Archive | April 6th, 2010



watch the full version ~40mins.

See link below. No words can describe such actions.

 http://wikileaks. org 2010/apr/ 05/wikileaks- us-army-iraq- attack

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Hoffman Lied When Claiming He was a Victim of anti-Semitism

Jonathan Hoffman Lied When Claiming ‘Anti-Semitic’ Abuse

Anti-semitism is a terrible thing. Nothing can more trivialise it than accusing people who are not anti-semitic of being anti-Semites. Nothing can weaken our defences against anti-semitism and any other form of racism than making false and bogus allegations of ‘anti-semitism.’

It is the ‘boy cried wolf’ syndrome. If you cry ‘anti-semitism’ for long enough when it doesn’t exist then when it does exist don’t be surprised if people turn the other way.

At a meeting called by Bricup on December 4th to support the Boycott of Israel one of the 2 speakers, Bongani Masuku, was disgracefully attacked as an anti-Semite. In fact he is nothing of the kind but some jumped up South African quango decided that his anti-Zionism was a form of ‘hate speech’ [reactionaries don’t like the word racism, it’s too closely connected with socialism and imperialism and opposition to oppression].

Bongani after all was speaking alongside a Jewish speaker, former South African Police Minister Ronni Kassrills. But then Kassrills is an anti-Zionist so his views no doubt don’t count.

When Jonathan Hoffman, notorious clown and Vice-Chairman of the Zionist Federation got up to attack Bongani as an ‘anti-Semite’ etc. he was, quite rightly, vigorously heckled. Note he wasn’t, like anti-Zionists at Zionist meetings, physically attacked, punched etc. Two weeks, yes two weeks later, the heckling of Hoffman had become anti-semitic!

Apparently ‘Jewish’ and ‘Jew’ had been hurled at him. He hadn’t complained at the time but when a Tory student activist, Raheem Kassam made this allegation, Hoffman suddenly realised he was a victim!

The BBC report of the meeting was quick as ever to take Hoffman’s point of view. The only problem? There was a video and whatever else it showed there was no anti-semitic chanting. Problem. The BBC quickly replaced the article and has now made a handsome and full apology for what happened to Naomi Wimborne of J-Big, Bricup and SOAS Palestine Society..

And Hoffman? No doubt he will continue to see anti-semitism where it doesn’t exist and miss it where it does. Hoffman of course, like Gordon Brown, is partially sighted.

He just can’t see racism when Jewish settlers displace Arab families in Jerusalem or Arabs are not allowed the same water rations as Jewish settlers on the West Bank or when Arabs are told they can’t travel on Jewish settler roads, or the multitude of other forms of discrimination [only Palestinian children can be imprisoned etc.]. But when it comes to ‘anti-semitism’ he is ever alert, nose twitching, for the slightest sign of ‘anti-semitism’.

Even the Zionist’s Community Security Trust, which had initially backed Hoffman up and which is no slouch itself at manipulating and distorting figures, has distanced itself from Hoffman’s bogus complaint, refusing to record it as an anti-semitic incident. But Hoffman? He goes merrily along making a fool of himself.

We hear he is now trying to claim Marek Edelman, the last Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising for the Zionist cause, even though he was an anti-Zionist member of the Bund and compared Palestinian fighters to the Jewish Fighting Organisation in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Tony Greenstein

Posted by Tony Greenstein at:

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Utopia as Alibi: Said, Barenboim and the Divan Orchestra
by Raymond Deane

As a classical musician involved in pro-Palestinian activism, I frequently encounter the assumption that I am an unconditional admirer of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO). My reservations on this score tend to produce shocked disapproval:

How could I not enthuse about such an idealistic project, particularly since it was co-founded by the late Edward Said, a figure for whom I have frequently expressed respect and admiration?
In truth, I have always been a little wary of Said’s veneration for the eighteenth/nineteenth century canon of European classical music. I look in vain in his writings on the subject [1] for a historical and political contextualisation of music comparable of that to which he so perceptively subjected literature in his indispensable Culture and Imperialism. [2]

In his 2002 speech accepting the Principe de Asturias Prize, Said claimed that he and his friend the Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim founded the WEDO “for humanistic rather than political reasons”. This surprising dualism implies that music belongs to a utopian sphere somehow removed from the dialectical hurly-burly of hegemony and resistance.

The paradoxes of Said’s position have been ably dissected by the British musicologist Rachel Beckles Willson. [3] She quotes her colleague Ben Etherington’s critique of Said’s tendency “to assert the intrinsic value of Western elite music without really exploring how that tradition escapes mediation.”

Paraphrasing Said’s critique of literary scholars in his Humanism and Democratic Criticism [4] she convincingly claims that he “omitted to make ‘a radical examination of the ideology of the [musical performance] field itself.’” (Willson’s chain brackets).

Undoubtedly Barenboim has a less sublimated view of the classical repertoire than Said, and has been more broadminded than many of his superstar peers in his willingness to perform and advocate modern and “avant-garde” music.

He has also displayed great independence and personal courage by criticising the Israeli establishment and repeatedly flouting Israeli laws to travel to the occupied West Bank – even bringing the orchestra to Ramallah in 2005.

In 2008, Barenboim accepted honourary Palestinian “citizenship” from the Palestinian Authority. The dissident Israeli journalist Amira Hass put this in context: “It could just as well have [been] said that the PA granted Barenboim citizenship of the moon, since the PA has no authority to grant citizenship… to anyone.” [5]

She tellingly points out the broader political implications of such an action: “The PA is seen as a ’state’ with the sovereign right to grant ‘citizenship.’” The illusion of Palestinian statehood, fostered by the 1993 Oslo Accords, has served to absolve Israel from its obligations as an occupier under the 4th Geneva Convention. The gesture towards Barenboim, although empty, was pregnant with propaganda value for the Israeli state and its PA accomplices.

Barenboim’s most recent book is confusingly entitled Music Quickens Time in the US and Everything is Connected in Europe[6]. Reflecting on the fact that Hitler loved classical music, he concludes that “there is not enough thought about music, only visceral reactions almost on an animal level.” “Listening,” he tells us, “is hearing with thought.”

The idea that an analytical approach to music is potentially an antidote to its instrumentalisation by fascistic forces is a radical one, but Barenboim goes a clumsy step further by repeatedly depicting musical processes as metaphors for social and political structures. Thus the failure of the Oslo process is linked to the connection between musical content and tempo: “the relationship between content and time was erroneous.”

“The education of the ear” – or “auditory intelligence” – is important “for the functioning of society, and therefore also of governments.” “A nation’s constitution could be compared to a score, and the politicians its interpreters” and can be “challenged and adapted” in a democracy, “becoming a kind of collectively composed symphony.”

Unfortunately, while Barenboim professes faith in the axiom that “everything is connected”, the score written by Zionism is premised on “estrangement and alienation”, in the words of the anti-Zionist eco-socialist Joel Kovel. [7] Barenboim buys into the Zionist narrative all along the line.

“The Arab population of Palestine had been unsympathetic toward Jewish immigration from the very beginning”, he tells us, as if the indigenous Jewish population hadn’t been equally suspicious of Zionist colonisation – to call it by its proper name. The totalitarian “military rule” imposed by Israel on its Palestinian minority during the early years of statehood was “abominable”, admittedly, but “necessary for its self-preservation”.

The renaming of Arab streets after Israeli generals represents “at best thoughtlessness and insensitivity… and at worst an utter lack of strategy in dealing with the question of Arabs in Israel”, rather than a symbolic linchpin of Zionist conquest and dispossession.

In the midst of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead”, the onslaught on Gaza beginning in December 2008 that led to the killing of some 1400 Palestinians, Barenboim wrote a newspaper article that, while critical of the carnage, similarly repeated a number of Zionist propaganda tropes.[8] Hamas is “a terrorist organisation”, rather than a legitimate resistance movement, and must “realise that its interests are not best served by violence”, although this offensive followed the Israeli breach of a ceasefire long maintained by Hamas.

The war in Palestine is “a conflict between two peoples who are both deeply convinced of their right to live on the same very small piece of land”, not a brutal colonial assault by a powerful state on a virtually imprisoned civilian population. Of course “it is self-evident that Israel has the right to defend itself”, a truism that, except possibly for the 1973 “Yom Kippur” war, has never had any bearing on Israel’s relentlessly belligerent actions against its neighbours.

This article almost certainly played a role in causing the cancellation of Barenboim’s projected attendance at an opera performance in Ramallah in July 2009, lest it be disrupted by demonstrations. Once again Amira Hass had her finger on the pulse: “The bulk of dissent across Ramallah was not just over the performance, but over the very existence of the Barenboim-Said Foundation”. [9]

This Foundation, which provided the Children & Youth Choir and theYouth Orchestra for the opera in question, was set up by Barenboim and Said shortly before the latter’s death in 2003, when its administration passed into the capable hands of Said’s widow Mariam. Hass quotes “[a] leading activist in the Palestinian movement for a cultural boycott of Israel” (PACBI) as stating that the Foundation “does not take any position against the Israeli occupation or apartheid policies.

They talk about promoting mutual understanding and coexistence through dialogue, music, etc. This is an attempt to give a normal image to a very abnormal, colonial situation.”

Already in 2004 Barenboim stated that “[a]n hour of violin lessons in Berlin is an hour where you get people interested in music. But an hour of violin lessons in Palestine is an hour away from violence and fundamentalism…” [10] This insulting formulation led the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) to decline any further funding from the Foundation.

The ESNCM is a department of Birzeit University with branches in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem. Without funding from the Foundation it is forced to exist on a shoestring, yet it provides a wide range of instruction in both western classical and Arabic music for young Palestinians regardless of class, creed, or gender, while running its own ensembles and an orchestra – The Palestine Youth Orchestra – which it hopes to expand to 100 members by 2010.

In her introduction to An Orchestra Without Borders, a collection of testimonies from WEDO members, Barenboim’s assistant Elena Cheah claims that “[a]n orchestra is a microcosm of society.” [11] In terms of the Middle East, it would appear that while the ESNCM strives, with explicit political determination and an almost total lack of encouragement from the West, to be a microcosm of the whole of Palestinian society, the WEDO represents the Israeli bourgeoisie and the more privileged sectors of Arab (including Palestinian) society.

Barenboim’s claim that “young musicians from the Middle East have the freedom of choice over whether or not to come to the West-Eastern Divan workshop”, as if this option were available to young musicians from Gaza or from Lebanese refugee camps, displays an almost hubristic alienation from reality.

Alas, the testimonies from Israeli WEDO members collected in the book suggest that a “utopian” emphasis on human interaction with their Arab colleagues has done little to enhance insight into the political realities surrounding them.

For Daniel Cohen, Barenboim has “the power to help Israelis understand where they are living, and to help the Arabs to accept our existence in Israel as our right…” Clearly the young violinist doesn’t see this as a somewhat lopsided combination.

Sharon Cohen describes an argument in which “The Arabs kept saying: ‘You don’t understand about the checkpoints and the humiliation,’ and the Israelis kept saying, ‘You don’t understand about being in the army.’” Similarly, oboist Meirav Kadichevski expresses her understanding of the Palestinian sense of repression by evoking her own feelings “when I was in the army – I also felt repressed.” Clearly for these former soldiers there is no incongruity in equating the oppressor’s discomfort with the horror of being at the oppressor’s mercy.

Yuval the trumpeter, whose attitudes are described as having been positively transformed by orchestra membership, opines that “Palestinians have to start feeling responsible for themselves…” instead of “always waiting for someone to recognise their pain.” A lecture from the Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah criticising the “two-state solution” provokes his sharp reaction that “…some people are saying we should make one nation, and it’s insane.”

The impression ultimately gleaned from Arabs and Israelis alike is that the real glue binding these young people together is ambition: the WEDO provides an exceptional opportunity to gain experience under Daniel Barenboim, a famous and influential conductor, and hence is a stepping-stone to professional advancement.

In itself, of course, there is nothing reprehensible about this – but it is a far cry from stylising the orchestra as an exemplary space of reconciliation and understanding.

In a letter to the New York Review of Books last October the actor Vanessa Redgrave (once a stalwart advocate of Palestinian rights), the screenwriter Martin Sherman and the artist Julian Schnabel dissociated themselves from opposition to the Toronto Film Festival’s featuring of Tel Aviv in its “city to city” section. They closed their letter as follows:

The year 2009 is the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Barenboim-Said West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. We hope that those who protest Israeli inclusion in film festivals will take note of this example of the power of art freely expressed and available to all, and reconsider their position. [12]

This is a sad and timely demonstration of how the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra can be enlisted to demobilize meaningful solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. While it would be crass to dismiss the WEDO as merely “a bad thing”, the reality is that it offers uncommitted Western liberals, for whom an uncompromising campaign of BDS is a step too far, a peg on which to hang their sentimental belief in an unpolitical reconciliation that costs nobody anything.

Raymond Deane is a composer and political activist. This article first appeared in the Irish Left Review.
Photo Credits:
Photo 1: Daniel Barenboim talking to a member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra during rehersals

Photo 2: Palestinians run for cover from Israeli air strikes during the Israeli assult on Gaza. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages – Photo courtesy of Electronic Intafada).

Photo 3: Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Photos courtesy of the West-Eastern Divan website.

[1] Edward W. Said: Musical Elaborations (Columbia University Press, NY, 1991); Reflections on Exile (London, Granta Books, 2001); Music at the Limits (Columbia University Press, NY, 2007).
[2] Edward W. Said: Culture and Imperialism (Chatto & Windus Ltd, 1993; Vintage, 1994).
[3] Rachel Beckles Willson: Whose Utopia? (Music and Politics, Volume III, Number 2., accessed 7/12/09)
[4] Edward W. Said: Humanism and Democratic Criticism (PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, Hampshire and NY, 2004).
[5] Amira Hass: Honorary Citizenship of the Moon (Ha’aretz, 26th January 2009)
[6] Daniel Barenboim: Music Quickens Time (Verso, London/NY 2008); Everything is Connected (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London 2008).
[7] Joel Kovel: Overcoming Zionism (London, Pluto Press, 2007).
[8] Daniel Barenboim: The Illusion of Victory (The Guardian, 1st January 2009).
[9] Amira Hass: Palestinian anger with Barenboim forces him to cancel Ramallah visit (Ha’aretz, 17th July, 2009).
[10] Luke Harding: Conductor brings harmony to Arabs [sic] (The Guardian, 30th November, 2004).
[11] Elena Cheah: An Orchestra without Borders (Verson, London/NY, 2009).
[12] Redgrave, Schnabel, Sherman: Let Israeli Films be Shown (New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 16, 22nd October, 2009).

Posted by Tony Greenstein at:




Many Christians are now told that Christians must support the Zionist state of ‘Israel’ and even support Zionist power in America because “God has a covenant with the Jews.”

In fact, this goes against the fundamental teachings of the New Testament!

In the first place, the Covenant talked about in the Old Testament was always “Conditional.” That is, God said that he would honor it to the 1000th generation, BUT, that they did not keep the commandments of God, or rejected him, that God would requite them and “destroy” them.

The traditional and correct Christian view is that by hating and rejecting Jesus, they have rejected God and broke the Covenant. The New Testament says that very clearly! The New Testament gives us the very words of God himself in the clearest of language.

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (Hebrews 8:67, 910)

Christianity from its founding has always held that Jews hated Christ, caused his crucifixion, rejected God’s son and have rejected Jesus every since. Therefore, they broke God’s Covenant. God made a NEW Covenant for those who accept Jesus Christ.

Zionist Jewish extremist power has been this biggest enemy of Jesus Christ and Christians for the last 2,000 years. They lead the destruction of our Christian values with Hollywood, and lead every kind of degeneracy from Porn to Abortion, to destruction of every Christian value. Jewish extremists led the legal fight to ban prayers in school, even ban Christmas carols.

It is not every Jew, of course, but the Jewish power structure has led the fight for abortion, and for the de-Christianization of Community.

It is a tragedy that some Christians have been deluded into thinking that they are being good Christians by supporting these anti-Christian Jewish enemies of Christ himself.

When you red this article, you will understand why Billy Graham said what he said about them, and you will understand why he too, in his own words, crawl to them. That’s how much power they really have in America. He can’t say publicly what he says privately. He is afraid they will destroy his ministry.

It breaks my heart to see Christians deluded into supporting the worst enemies of Jesus Christ and really themselves.

Christ may have said “turn the other cheek”, but he never said to support evil deeds.

This article is dedicated to my Christian friends, who deserve to hear the traditional Christian view and not the brand new view of Judaism and Jewish extremists promoted by the same establishment which,  in Graham’s words, is causing America to “go down the drain.”

We must inform our fellow Christians and wake up our brethren before it is too late.

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By Lawrence Swaim, InFocusNews Columnist – March 2010

Last January 14, 2009, Tom Friedman, the New York Times columnist, shared some deep thoughts on the ongoing slaughter in Gaza. Israel’s defense forces were “inflicting heavy pain on the Gaza population,”

Friedman acknowledged, but it was all for a good cause: “If it was out to educate Hamas,” he wrote, “Israel may have achieved its aim.” What Friedman was describing, of course, was terrorism—the use of deadly force against civilians to achieve a political goal. But since this was state terrorism by the government of Israel, somehow it was all supposed to be acceptable. 

Friedman doesn’t dwell much on the 1, 400 Palestinians who died horribly as a result of Israel’s attempt to “educate” Hamas, nor would the Times tolerate for very long any journalist who attempted to tell their story.

For this we must depend on organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, which commissioned the Goldstone Report. Precisely because of Richard Goldstone’s credibility, the rightwing government of Israel has ramped up its hasbara (propaganda) operations, attacking the Report as anti-Semitic and Goldstone as a monster.

But the Goldstone Report is one of the most exacting examples of international fact-finding in our time, and for just that reason Richard Goldstone has become one of the most hated—and courageous—Jews of modern history.

Goldstone investigated not just Israel’s bombing of Gaza, but also Hamas’ rockets against Israel, not to mention repression by Hamas and Fatah officials. (Eleven Palestinian human rights groups have applauded this, suggesting the extent to which Palestinian civil society is healthier in this regard than Israel.)

But love of truth is often seen as evidence of treachery by the Israel Lobby, which demands total adherence to their party line. Alan Dershowitz wasted no time in calling Goldstone a “traitor to the Jewish people” and an “evil, evil man,” also referring to him as a “moser” [betrayer] on Israeli radio. This coy incitement to rightwing violence was not lost on listeners—the extremist who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin also referred to Rabin as a “moser.” 

 Why all this hate toward Richard Goldstone? There is more here than meets the eye. Judaism at the beginning of the 20th century had mainly arrived at a consensus that God works through believers for universal social justice on earth; and Judaism—both as culture and religion—saw itself as part of that process.

European Jews supported social justice, democracy, pluralism and human rights, and were strong supporters of progressive and center-left political parties. Then came the deluge—the insanity of Hitler and the trauma of his crimes against humanity. Everything changed.  

Jews felt that their liberal European values had failed. Some even thought that God had abandoned them. For many Jews, the universalism and social justice at the heart of Judaism was gradually replaced by a kind of us-against-them religious nationalism, relying almost completely on military force.

This was a new form of secular religion, in which the believer no longer worshiped God but rather the state of Israel, with its military victories, its propaganda, and its nuclear weapons. Could one imagine a more malignant form of idolatry than worship of the state, any state?

That’s the real reason for the hate campaign against Goldstone. Richard Goldstone is a Zionist, but he is also a throwback to the older form of Judaism that focuses on universal justice as a spiritual goal. He supports Israel, but clearly values the truth, and can see well beyond religious nationalism.

If people like Goldstone can make truth-telling look attractive in the face of the hasbara-meisters, it might not be long until more people start to reject religious nationalism and reclaim the idea of universal justice.

That, in turn, could ultimately mean social change in Israel/Palestine—replacement of 1948 doctrines with those more appropriate to 2010, and ultimately the adoption of a post-Zionist social framework. Is it any wonder that Alan Dershowitz, the self-anointed gautleiter of religious neo-fascism in America, is so afraid of Goldstone?   

 IFN is circulated nationally, and is the largest Muslim newspaper in the US.

 Lawrence Swaim is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation.  His column addresses current affairs from an American Christian and Interfaith perspective.

The Interfaith Freedom Foundation can be contacted at P.O. Box 6862, Napa CA 94581, and is a public-interest nonprofit that advocates civil rights for religious minorities, and religious liberty for all.

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[the website has pictures that do not appear here. Dorothy]

The settlers, all young men, started abusing the women verbally before attacking with stones and bottles (Picture: EAPPI).

Hardline Israeli settler youths assaulted three female Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) in Jerusalem on Monday, hurling rocks and bottles in an unprovoked attack.

An EA in her sixties was bruised on the arm when one of the young men threw a fist-sized rock at her. The group of around eight young men approached the women,  shouting obscenities and making rude gestures before attacking. The EAs filmed the incident and it can be viewed on Youtube here.

The women had been visiting a Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood, a focal point of the Israeli authorities’ drive to “unify” the city as a Jewish capital. 

As the EAs were off walking down the street, the group of young men approached them from behind, shouting, giving obscene gestures and throwing empty plastic bottles. 

“We kept moving realising that this situation had the potential to escalate and become dangerous. They continued moving toward us with increasing aggression,” reported the EAs. 

The settlers shouted “Go back to German,” (sic) and “This is Jewish” before at least one of them threw a rock, hitting an EA on the arm and bruising it. One of them raised his fist in the face of an EA but apparently decided not to hit her.

Following scuffles between settlers and local Palestinians, Israeli police arrived, but they took no details from the international who had been injured.

“The settlers immediately surrounded the police, giving their side of the story. We were actively trying to talk to the police but continually waved away,” reported the EAs.

They did manage to talk to the police for around one minute, but the police did not ask any of the EAs for specific details of the incident. A Palestinian was arrested, but police took no action against the settlers who started the confrontation.

Up to 28 large Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah face eviction to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli and international peace campaigners including EAs have maintained a constant presence here since last summer’s wave of evictions.

Settlers frequently and physically attack local Palestinians and try to scare internationals away, for example by aggressive taunts and throwing firecrackers at visiting groups.

The injured EA eventually filed a complaint at a police station and briefly visited hospital.

 Shadi Fadda from Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines April 6, 2010 ~

Settlements/Land Theft and Destruction   

OCHA: Land requisitioned for new checkpoint on 443

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces will confiscate 173.2 dunums of Palestinian land to construct a military checkpoint on highway 443, ordered open for Palestinian traffic by an Israeli court judge in December 2009.

PLO: Israel approves 3,226 houses in Jerusalem in March

RAMALLAH, April 5 (Xinhua) — Israel approved the construction of a total of 3,226 homes for Jews in the disputed East Jerusalem in March, a report by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Monday. 

The biggest projects involved the building of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement and another 600 homes in a nearby settlement, the report said.  Moreover, Jerusalem municipality has drawn up plans and is waiting an approval to build 50,000 houses in the comings months, according to the report.

Last month, a U.S. drive to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians failed after Israel announced the approval of the 1,600 units in East Jerusalem.  The proximity indirect talks, which the Washington proposed, were intended at handling the issue of the Palestinian state’s borders. 

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, while the Israelis view Jerusalem as their indivisible capital.

Sheikh Jarrah: 2 Families handed eviction orders

Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli settler organizations joined together on Tuesday to hand court-issued eviction notices to two Sheikh Jarrah families, Fatah official in charge of Jerusalem affairs Hatim Abdul Qader said. The notices gave the Dajani and Dahoodi families 30 days to evacuate their homes, Abdul Qader said, bringing the total number of families facing eviction to eight.

 Netanyahu at Mimouna: We will continue developing in Jerusalem

Some two million Israeli Jews will participate today in Mimouna, the traditional Moroccan festival marking the end of Passover, according to the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry. 

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara celebrated Mimouna with the Fahima family in Or Akiva, where Netanyahu said “We will continue developing in the north and the south, and certainly in Jerusalem.”

Under the beautiful valley

While the world’s eyes are riveted to the political arguments between the Obama Administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the ground Israel is covertly tightening its grip on Wadi Hilweh and al-Bustan neighborhoods in Silwan in a literally underground fashion.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

From the Interfaith Freedom Foundation <>




Dear All,

Hardline Zio=Nazi settler youths assaulted three female Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) in Jerusalem on Monday, hurling rocks and bottles in an unprovoked attack. 

Yesterday’s information (published via Facebook) was slightly faulty, so hopefully these links will put the record straight:

A video of the incident can be seen at

 For a full report on the attack see

[copied below]

Please feel free to forward or publish this information.

EAPPI Communications Officer

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (

Sign up to EAPPI tweets at and join our Facebook group at

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The Debate Continues

Throughout this affair of the Boycott of the Jerusalem Quartet, there has been one consistent argument on behalf of the Jerusalem Quartet. Two of their members play in Daniel Barenbom’s

WEDO, which was co-founded by Edward Said.Now I disagree on principle with these type of organisations. They are the gloss on Apartheid and in fact similar organisations did exist in South Africa. They are based on an acceptance of the status quo. That is their starting point.

The existing laws and regulations, the ongoing evictions of Arabs in Jerusalem are taken for granted. WEDO and such organisations are ‘non-political’ which means it challenges nothing.Instead they take as their starting point the idea that the reason for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is that both groups, for some unfathomable reason, have got it in their heads that they don’t like each other. And that, not society, not laws, not structures, is the cause of the conflict. Get everyone to talk to each other and all will be solved!

It is pathetic and puerile because at the end of the day the Arab goes back to his home and lives in fear of a knock on the door from a settler ‘reclaiming’ his home whereas the Israeli Jew goes back to his home without any fears.Far from being radical such organisations serve to reinforce the existing structures of Apartheid by legitimising them.

Hence the Jerusalem Quartet can play quite happily for an Occupation Army that detains pregnant Palestinian women at check points until their baby is dead and on the other pop in to WEDO to enhance their credentials.

Ah, I hear you say, but Edward Said helped found WEDO. Well let us be blunt. Edward Said wrote a brilliant book Orientalism but when he helped found WEDO had had clearly forgotten that such ‘dialogue’ groups are part of Western Orientalist practice.

Secondly for most of his life Said, an American Professor, was very much on the right-wing of the Palestinian movement. In many ways Said was the embodiment of Shakespeares saying about Macbeth that ‘Nothing became his life so much as his leaving of it.’Said’s reputation politically was cemented, after years of supporting a 2 State solution, by his opposition to Oslo. In that he was undoubtedly right.

He could see, unlike the corrupt Arafat and henchmen that Oslo could not be other than a continuation of Palestinian oppression. But his founding of things like WEDO were, in retrospect, a grievous error although it is understandable that he wanted to reach out to someone like Barenboim who, unlike the Jerusalem Quartet, understood that the founding of the Israeli state included the Nakbah.
I also include a nasty little article in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph and the letter from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods from Deborah Fink and myself in today’s Independent.

Tony Greenstein@

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“Today, in New York City, the US is torturing a Muslim detainee with no prior criminal record who has not even gone to trial.

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National Minimum Wage demonstration in Egypt.

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Shoah’s pages