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  • Elizabeth Warren visits Netanyahu, even as he undermines US negotiations with Iran
    • Blownaway, what says you can't?

    • Hi, amigo, it's more about being honest with oneself than about it being cowardly, and Yonah can't make the distinction when he hides behind a hypothetical shooting war that could never happen between his 2 nationalities. I recognize this perplexing situation from personal feelings although there has never been a shooting war involved. My situation is even harsher since 3 countries come into play, the 3rd being not where I have a citizenship but where I spent much time and where many members of my close family live, but this doesn't prevent me from being critical of any of them whenever I feel one of them is out of line. Yonah is defending Israel at every vicious turn it takes even though he knows it's wrong and is harming the US. He criticizes Israel's occupation at rare times but does it very superficially when he feels the settlement enterprise is hurting his beloved Israel, not because it's wrong for its inhuman treatment of the Palestinians. I'm not questioning his loyalty but I'm questioning his stated honesty.

  • 'What is your religion?' question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
    • "What about other practice of isolating women who are menstruating ….they are unclean?"

      Jews are not alone in this hocus-pocus, Susan, during these "periods", Moslem women are not to go anywhere near a mosque and when they are "clean" and do enter a mosque, they are relegated to a segregated back or upstairs curtained-off section "Hareem"and out of view, somewhat to what a Jewish sect still does. As to isolation on the Christian side since it also existed there, until a while back, men and women sat in separate sections. You can still see in some churches statues at the front on the left of St Joseph to indicate the side for males and on the other side of the Virgin Mary to signal for the women. Some Christian churches even had half-walls erected down the middle aisle to separate the sexes and some others had medieval matroneums erected to really segregate the men from the tempting women. In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul instructs the people to keep the women silent; should they want to inquire about something being taught, they were to keep their mouths shut until they got home where they could ask their husbands for an explanation.

    • "Personally, I think the grip of the Israel mythology/haloed archetype is waning, maybe even waning quickly. Your and everyone’s stark responses here are key in propelling that erosion. (ritzl)

      The source of the problem is not one-sided; you're not taking into account that there's an equal mythology on the Arab side composed mostly of hollow promises made to the Palestinians since the problem started. Simply-put, the defenseless Palestinians don't have anyone in their corner.

    • No exaggeration and no propaganda there, Yonah, at the end of the day the Hebron situation was created by Israel for whatever reason and this is what makes it "the way of Israel". Making 200,000 people bend to adapt for the 600 is absurd even if for the sake of Abraham, Had it been 600 Palestinians adversely affecting the lives of 200,000 Jews, I'd have the same negative feelings towards them. You fell in the same trap that has most thinking that Israel is one entity and the settlements is another, which is nonsense. The settlers didn't just grow there spontaneously, they were lured and enticed with advantageous financial packages to establish themselves there, had electricity and water supplied to them and special roads built for them and an army assigned to protect them, all by Israel. I actually blame Israel for what the settlers are doing rather than blame the settlers themselves. They are being used by Israel, exactly as in Gaza, and you saw how Israel treated those when they were no longer of any use to it. This is why I say that BDS should go after Israel itself rather than the settlements. Israel is the head of the snake.

    • Yes, Pineywoodslim, it was 1970 but not officially until 1983. the 1970 event was actually a screw up provoked by Paul VI that had started somewhat of a major revolution in established church practices in 1966. In 1969 (November 30), he did away with the universal Latin mass that was being celebrated in all of the world's churches and gave permission to all countries to conduct the mass in the country's vernacular language. The following year, someone from the press asked a bishop if the pope intended to remove the centuries-old rule of having women veiled in church since he was making so many drastic changes. The bishop answered that the Vatican had more important matters to attend to than the veil which wasn't on the agenda. The press misquoted the bishop having the effect of approving the removal of veil in church and the women took off with the news and began entering churches with heads uncovered. The church tried backpedaling on this issue but by that time, feminist movements got into the act so the church and the pope simply remained silent on the issue until 1983 when it discretely passed its law remove the obligation of the veil. Paul VI made a whole series of changes those years to make the Catholic Church more up-to-date in rules concerning communion, fasting during Lent, confessions and so on.

    • Was there 5 years ago, seafoid, mingling with the thousands in downtown. My wife was one of only 3 people we could spot that did not have her hair covered. This made her uncomfortable especially on busses and on the metro from commuters staring directly at her, many of them reading from the Quran. Alexandria was a bit more relaxing. My big regret on that trip was having let my wife talk me out of entering the City of the Dead with its 4 million inhabitants., as it was one of the main reasons I had gone there.

    • *In North Africa, head covering is on the rise and now compulsory in Libya after the fall of Gadaffi

    • "It is not required in most places in the Arab world."

      Maybe not by law jptl10, but by the custom of the land that is constantly shifting towards covering the head. It's estimated that in Egypt, 90% of women cover their heads. In Lebanon where the Shia population is close to 40%, almost all Shia women cover their heads. Mostly all Emirati, Bahraini, Omani, and Qatari women cover their heads. In North Africa, head covering is on the rise and now compulsory after the fall of Gadaffi

    • Were the young ladies offended about being asked their religion or for being prevented to walk down Shuhada Street?

      I think we're trying to create a storm in a teacup. The girls, of course should be offended for being prevented from walking down a street because they are Moslem, but this is the way of Israel and if by age 20 they still hadn't figured it out by the time they planned their outing, they are very naïve. Being American-Palestinian or other Arab doesn't and shouldn't give them more privileges than local Palestinians in their own land.

  • Palestinian students fear for their lives during attack on train car in Jerusalem
    • Just, I forgot to mention that in the current reviving of the Druze state by Israel, it's telling the Druze that they either unite under the Israeli flag to get their own state or to be ready to have ISIS unleashed on to them.

    • Just, the Druze in Israel are part of the non-people. They are used by Israel but they are not considered full citizens. I think it was you that wrote about the Druze soldier in the north not being allowed into a bar because he wasn't Jewish.

      Israelis are back with their old decades-old plan promising to give their Druze their own state that cuts across south Lebanon between the sea and Jabal al-Sheikh that the Zionists call "Hermon". The purpose is to create a buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon using the promised Druze enclave, but the Druze of Lebanon, Syria and Israel are not buying into it because they simply don't trust the Israelis. Israel had tried this tactic once before with the Christians but their plan collapsed. There is now a movement among the young Druze in Israel to resist the military draft even if it means a prison sentence.

  • Wall around Bethlehem is Christmas billboard in Atlanta (Update)
  • George Lopez turns into a Christian Zionist hack
    • George Lopez was baptized in waters polluted by raw sewage and saline waters from fish farms and industrial wastes from both Jordan and Israel. He's not alone though, 100,000 Christians go through the same ritual every year. Nothing holy about these waters anymore.

  • Israel lost the British elite after Gaza onslaught, UK ambassador says
    • * meant to say an article of a few years back instead of a few weeks back, in 1st paragraph.

    • Pabelmont, re your question to Horizon, a couple of days back, Stephanie Westbrook, that we all know, had a piece up at +972 that answers some of them. In a nutshell, 80% of the West Bank's mountain aquifer inexpensive water is taken by Israelis while the Palestinians get less than the remaining 20%. I remember an article of a few weeks back that described how Israel compensated the shortfall in the Palestinian's need for water by providing them with expensive desalinated water that Palestinians have to pay for; sorry couldn't find the article. Here's Stephanie's piece in +972:

      "By +972 Blog |Published November 22, 2014

      A West Bank water crisis for Palestinians only

      When Israel’s national water company operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriates Palestinian water resources and controls the valves, is it any surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements?

      By Stephanie Westbrook

      Qarawat Bani Zeid is a small Palestinian town of 3,500 north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. There are no Israeli settlements in the immediate vicinity. The route of Israel’s separation wall does not run through the area and Qarawat is in Area A — under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. And yet, Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies manage to cut into everyday life.

      Photos: Children bring water from home to the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid where water from the school’s well is not safe to drink. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)
      Children bring water from home to the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid where water from the school’s well is not safe to drink. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)

      “Our biggest problem is water,” explained Sabri Arah, a member of the town council.

      Qarawat sits atop the Western Aquifer, the largest and most productive sub-basin of the Mountain Aquifer, the main groundwater source in the West Bank, yet 80 percent of the town’s taps are dry. “Water is pumped out before it arrives to the town,” noted Arah.

      The company pumping the water out is Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. Mekorot not only operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriating Palestinian water resources, Israel also effectively controls the valves, deciding who gets water and who does not. It should be no surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements while service to Palestinian towns is routinely reduced or cut off.

      The right to water was the focus of a recent delegation of the Italian Forum of Water Movements visiting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Israel as part of the Beyond Walls project of Servizio Civile Internazionale, an Italian NGO committed to human rights and social justice.

      Last December, during the Italy-Israel bilateral summit, a cooperation agreement was signed between Mekorot and Acea, Italy’s largest water utility.

      Together with Palestine solidarity groups, Italian water movements have been waging a campaign calling on Acea, as well as the City of Rome, a majority shareholder in the company, to cancel the agreement due to Mekorot’s violations of international law.

      The main goal of the trip was to gather documentation and direct testimony to support the campaign against the Mekorot agreement, identifying ways to further involve Palestinian groups.

      Mekorot’s role in water privatization around the world was an added incentive for Italian water movements to get involved. Water as a common good has been their focus of the movements, which have been hugely successful, several times over.

      In 2010, over 1.4 million signatures forced a national Italian referendum on the issue. In June 2011, over 26 million ballots were cast, meeting the quorum for the first time since 1995, with a crushing majority of over 95 percent voting in favor of keeping water public.

      Despite what could not have been a more clear indication, successive governments have attempted to circumvent the public’s will and the referendum remains unimplemented.

      The Palestinians we met were able to relate to this turn of events. They, too, have to continually fight for their rights. Evidence of Israel’s discriminatory policies, which create an artificial water crisis affecting only one people, was everywhere to be seen.

      At the Aida refugee camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem, a cramped, overcrowded home to about 5000 people, nearly 40 percent under the age of 14, water from the mains comes an average of 6 hours per week.

      In his award-winning short film “Everyday Nakba,” Mohammed al Azzeh, of the camp’s Lajee Center, captures the joy and the frantic rush to get the pumps working to fill rooftop tanks the moment the water comes on.

      “Look at the settlement of Gilo next door. Do you see any water tanks on their roofs?” asked Azzeh. “They have water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

      The delegation also visited Palestinian communities within Israel, like Al Araqib where, despite being Israeli citizens, residents face nearly identical policies denying them access to water.

      Across the world, as the part of the international campaign against Mekorot, those working for Palestinian rights have joined forces with those struggling against the privatization of water to denounce Mekorot’s role in both denying Palestinians access to water and in the commodification of a fundamental common good."

      Stephanie Westbrook is a U.S. citizen based in Rome, Italy. Her articles have been published by Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Electronic Intifada, In These Times and Z Magazine. Follow her on Twitter at @stephinrome.

      With tons of photographs:

      link to static1.972mag.com

  • Revisiting 'Graveyard of Numbers': Israel refuses to return remains of Palestinian militants as a punitive measure
    • Mr Saigon, I agree that the word "martyr" used in all sauces has been overused by Moslems, somewhat like the subject of the Holocaust being overused by Jews, but from your post, you don't appear to know much about Islam and its views on violence and terrorism. Here, Juan Cole summarizes it in 10 points:

      "1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

      2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

      3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

      4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national jurisconsult.

      5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, ‘Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town . . . ” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

      6. Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Qur’an (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent [pdf] Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes, “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/ 1070)) defines the agent of hiraba as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of hirabah . . .”

      7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice.

      8. The Prophet Muhammad counseled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

      9. The Qur’an demands of believers that they exercise justice toward people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

      10. The Qur’an assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.

      Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”
      In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell– quite the opposite.
      When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

      5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”

      So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride."

      link to juancole.com

      In conclusion, there was nothing Islamic or heroic in the 2 cousins having repeated in a Jerusalem synagogue what Baruch Goldstein did 25 years ago in a Hebron Mosque. BTW, suicide as with suicide-bombers is also not permitted in Islam.

    • "What is the use of the word martyrs about?"(Polar)

      The Bible's first recorded Christian martyr died stoned by the Jews for refusing to renounce his faith was Stephen, one of the 7 helpers appointed to help the apostles with their work. Saul the Jew that later became Paul the Christian as he held the cloaks of the stone throwers. (Acts 6 and 7)

      The New Advent Encyclopedia explains martyrdom"

      "The Greek word "martus" signifies a witness who testifies to a fact of which he has knowledge from personal observation. It is in this sense that the term first appears in Christian literature; the Apostles were "witnesses" of all that they had observed in the public life of Christ, as well as of all they had learned from His teaching, "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

      ths of the Christian religion, that he gladly suffers death rather than deny it.

      ... Yet, it was only by degrees, in the course of the first age of the Church, that the term martyr came to be exclusively applied to those who had died for the faith."

      For full essay on martyrdom:

      link to newadvent.org

      Christians count close to 8 million Jehova's Witnesses worldwide that could be considered living martyrs in the "witness" sense of the word.

      For Moslems, the word is used for both one who bears witness for his faith (the shahada)and one that dies for his faith, either being applicable to the 2 cousins.

    • Annie, like you said, Israel is in the habit of storing remains for decades to be used in swaps. The really big swaps were with Hizbullah that only got into the game of swaps because this was the way of Israel. So the master at trading human bodies and human parts is Israel.

      1996- Israel traded 46 live Lebanese prisoners held at Khiam Prison and the remains of 123 Lebanese fighters with Hizbullah for the remains of 2 Israeli soldiers killed 10 years earlier in Lebanon.

      2003- Israel traded the remains of 2 Hizbullah fighters with Hizbullah in exchange of allowing the German negotiator to see the captured Israeli spy Elhanan Tanenbaum held prisoner by Hizbullah.

      2004- Israel traded 400 Palestinian and 30 Lebanese prisoners (including Dirani that was raped by the Israeli interrogator Captain George), and the remains of 50 Lebanese fighters with Hizbullah in exchange of the remains of 3 Israeli soldiers killed in Chebaa Farms 4 years earlier and the release of the Israeli spy Colonel Tannenbaum. On his release, Tannenbaum on live TV announced that he had been extremely well treated by Hizbullah during his captivity, given the best food ad all the books he had asked for to read during his 2 or 3 year imprisonment

      2007- Israel traded the remains of 2 Hizbullah 2006 fighters and the release of the mentally sick Lebanese prisoner.(Israel had dragged the 2 Lebanese corpses across the border for use in future swaps as well as a mentally sick man that had been sitting on his front porch watching the fighting a few meters away) in exchange with Hizbullah for the remains of the Ethiopian swimmer that had drowned in Israel but had gotten washed up on Lebanon's shore.

      2008- Nasrallah announced to the families of soldiers killed in 2006 that they had been lied to by their government in pretending they had brought back full bodies of killed soldiers when in fact, Israel had abandoned the remains of 21 soldiers on the battlefield in Lebanon and had lied about it. The IDF was too busy dragging corpses across the border for future swaps that it left body parts of 21 of their comrades.

      2008- Israeli traded 7 Lebanese prisoners in exchange with Hizbullah for the body-parts remains of 21 soldiers abandoned in Lebanon.

      2008- Israel traded the remains of 199 Lebanese that it had held for 30 years and released prisoner Samir Kuntar in exchange with Hizbullah for the remains of the 3 abducted soldiers in 2006.

  • 'You don't want us to breathe!': Video captures everyday frustration of life under occupation in East Jerusalem
    • "but these decision, i am not sure how they are made. but i am pretty sure they are not made by phil. he’s not exactly ferdinand under the tree, but he’s beyond concerning himself with the formatting. " (Annie)

      Whoever that mysterious party is, Annie, I'm guessing it has eyes set on Alexa et al. These web rating outfits that value sites based on readership stats and revenue-generating potentials from ads, put valuations on MW ranging from a low of $36,000 to a high of $600,000 depending on the various methodologies used by the different companies. Richard Silverstein got on the ad bus a while back and so has many other blogs. The logical and sane outcome for Mondo would be to join the pack to earn some money while having some fun and perhaps this is where the new format is taking us. In spite of a few warts like the missing edit function and the ability to navigate directly to a post, I think MW is still a great site and my favourite. I also hope those missing like Hostage, Woody, Danaa and many others return soon.

    • Kathleen, I was talking about municipal cops. Mentioning state troopers brought back memories from way way back when troopers caught me in a speed trap on I-87 near Newburgh at 2 am and took me to a county judge's house someplace where they woke up the nightcap-wearing judge that fined me on the spot with something like $40 and let me go on my way after I paid. A scene straight out of a black and white movie.

    • "The current design sure whacked off a heckalotta excellent contributors – to mw’s detriment, I fear."

      Hi Taxi and Annie, although I don't consider myself in the "excellent" category, the new format whacked me off too for a while. I came back but not with the same assiduity; I felt that I was interacting with a magazine rather than with people. But perhaps this is Phil's vocation for MW to turn it mostly into a magazine format with commenters occupying a secondary role rather than the contrary as in the former format. Now I see some articles written by faceless, meaningless and impersonal "Mondoweiss Editors" and navigationally, it's torture chasing posts from "100 Recent Comments" to respond to them. But then again, we're guests here and it's Phil's site and he's free to do with it whatever he likes.

    • I wonder if it's still like it used to be decades ago in North America with the quota system under which each policeman needed to write up a minimum number of tickets each month because a substantial share of the towns' revenues came from traffic fines, as Kathleen wrote about Ferguson. It used to be something like 3 tickets a day. That's where month-end blitzes used to come in when a group of policemen would lay in wait in a good spot to write up a massive amount of tickets for various violations to make up the monthly quota if they loafed all month in writing up the required number of tickets. With the electronics stuff today, it probably only still applies in small towns.

    • "Israelis think the world will thank them for getting rid of the Palestinians.!! :

      Mooser, there is more truth in that statement than you can imagine, at least as far as some Arab leaders are concerned. George Friedman at Stratfor has said so on more than one occasion. on one of them in which he did not include Syria and SA, he wrote:

      "... For this reason, the entire peace process — including the two-state solution — is a chimera. Neither side can live with what the other can offer. But if it is a fiction, it is a fiction that serves U.S. purposes. The United States has interests that go well beyond Israeli interests and sometimes go in a different direction altogether. Like Israel, the United States understands that one of the major obstacles to any serious evolution toward a two-state solution is Arab hostility to such an outcome.

      The Jordanians have feared and loathed Fatah in the West Bank ever since the Black September uprisings of 1970. The ruling Hashemites are ethnically different from the Palestinians (who constitute an overwhelming majority of the Jordanian population), and they fear that a Palestinian state under Fatah would threaten the Jordanian monarchy. For their part, the Egyptians see Hamas as a descendent of the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the Mubarak government’s ouster — meaning Cairo would hate to see a Hamas-led state. Meanwhile, the Saudis and the other Arab states do not wish to see a radical altering of the status quo, which would likely come about with the rise of a Palestinian polity.

      At the same time, whatever the basic strategic interests of the Arab regimes, all pay lip service to the principle of Palestinian statehood. This is hardly a unique situation. States frequently claim to favor various things they actually are either indifferent to or have no intention of doing anything about. Complicating matters for the Arab states is the fact that they have substantial populations that do care about the fate of the Palestinians. These states thus are caught between public passion on behalf of Palestinians and the regimes’ interests that are threatened by the Palestinian cause. The states’ challenge, accordingly, is to appear to be doing something on behalf of the Palestinians while in fact doing nothing.

      The United States has a vested interest in the preservation of these states. The futures of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are of vital importance to Washington....

      link to stratfor.com

  • Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition
    • In 2006 in Lebanon, the Israeli soldiers defecated in people's beds, on their sofas and in their refrigerators in addition to have used the stuff to smear the walls. Disgusting and sick people.

  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
    • More fun and games by the settlers yesterday, especially about the relaxing of gun control, which should substantially increase the number of Palestinians getting shot, from al-Akhbar:

      "Palestinians briefly capture settlers as Israel continues to demolish homes

      Published Friday, November 21, 2014

      A group of young Palestinian men managed Thursday morning to capture two Israeli settlers planning an attack after they entered the northern West Bank village of Qusra, a Palestinian official said, as Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes.

      Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an news agency that the settlers came from the nearby illegal Israeli outpost Yesh Kodish.

      Daghlas said dozens of Palestinian youths from Qusra detained the two for more than half an hour before officers from the Palestinian liaison department took the settlers and handed them to the Israeli liaison department.

      On Wednesday, Palestinians were able to prevent a group of Israeli settlers attempting to burn down a house in the village of al-Mughayyir east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

      According to locals, dozens of settlers approached a house on the outskirts of the village and were about to set it on fire when they were spotted by villagers who started throwing rocks at them.

      Settlers were forced to retreat to their nearby settlement under the protection of Israeli soldiers.

      The attempted arson came only a week after a group of settlers attacked the village and torched a mosque as well as 12 copies of the Qur'an, Islam's holy book, in an incident that sparked widespread Palestinian fury.

      According to Palestinian Religious Endowments Minister Yousef Adeis, in October alone Israeli settlers carried out 110 separate attacks on religious sites across the Palestinian territories.

      Hate crimes by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property, referred to as “price tag” attacks, are systematic and often abetted by Israeli authorities, who rarely intervene in the violent attacks or prosecute the perpetrators.

      In a move that will further escalate violence, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Tuesday that Israeli authorities are to ease regulations on Israelis carrying weapons for "self-defense," raising fears that the number of attacks on Palestinians will increase.

      "In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons," he said in remarks broadcast on public radio, indicating it would apply to any Israeli with a license to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers..."

    • Captain George (Doron Zahavi) now has a desk job, in charge of liaison with Arabs for the Jerusalem police dept. After the court case against him by Mustafa Dirani for rape, he was moved from his post as torturer-in-chief in the IDF’s special 504 intelligence unit to the desk job in Jerusalem.

    • John, great reporting. You mentioned guns everywhere; seems that in Hebron, all settlers over the age of 18 without a police record get a semi-automatic rifle from the government for free. I'm guessing this is happening all over the West Bank. Now apparently gun laws are being relaxed for Jerusalem:

  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • "You’ve heard the phrase “money talks, BS walks?”

      Horizontal, it's actually "money talks, nobody walks". Those that are familiar with Charlie Greer's all night show would know where that phrase came from.

    • Thanks, Annie, when I saw it suddenly appear, I knew it was you.

      Your link is to the full 1978 Christmas concert, The Ave Maria I was trying to post starts at 20:35 of the video. It's from Pavarotti's more serious days when he was younger and a bit less acrobatic than when he sang it at Caracalla in 94.

    • Kathleen, Ave Maria that you had to recite before the start of classes every morning came under different versions: Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Gounod and a dozen others and all of them very nice but my favourite is the one by Schubert, especially as sung by the late Pavarotti in 78 at Montreal's beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica.

    • Annie, in the video you posted, Tania Kassis sings about Jerusalem being the city of the cross, the crescent and the star. Among the scenes in the video, is one of Jews at the wailing wall.

      Getting back to the Ave Maria video, if you look close enough, you'd see that the star is also represented. I think the third religion was subliminally represented and rightly so since it was the fountainhead of the other two. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part.

    • You'll surely like this too, Kay, a simultaneous muezzin's call to prayer with the Ave Maria sung by the Lebanese Tania Kassis and meuzzins Farès Massad and Maan Zakaria at the Olympia; in Lebanon on very special occasions, you can hear the moving overlapping chime of the church bells with the calls from the mosques:

    • Silverstein is repeating seafood's train wreck analogy:

      "Like Casey Jones of the American folk-myth, we are on a train careening down a mountain grade after losing our brakes. Furiously blowing the whistle to warn bystanders to get out of the way won’t help. We are headed for disaster and no one will be spared. It’s only a matter of time before it happens."

      In addition to Phil's take on where Zionism is dragging Judaism, Silverstein has an opinion along the same lines:

      link to richardsilverstein.com

  • Palestinians who targeted Jerusalem synagogue have sights set on U.S. -- Israeli propaganda
    • "That Wolf, he love to do Israel’s dirty work, and help them as any Israel firster would. "

      He will surely get a street or a library named after him in Israel.

    • abc, these types of suicides also happen in the US; a few years back, a Palestinian-American fundraiser specializing in gathering used clothing, toys and books for Palestinian children in Texas committed suicide according to the police. He was found at the bottom of Lake Lady Bird in Austin with his feet and hands tied with duct tape.

    • Horizon, it was actually more than a dozen people. I saw several news clips of different groupies doing the idiotic "sweets-passing" routine and Hamas officials lauding what happened while denying any involvement in it. The ridiculous sweets routine signifying happiness with an event is the most some poor and uneducated Palestinians can do as their participation in the resistance. What is odd, is that the PFLP, now somewhat "low-level" resistance group famous for 60s and 70s plane and bus hijackings rushed to claim credit for the killing while family members are saying it and even Israeli authorities are hinting that the 2 cousins did not have any political affiliation.

    • Just, you evidently noticed that the ghouls are all spinning the same yarn. This is because Israel is always ready to spring into action with a centralized planning room that has all its agents speaking with one voice to get the desired impact. In this case, the Nazis were bad and now Hamas is the Nazis. The Israeli hasbara that kicks into action is very efficient and more often than not, it has an advance notice of something nefarious that Israel is about to commit so it has a good head start. With Cast Lead, a special PR department was formed 6 months before the start of Cast Lead that hit the ground running when Cast Lead actually began; Dan Gillerman ran that special Cast Leads unit.

      You've been monitoring the Zio press and the pro-Zio press, so you've been getting the unified message issued by hasbara central. The real news in this incident is to what degree it's a non-news item in the Palestinian press and to what level it's itself broadcasting the hasbara central message.

      For the Palestinian official non-reaction to the incident, you have to get it from al-Akbar; the PA mouthpiece, Maan, had nothing on it today:

      "Palestinian Authority media: Israel’s lackey in times of crisis

      By: Orouba Othman

      Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

      When young Palestinian Yousef al-Ramouni was lynched by Israeli settlers, the Palestinian Authority remained silent. However, it rushed to condemn the [resistance] operation in Jerusalem yesterday. The Palestinian news agency, WAFA, and Palestine TV followed suit in their coverage of events.

      Gaza – As usual, the Palestinian Authority (PA) was not perturbed by the lynching of Ramouni in Jerusalem at the hands of [Israeli] settlers [on Sunday]. However, a flood of reactions were expressed over the five Zionists killed in the attack by martyrs Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal in a synagogue in occupied Jerusalem on Monday.

      These sentiments were taken up by the PA's media, as the official news agency WAFA repudiated the martyrs and only gave them a cursory mention. "Five Israelis were killed in a stabbing in Jerusalem and the assailants are dead," it reported.

      The martyrs were further marginalized when WAFA declared itself a “peace-dove,” implying that it could moralize on what is right and what is wrong. "The Presidency condemned the killing of civilians regardless of the party committing the attacks," it continued. "It also condemned the killing of Israeli civilians in the West Jerusalem synagogue attack."

      WAFA presented pre-packaged Zionist talking points to legitimize the killing of Palestinians after the "aggression" by the two martyrs against "innocent worshippers, armed only with their Torahs," terms used in line with the agency's editorial policy.

      On the other hand, WAFA mentioned the reasons behind the attack to be on the safe side. "[The Presidency] called for the immediate cessation of the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound by extremist Jewish settler groups as well as an end to provocations of settlers and incitement of some Israeli ministers," it said.

      A striking gesture, however, was in WAFA's adoption of the Zionist division of Jerusalem into East and West. It made up a new justification to condemn the operation, saying it took place in "West Jerusalem," which is on the Israeli side and hence prohibited to Palestinians.

      Palestine Television, on the other hand, is still in a stupor. Despite the tensions in Jerusalem, it preferred to showcase the heroics of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. A few hours after the resistance operation, it broadcast a live program on the president's “quixotic” victories against the enemy, alluding to the future of the "two-state solution." Meanwhile, Jerusalem simmers with anger.

      Amid this exasperating coverage of the Jerusalem events, it seems most Palestinian media organizations are nothing but an additional obstacle to Jerusalem’s liberation.

      Local media flocked to transform the images of the two martyrs into lucrative commercial material, rebroadcasting pictures of their undressed bodies used in Israeli media. Local station Dunia al-Watan provided a free service to the Zionist enemy by promoting degrading nude images of the martyrs. Several social media users were infuriated by the transmission of such images, and digitally covered bodies of the two martyrs with the Palestinian flag.

      The most flagrant offense was by one of the most popular local newspapers, named after al-Quds [Jerusalem]. It allowed Israeli narratives to infiltrate its front page, publishing a malignant "plea" by a Zionist called Moshe Simkhovitch.

      "I address you hoping you would put a limit to the intensity of conflict in Jerusalem and allow wise Palestinians and Israelis a chance to say their word. I warn you from falling into the trap of the conspiracy against you," he wrote.

      Amid this exasperating coverage of the Jerusalem events, it seems most Palestinian media organizations are nothing but an additional obstacle to Jerusalem’s liberation."

      (Al-Akhbar)

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

  • More than 30,000 people are still living in UNRWA schools in Gaza. What does that look like?
    • Seafoid, the urgency was in not wanting to resettle the Jews themselves; it was more expedient to dump them on the weak Palestinians. The West did not want the Jews before the war, during the war, and after the war. It looks like the Jews are too embarrassed by this fact to admit it.

    • Just noticed that Marc Ellis on his "weenie" thread is also into the same discussion about the expanding of the Israel-Egypt-PA siege on Gaza and he throws in Europe for good measure:

      "... That the threat to Israel would become a huge international firestorm if the secret deliberations became public, passed and implemented, is also telling. Unasked is what these sanctions would mean on the ground. Forbidding foreclosure of a two-state solution that everyone knows has already been foreclosed isn’t bold at all. Such a debate and policies if implemented would only buy Israel more time to consolidate its occupation. Perhaps the EU’s not-so-secret deliberations are really about forcing Israel to finalize what is left over from Israel’s expansion – a truncated, dependent, Israel-Egypt-United Nations-NATO occupied Palestinian autonomy. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

    • The al-Akhbar article of a couple of days back is saying there is no reconstruction program on the horizon and a 3-way affair is in progress involving the UN, Israel and Abbas to prolong the siege over Gaza. Abbas is agreeing to conditions imposed on Gaza by Israel with the consent of the UN without having cleared them with the people of Gaza.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

  • Muslims' beliefs are 'untrue' and 'ridiculous,' 'Salon' author says, offering support for Maher's intolerance
    • Repeat scenario. Rula tried to chase and corner the vile-mouthed Maher in the washroom. She should have known better than to take on a comedian with a serious discussion. Maher is trash.

  • RE/MAX cashes in on Israel’s illegal settlements
    • You would like Deek's massage, Light2014, he begins by saying the Palestinians were lied to by the Arabs when they told them to flee and his other opening line about 800,000 Jews having been chased from Arab countries. The rest of his pro-Zionist speech is of no consequence.

      Your man is the Vice-Ambassador for Israel. There was nothing brave about his grandfather's decision; the man is a coward. Deek is bragging how an Israeli got his grandfather back into Israel and got him his job back at the electricity company, but he doesn't say if he got him his house back.

      For anyone that doesn't believe there are Arab Zionists, this is a good view to learn.

  • This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say
    • For the US to be so adamant in not letting this creep out of jail, there had to be many Americans that lost their lives as a result of his and Israel's treachery. After he dies, the US can ship his body to Israel where his burial place will become a sanctuary for other creeps like the one for Goldstein.

    • "they died with their tallits and tefillin on

      Does it mean that they go straight to heaven?

    • Seafoid, there's going to be blood anyway. Hebron had 20,000 soldiers riding shotgun for 500 crazies, which made them even crazier. If Israel pulls the same stunt with the soldiers, same will happen on the Haram.

      I guess it boils down to goodwill and regrettably Israel doesn't have any, so you're probably right. I'm for sharing but it's evident that Israel wants it all.

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