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Pro-Israel whitewash of 10-year-old’s killing unravels in court (and online)

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Pro-Israel whitewash of 10-year-old’s killing unravels in court, Max Blumenthal

abir aramin
abir aramin

Al Ahkbar English: One day in 2007, Israeli Border Police officers swept into the in the village of Anata just north of Jerusalem and began firing rubber bullets at a group of children who had thrown rocks at them. One Israeli bullet landed in the skull of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl named Abir Aramin, tearing the back of her head off and killing her. Aramin was the daughter of a prominent Palestinian activist named Bassam Aramin, who helped lead the group Combatants for Peace, a group that fosters dialogue between former combatants on both sides of the conflict. The little girl’s death sparked international outrage, generating headlines around the world.

The Israeli government went into damage control mode, denying any wrongdoing in connection with Aramin’s death and insisting without evidence that she had been struck in the head with a rock.

Meanwhile, the pro-Israel media watchdog group CAMERA claimed that the uproar surrounding Aramin’s death was a plot to inflame anti-Israel opinion and that all media reports suggesting that the Border Police killed her were categorically false. CAMERA declared that “stone-throwing Palestinians, as opposed to Israeli border police firing rubber bullets (as initially reported), may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin.” Staffers from CAMERA called Haaretz reporter Danny Rubinstein to demand that he “clarify” his reporting on the killing by noting that “the Israeli border police are not necessarily to blame.”

And CAMERA responds:

Max Blumenthal doesn’t seem to care too much about the facts.

The anti-Israel blogger flatly lied to the readers of his blog when, in a headline, he announced that Benjamin Netanyahu called the September 11 attacks a very good thing. And today he lies again, writing that “CAMERA claimed … all media reports suggesting that the Border Police killed [Abir Aramin] were categorically false.”

On what basis does Blumenthal rest his allegation that we called the reports “categorically false”? An article in which we wrote that “the Israeli border police are not necessarily to blame,” and that Palestinian stone throwers “may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin.”

Blumenthal is a writer. He knows that his term — “categorical” — and our phrasing — “not necessarily” and “may very well have been” — have completely opposite meanings. That is, anyone who hears “not necessarily true” but reports instead “categorically false” is being flagrantly dishonest.

On one narrow point, Blumenthal is right. Our piece about the death of Abir Aramin, written over five years ago, needed an update. It’s been updated.

You can tell CAMERA what you think here.

And more news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Deportation / Restriction of Movement

Committee: Israel to build new bypass road south of Bethlehem
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities notified the municipality of Beit Ummar on Wednesday of plans to build a bypass road which will annex over 800 dunams of village land, a local committee spokesman said. Mohammed Awad, spokesman of the national committee against the wall, said the military order entails a bypass road starting from the junction of Kefar Etzion settlement and passing through Al-Arrub refugee camp and Beit Ummar village, south of Bethlehem.

Army Bulldozes Lands in Hebron
Israeli Army kidnapped a Palestinian inhabitant from the village of Dora in Hebron and bulldozed lands in the middle of the city, Palestine News and Info Agency reported on Thursday.

Basim Hjazee Demolished His House with His Own Hands
Basim Hjazee was forced to demolish his own house which lies in the neighbourhood of al Abaseya in Silwan. Hjazee received a demolition order from the Jerusalem Municipality as well as a fine 15,000 NIS ( $1=3.70 NIS)  before Jerusalem Municipality  bulldozers reached the house to demolish an added room.  His house is 54 square meters and houses 5 family members. It is worth mentioning that it is not the first time the Jerusalem Municipality obliged Hjazee to remove the roof of the same room and made him pay 7500NIS.

Al-Bustan demolition court session delayed
The Central Court session scheduled for today regarding the Jerusalem Municipality’s plans to demolish most of Al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan has been delayed. The lawyer for Al-Bustan was informed by the Court today that the critical session has been delayed to an unknown date at the Municipality’s request.

AIC Video: Home Takeover – Stern 61
On 1 September 2011 homeless families and activists took over an abandoned building owned by the Hebrew University on Stern Street in Jerusalem.

Turkey: Gilo housing plan ‘unacceptable’
Ankara’s Foreign Ministry issues statement criticizing Israel’s decision to permit construction of new homes in east Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. ‘It raises serious suspicions about its sincerity, true intentions,’ claims announcement.,7340,L-4129055,00.html

Japan: Israeli settlement plan goes against world efforts for peace
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Japan said on Thursday that Israel’s building of new settler homes threatened to undermine a return to negotiations with Palestinians. Japan “does not recognize any act that prejudges the final status of the territories in the pre-1967 borders” a statement from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that the government “deeply deplores” Israel’s move. An Israeli ministry announced on Tuesday its approval of 1,100 new units in East Jerusalem settlement Gilo.

Serry Slams Israel’s Decision To Build 1100 Units
United Nations Envoy, Robert Serry, stated that with its new decision to build 1100 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, Israel sends a wrong signal amidst the international efforts to ensure the resumption of the stalled peace talks.

Amr: Quartet’s position on UN bid to blame for new settlement plans
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said members of the international community were responsible for addressing Israel’s recent approval of 1,100 settlement units in east Jerusalem.
link to Palestine Information Center

Settler population on the rise: Israeli government
JERUSALEM — Settlements in the occupied West Bank gained 3,500 residents last year and settlers had the largest families of any Israeli community, with an average of 4.6 persons, a government survey said. It said about four percent of all Israelis, equivalent to about 312,000 people, live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Central Bureau of Statistics report released ahead of the Jewish New Year, which begins at sunset on Wednesday, said the average birth rate for all Jewish Israeli mothers was 2.97 each, the highest since 1977. The average Muslim mother gave birth to 3.75 babies in 2010, with her Christian counterpart bearing 2.14 offspring.

Israeli Aggression & Violence Against Palestinians

On 24 Saturday, Issam Kamel Abid Badran Odeh received a martyr’s funeral in his hometown of Kusra, near Nablus. Odeh was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers last week. Watch a slideshow of the funeral procession below and read our accompanying story, here.

Military raid in Bir Ayyub
Israeli troops and intelligence agents raided a Palestinian home in Bir Ayyub district of Silwan this morning at 2:30am. The home was broken into by troops, terrifying the sleeping children in the house. Home contents were smashed by raiding officers, who continued the search of the house until dawn. Troops then moved to Baten al-Hawa and Wadi Hilweh, where two children 7 years of age were summoned for investigation.

Provocative acts by Israeli Forces cause and outbreak of confrontations
Confrontations broke out as worshippers left the mosques after Friday afternoon prayers due to the concentration of, and provocations by, Israeli troops in the Palestinian neighbourhoods and streets.

Information Center director faces new allegations in on-going trial
A session was held today in Jerusalem’s Central Court in the assault case lodged against Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam. The session follows an appearance in the Magistrates Court two days previously, when the judge heard the Israeli prosecution’s allegations against Siyam, of alleged involvement with the Palestinian Authority and of continuously preventing Israeli settlers from buying property in Silwan. The main witness, an Arab resident of East Jerusalem whose identity has not been disclosed to the public but claims to be head of the Jerusalem Merchants Committee, claims that Siyam physically assaulted him threatened to kidnap him and take him to the city of Jericho. The witness also alleged that Siyam introduced himself to him on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and as head of the Silwan Committee. Siyam states that the witness is an employee of David Beiry, the director of Elad Settlement Association, and of aiding settlers in land appropriation by purchasing property himself to then in turn sell to settlers. Siyam claims that he himself was physically assaulted by the man in question, as were as many as 20 other residents of Silwan. Siyam has been arrested numerous times by Israeli officials for his community activism in Silwan, and has served 4 months under house arrest. A smear campaign has been run against him by right-wing Israeli newspapers, while he and his family continue to suffer harassment and intimidation by Israeli authorities. His family home has been raided multiple times by Israeli forces. Today’s session was requested to be closed to the public by the Palestinian witness, while Siyam’s lawyer insisted that it be open to the public.

Settler Aggression & Violence Against Palestinians

‘Price Tag’: Olive trees uprooted near Hebron
Anonymous vandals mutilate Palestinian olive trees in West Bank, spray paint ‘Halhul Price Tag,’ Star of David. Incident occurs near location of last Friday’s terror attack in Kiryat Arba.,7340,L-4129084,00.html

Tension at the Wailing Wall and Wadi Hilweh
 Throngs of Israeli right-wing extremists in their thousands occupied the Wailing Wall plaza in the Old City and Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan today. Multiple reports of aggressive behavior towards Palestinian residents were received, with the extremists staging dramatic acts of wailing and crying at the Wall, continuing throughout last night and past dawn.

Settlers gather south of Bethlehem, block cars
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers gathered on Tuesday at the junction between the Tuqu village southeast of Bethlehem and prevented some cars from passing through, witnesses said. Onlookers told Ma’an that dozens of settlers went out in a march near Tuqu junction and forbade the Palestinian cars from passing by throwing stones toward them. In Jurat Ash-Sham’a village south of Bethlehem, settler security guards detained Salem Ali Hussein, 65, while he was on his way to pick grapes, said anti-wall activist Hassan Barjyeh.


Arresting minors in the neighbourhood of Ras Al amoud
Last night the Israeli forces arrested Yaseen Abu Madi, 16, in the neighbourhood of Ras Al Amoud. Yaseen has previously been arrested and was under house arrest.

Israeli Army kidnapped a Palestinian inhabitant from the village of Dora in Hebron
Israeli Army kidnapped a Palestinian inhabitant from the village of Dora in Hebron and bulldozed lands in the middle of the city, Palestine News and Info Agency reported on Thursday.

Hamas: PA security arrest 2 members from Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hamas on Thursday accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining two party affiliates in the northern West Bank. A statement from the ruling party in Gaza said the Hamas members, who were not named, were taken from their villages of Tell and Asira al-Qibliya on Wednesday night.

Reports reveal Attoun abduction happened on Red Cross premises
Condemnation has abounded after undercover Israeli policemen abducted Monday Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Attoun as Israeli reports are rebutted that the abduction took place outside the ICRC.

link to Palestine Information Center

MP Attoun suffered heart failure in abduction
Palestinian MP Ahmed Attoun said he suffered “severe trauma” when he was abducted Monday by Israeli occupation undercover soldiers as medics in Bikur Holim hospital have discovered.
link to Palestine Information Center

Sheikh Abul-Heija declares open-ended hunger strike
Hamas leader Jamal Abul-Heija, 52, began an open-ended hunger strike on Monday in protest of being isolated for the past eight years.
link to Palestine Information Center

Prisoners declare hunger strike after conditions turn for worst
Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Nafha prison have declared a prison-wide hunger and tensions have run high in Ofer and Shata prisons after the approval of a set of stricter punitive measures.
link to Palestine Information Center

Ahmad Qatamesh: Israeli Prisoner of Conscience, Stephen Lendman
On April 21, 2011 at 2:00AM, Israeli soldiers arrested Qatamesh at his brother’s Ramallah home. An hour earlier, his wife (Suha), daughter (Hanin), and two female relatives were held hostage to force his surrender. At gunpoint, they forced Hanin to call him. When connected, a soldier threatened to hold his family hostage and destroy his house if he didn’t surrender.

Change and Reform deputies hold solidarity vigil for Palestinian representatives abducted by Israel
The President of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Aziz Duwaik, along with other deputies from the Change and Reform bloc held a sit-in on Wednesday afternoon in solidarity with Palestinian representatives, prisoners and those on hunger strike currently being held in Israeli prisons. The sit-in took place in Manara Square in the central West Bank City of Ramallah.

Committee for Defending Arab Prisoners in Israeli Jails is launched in Cairo
A joint Egyptian-Palestinian Committee for Supporting Arab Prisoners in Israeli Jails has been launched at a ceremony in Cairo. The new group will be active in defending the rights of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners being held by the Israeli occupation authorities and exposing the crimes of the prison system. According to the Waed Society for Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails, the committee will include representatives of all Egyptian political bodies, revolutionary youth and independent figures as well as Palestinians.


Strike closes all UNRWA schools in Gaza Strip
A strike by the Arab staff union has closed down all UN Relief Works Agency schools across the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
link to Palestine Information Center

Miles Of Smiles 6 Heading To Gaza Soon
The Miles of Smiles 6 solidarity convoy will be heading to the Gaza Strip in the coming days by sailing to Al Arish Egyptian port before heading to the besieged coastal region by land.

Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions / Solidarity and Activism


In Oakland, a chance to hear Alice Walker (and me) speak about Palestine, Ali Abunimah
I’m very excited and honored to be sharing the podium with Alice Walker at a Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) event in Oakland California next week. You’re invited!

Protest Video and Petitions Delivered! Thousands tell National Building Museum: No Award to Caterpillar Inc.!
US Campaign member group, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, along with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, celebrated a victory earlier this month when the National Building Museum announced its cancellation of the ceremony to award Caterpillar, Inc. with an award for “innovation in building technology” and “exceptional leadership,” following a campaign which gathered more than 7,000 signatures. However, the National Building Museum did not rescind the award itself, prompting protesters to demonstrate outside the museum when Cindy and Craig Corrie delivered the petition, as described below in an account from the Rachel Corrie Foundation… Make sure to check out the video!

Flash mob in El Cerrito, CA Bed Bath & Beyond protests Soda Stream
A flash mob in an El Cerrito, CA branch of Bed Bath & Beyond this month protested the store’s sales of Soda Stream, a soft drink product made in an illegal settlement with exploited Palestinian labor. The approximately two dozen protesters wore shirts emblazoned with “”Boycott Israel ’til Palestine is Free,” and sang and chanted in the Bed Bath & Beyond before moving outside to march and hand out fliers.  The store called the police, who declined to interfere, saying the protesters would leave soon without causing harm.  The flash mob included several members of US Campaign ember groups such as NorCal Friends of Sabeel, Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace and CODEPINK.

CU-Divest! delivers 2000+ signature to CU Regents!
US Campaign member group CU-Divest! presented a petition with over two thousand signatures asking the university to divest.  Read more about the group’s efforts here, or visit the group’s website: CU-Divest! A week ago on September 12th, CU-Divest! at the Regents’ meeting at UC Denver, delivered our petition asking the University of Colorado to divest from Israeli Apartheid.  I count this action as one of our major successes.  Thanks to Beth Daud and her determined group of campus activists and the folks who drove down from Boulder, we had “good” showing with signs and flyers and this time I think we had the Regents’ attention.  We handed out our flyer requesting the Regents to support our campaign and sign our petition.  The flyer highlights a campaign that was successful in the 1980s in compelling CU to divest from South African apartheid.

International star Natacha Atlas announces Israel boycott, Ali Abunimah
International singer and songwriter Natacha Atlas has announced publicly that she is canceling a planned concert in Israel and will boycott the country “until this systemised apartheid is abolished once and for all.”

BDS: DONATE NOW! SJP’s first national conference
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) needs your help hosting the first ever national conference at Columbia University this fall. Hundreds of SJP students from chapters across the country – and students who want to form SJP chapters -will meet Oct. 14-16 to begin a national discussion about making student Palestine solidarity work more effective.

Cultural BDS against Israel exploding everywhere
“Film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, theatre director Michael Attenborough and actress Dame Harriet Walter are among the 117 signatories to a letter of protest over the “harsh” punishment. They claim that artists should be allowed to express themselves freely “without fear of financial or professional retribution”.

BDS Update: An Eventful Summer
“Festival season is winding down in Israel, as it is most other places. There’s certainly no denying that the Israeli concert industry was able to dodge the slew of cancellations that it experienced the previous summer. There weren’t the large groups of acts and artists backing out of fests in protest. In fact, with the concerts by Dylan, Paul Simon, Moby, Justin Bieber and others, it’s safe to say that there were some real boons for Israel’s summer concerts.

BDS ALERT: Don’t buy Agrexco – Don’t support Occupation
“Last month, Israel exporter company Agrexco has gone bankrupt because of the world wide BDS campaign for the company’s long and deep involvement with the illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestine. But now a Japanese company are going to buy the fallen Agrexco with two other Israeli company for 40 million NIS, to make the Apartheid business survive. We ask you urgently to sign the petition below to put pressure on the company to divest from the Apartheid business.”

Rewarding Alstom: Arab Partnership in Occupation
Alstom, a French corporation, has received global condemnation for aiding Israel’s colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Yet Alstom’s business ventures continue to thrive in the Arab world, and the corporation appears set to win more multi-million dollar contracts in the near future. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) campaigners in Beirut warned Wednesday in a press conference that French construction giant Alstom Group may be awarded major new contracts in several Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The activists appealed to Arab governments to stop dealing with the firm, which is complicit in Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land.

Could censorship of children’s art prove a turning point?, Henry Norr
If I were one of the Zionist operatives who pressured the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland to cancel the exhibit of Gaza children’s drawings, I’d be kicking myself right now. If they’d simply ignored the whole thing and let its scheduled two-month run proceed, probably no more than a few hundred people, most of them school children, would have seen the show. It’s not as if MOCHA is a major attraction. But thanks to the ham-handed censorship engineered by the Jewish establishment – and the determined fight-back of the Middle East Children’s Alliance and others opposed to such bullying – thousands of people around the world have seen the kids’ pictures.
Racism & Discrimination
Ibrahim Sarsur says rise in racism toward Arab minority due to ‘government’s failure to uphold human rights or its blatant infringement of them’
Statehood Bid

Palestinian FM: Eight UN Security Council members support statehood bid
Palestinians are focusing efforts on convincing Bosnia to become the decisive ninth supporter of statehood application.

Poll: Obama popularity in Israel surges after UN

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — US President Barack Obama’s popularity has risen sharply in Israel after he spoke out forcibly against a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations last week, according to an Israeli newspaper poll published Wednesday. The poll by The Jerusalem Post found 54 percent of Jewish Israelis thought Obama’s policy was favorable to Israel, while 19 percent said it was pro-Palestinian. A survey in May showed 12 percent thought US policy was pro-Israel and 40 percent saw it as pro-Palestinian.

PA: Nigeria to support Palestine statehood bid
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Nigeria will vote in favor of the application for full UN membership in the Security Council, foreign minister Riyad Malki said Tuesday after meeting with his Nigerian counterpart.

Abbas: Don’t budge to American pressure
In a new brazen provocation that flies in the face of everyone and anyone wishing to retain a glimmer of hope for peace, Israel has announced plans to build more than a thousand settler units.
link to Palestine Information Center

Gaza government backs Palestinian state but not at cost of recognising Israel or relinquishing historic Palestine
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza has said that he and his colleagues back the establishment of a Palestinian state on “liberated land”. However, said Ismail Haniyeh, this should not be at the cost of recognising the state of Israel or relinquishing lawful rights over any part of historic Palestine. Mr Haniyeh told a conference in Gaza that his government is not against a state per se. “The people have been getting killed for more than 60 years in the cause of liberation,” he told delegates. “We say liberation should come first and then the state, because states are not created through UN resolutions or political manoeuvres and compromises, but through steadfastness and resistance.”

Israeli finance minister calls for elimination of Palestinian Authority if it becomes “anti-Israel state”
Israel’s Minister of Finance has called for the elimination of the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas in response to the bid for full membership of the United Nations before reaching a peace agreement with the Zionist state. According to Radio Israel, Yuval Steinitz said that he is ready to bear the repercussions of the closure of the Palestinian Authority if it turns into an anti-Israel state which refuses to end the conflict or to recognise Israel as a distinctly Jewish state.

Egypt / Turkey / Israel

‘Sinai terror threat disconcerting’
PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak express concerns over terror threat lurking in Sinai Peninsula.,7340,L-4128966,00.html

Ilan Grapel, accused of spying for Israel, held in undisclosed location in Egypt
Grapel was arrested three months ago; U.S. Embassy in Cairo attempts to secure his release on bail, denied on flight risk grounds.

Turkey rejects “mutual apology” proposal
Sources in Israel have revealed that Turkey’s Prime Minister has rejected an American proposal for solving the diplomatic crisis between Tel Aviv and Ankara. The initiative produced by the Ambassador to Tel Aviv would require a mutual apology to be made by the two sides over the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. According to a report on Radio Israel, Ambassador Dan Shapiro said that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israel’s President Shimon Peres could speak to each other by telephone and apologise. The initiative was approved by the Israel Forum of the Eight Senior Ministers more than two weeks ago.

Other Palestine / Israel News

Abbas wishes Peres a happy new year while occupation seals West Bank
PA president Mahmoud Abbas phoned the Israeli occupation president Simon Peres to wish him a happy new year, while the occupation sealed the West Bank for four days starting Wednesday. 
link to Palestine Information Center

Just days after being declared persona non grata at the Labour Party conference, Tony Blair looks set to receive similar treatment in the Middle East. The Palestinians have lost trust in the former prime minister as envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East peacemakers, claiming he is biased towards Israel. Palestinian youth wings of the main political parties have informally declared Mr Blair persona non grata in the occupied West Bank and would not meet him there, a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official said. If, as expected, the youth wings make a formal declaration about Mr Blair, it is likely to be adopted by senior politicians.
WATCH: Obama stresses U.S. commitment to Israel in Rosh Hashanah message
In short and low-key video message, U.S. President Barack Obama extends greetings to Jews everywhere.

Watch: Perry does hora around menorah
(Video) Youtube clip from 2010 shows US Republican Party presidential hopeful dancing with rabbis around menorah at Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony.,7340,L-4128876,00.html

European Union approves trade agreement with Palestine
BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) — The European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced that its Parliament has approved a trade agreement to help boost the Palestinian economy by enabling the West Bank and Gaza to export farm and fisheries products directly to the EU. According to the agreement, agricultural and fisheries products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip will have direct duty-free and mostly quota-free access to the European market. It also provides European produce access to Palestinian markets.

Other Mideast News

Bahrain court upholds sentences for activists
Appeals denied to 21 opposition activists held in June after Gulf state crushed an uprising by majority Shia Muslims.

Bahrain military court finds medics guilty
A military court in Bahrain has sentenced 20 medics to long prison sentences on charges of attempting to topple the government during protests.

Flogging sentence for Saudi Arabian woman after driving ‘beggars belief’
A Saudi Arabian woman has been sentenced to flogging merely for driving a car, highlighting the country’s ongoing repression against women.

Saudi Arabia: Woman Driver Verdict Reportedly Overturned By King
RIYADH, Saudi Arab — A Saudi government official says King Abdullah has overturned a court verdict that sentenced a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom’s ban on women driving. The official declined to elaborate. He spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Fearing Change, Syria’s Christians Back Assad
With chaos growing, many Syrian Christians said they feared a change of power could deprive them of the semblance of protection the Assad family has provided.

Analysis / Op-ed

Perfect match: Bob Bernstein uses settler sources for racist anti-Arab ‘WaPo’ Op-Ed, Adam Horowitz
Robert Berstein has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post that shows just how truly desperate Israel’s cheerleaders have become. Bernstein, a founder of Human Rights Watch who now seems to hate human rights, responds to the push for Palestinian statehood by recycling the tired argument that it is Palestinian words that are driving the conflict, not the Israeli boot on their necks

Abbas’s Next Move, Mouin Rabbani
Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September fell considerably short of Yasir Arafat’s electrifying 1974 speech from the same podium. Nor did it compare with Haidar Abdul Shafi’s dignified – and unanswerable – call for justice at the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference. Yet it may come to be seen as a historic turning point in the fortunes of the Palestinian people. Abbas’s agenda was transparent. He was sending the Americans a message: grow a spine, stop appeasing Israel and launch credible negotiations – because if you don’t, my next failure will be my last. There are several problems with his approach. For one, the so-called peace process is working precisely as designed, to give political cover to Israeli colonisation and maintain America’s diplomatic monopoly. Second, the US has become even more extreme than Israel. Obama’s speech delighted Avigdor Lieberman but was denounced by American politicians as a betrayal of Israel. Third, there is nothing to negotiate about with Israel’s current rulers, who refuse even to acknowledge the occupation, let alone commit to ending it.

The (unplanned) victory of the UN statehood bid
There was one significant victory at the United Nations for Mahmoud Abbas, even if it was not the one he sought.

PA astroturf effort to build campus momentum for statehood falls flat
Visit the Students for Statehood (SFS) website powered by WordPress, to view pixilated flyers for some twelve calendared rallies in support of the PA statehood bid to the UN.  They look as though designed by students.  They use basic logos, and there is an embedded hip-hop video.

The Occupied Turn Occupiers
In a recent debate Congressman Ron Paul claimed the United States military had troops in 130 countries.  The St. Petersburg Times looked into whether such an outrage could actually be true and was obliged to report that the number was actually 148 countries.  However, if you watch NFL football games, you hear the announcers thank members of the U.S. military for watching from 177 countries.  The proud public claim is worse than the scandalous claim or the “investigative” report.  What gives?

Money for nothing and occupation for free: The 1994 Paris protocols on economic relations between Israel and the PLO, Simone Daud
I’m familiar with Stanley Fischer’s research before he became a central banker. I also know his books with Dornbusch and Blanchard very well. Fischer is a Rhodesian born economist who has been the governor of Israel’s central bank since 2005. Last year Fischer was declared Central Banker of the Year by Euromoney magazine. This is not surprising because Israel has almost entirely avoided the effects of the financial collapses that have occurred in Europe and the US. Indeed, most Israelis trying to find a job in Tel-Aviv or in Haifa or in Jerusalem will probably have a much easier time than most unemployed Americans.

Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents’ View of Israel
“I’m trembling,” my mother says, when I tell her I’m working on an article about how younger and older American Jews are reacting differently to the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations. I understand the frustrations of the Palestinians dealing with ongoing settlements construction and sympathize with their decision to approach the U.N., but my mom supports President Obama’s promise to wield the U.S. veto, sharing his view that a two-state solution can be achieved only through negotiations with Israel. “This is so emotional,” she says as we cautiously discuss our difference of opinion. “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.” (See photos inside the West Bank settlements.)

Loving Judaism but questioning Israel
Only these days, I’m not so crazy about Israel – the nation-state, that is. I don’t like that on the eve of these holidays and at the moment when Mahmoud Abbas was making his bid at the United Nations for Palestinian statehood, Israel announced the approval of 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem. I’m ashamed that Israel continues to draw criticism from human rights groups for the demolition of homes in the West Bank and, sharing blame with the Palestinians, for waging a conflict over land with the lives of innocent people. Intellectually, I see that Israel the nation-state and Israel the historical-theological concept are separate things, but when I pray, the two ideas reverberate together, and the conflation troubles me. In the practice of Judaism, we petition God to protect “Israel;” I hesitate before I voice this plea.

Obama’s Badge of Shame
The portion of Obama’s speech in the United Nations that referred to the Palestinian bid for membership in the UN earned for him a “badge of honor” from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (those are the very words used by Netanyahu when he congratulated Obama on his speech!). But, in the eyes of most of the world, it brought shame and disgrace on Obama and the US and made a laughing stock of both.

Leila Khaled in Lipstick: Palestinian Women Out of Frame
Acre - Leila Khaled hijacked an American airplane on 29 August 1969. After the operation, the photograph of the famous revolutionary taken by Eddie Adams turned Khaled into an icon. Khaled, a young brunette carrying a Kalashnikov with a kuffiyeharound her neck, became a symbol of an era. Images of Khaled and other icons of the seventies are reproduced at Framed-Unramed, an exhibition at the Ethnographic and Art Museum, in partnership with the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University.
Palestine’s Tashweesh: Performing the Intifada in Beirut
An unconventional mix of music and artistry, Tashweesh will recreate the daily lived language of the intifada as performance in their Beirut debut. Unlike traditional music bands that include a singer and musicians, Tashweesh (Arabic word for jamming or static) is a Palestinian performance collective that engages the audience by joining audio and visual techniques on stage. In their work, space, sound, and time come together unapologetically. The group debuts in Beirut with three shows, including a public concert in Shatila refugee camp next Sunday.

A few points for the occasion of the Atzmon saga going mainstream
Of course Atzmon is antisemitic. I think a lot of people who steered clear of him, including yours truly, have been loath to say that because of the way this accusation has been weaponized by Zionists, and the desire not to give them any credibility. But that kind of circumlocution quite often has a price. Had people been less circumspect, the implosion of Mearsheimer might not have happened. It takes a unique kind of genius to cede the moral high ground to the denizens of Harry’s sewer, where every kind of bigotry is acceptable except antisemitism, or the concentration camp volunteer guard Jeffrey Goldberg.


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21 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    September 29, 2011, 11:13 am

    Max’s coverage of this brutal murder of that little Palestinian girl turns my stomach into knots just as the brutal murders of the illegal Israeli settlers in Itamar. Sickening

  2. piotr
    September 29, 2011, 11:46 am

    About the cited stat: “The average Muslim mother gave birth to 3.75 babies in 2010, with her Christian counterpart bearing 2.14 offspring.”

    This blog is supposed to educate the public, so it should be careful in the way statistics are cited. Clearly, women do not frequently give birth to more than 2 children, so the AVERAGE of 2.14 births per Christian mother in 2010 is not likely. Probably the statistic is how many children an average mother is projected to have. In Western Europe it is usually a bit below 2, in USA, a bit above.

  3. Kathleen
    September 29, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Great interview over at with Grant Smith about Aipac’s new strategy with funding etc
    Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses the clarification of his August article “Does AIPAC Have Only Two Major Donors;” how AIPAC has changed its mandatory disclosures and tax returns to obfuscate the organization’s donors and methods; how the American Israel Education Foundation (AIPAC’s “travel agency”) shuttles members of Congress to and from Israel, even though lobby-sponsored trips are supposed to be banned; the organizations (not just AIPAC) that constitute what is known as the “Israel lobby;” and how the Foreign Agents Registration Act is selectively enforced based on political concerns, not objective criteria.

  4. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    September 29, 2011, 12:33 pm

    Wow. What absolute vermin these CAMERA people are. Absolute pieces of shit. If anyone can read their “story” on this poor girls murder at the hands of these Israeli pigs without his or her blood boiling is inhumane or a sociopath.

    • Real Jew
      Real Jew
      September 29, 2011, 4:37 pm


    • Hostage
      September 29, 2011, 9:19 pm

      I doubt that some of the liars and stooges at CAMERA are bright enough to teach Max how to parse a sentence in the first place.

      They haven’t been able to correct a number of flagrant errors on their own website nearly a decade after I first started pointing them out for their clueless webmaster.

      For example, they know that Ricki Hollander was misquoting Article 80 of the U.N. Charter in this 2001 article.

      It appears that she did that in order to lend credence to the preposterous claim that it preserved the Jewish right to settlement in all of Palestine. CAMERA is still falsely claiming that it specifies that:

      nothing in the [United Nations] Charter shall be construed … to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments.

      The scope of Article 80 of the UN Charter was ” strictly limited to the contents of Chapter 12, i.e. “nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights …& etc”.

      The General Assembly noted that the terms of Chapter 11 of the Charter regarding non-self governing territories were a treaty obligation with immediate force and effect that were applicable to all of the member states and did not require the conclusion of any trusteeship agreements (see UN GA resolution 9/1). That chapter of the Charter was incompatible with Jewish minority rule in Palestine and continued denial of the right of the majority to self-determination and self-governing institutions under Article 2 of the Mandate.

      In any event Article 80 did not preserve the Jewish right of settlement. It was adopted as a “status quo” agreement at the request of the Arab League with respect to the Palestine mandate, the 1939 British White Paper policies, and the 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance. Those policies and ordinances had legally limited the right of Jewish settlement in much of Palestine as confirmed by the High Court of Justice in Bernard A. Rosenblatt (petitioner) vs. the Registar od Lands, Haifa ; Director of Land Registration, Jerusalem ; Edmond N. Levy (respondents) (High court case no. 19/47). See the discussion on this page and the following page under “Palestine” in “The United Nations conference on international organization, San Francisco, California, April 25-June 26, 1945”, Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945.

      • mig
        September 30, 2011, 1:20 am

        Good job Hostage. In fact, i responded to same argument in facebook the other day. That conversation ended to my one reply, quite similar as yours.

  5. seafoid
    September 29, 2011, 12:37 pm

    “Meanwhile, the pro-Israel media watchdog group CAMERA claimed that the uproar surrounding Aramin’s death was a plot to inflame anti-Israel opinion and that all media reports suggesting that the Border Police killed her were categorically false. CAMERA declared that “stone-throwing Palestinians, as opposed to Israeli border police firing rubber bullets (as initially reported), may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin.”

    From the people who brought you the spin on the murder of Mohamed ad Durra.

    And nobody died in Cast Lead in Gaza either because as Bibi said to the UN

    “We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy’s civilian population from harm’s way”

    and Poland killed far more Jews

  6. justicewillprevail
    September 29, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Camera: just another front organisation specialising in junk reporting. Perhaps they have forgotten their ridiculous claims, but maybe they should ask why it has taken four years for the truth to trickle out, in the hope that the case will be forgotten. They should also ask who is going to be prosecuted for her murder, and why the IDF continue to attack and injure children, as well as kidnapping them in the middle of the night. Is that categorical enough?

  7. seafoid
    September 29, 2011, 12:45 pm

    “He knows that his term — “categorical” — and our phrasing — “not necessarily” and “may very well have been” — have completely opposite meanings. That is, anyone who hears “not necessarily true” but reports instead “categorically false” is being flagrantly dishonest.”

    WTF? The verbosity of excess verbiage

  8. Walid
    September 29, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Seham, the one that made so much noise about the 2009 mickey-mouse hearing into the death of Abir was Nurit Peled Elhanan that had lost her own daughter, Smadar aged 13, in 1997 to a Palestinian suicide bomber. The full article linked below has side-by-side pictures of the 2 beautiful girls, Abir Aramin and Smadar Elhanan. Here’s her description of how the initial hearing shamefully proceeded:

    The court does not sympathize
    By Nurit Peled Elhanan – 14 Oct 2009

    On Wednesday we – members of the Combatants for Peace movement, women of Mahsom [Heb. checkpoint] Watch, members of the Forum of Bereaved Families for Peace and writer David Grossman – attended a hearing at the High Court of Justice on the matter of the closing, due to lack of evidence, of the investigatory file on the killing of ten-year-old Abir Aramin about three years ago.

    Photos of
    Abir Aramin and Smadar Elhanan

    The hearing, which had been scheduled for eleven o’clock and then for nine o’clock and then for ten o’clock and then for one o’clock, began at two. Journalists ran to and fro in the corridor (Who died? A little girl? Really? Excuse me, sir, did your daughter die? Yes. Then you are Bassam Aramin? No, I am Rami Elhanan. Oh, sorry. So where’s that Aramin? And who are you? We are from Mahsom Watch. From what checkpoint? What are you doing here? And who are you? I am a friend. Of those Palestinians? Yes. How come? How can it be? Can I interview you? Did you too have a daughter who died? Really? When? How? What was her name? And after all that you are on their side?) But at the end of the day no Israeli reported on what happened.

    Salwa and Bassam Aramin are not Jews and they are not Israelis. They live under a cruel occupation and they have experienced all it has to offer: exile, imprisonment and the killing of their small daughter Abir by a rubber bullet that was allegedly fired from the rifle of a Border Guard soldier who was sitting in an armoured jeep and thrust the barrel of his rifle through the opening that was allegedly designed for that purpose and allegedly aimed and fired at the head of the girl who was standing beside her sister at a kiosk, allegedly buying candy during the break between the first class and the second. The projectile was removed from under the girl’s body and transferred to the authorities. The eyewitnesses, as well as the Border Guard soldiers, testified that there was no alleged danger to their lives and that the shooting was done – if it was done – in contravention of instructions. Two pathologists testified that it was probable that the fracture in Abir’s little skull could allegedly have been caused by a rubber bullet. The attending physician at the Hadassah hospital said that it was not a live bullet. The video of the reconstruction of the incident was not given to the defence counsel or to the court, because the soldiers who allegedly carried out the shooting, that is, who thrust the barrel of the rifle through the opening that had been made especially for that purpose, aimed and fired at the head of the girl Abir, were featured in the recording.

    Counsel for the State, stammering, unprepared and unkempt, stood like a platoon commander in charge of new recruits with her back to the public and refuted the allegations: So they found a projectile. So what? Who knows how long it had been lying there? So people gave testimony, so what? They (those Arabs) can say anything, does that make it testimony? So nobody was throwing stones at that spot, so what? On a nearby street stones were thrown. If you were in my place, she laughingly says to Michael Sfard, Aramin’s attorney, you would have made morsels of them by now.

    Judge Beinish reminds Sfard – twice – that there have been such incidents in the past and that soldiers have rarely been put on trial or even indicted, so it would be best to just forget it. The State Counsel, with a laugh: I had the pleasure of attending such trials.

    Full article on Israel’s ugly judicial goings-on:

    • Walid
      September 29, 2011, 1:17 pm

      Richard Silverstein picked up on it in 2009 and asked for donations then to help build a playground in Abir’s name; he wrote 4 or 5 times about Abir’s tragedy:

      Help Build Abir’s Garden
      November 28th, 2009

      Abir Aramin (1996-2007)

      In January 2007, steps from her East Jerusalem school, the life of 10 year old Abir Aramin was snuffed out by an Israeli border police grenade or bullet fired at her at close range as she was running away from the shooter. The projectile tore off part of her head as it killed her. This was not a random incident as the police had a history of driving their vehicles through the village provoking the schoolchildren with harsh insults to throw rocks at them. Upon being assaulted, the police, in a game of cat and mouse, escalated their response up to and including firing grenades and rubber bullets at unarmed children. Despite the fact that the Israeli NGO Yesh Din documented 14 eyewitnesses to this murder and an independent autopsy verified the conditions of her death, the attorney general closed the case for “lack of evidence.” The Israeli Supreme Court, supposed bastion of human rights according to Zionist liberals, turned down a request only last month to reopen the case. No one has been disciplined or punished for this heinous act.

      Photo of
      Abir’s garden at her Anata village school

      Abir just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong place which, come to think of it may describe most Palestinian children suffering under the Occupation. According to B’Tselem, over 1,000 Palestinian children have been killed since 2000 and only one perpetrator has been brought to justice.

      This little girl was different from the myriad of others attacked by Israeli troops. Her father, Bassam, helped found the seminal anti-Occupation group, Combatants for Peace. It is an Israeli-Palestinian human rights NGO composed of former IDF officers and Palestinian fighters who’ve renounced violence and embraced non-violent resistance to end the Occupation. For this reason, Bassam’s loss was especially poignant for the millions of us in Israel and throughout the world who embraced this perspective for ending the conflict.

      The Rebuilding Alliance devised a project to memorialize Abir, a garden at her school where she was killed. Here is how her grieving father described the project:

      “I lost my heart, my child,” said Bassam Aramin, “We are here to tell Abir’s story, build the Abir’s Garden Project to give her classmates a safe place to play and to heal, and prove to our societies and the world that it is possible to break the cycle of violence through justice.”

      You have an opportunity to strike a blow for Abir and against the Occupation by making a gift to this project which will be matched by a 30% match from Global Giving. But you must make your gift before December 1st to get the match. In this holiday season of thankgiving, let us do what we can to promote healing and improve the quality of life for the children of Palestine

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 1:49 pm

        thanks walid. i signed up for a small monthly stipend in 09 here thru global giving and have never looked back. i think i first heard of abir’s garden thru a diary @ dkos, either assaf or perhaps unpseakable. i forgot about it yet was curious and went to the site and checked my history. it really adds up over the years yet i don’t even notice it. i see they’ve raised 7,584 with only 1,515 to go towards their next project, a playground adjoining a school near hebron, Samoa village. i hope they make their goal soon.

        $14 buys one cubic meter of sand play area (50 total)
        $25 buys one cubic meter of sand (50 total)
        $30 buys one cubic meter of gravel
        $48 buys a stone coping for the sandpit (40 total)
        $200 buys the dedication sign
        $510 buys a spring rooster
        $1,700 buys a carousel

        i hope others consider this great project. also playgrounds for palestine is another awesome project started by susie abulhawa. check out all the playgrounds they’ve built.

    • seafoid
      September 29, 2011, 1:22 pm

      David Grossman’s son was an Israeli soldier killed by Hezbollah during an Israeli war of aggression in Lebanon.

      • Edithann
        September 29, 2011, 3:19 pm

        What does that mean? Do you think the offensive killing of a 10 year old Palestinian child in her own town, is remotely similar to the
        loss of an Israeli soldier as a result of a war of aggression on Lebanon? Are you serious?
        Maybe the similarities are they were both acts of murder and aggression by Israel, think so?

        I think you should read the following article and watch the video..I’m sure you must know by now, I think Atzmon hits the nail on the head..


      • Walid
        September 30, 2011, 9:56 am

        What does that mean? Do you think the offensive killing of a 10 year old Palestinian child in her own town, is remotely similar to the
        loss of an Israeli soldier as a result of a war of aggression on Lebanon? Are you serious?”

        Edithann, if you’re trying to confuse me, you’re doing a great job. I did not do any equating between Abir’s death and that of Uri Grossman and ask you to please tell me what gave you that idea. David Grossman’s name appeared in a Nurit Peled Elhan article I posted, to which Seafoid added a post saying that David Grossman’s son was killed in the 2006 war, and to that Seafoid post, I elaborated on the Grossman death in Lebanon. There wasn’t any equating at all in any of these posts.

        What are you saying about Atzmon? I read the article as you asked and still don’t get it; sorry.

  9. Walid
    September 29, 2011, 1:55 pm

    Uri Grossman aged 20 died on August 13th, less than 24 hours before the cease-fire went into effect. The war had effectively ended the week before but Israel and the US were jerking around with the final text of the resolution to give the IDF an opportunity to advance deeply into Lebanon before the scheduled cease-fire was to take effect and I think it was during that week that Israel lost most of its soldiers that died in the war. Uri died when his tank was hit by one of Hizbullah’s anti-tank missiles that knocked out over 80 tanks in that war.

  10. RoHa
    September 29, 2011, 8:48 pm

    From the photograph, you’d almost think that little girl was a real human child.

  11. RoHa
    September 30, 2011, 6:55 am

    But don’t forget, she’s just an Arab. And a Palestinian Arab at that.

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