inside Israel'." Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement "at some point in the future".

      Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of "mass Palestinian immigration" into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would "derail the effort to achieve peace".

      The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.

      There is a whole chapter on "isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace". Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.

      Frank Luntz Frank Luntz Much of Dr Luntz's advice is about the tone and presentation of the Israeli case. He says it is absolutely crucial to exude empathy for Palestinians: "Persuadables [sic] won't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show Empathy for BOTH sides!" This may explain why a number of Israeli spokesman are almost lachrymose about the plight of Palestinians being pounded by Israeli bombs and shells.

      In a sentence in bold type, underlined and with capitalisation, Dr Luntz says that Israeli spokesmen or political leaders must never, ever justify "the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children" and they must aggressively challenge those who accuse Israel of such a crime. Israeli spokesmen struggled to be true to this prescription when 16 Palestinians were killed in a UN shelter in Gaza last Thursday.

      There is a list of words and phrases to be used and a list of those to be avoided. Schmaltz is at a premium: "The best way, the only way, to achieve lasting peace is to achieve mutual respect." Above all, Israel's desire for peace with the Palestinians should be emphasised at all times because this what Americans overwhelmingly want to happen. But any pressure on Israel to actually make peace can be reduced by saying "one step at a time, one day at a time", which will be accepted as "a commonsense approach to the land-for-peace equation".

      Dr Luntz cites as an example of an "effective Israeli sound bite" one which reads: "I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child."

      The study admits that the Israeli government does not really want a two-state solution, but says this should be masked because 78 per cent of Americans do. Hopes for the economic betterment of Palestinians should be emphasised.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted with approval for saying that it is "time for someone to ask Hamas: what exactly are YOU doing to bring prosperity to your people". The hypocrisy of this beggars belief: it is the seven-year-old Israeli economic siege that has reduced the Gaza to poverty and misery.

      On every occasion, the presentation of events by Israeli spokesmen is geared to giving Americans and Europeans the impression that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and is prepared to compromise to achieve this, when all the evidence is that it does not. Though it was not intended as such, few more revealing studies have been written about modern Israel in times of war and peace.

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  • Video: Protesters set Israeli checkpoint aflame following funeral in Beit Ummar
    • If this keeps up, Israel may look for someone to replace Abbas as head of its approved variation of the Nazi Judenrat.

  • 'The unity is stronger than ever': Report from historic march on Qalandia checkpoint in solidarity with Gaza
    • The beginning of the end of Mahmoud Abbas?

      David Hearst

      Editor, Middle East Eye
      Mahmoud Abbas' Epiphany Over Gaza
      Posted: 07/25/2014 1:38 pm EDT

      Mahmoud Abbas is having something of an epiphany. Only two short months ago, the Palestinian president said security co-operation with Israel in the West Bank was "sacred." Now Abbas is quoting a Koranic verse which says" Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory."

      What has happened to him since he said in a speech in Jeddah, shortly after the kidnap and murder of three young settlers: "The security coordination with the Israelis is for our own benefit, to protect our own people?" What indeed has happened to the PLO which issued a statement after an emergency meeting in Ramallah chaired by Abbas which praised: "the resolute stand of the great Palestinian people and the forces of resistance that are fighting heroically against the occupying army that is committing crimes and slaughtering our compatriots?"

      What conversion has Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Chief Negotiator, miraculously undergone? He now says that every Palestinian is a target of Israel. Could this be the same Erekat who, according to the Palestine Papers, offered his counterpart Tsipi Livni , the " biggest Yerushalayim" in history?

      Strange things are happening in that part of the West Bank, which Erekat has not bequeathed Israel as another fact on the ground. Hamas flags were seen in the 30,000 strong march which converged on Qalandiya checkpoint on Thursday night. The loudspeakers of mosques called Palestinians to the demonstration. Those lines of Palestinian Authority riot police seemed less willing to stand between the demonstrators and the lines of Israeli police and border guards.

      Abbas himself has come under a torrent of Internet abuse from the ranks of his own constituency since his Jeddah speech. Amira Hass quoted in Haaretz a Fatah member who is a resident of a refugee camp and a former prisoner as saying that only 10 percent of Palestinians now support the aging president. There has even been reports that his wife and grandchildren have fled Ramallah for Amman.

      What is happening to Abbas is a political earthquake. The veteran PLO fighter may spin the new pro-Hamas line from Ramallah as an attempt to strengthen himself as a negotiator. This, too, is a difficult space for Abbas to inhabit. His closest Arab partner Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is behaving even worse than Netanyahu is -- not only by holding up aid on the Egyptian side of the border, but by urging the Israeli prime minister to finish Hamas off militarily once and for all. Without Sisi's and King Abdullah's daily voices in his ear, it is doubtful that Netanyahu would have acted so decisively in Gaza. Abbas's allies damn him with the people who matter, the Palestinian street, because they are an essential part of the Israeli assault on Gaza. Sisi is the prison warder who keeps the door closed as Israeli guests beat the inmates up. Be it as president or negotiator, Abbas's stock is plummeting as each day passes.

      As the death toll in Gaza gallops towards the four figure mark, few have stopped to think of the effect the operation will have on the unity deal which the military operation tried to smash.

      When the unity deal was signed, Azzam al-Ahmed member of Fatah's Central Committee whispered that "Hamas had taken off all their clothes," meaning that Hamas had surrendered too much, and certainly all authority over Gaza. Initially, Khaled Meshaal was thought to be have paid too high a price. The deal was unpopular in his own movement (particularly in the West Bank) and that discontent crescendoed when Abbas refused to pay the 50,000 government workers in Gaza who stayed loyal to Hamas.

      Hamas seemed to have emerged from the deal the weaker partner, betrayed once again, in their eyes, by Abbas's lack of faith. Today, the position is reversed for two reasons.

      The unity government broke the psychological barrier between Hamas and the PLO, and presented the fleeting vision of a unified nation. The all out war that Israel's army has declared on Gaza has only cemented that unity. If disunity had been one of the reasons preventing a third intifada from starting, that obstacle is no longer there. It still may not materialize, but after this week's scenes in the West Bank, no one can dismiss it as peremptorily as they once did. It is now a real possibility.

      If this unity does now exist, who stands to gain? In war, that role falls now to Hamas for their response to the Israeli operation. In peace, Abbas and the PLO may now have to make way for a new leader capable of representing all factions.

      Abbas can make a series of feints like pressing ahead with membership of UN institutions, and taking Israel to the International Criminal Court. But the margin of error for the arch political survivor is narrowing. When the ceasefire comes, Hamas be naked no more. It will be fully clothed in military fatigues, as Abbas himself once was.

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  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • I hope the word gets out about this. Thanks to the US media, largely Jewish owned and 100% in support of Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians, news of Jewish opponents of those policies get even less coverage in our media than even Palestinian critics.

  • Gaza is a concentration camp, and it's an American delusion not to recognize that -- Weschler
    • To appreciate the news coverage of Gaza by 100% of our main stream media, think of the Germans getting news from their media during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising whose sources were exclusively the German government and the German military.

  • Another prominent liberal Jew runs away from the Zionist label
    • Another case of supporting the theory of zionism but opposing it when he saw that theory put into practice.

  • On the day two Palestinians are killed, 'NYT' reporter flashes snark
    • When Israel muders Palestinians the US media treats them as anonymous, usually without mention of age, sex, etc., of the victims. If the reverse happens, we get full color pictures along with the details of the Israeli victims.

  • 'It's time to build the future of the American Jewish community': Open Hillel announces first national conference
    • Rebel Jewish student movement to hold first national conference
      Open Hillel says speakers will include BDS supporter Judith Butler, Palestinian-American scholar Rashid Khalidi and others banned by Jewish groups.
      By Haaretz | May 16, 2014 | 1:07 AM
      The budding Open Hillel movement of Jewish college students, which has rebelled against mainstream Hillel's ban on non-Zionist and pro-BDS speakers, announced on Thursday it will hold its first national conference in the fall.

      Organizers said in a statement that the conference – to be held October 11-13 at Harvard, where the movement began in November 2012 – will highlight speakers who have been barred recently from addressing Jewish groups.

      Those named were philosopher Judith Butler, a BDS supporter recently pressured into canceling a talk at the Jewish Museum of New York; author David Harris-Gershon, who was forced to scrap an appearance at the University of California at Santa Barbara Hillel because he refused to condemn all boycotts of Israel; and Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American scholar barred from speaking at New York's Ramaz Jewish high school.

      “One conference – the Conference of Presidents [of Major American Jewish Organizations] – has put most of its effort lately into the exclusion of Jewish voices,” says Lex Rofes, an Open Hillel organizer. “Our conference will instead focus on inclusion. We are inviting all who are interested to attend a communal event that will deepen and broaden our knowledge of crucially important issues facing our world and of one another.”

      The Open Hillel movement has caught on among Jewish student groups at elite Eastern universities such as Vassar, Wesleyan and Swarthmore. They have broken with Hillel International's guidelines, which hold that campus chapters may not "partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders; delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel; exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.

      Today the movement claims "over a thousand supporters and nearly 50 student organizers from dozens of schools across the country."

      Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut, who opposes Open Hillel, has said that while “Hillel should and will always provide students with an open and pluralistic forum where they can explore issues and opinions related to their Jewish identity … [it] will not, however, give a platform to groups or individuals to attack the Jewish people, Jewish values or the Jewish state’s right to exist.”

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  • After first visit to Israel, 'Foreign Policy' editor says religious, garrison state has 'passed its sell-by date'
    • In a talk at a DC synagogue yesterday, Glen Greenwald said he had never ben bar mitzvaed and clearly saw no need to change that. That was a declaration of independence from his inherited religion.

  • Historical whitewash: Great Britain must be held accountable for its role in the Nakba
    • Not just the UK but all the UN members who voted to partition Palestine, which is why they too should be at the table during negotions between Israel and the Palestinians since they are the ones who created the problem.

  • 'It's what happened in South Africa': Palestine seeking sanctions against Israel at FIFA Congress
  • Why the two-state solution never got anywhere
  • America's rabbi hoovers celebrities
    • The failure of the celebrity loaded US "Journalism" to report on the Palestinian victims of Israel's apartheid is currently being matched by its failure to cover the victimization of protestors by the government of Ukraine including its neo-Nazi civilian stormtrooper allies.

  • The latest page in Israel's divide and conquer playbook: enlisting Palestinian Christians
  • John Kerry was right to say 'apartheid' -- more voices chime in
    • The US fails to comprehend that what it thinks "peace process" but Israel thinks "piece process."

  • Our eviction action at NYU created more dialogue than ever before
  • Racism in service of a pro-Israel agenda-- two 'NYT' editors reveal a bias
    • I have yet to hear of a single non-racist person who supports Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians.

  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
  • Federal agencies express concerns about Israel's entry into the Visa Waiver Program
    • Since the visas would only be given to Israeli Jews, they could all be stamped with the Star of David. That has been effective in the past.

  • Snowden revealed a world of conspiracies I once would have scoffed at-- Bryan Burrough
    • Except for McClatchy, I don't know of a single one of our major print and broadcast media outlets that is willing to its own contribute resources rather than recycle government propaganda.

  • 'NYT' abided by Israeli gag order even as 'EI' scooped it repeatedly
  • About that special relationship...
    • Israel's foreign policy has consistently been independent of any other country's interest. The same cannot be said about US foreign policy.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • Let us remember that America's earliest religious leaders led the charge to eliminate native Americans from the face of the earth.

  • Amira Hass predicts Israel's 'colonial project' will eventually fail--but at what cost?
    • She is a model for all journalists who assumes her job is to monitor to those who have power and how they use it. That being the case, she reminds her listeners that it is not her job to give equal time to the jailer and the prisoner.

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
  • Christie will get another crack at not saying 'occupied territories' at NY Adelson fete
    • In the olden days when Americans acted as agents of a foreign power it was considered an act of treason.

  • Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op
  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • Add this from Ha'aretz,

      A Special Place in Hell
      by Bradley Burston
      Sorry, Children of Israel. No Exodus for you.
      What if the rabbis urging a ban on dovish Jews in New York's upcoming 5th Ave. Celebrate Israel parade had been in charge of the Exodus from Egypt? Many of us Hebrew slaves would have been turned away. That's the rabbis' message: If you don't support settlements, no Israel for you.
      By Bradley Burston | 20:33 08.04.14

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  • Because Rep. Jones voted 'present' on Israel aid, lobby group runs attack ad with burning flag
    • If he dares, he may be the first politician to successfully use the campaign slogan that if AIPAC opposes him, Jones must be doing something right.

  • New America's new take on Israel-Palestine
    • Long before Hitler's mass murder of the Jews he treated them the way Israel tries to rid itself of Palestinians. When zionists argue that Israel is not as bad as Hitler they refer to the late Hitler, not the earlier "good" Hitler.

  • No thanks for Zionist 'chaperones' --Wesleyan declares itself an Open Hillel
  • Israeli troops fire live ammunition on protest in support of Palestinian prisoners
  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • Oren would have a better argument if Pollard had accepted Israel's $50,000 for his "sacrifice" in shekels instead of dollars.

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
  • It's the borders, stupid
    • Israeli-Palestinian blame game is on, but the outcome is known in advance
      Both sides are practicing clever claims and crushing retorts, but basic reality will clinch it: Israel is the occupier and Palestinians are the occupied. Period.
      By Chemi Shalev | 23:40 02.04.14 | 0

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  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Kerry’s desperate Pollard gamble could cost him the entire Israeli-Palestinian ball game
      The plum political prize that Kerry was handing Netanyahu convinced Palestinians that they were getting the short end of the stick; now Kerry must salvage the talks that only a few still believe in
      By Chemi Shalev | Apr. 2, 2014 | 12:43 AM

      The late American psychiatrist Robert Custer, a pioneer in the treatment of compulsive gambling, identified three stages on the way to total addiction: first winning, then losing and finally desperation, when the gambler loses his sense of proportion and commits to ever-growing wagers. Judging by his willingness to put the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating table, there is room for concern that John Kerry may also be on a path to losing it all.

      Like a gambler sinking deeper and deeper, Kerry has whipped out one of the strongest aces in the American hand, so that all the time, energy and reputation that he has invested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process won’t go down the drain. But the potential return on his bold bid was modest from the outset: release of Israeli prisoners, a “quiet” freeze on settlements and an extension of negotiations that only a few still believe in.

      But not only has Kerry failed to secure his limited goals, the prospect of Pollard’s release may have actually contributed to the breakdown of his efforts on Tuesday. When the Palestinians compared the pittance they were receiving, in their view, to the plum Pollard prize that Kerry was bestowing on Prime Minister Netanyahu, they decided to walk away in a huff. If Bibi gets Pollard, they told Kerry, we will look like fools if we don’t demand something just as big, like jailed Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti.

      In America, reactions to the proposed release deteriorated throughout the day, from surprise in the morning to discomfort by noon to open opposition at sunset. “It’s a sign of weakness and desperation,” said former U.S. diplomat and peace envoy David Aaron Miller. We welcome Pollard’s release, said Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, but “it should not be intertwined with the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Senator John McCain described the administration’s linkage between the two as “disgusting” although he supports Pollard’s release; his Republican colleague Mark Kirk, a loyal friend of Israel, said Pollard should “rot in jail forever.”

      Of course, opposition to Pollard’s release is not as harsh as it used to be. CIA director John Brennan is unlikely to threaten to resign, as his predecessor George Tenet did 16 years ago when President Clinton was trying to convince the same Netanyahu to sign the Wye River Memorandum. Pollard is going to be eligible for parole by November 2015 anyway, on the assumption that his health holds: “Maybe they just want to release him quickly so that he doesn’t die on them in jail,” one particularly cynical American told me on Monday.

      It the kind of ambivalence that characterizes reactions across the political spectrum to the admittedly premature reports of Pollard’s imminent release. The hawkish right is torn between support for Israel, that wants to see Pollard freed, and the urge to depict the proposed parole as yet another indication of President Obama’s inherent global weakness, from the Black Sea to Benghazi. The moderate left would like to see the peace process continue, but is concerned about handing Netanyahu such a clear cut political victory. And American Jews would like nothing better than to see the end of the 30 year Pollard saga, but they are wary of renewed focus on insinuations of “dual loyalty” and of the negative impact of the “Pollard festival” that Israel will inevitably hold, if and when the jailed spy is indeed set free.

      Of course, one can mount a credible geo-political defense of the sudden U.S. willingness to pay so much for so little. With Obama locking horns with Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, the last thing he needs is a flare up on the Israeli-Palestinian front that could entail international bickering as well as an internal spat between the Administration and Congress. Maybe that’s what Kerry told the President when he was imploring him to let him use Pollard as a bargaining chip, though people in his state are liable to say anything, as long as they can keep on playing the game.
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  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
  • Cutting thru hysteria over divestment, 'Forward' quotes Jews in favor
    • It's a shame that the Forward is not a mainstream media outlet. Elsewhere on Mondoweiss there is discussion based on the fear of a kind of blowback against Jews as a group as more people become aware of Israel's apartheid. Reporting by the Forward about Jewish opponents of Israel's policy gives a defense against such a blowback. How ironic that individuals like Sarah Bloom and organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and not AIPAC or J Street, including their media minions, will be recognized as the defender of America's Jews.

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • Even if Jews owned 100% our our big media, that would not be the issue. The point is that 100% of these Jews support Israel's ethnic cleansing. If anyone can name a single execption who has gone public with their opposition, please share the name.

    • I have also pointed out that this is why Jews who support BDS are never mentioned by those same media owners. No wonder considering Richard Falk begins his story of the history of US Israel relations with the attack on the USS Liberty. If you know of a Jewish owned major media outlet that opposes Israel's ethnic cleansing policies, please share it with us. Incidentally, Einstein pointed out in the 1920's that it was a myth that Jewish owned German banks added up to serious money though he noted in the same speech that the owners of German newspapers were disproportionately Jewish. It is obvious that Israel's ever more terrible treatment of the Palestinians is not unlike the early Hitler long before the mass killings of Jews. Why do the owners of our media who are Jewish miss that?

    • The one thing Adelson doesn't need to waste his money on is our Jewish owned media conglomerates who already give 100% support to Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians.

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • I think the Israel Lobby came to very real power when LBJ twice called back rescue efforts to aid the survivors of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty.

  • Columbia debate on Israeli policies features 3 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • Keeping in mind Hitler's plan to deport Jews to Madagascar and Bishop Desmond Tutu's observation that South Africa's apartheid sought to exploit blacks whereas Israel's apartheid seeks to eliminate Palestinians, comes this Guardian headline, "Plan to transfer Arab-Israelis to new Palestinian state seeks legal approval."

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  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • Is it anti-Semitic when the Times' owners refuse to mention fellow Jews who oppose Israel's effort to eliminate Palestinians?

  • Some liberal Zionists will blame Netanyahu for failure of talks
    • Meanwhile, another victory for BDS.

      Israeli architects face suspension by international body
      Royal Institute of British Architects is latest professional organization to join Israel boycott movement.
      By Haaretz | Mar. 23, 2014

      The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the latest professional organization to boycott Israel, the Guardian reports.

      The RIBA council decided last week to call for the suspension of its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli Association of United Architects, by the global architectural body – the International Union of Architects.

      The motion was passed by 23 votes to 16, with 10 abstentions.

      Addressing council members before the vote, former RIBA head Angela Brady said that failure to back the motion “would send a clear message to the world that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid.”

      But other council members pointed to human rights violations in other parts of the world, such as North Korea, which is a member of RIBA. "Don't you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there?" asked one council member, Francesca Weal.

      Prof Baruch Baruch of the IAUA said the decision was "astonishing." He added "I don't think architects can be blamed for government policies. I don't think boycotts will help to solve any of the problems in the Middle East."

      His organization, which includes Israeli-Arab architects, was not complicit in settlement construction. "A lot of members are against settlements and building in the West Bank. They won't be helped by a boycott."

      The vote follows a similar motion earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

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  • In Abbas meeting, Obama dropped formula about recognizing Israel as Jewish state
    • On yesterday's Dennis Bernstein's KPFA Flaspoints program Ilan Pappe reminded listeners of Bishop Desmond Tutu's observation that South Africa's apartheid was designed by whites to exploit blacks whereas Israel's apartheid was designed to eliminate Palestinians.

  • Loyola University Chicago student union passes resolution to divest from Israeli occupation
  • Lebanon 'affirms right' of citizens to resist Israel
    • Because the US denies the modern weapons necessary to defend Lebanon's national air space, its coast, and its borders from invaders such as Israel, Hezbollah has opted to become the nation's sole defense. If the US wanted to eliminate or weaken Hezbollah it surely knows how to do just that.

  • 'NPR' denies the Nakba
    • Let us not forget Seigel's hosting one of Israel's most prominent racists, Avigdor Lieberman. NPR has a long history of serving as one of AIPAC's many many silent partners among our media owners.

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  • Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation
  • US Homeland Security investigates Israeli arms deal to Iran
    • Name a single Jewish owner of US print and broadcast media who has publicly opposed Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The rest of our big media is pretty much Fox territory. What else explains that reports on Jews opposed to Israel's ethnic cleansing policies are missing from that media?

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
  • The Israeli Occupation Presents: IDF Diversity Week
    • A common religion and a shared racism treatment of Palestinians are the glue that holds the IDF together.

  • Israel lobby AIPAC is down, but not out -- yet
  • Cut off arms to Israel, Amnesty Int'l says, citing 22 civilians killed at protests last year
  • Jewish day school student first learned about 'occupation' when he got to college
    • Board members of NPR stations are in a position to insist that Israel/Palestine be accurately covered rather than covered up by NPR since its income heavily depends on that paid by member stations.

    • The lack of a visible physical barrier makes it imperative that our media always distinguish between Israel's West Jerusalem or Israeli occupied East Jerusalem. What justifies this being an age appropriate issue?

    • A simple start to ending this miseducation is to use West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem the same way East Berlin and West Berlin were used when that city, like Jerusalem today, was divided. What will it take for the New York Times to report with that acuracy?

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • Zionists believe that the liquidation of the Palestinians is required if Judaism is to survive. Where would Christianity be today in the US if its leaders continued to push for the liquidation of the Indians?

  • When Israel attacked Gaza, killing 100 civilians, Hillary Clinton said we have to support it '110 percent'
  • 'NY Times' and 'LA Times' run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers
    • If the Ochs and Sulzberger's require ordinary "reporters" to toe the line, why should op-ed writers be any different?

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • It would be nice to hear how this will be received in Russia. This is a reminder that the anti-semitism of Stalin, et. al., was endemic to Russia as Jewish bolsheviks were well aware.

  • Unravelling the false history of the Iranian nuclear program: An excerpt from 'Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare'
  • Hell freezes over (NYT publishes glowing profiles of anti-Zionists)
  • After big loss, AIPAC goes... Progressive!
    • The job opening is of course not for a progressive but for someone who can bring in people who imagine themselves "progressive."

  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
  • New York Times assault on the BDS movement reinforces Israeli fears
  • 'NYT' reporter treats boycott as immoral and anti-Semitic, reminiscent of Nazis
    • The NY Times bosses choose to promote Israel's ethnic cleansing and occupation of the Palestinians. It pays its employees to be part of that problem.

  • Influential Jewish group pushes New York bill aimed at Israel boycott
  • SodaStream stock sinks, and Bloomberg cites 'sanctions over Jewish settlements'
    • Here's a comment on a site that is offering SodaStream at a sale price.

      Ah, this one - produced by indentured labor in occupied Palestinian territories. I'll pass.

    • No matter what different people may say are the causes of the fall in SodaStream's stock price, the publicity linking the company to Israel's illegal settlements is helping BDS.

  • The demand for a demilitarized state is telling Palestinians to give away the right to be free
    • The US prevents Lebanon from getting sufficient arms to defend its air, coasts, and borders from invasion by Israel. Thats's the kind of independence and self-determination Palestinians should expect from their US paymastes.

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