Categorized | Middle East

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

6 items below, 2 of which are videos that I hope that you will watch.  One of these is about the Breaking the Silence organization and the flack that they receive.  The other shows the hard sell that kids on the Birthright trips are exposed to.

Apart from that, the first item tells us that every other day the IOF kills a Palestinian civilian with impunity.  Items 2 and 3 are the videos, neither more than about 10 minutes.  Item 4 is an itinerary for Partners for Peace, in which our own Ruth Hiller (one of the founding members of New Profile) is participating in.  Item 5 informs us that Israeli officials justify the building in East Jerusalem, which of course tells us that they are more interested in expansion than peace—nothing new in that stance! 

An item that I sent yesterday, in which Israeli officials downplay the foreign criticism, though disgusting, has more truth to it than all the talk about peace.  If the US wanted Israel to stop, it has the levers to force Israel to come to its knees.  The final, item, 6 reports that at least some rabbis in the US oppose the loyalty oath.  May it not pass!  But that’s asking a lot, probably too much of today’s Israeli government.

All the best,

Dorothy

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1.  [Forwarded by Donna Wallach ]

From:   hassan

Subject: [hurriyya] The average civilian kill

Date: October 16, 2010

Think about this B’Tselem report when you hear Obama and our politicians talk of the need to protect Israel’s “security.”   They are really revolting.

Hassan

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/the-idf-kills-1-palestinian-civilian-every-2-days-on-average-with-impunity.html 

The IDF kills 1 Palestinian civilian every 2 days, on average, with impunity

 

by Philip Weiss

October 15, 2010

Every other day, the IDF kills a Palestinian civilian with impunity in the occupied territories. And the Israelis have treated these killings as “combat action,” reports B’Tselem in a report on Israeli military killings in the occupied territories, 2006-2009, not including the Gaza war.

From 2006 to 2009, the IDF killed 1,510 Palestinians, not including Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead. Of these 1,510 deaths, 617 were of persons who were not taking part in hostilities.

Regarding these 617 fatalities, BʹTselem demanded an MPIU [Military Police Investigation Unit] investigation into the deaths of 288 of them, who were killed in 148 incidents. Ninety‐five of these incidents occurred in the Gaza Strip, accounting for 230 of the deaths. The other 53 incidents took place in the West Bank and resulted in the killing of 58 Palestinians. One hundred and four of the fatalities were minors under age 18, 23 were persons 50 and above, and 52 were women. One hundred of the Palestinians whose deaths B’Tselem demanded to investigate were killed in 2006, 86 in 2007, 93 in 2008, and 9 in 2009.

Stephen Lendman’s comment:

Most are witnessed by bystanders whose testimonies are crucial to achieve justice. Yet Israel won’t use them, clearly hiding the truth and obstructing justice.

Further, since September 2000, B’Tselem received no response from the Judge Advocate General’s Office for ” the vast majority” of cases warranting investigation, civilians killed in cold blood, responsible soldiers unpunished.

More from the B’Tselem release:

From the beginning of the first intifada, in December 1987, to the outbreak of the second intifada, in September 2000, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) investigated almost every case in which Palestinians not taking part in hostilities were killed. At the beginning of the second intifada, the Judge Advocate General’s Office announced that it was defining the situation in the Occupied Territories an “armed conflict,” and that investigations would be opened only in exceptional cases, in which there was a suspicion that a criminal offense had been committed..

B’Tselem protests the sweeping classification of the situation in the Occupied Territories as an “armed conflict,” which effectively grants immunity to soldiers and officers, with the result that soldiers who kill Palestinians not taking part in hostilities are almost never held accountable for their misdeeds. By acting in this way, the army fails to meet its obligation to take all feasible measures to reduce injury to civilians, allows soldiers and officers to violate the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard for human life.

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2.  See a short film about Breaking the Silence   http://vimeo.com/15573512

English subtitles

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3.  A video on birthright (taglit in Hebrew) showing brain washing in act.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R18mV7r1UfA&feature=player_embedded

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4.  New Profile’s own Ruth Hiller, one of its founding members, will be on tour with Partners for Peace.  If you happen to be in one of the areas below, be sure not to miss them.

Partners for Peace, Jerusalem Women Speak Tour – Oct 19th-Nov 7th

Tuesday Oct 19th Arrival in Washington DC

Wednesday Oct 20th Orientation

Thursday Oct 21st 10:00-12:00 @ Rayburn House

Thursday Oct 28th Northfield, MN

11:30  am @ St Olaf College , Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commons  Co-sponsored by Oles for Justice in Palestine and Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel

7:00 pm @ First United Church of Christ 300 Union St Northfield. Sponsored by Nothtfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel

Friday and Saturday Oct 29th-30th St. Paul, MN

Friends of Sabeel  Conference “One Land, Two Peoples, Three Faiths: Time for Reconciliation, Justice and Peace”

Wednesday Nov 3rd Fayetteville, AK

          3:00 pm – Giffles Auditorium, Old Main on the University of Arkansas,  Fayetteville Campus

Thursday Nov 4th Tahlequah, Oklahoma

          10:00 am “Jerusalem Women Speak” , Webb Auditorium, Northeastern State University

Saturday Nov 6th Washington DC

          2:00 pm Holy Land Trust Conference

Sunday Nov 7th Shirlington, VA

          6:00 pm Busboy and Poets

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5.  Haaretz,

October 17, 2010

Officials defend East Jerusalem building plans as business as usual

Netanyahu’s office responds to criticism by the U.S. and France on Israel’s plans to build nearly 240 new housing units east of the Green Line.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/officials-defend-east-jerusalem-building-plans-as-business-as-usual-1.319446

By Chaim Levinson, Jonathan Lis and Nir Hasson

The Prime Minister’s Office responded last night to international criticism regarding Israel’s plans to build 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem, saying that announcements on renewal of construction in Jerusalem are nothing new.

Israel announced Friday its approval of tenders for 238 new housing units in areas of Jerusalem east of the Green Line, which triggered statements by both the U.S. and France saying they were “disappointed” by the announcement.

“We have already said in the past that there is no longer a settlement freeze in Jerusalem,” the PMO said in a statement. “Regarding the relationship with the United States, they received notification of the plan before we announced it.”

Both the United States and France said they were “disappointed” with the move.

Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias told Haaretz the informal building freeze in East Jerusalem led Palestinians to think of the city as an ordinary settlement and not part of undivided Jerusalem.

“We must not let the Palestinians get used to Jerusalem being part of the talks,” he said.

Atias also said that Jerusalem has nowhere to develop but over the Green Line. The tenders, published on Thursday, are for 158 units to be built in Ramot, northwest of Jerusalem and another 80 units Pisgat Ze’ev, northeast of the city.

On Friday, the United States expressed disappointment over reports that Israel had approved tenders for construction of the new housing units.

The Housing Ministry has issued no new tenders for construction in East Jerusalem since March, when tenders published during a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden became a point of contention between the United States and Israel.

An informal freeze was subsequently imposed on construction over the Green Line in Jerusalem, including large Jewish neighborhoods like Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramat Shlomo. The Prime Minister’s Bureau demanded that it be informed of any plans brought before the Regional Planning and Building Committee for approval, and plans considered controversial were shelved.

However, in recent months, two tenders were issued by the Israel Lands Administration for extensive construction in Neveh Ya’akov, north of the city, and in Pisgat Ze’ev, plans for some 600 units have been approved and permits issued.

Neither of those moves led to U.S. protests, apparently because the U.S. is particularly sensitive to construction that expands to new areas, as do the construction in the tenders issued Thursday.

American criticism could also be a reflection of the sensitive nature of Washington-led direct peace talks, with the U.S. wanting to use the tenders issue to push Israel on other matters.

In an effort to maintain a low profile, the Housing Ministry issued the tenders only in real estate publications, and as part of a larger announcement of tenders throughout the country.

The issuing of the tenders on Thursday was reportedly timed for just before the weekend break to lessen international pressure over the decision.

Netanyahu’s envoy Isaac Molho had reportedly updated U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell over the past few weeks of the intention to issue the tenders.

Jerusalem expected the decision to be criticized. However, officials hoped the Americans would make do with a statement.

“We were disappointed by the announcement of new tenders in East Jerusalem yesterday. It is contrary to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said during a press conference in Washington on Friday. Yesterday, France also condemned Israel’s construction plans, saying that “France is deeply disappointed” by the decision and urged the Israeli government to reconsider.

Earlier yesterday, Egypt said that Israel’s building permits for 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem are a sign that direct peace talks could collapse.

On Friday, the Arab League said it may ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel continues construction in the settlements.

Islamic states blast construction

Also yesterday, the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemned Israel for renewing settlement construction in East Jerusalem and urged the international community to put an end to what it called “Israeli arrogance.”

The 238 units are among 1,700 planned for Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line.

A senior minister said the move had been fully coordinated with the Americans, including agreement over the formula of the critical response the United States would make.

Atias, who is considered a moderate and has privately expressed a willingness to renew the building freeze, asked Netanyahu’s approval for renewed construction in Jerusalem at the end of the freeze to alleviate a housing shortage and not for ideological reasons, government officials said.

One minister said at end of the week that if Atias had not asked Netanyahu for permission to issue the tenders, the premier would not have initiated such construction himself at this delicate juncture in talks with the Palestinians.

Also on Friday, a number of Palestinians took part in violent protests in Silwan, hurling rocks at Jewish homes and Border Police. One protester was injured by a rubber bullet.

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6.  Ynet,

October 17, 2010

Stormy Debate

 Liebarman: Scorned by US rabbis Photo: AP

    US reform rabbis: Loyalty oath undemocratic

American Reform rabbis issue statement condemning amendment to Citizenship Law, saying ‘oxymoronic law’ will strengthen Israel’s enemies. ‘This legislation greatly diminishes Israel’s Jewish character,’ they say

Kobi Nahshoni

US Reform rabbis issued a statement Sunday condemning the loyalty oath bill, an amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law that requires all new non-Jewish immigrants to pledge allegiance to a Jewish democratic state.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), which authored the statement, warned that forcing Arab citizens to take a loyalty oath will strengthen Israel’s enemies and harm the State’s security.

CCAR claimed that the oath, proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu and supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, creates “one law for Jews and another law for non-Jews.” The amendment was approved in the Knesset on October 10.

“It would turn Israel into the very kind of country which historically Jews themselves have rightly cursed for their unequal treatment of non-Christians and non-Muslims,” CCAR stated.

According to CCAR, which represents nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, the loyalty oath denies non-Jewish citizens the political rights and the freedom of conscience guaranteed by Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The organization quoted the declaration promising full and equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, and asserted that the loyalty oath goes against this provision.

“Our deep conviction that Israel is and must remain both Jewish and democratic is precisely what compels us to oppose this oxymoronic law,” CCAR stated. “For in requiring non-Jewish citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, this legislation greatly diminishes Israel’s Jewish character and compromises its democratic commitment.”

The organization was especially outraged that the loyalty oath might send a message that co-existence between Jews, Muslims and Christians in a Jewish state is impossible.

“More than symbolic loyalty statements, Israel needs its non-Jewish citizens as partners in peace, equally invested in the future of the state,” CCAR said.

Moreover, the Reform leaders wrote that the loyalty oath defies the Torah, which commands the Jewish people not to oppress others living amongst it.

“If this legislation comes to the floor of the Knesset,” the statement concluded, “we implore all those who themselves would be loyal to Israel’s democratic and Jewish character to oppose and vote down once and for all this un-Jewish and un-democratic legislation.”

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