Archive | November 3rd, 2010



November 3, 2010  

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Is Rupert Murdoch ignorant or an agent of Zionist deception?

By Alan Hart

In a recent speech at an ADL (Anti-Defamation League) dinner, Rupert Murdoch, arguably the most influential mainstream media chief on Planet Earth, made some extraordinary statements which must be challenged. But first it’s necessary for us all to be clear about what ADL’s role is.

Its proclaimed objective is to “fight anti-Semitism”. In reality its main purpose under the leadership of Abe Foxman is to smear, harass, silence and preferably destroy those of all faiths and none who are critical of Zionism in action – critical of Israel’s policies in general and its contempt for international law in particular; and critical of the awesome power of the Zionist lobby, in America especially.

In his speech Murdoch said his own perspective on the evil of anti-Semitism was “simple”. He put it this way (my emphasis added):

“We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews. For the first decades after Israel’s founding, this war was conventional in nature. The goal was straightforward – to use military force to overrun Israel.”

That was Murdoch’s carefully understated way of endorsing Zionism’s assertion that for the first decades of its life Israel lived in danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews. As I document in detail through the three volumes of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Israel’s existence was never, ever, in danger from any combination of Arab force. Zionism’s assertion to the contrary was the cover that allowed Israel to get away where it mattered most (in America and Western Europe) with presenting its aggression as self-defense and itself as the victim when, actually, it was and is the oppressor.

The main event during the period in which Murdoch asserted that the Arabs were trying to “overrun” Israel was the 1967 war. Zionism’s story of it, which the mainstream media still peddles to this day, is that Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked first or were intending to attack. Both, the either and the or, are Zionist propaganda nonsense. It was a war of Israeli aggression.

I don’t expect Murdoch to pay any attention to what the Gentile me has to say on the subject, but if he is not an agent of Zionist deception (i.e. if he is merely ignorant), he ought to consider what various Israeli leaders have said. I quote them in America Takes Sides, War With Nasser Act II and the Creation of Greater Israel, Chapter 1 of Volume Three the American edition of my book, which is sub-titled Conflict Without End?

I preface the quotes of Israeli leaders with this observation.

“If the statement that the Arabs were not intending to attack Israel and that the existence of the Jewish state was not in danger was only that of a goy, it could be dismissed by Zionists as anti-Semitic conjecture. In fact the truth the statement represents was admitted by some of the key Israeli players – after the war, of course. Before we look at what actually happened in 1967 and why, here is a short summary of some pertinent, post-war Israeli confessions.”
In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said this: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”
On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar contained the following statement by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”
On 4 April 1972, General Haim Bar-Lev, Rabin’s predecessor as chief of staff, was quoted in Ma’ariv as follows: “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six-Days war, and we had never thought of such a possibility.”
In the same Israeli newspaper on the same day, General Ezer Weizman, Chief of Operations during the war and a nephew of Chaim Weizman, was quoted as saying: “There was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting.”
In the spring of 1972, General Matetiyahu Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the war and one of 12 members of Israel’s General Staff, addressed a political literary club in Tel Aviv. He said: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.” In a radio debate Peled said: “Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel.” He added that “Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.”
In the same program Chaim Herzog (former DMI, future Israeli Ambassador to the UN and President of his state) said: “There was no danger of annihilation. Neither Israeli headquarters nor the Pentagon – as the memoirs of President Johnson proved – believed in this danger.”
On 3 June 1972 Peled was even more explicit in an article of his own for Le Monde. He wrote: “All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, have never been considered in our calculations. While we proceeded towards the full mobilisation of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat. This force was to crush once and for all the Egyptians at the military level and their Soviet masters at the political level. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army.”
The preference of some generals for truth-telling after the event provoked something of a debate in Israel, but it was short-lived. If some Israeli journalists had had their way, the generals would have kept their mouths shut. Weizman was one of those approached with the suggestion that he and others who wanted to speak out should “not exercise their inalienable right to free speech lest they prejudice world opinion and the Jewish diaspora against Israel.”

It is not surprising that debate in Israel was shut down before it led to some serious soul-searching about the nature of the state and whether it should continue to live by the lie as well as the sword; but it is more than remarkable, I think, that the mainstream Western media continues to prefer the convenience of the Zionist myth to the reality of what happened in 1967 and why. When reporters and commentators have need today to make reference to the Six Days War, they still tell it like the Zionists said it was in 1967 rather than how it really was. Obviously there are still limits to how far the mainstream media is prepared to go in challenging the Zionist account of history, but it could also be that lazy journalism is a factor in the equation.
For those journalists, lazy or not, who might still have doubts about who started the Six Days War, here’s a quote from what Prime Minister Begin said in an unguarded, public moment in 1982. “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

My own favourite Israeli quote is the one I use to draw the Prologue to Volume One of my book to a conclusion. In 1980 I had a number of conversations with the best and the brightest of Israel’s Directors of Military Intelligence, Major General (then retired) Sholmo Gazit. Over coffee one morning I said to him: “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a myth. Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger.” He replied: “The trouble with us Israelis is that we’ve become the victims of our own propaganda.”

In his speech to the ADL dinner, Murdoch said that phase two of the “ongoing war against the Jews” (after the failure to “overrun” Israel by force) was “terrorism” He seems to have no idea of reality on this front either.

One of a number of summary truths about terrorism is this. In Palestine that became Israel, it was the Zionists who turned to terrorism first – to drive out the occupying British and then the indigenous Arabs.

Murdoch spoke of the terrorists targeting Israelis at home and broad – “from the massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich to the second intifada.” Fact: All but two of the Israeli athletes in Munich were killed by German security forces after Israeli Defense Minister Dayan insisted, against Prime Minister Golda Meir’s own best judgement, on a shoot-out to prevent a negotiated end to the hostage drama. Fact: The second intifada, which PLO Chairman Arafat was doing his best to prevent, was provoked by Ariel Sharon to improve his prospects of becoming prime minister by seeing off a challenge from Netanyahu.

A second summary truth about Palestinian terrorism is this. The Palestinians were not and are not “at war with the Jews”. Black September’s Munich operation, for example, was terrorism for a public relations purpose – to draw the attention of the world to the fact that the Palestinians existed, were occupied and oppressed and in need of some justice.

A summary truth about general Arab and wider Muslim terrorism is this. It is primarily a response of the weak and oppressed to Israel’s arrogance of power and insufferable self-righteousness; to the impotence, corruption and repression of Arab and other Muslim regimes which are correctly regarded by their masses as little more than puppets of America-and-Zionism; and to the deadly double-standard of Western foreign policy – in particular its unconditional support for Israel right or wrong. (In at least one respect the Arab and other Muslim masses have much more wisdom than Western leaders. They, Arab and Muslims masses, know that unconditional support for Israel right or wrong is not in anybody’s best interests, not even those of Israel’s Jews).

According to Murdoch “the war against the Jews” has now entered a new phase. “This,” he said, “is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it. The battleground is everywhere – the media… multinational organizations … NGOs. In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.”

It is true that in the eyes of many if not most peoples of the world (and probably many of their governments behind closed doors) Israel is increasingly being seen as a pariah state. But that’s a consequence of Israel’s policies and actions, war crimes and all.

What Murdoch sees as the rise of anti-Semitism is, in fact, the rise of anti-Israelism. The danger for the Jews of the world is that it will be transformed into violent anti-Semitism at a foreseeable point in the future if the Zionist state is not called and held to account for its past crimes and is allowed by the major powers to go on committing new ones.

It is a fact that prior to the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust, most Jews were opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise. One of their fears was that Zionism would one day provoke anti-Semitism if it was allowed by the big powers to have its way. As I never tire of writing and saying, this fear was given a fresh airing by Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving Director of Military Intelligence. In 1986 he published a remarkable book, Israel’s Fateful Hour. It contains this warning (my emphasis added):

Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.

Nearly a quarter of a century on I think it can and should be said that Israel’s “misconduct” has become the prime factor in the equation that could transform anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism.

If I had the opportunity to address Mr. Murdoch directly, I would say to him the following. If you really care about the Jews (I mean the Jews as people as opposed to their money), you would put your media empire at the service of the truth of history.

I would also tell him that when I joined ITN (Independent Television News) as a very young reporter many years ago, its great editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Cox, gave me the mission statement in one short sentence. “Our job is to help keep democracy alive.”

I would then say to Murdoch that my charge today is (generally speaking) that the mainstream media has betrayed democracy. And I would add, “You, sir, are the greatest betrayer, traitor, of them all.”

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November 3, 2010 Quantcast

Pro-Intervention Republicans to See Major Gains in Influence

by Jason Ditz
November 02, 2010

Though the reality is that most of the Congressional races in the US amounted to a race between a pro-war candidate and an even more pro-war candidate and most of the discussions of foreign policy between the two centered on which was which, the results of the election as they trickle in reveal a big win for the “even more pro-war candidate” types both in seats and influence.


Rep. Eric Cantor

As the Republicans consolidate control over the House of Representatives and score big gains in the Senate, their most hawkish members are eagerly snatching up key foreign policy positions, with Howard McKeon (R – CA) looking to head the Armed Services Committee and bringing his support for endless war and “modernization” of nuclear weapons with him.

Other representatves and senators, including Sen. McCain (R – AZ), Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R – VA) also look to dramatically increase their influence, and to the extent any of them criticizes the Obama Administration’s hawkish positions it seems, invariably, to be for being not hawkish enough.

Congressional rubber stamps for the wars are nothing new, but they seem poised to continue in a big way for the next two years (and indeed the forseeable future after that), and any hope the remaining antiwar Dems had for closing Guatanamo Bay or securing nuclear arms reductions will likely go out the window.






Israeli state violence and the value of Palestinian life

Nov 02, 2010

Elia Zureik 

Disregard for Palestinian life has characterized the attitudes of Israeli authorities towards its Arab citizens since the establishment of the state. The Palestinians constitute what the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben calls homo sacer, according to which the laws of humanity do not apply to them. For Israel, the Palestinians exist in conditions of “bare life”. Their minimal existence is tolerated but not enhanced.

Invariably, the law is suspended when it comes to rectifying Palestinian grievances. Israel is usually quick to cite “national security” as justification for its lethal actions. Life for Palestinian citizens of the state is in a perpetual state of emergency where exception to the universal application of the law is the rule. As a colonial state, life in Israel is best viewed from a racialized prism where ethnicity and race govern the treatment of its citizens. As in all colonial regimes, territory and population are the two central elements which occupy the colonizer, and Israel is no exception.

Both of these components provide the cornerstone of modern Zionism. Debates about demography, population, and settlements are the logical expressions of Zionism, and they will continue to be its cornerstone until Israel achieves its objectives of getting rid of as many of its Palestinian citizens as possible and bringing more land under its control.

When the law is applied (even minimally) in rare situations, it is a proof that the exception is the rule. For example, a policeman who shot and killed an Arab citizen in 2006 was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment – and this was an exception. In the majority of cases loss of life on the part of Palestinians at the hands of the state is treated with indifference. The lenient sentencing associated with criminal behavior of members of the security establishment is further evidence of total disregard for Arab life inside Israel. Indeed, this was the only case in which any policeman or soldier was indicted since the mass protests of October 2000.

In spite of the fact that 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed during the demonstrations, no indictments were ever filed against any of the policemen involved, and all the cases were closed by the attorney general. Worse still, none of the mild recommendations of the Or Commission of inquiry, concerning ways to close the gaps between Jews and Arabs in many different realms of life in Israel, were ever implemented by the government.

Dehumanizing Palestinians takes its place in standard Israeli rhetoric among members of the ruling establishment, and to a very large extent among the public at large – young and old – as revealed in countless public opinion polls. In August 2000, Ehud Barak called the Palestinians “crocodiles.” One-time Israeli chief of staff Moshe Yalon described them as a “cancerous manifestation,” and equated the military action in the Occupied Territories with “chemotherapy.” In March 2001, the Israeli tourism minister at the time, the late Rehavem Ze’evi, called Yasser Arafat a “scorpion.”

After Hamas won the majority of seats in 2007 in internationally supervised democratic elections, Israel tightened its grip on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and embarked on a systematic policy of collective punishment by cutting off the flow of funds and drastically reducing the food supply and other essentials to Gaza – all in the name of “security.” Dov Weissglasse, who had been Israel’s point man in advising successive Israeli prime ministers on policy towards the Palestinians, described the choking off of the food supply and other essential goods to Gaza’s population of 1.2 million people as akin to a “diet regime.” In 2006 he quipped cynically: “It is like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.” Rafael Eytan, a former Israeli chief of staff, referred to the Palestinians as “cockroaches in a bottle.”

Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin called them “two-legged beasts.” A decade ago, the Shas party leader suggested that God should send the Palestinian “ants” to hell and called them “serpents.” More recently, in August 2010, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef pronounced that “God should strike” the Palestinians “with a plague.” Dan Schueftan, a professor at Tel-Aviv University, wrote in Maariv in October 2009 that “the Arabs are the biggest failure in the history of the human race. There’s nothing under the sun that’s more screwed up than the Palestinians.”

These individual positions are embedded in public opinion, where data released in September revealed that sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 admitted that Arabs in Israel do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights.

In October 2009, Netanyahu declared that the Jewishness of the state must be acknowledged by the Palestinians as a prerequisite for peace. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister and an avowed racist, declared at the United Nations in New York on October 2010 that “without recognition of Israel as the Jewish state, we simply cannot reach peace.” The implication of this theocratic stance is clear: it rules out the return of any Palestinian refugees to their homes in Israel, and it robs non-Jewish citizens of the state of their universal human rights.

At best, the Palestinians in Israel are treated as a “suspect community” that has to be closely watched by the state’s various institutions and the Jewish public. The Zionist project remains in full throttle, and in line with the dream of the founders of the state, current and future leadership will not rest until the Palestinian presence in Israel is significantly reduced. According to Lieberman’s latest statements at the United Nations, this means swapping territory with a large Arab population in Israel with a Bantustan Palestinian state in the West Bank. Subsequently, the ongoing peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel are an imaginary project for achieving genuine peace, unless Palestinian leadership totally succumbs to Israeli dictates with the aid of the US government. 

Elia Zureik is Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. This article originally appeared in Mada Al-Carmel’s October, 2010 issue of Jadal, a bimonthly online publication that gives voice to the major political and social concerns of the Palestinians in Israel.

Ten years later, Palestinian citizens of Israel are still waiting for justice

Nov 02, 2010

Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak

A decade has elapsed since the Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa uprising, and yet the killers remain free and at large. Perhaps some of us thought, naively, that the killers would receive due retribution. Such naivety was reflected in the actions of many of our people on October 1st, 2000. They took to the streets to demonstrate and protest, and called a general strike against Sharon’s violation of the sanctity of the Haram Al-Sharif and his defiance and disdain for the sentiments of Arabs and Muslims (or his deliberate attempt at provocation aimed at bringing a decisive end to the peace process, which was in its death throes at the time).

Many Palestinian citizens in Israel had believed that their “citizenship” and “blue ID cards” afforded them the right to practice basic rights in a “democratic state.” But no sooner did the first dawn rise in that October than the picture became patently clear and extremely shocking; they discovered, once again, that their blue ID cards in fact offered them no protection. The police, army and secret service poured onto the streets of their towns and villages. And something that no one, not even the pessimists, had anticipated occurred: they saw the rifles of “snipers” hiding on the roofs of houses and shops and firing live rounds at citizens regarded as enemies, worthy of no mercy. The blue ID cards could not protect these “citizens.”

Within eight days, the state security forces had slain thirteen Palestinian citizens in Israel, injured thousands and detained hundreds of others. In this situation, the Green Line ceased to have any real existence or import, as well as any of the other lines that had until then had demarcated some Palestinians as laying outside and others as falling inside of them. Israeli society as a whole, with the exception of a small few, looked upon all Palestinians as enemies.

Given that the dead and wounded were seen as enemies, the Israeli authorities did not instigate the regular procedures for initiating an immediate investigation. They did not gather evidence in order to identify the killers and those ultimately responsible for the killings, or even try to determine how the shots were fired, who fired them, and who gave the orders to open fire.

On the contrary, no prompt investigation was launched and the scenes of the crimes were left open to allow all traces of the deaths and crimes to be erased. Worse yet, the leadership of the security forces had no hesitation about charging the dead themselves with culpability, alleging that some of the dead had been killed by bullets they had fired at the police, which had then ricocheted back at their own throats.

None of us were able to demonstrate the plain truth: the dead had been killed in cold blood by the Israeli security forces, killed without committing any offense, executed without trial. They were executed for merely being Palestinians. If the matter had been left at that, the killings would have assumed two narratives: our narrative and theirs; that of the killed and that of the killer, as has occurred at several historical junctures involving us and them.

Despite the eradication of evidence at the scene of the crime, there was no alternative available other than to establish an official Israeli commission of inquiry to investigate the crime, as was called for by the martyrs’ families and the majority of Palestinians in Israel. Although the crime had been committed by the state security forces, and at the order of the government, the families had no option but to resort to the state authorities in their search for the truth.

Through several civil society organizations, particularly Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel- the Palestinian citizen victims, for the first time since receiving their blue “citizen” ID cards were able to furnish evidence to an official commission of inquiry (Or Commission) in order to prove that a crime had been perpetrated against them. However, although the Or Commision deemed there to be numerous pieces of evidence against specific Israeli police officers accused of involvement in unlawful killings, the Israeli legal establishment was unwilling to bring any of the accused to trial, or even to subject them to serious legal accountability.

The State Prosecution and the Attorney General were both involved in deliberate negligence in closing the files of the martyrs, the injured and those accused of committing the crime, as if no such crime had taken place. Such a situation would not have come to pass had the dead been Jewish. This conviction of ours demonstrates once more that the Israeli legal system continues to be tarnished by loathsome racism. I firmly believe that this racism was – and still is – the main motive behind the closure of the investigations into the circumstances of the killings and the failure to charge the killers with responsibility.

Neither Israeli society nor the State of Israel will be able to exonerate itself from the crime of murder simply by closing investigatory files. The families of the martyrs are continuing to challenge the relevant state authorities to reopen the files and bring them before judicial forums, since only there can the truth come to light.

Ten years after the Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa uprising, and despite the recommendations of the Or Commission, Israeli policy towards Palestinian citizens remains unchanged, and has even further degenerated. The policy of oppressing them in their places of residence remains intact and has been stepped up. The policy of accusing them of treachery and regarding them as a fifth column continues to preoccupy politicians and much of the security apparatus. The budgetary allowances allocated to them – both individually and collectively – remain far lower than those allocated to other citizens. The policy of demolishing their homes continues to be applied, indeed increasingly so. Large gaps remain between the infrastructure of Palestinian and Jewish towns and villages. Employment in the civil service remains largely closed off to them.

In light of the aforementioned, the circumstances of the Palestinian community inside Israel have continued to worsen over the last ten years. Furthermore, free channels of communication between them and other members of their people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been severed, and the stranglehold on their lives has tightened. In sum, between October 2000 and October 2010 the living conditions of the Palestinian community inside Israel have deteriorated and become more stifling. And in addition, the criminals remain free and at large. 

Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak is senior lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Haifa University. This article originally appeared in Mada Al-Carmel’s October, 2010 issue of Jadal, a bimonthly online publication that gives voice to the major political and social concerns of the Palestinians in Israel.

If a stranger spews hateful rhetoric in the woods in Maine, and no one’s there to hear him…

Nov 02, 2010

Audrey Farber

Back in September, I wrote an op-ed that was published in the Portland Press Herald (my home-away-from-home local paper) describing my thoughts on the futility of the impending negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas.

“These “negotiations” are happening only to appease and pacify the international community, a community that should recognize by now the futility of the endeavor. The world needs to further recognize that these men are essentially powerless when faced with entire societies at ideological odds with themselves and each other. It’s just a big joke.

And yet they persevere. Netanyahu could better spend his time working toward peace by disbanding and ceasing settlements entirely. Abbas could cede power and open elections within the West Bank, maybe even Gaza.

All sides – and believe you me, this issue has more than two sides – could work towards legitimate democracy for all citizens, taking down the wall, de-settling settlements and abandoning the idea of a theocracy once and for all….

Peace begins when all citizens and residents have the opportunities inherent in true freedom and equality, when they aren’t living under occupation, when human rights are something you have without fighting for, when hearing bombs on the nearby Lebanese border isn’t a regular occurrence, and when fighter jets aren’t constantly flying overhead as they are today.”

Almost a month later, the following “response” appeared (scroll down):

“The Maine Voices opinion of Audrey Farber (“Peace for Mideast a complex topic,” Sept. 8 ) was nothing more than a repetition of the same old anti-Israel propaganda that has been spewed for decades by Israel’s enemies.

Ms. Farber seems completely unaware of the amazing 3,000-year-old physical and spiritual connection that the Jewish people have had with the land of Israel and Jerusalem.

To deny the very real legitimacy of the Jewish people to their one and only, tiny homeland in the Land of Israel is to deny the existence of Abraham, Moses and Jesus, all Jews.

Ms. Farber has fallen under the spell of those who spread darkness and lies, when it is light and truth we need. Thank goodness Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan did not consult with her or they would never have signed their peace treaties with the Jewish State of Israel.”

Dismayed (read: offended, hurt) by his use of hateful rhetoric (he obviously has no idea I’m Jewish) and discouraged by the editorial staff’s decision to print this letter, I wrote to the editors expressing my concerns.

“I found his letter to be an attack targeting not my ideas but me as a person. Your choice demonstrated an irresponsible editorial decision, obviously opting for smear campaigns and mudslinging rather than rational debate on controversial topics. … It is clear from Mr. Goldman’s letter that he did not read what I wrote or, if he did, responded to something he did not find within. Mr. Goldman is welcome to his opinion – in fact, I would love to hear his thoughts on the peace talks and possible solutions for reconciliation within Israel and between Israel and Palestine. Neither the Press Herald nor Mr. Goldman provided this.

As the editorial staff, it is your duty to do due diligence in paring through responses to opinion columns, choosing those which engage the topic of discussion rather than incendiary personal attacks. As a member of Maine’s Jewish community, my goal was to bring a different perspective to a touchy issue.”

And the response I received from them was temporarily pacifying (at least, I wrote them off as ignorant), until I finally figured out what was so subtly frustrating about it.

“We’re sorry that you found Mr. Goldman’s letter offensive. We reviewed both your column and his response, and, while we agree with you that he referred to issues that you did not raise in your column, he did so in the context that he believed that they were germane to the topic you both were addressing. His letter used vivid language, but it was within the bounds of taste and legitimate argument, and it represented his opinion on that topic, as your column represented yours. 

Ignoring that his language was neither tasteful nor legitimate, I still don’t know what our common topic of address was.

This letter – the attitude of the editorial staff – was most frustrating. I expect people to disagree with what I say, but I don’t expect libelous letters in retaliation. The editors had a responsibility to referee the debate and choose a letter that reflected a dissenting viewpoint on the topic of discussion, or none at all. His letter did not address the peace talks. His letter addressed doctored religious history and anti-anti-Semitic memes and still somehow he gets to legitimately represent me as baby-Satan. I was – and am – appalled that the editors could even suggest these be part of the same (mature, respectful) discussion.

On the bright side, enlightenment. The two letters have shown me (yet again) the tragedy that is the current discourse here. The fact that the “neutral” third party (the editors) cannot differentiate between sub-topics, even between legitimate commentary and incendiary hate mail, within the entirety of “issues relating to Israel” demonstrates how truly broken this framework is.

That opinion editors of a real live print newspaper would even publish something so hateful – even if I had been overtly critical of Israel – is bad enough, but considering such a response relevant to the issues I addressed is downright shameful. By sanctioning this reaction, they perpetuate the polarization of the debate, barring the way for a diversification of knowledge and opinion where it is desperately needed.

Everything that is Israel can not be dichotomized into Am Yisroel Chai vs. Push Israel Into the Sea, but those seem to be the only choices. And because I was critical of a process – not of a country or of a people, but a process involving the US, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel – this rhetorical structure doesn’t know what to do with me so I am shoved into the “anti-” camp.

When realistic criticism of something so discrete is seen as part of the hate-driven anti-Israel dark side and not even journalists can discern this catastrophe, I wish I could just pack up and go home to the woods of Maine where no one will hear me scream. 

Audrey Farber did her undergrad at UPenn majoring in  Modern Middle East Studies. Her activism has involved resettling Somali, Iraqi, and Burmese refugees in Maine, researching forced migration issues in Amman, and she is currently interning at Mada al-Carmel – Arab Center for Applied Social Research, in Haifa.

UNRWA tells the story of Palestinian refugees in the new series ‘Peace starts here’

Nov 02, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

The video above is from the new series produced by UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) called Peace Starts Here. UNRWA is the UN agency established in December, 1949 to work with Palestinian refugee communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Peace Starts Here series will eventually tell the story of 15 different refugee families from the communities that UNRWA works with. Here is the text that accompanies the video entitled “Home”:

How does it feel to lose your home? Home is a first-hand account of a family of refugees whose house was demolished before their eyes.

Like many Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, Ala’a and his family faced insurmountable obstacles when trying to obtain an Israeli building permit to build their home. They were left with practically no choice but to build without a permit, rather than not at all. In 2001 the family moved to their new home in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. They were fined 70,000 shekels for not having a permit.

Three months after they paid the last installment of this fine, the family received a demolition order for their home. Shortly after that, they watched as their home – and with it their entire life savings – was demolished.

Unfortunately Ala’a’s story is far from unique. Palestinians make up about 30 per cent of Jerusalem’s population but can only apply for permission to build on 13 per cent of the land in the eastern half of the city, much of which is already built-up.

In addition, the number of permits granted to Palestinians each year does not meet demand for housing. The gap – around 1,100 houses each year – has caused a serious housing shortage.

The UN estimates that between 28 and 46 per cent of Palestinian homes could be at risk of demolition.

In 2009, 300 Palestinians, including 149 children, were displaced by house demolitions in East Jerusalem. A third are refugees registered with UNRWA, who now must cope with further displacement and dispossession.

UNRWA seeks to protect refugees against infringements of their human rights, such as eviction, displacement, or restriction of movement. UNRWA monitors violations of international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law, and advocates for the protection of Palestine refugees’ rights. It also provides emergency assistance to victims of house demolitions, evictions, and refugees whose property is damaged as a result of the conflict.

B’Tselem documents cruel treatment of Palestinians arrested at night and held in windowless, cramped cells with artificial light for days

Nov 02, 2010


and other news from Today in Palestine: 

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Carwash Demolished in Jerusalem, Bulldozing Resumes in Karm Etsur Settlement
Hebron – PNN – Israeli forces demolished a carwash in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, saying it was unlicensed. The business was owned by Ma’moun and Majdi Yasir Salhab of Beit Hanina.

Fayyad: Jerusalem suburbs will one day be part of Palestinian capital
Palestinian PM skips inauguration of school in East Jerusalem after Israel issues warrant banning PA events in Jerusalem municipality.

Israel banning official Palestinian event in East Jerusalem
Public Security Minister Aharonovitch issues warrant forbidding the participation of Palestinian PM Fayyad in ceremony marking PA-sponsored school renovations.

Palestinian PM skipping East Jerusalem event due to Israeli pressure
Fayyad was to appear at reception in Dahiat al-Salam marking completion of 15 new East Jerusalem schools; police issued warrant banning event at hall, leading owner to move reception to the streets.

A wall runs through it: Jerusalem and the West Bank
The wall in Jerusalem has been a reality for many years now, and people plan their travel carefully, budgeting the extra time it takes to go through security checkpoints. Some of my classmates live on the other side of it and it takes them longer to get to school even though they live closer to the university than students who live in Jerusalem center.

Olive Harvest in the South Hebron Hills: What the Occupation Has Become, Joseph Dana
How many Israeli soldiers does it take to remove an elderly Palestinian woman from harvesting olives? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but it is an unfortunate reality of life in the West Bank. We are in the middle of the olive harvest season and with it comes episodes of violence as well as the harsh face of Israeli occupation. The following video taken last Saturday by a group of Ta’ayush activists is a small window into the strange reality of the Kafkaesque occupation where every detail of Palestinian life requires a permit which is unattainable. The video does not include subtitles from Hebrew but the basic plot is clear: Israeli activists assist Palestinian farmers harvest olives. The army arrives and informs everyone that they do not have the proper permit to be there. The permit is virtually impossible to obtain because of the nature of Israeli settlement security procedure and the unwillingness of the Israeli government to grant Palestinians in the south Hebron Hills basic civil privileges such as building additions to their homes, digging a well or harvesting olives.

Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing Laws, Fouzi Al Asmar
At no time in its modern history has Israel been a state for all of its citizens. Its discrimination against its citizens, especially the Palestinians living in that state since 1948, has been in effect in various forms all through its 60-year history.

Hijacking the history
Athough it won’t say so, the recent decision by UNESCO to define two mosques in the occupied territories as Palestinian is a reply to Israel that earlier this year registered the mosques — the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque near Bethlehem, and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron — as its national heritage sites.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

VIDEO: Twenty Two Demonstrators injured in Nabi Saleh, Joseph Dana
Seven of those hurt were evacuated to the hospital due to the severity of their injuries. Two journalists, a ten year-old girl hit with a rubber-coated bullet and a woman who suffered a broken ankle among those injured.

Ni’ilin Protesters Cut Through Electronic Fence During Weekly Demonstration, Joseph Dana
Demonstrators were able to remove a segment of the barrier using bolt-cutters before being interrupted by soldiers.

General strike in Silwan in protest at visit made by Israeli municipal head
Local sources said a general strike was prevailing Monday morning in all neighborhoods of Silwan district in protest at the visit that was made by Nir Barakat to nearby Ras Al-Amud area.

Beit Ummar Demonstrators Joined by EU Parliment Member Luisa Morgantini, Joseph Dana
Former Vice President of the European Parliament and current European Parliament member, Luisa Morgantini, joind the weekly anti-settlement demonstration in Beit Ummar.

Ayed Morrar: Civil Resistance to Bring Down the Walls
Palestinians’ wishes are simple — we want what is ours, our land, with true sovereignty, freedom, equality and civil rights — what Martin Luther King, Jr. called in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail “our constitutional and God-given rights.”

Bil’in Demands the Release of All Political Prisoners, Joseph Dana
Residents of Bil’in, joined by a Norwegian parliament member, as well as Israeli and international supporters were bombarded with tear-gas by the Israeli army.

Corries urge: Press Obama to end sales of Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel, Philip Weiss
At a State Department briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley did not deny the U.S. government has delayed the delivery, going only so far as to say that he is “not aware of any contacts between the United States Government and Caterpillar, but perhaps it’s a question to ask Caterpillar.”

Breakdance breaks Israeli-imposed Gaza blockade
Breakdance, the hip hop dance style that appeared in New York City streets about 40 years ago, recently broke through the tight Israeli-imposed blockade on the Gaza strip drawing applauds from some and repulsion from others.

British acrobatic troupe performs for Gazan kids
GAZA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — Gazan boys and girls laughed and laughed as they gathered at al-Qattan Cultural Center for Children, watching acrobatic performance by a British troupe. They has not seen such an entertainment since the Israeli military offensive 22 months ago.  The small troupe, consisting of only three women and two men, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 21 with campaigners of the ” Lifeline 5″ aid convoy through the Rafah crossing between the strip and Egypt. They attracted a houseful of excited children and parents, for whom, the common entertainment was an unique experience.

IJAN Statement: No Loyalty to Apartheid, Max Ajl
This is the question to be put, not to the leadership of the organized Jewish community, because they will never make decisions ahead of their membership, but to their memberships, who can make decisions. Why apartheid? Why ethnic cleansing? To maintain Israel as the biggest Jewish ghetto in the history of the world? Crappy idea. I’m with IJAN. You should be, too.

Progressive Canadians must challenge JNF’s charitable status
Last month, Greg Selinger, the New Democratic Party (NDP) Premier of the Province of Manitoba, and two of his ministers visited Israel. Among other things, the official delegation strengthened the longtime “progressive” government’s ties to the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The trip was a sad spectacle that should embarrass every Canadian who opposes racism

Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Oct 3 – Oct 30

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Oct 3 – Oct 30

Kept in the Dark: Treatment of Palestinian Detainees in the Petach- Tikva Interrogation Facility of the Israel Security Agency
The treatment of detainees is one of the tests of human rights protection.  Harm to Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories held in Israeli detention facilities has engaged HaMoked: Center of the Defence of the Individual and B’Tselem since their inception. Over the years, the manner of harm to inmates has changed, partly due to pressure from human rights organizations and international bodies, yet the phenomenon persists.

Majority of Shin Bet prisoners claim mistreatment, report says
Shin Bet prisoners are often incarcerated and interrogated under unsatisfactory conditions, according to a report to be released by B’Tselem and Hamoked.

Israel Targets Students, Palestine Monitor
On 26 August, Israeli forces stormed a student apartment in Birzeit.  “They arrested six students with political or activist ties,” said Anan Quzmar, coordinator of Right 2 Education (R2E), a student’s rights organization based in Birzeit University.  “They came in the middle of the night,” said Quzmar. “They arrested half a dozen students and trashed up the house.”  The students were taken to detainment facilities and then prison. A few were released, but most have remained behind bars, waiting for their hearing, to meet their lawyers, and see the single judge who will decide their fate.

Patrolling Al-Khalil during a tense Jewish holiday
Saturday in Al-Khalil much of the city was under alert for another Jewish holiday; the old city was overwhelmed with thousands of settlers and tourists. The atmosphere was tense and people were restricted from entering the area surrounding the Ibrahim Mosque until 4 p.m. Access to the mosque was completely denied to Muslims for the entire day. ISM volunteers patrolled the city all day, following soldiers stopping Palestinians at random to check their ids, and monitoring children on their way to school.

Israeli troops enforce closure on northern village
NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli troops entered the northern West Bank village of Madama overnight, with locals reporting several home invasions, shop closures and what was described as a sector lockdown.  Several shop owners were said to have been forced to close their stores, while residents said they were threatened by the troops when windows of homes were opened to survey the situation.

World Forum Boosts Education for Palestinians, Mel Frykberg
RAMALLAH, Nov 1, 2010 (IPS) – Education in Palestinian areas and the longing for a homeland were given a major boost over the weekend through the World Education Forum (WEF). The four-day education conference Oct. 28-31 was held in cities across the West Bank and in Gaza, as well as Lebanon.

School’s out: why Gazans can’t reach class in the West Bank
I am a Palestinian human rights lawyer living in Gaza. Earlier this year, I was accepted into the Master’s degree program in Human Rights and Democracy Studies at Birzeit University, located in the West Bank. Before the “easing” of the blockade, I tried repeatedly to persuade the Israeli authorities to allow me to leave Gaza and attend my classes, but was blocked at every turn. Would Israel’s new announcement mean that I’d finally be able to go to school this year?

Gaza businesses boxed in by Israeli export ban
Manal Hassan, manager of the Al Awda biscuit factory in central Gaza The biscuit factory run by Manal Hassan could go out of business.  Israel may have eased its blockade of the Gaza Strip earlier this year, but a continuing ban on exports from the territory is causing misery for many Palestinians, the BBC’s Jon Donnison reports from Gaza.

Racism and Discrimination

Jerusalem Catholic church claims discrimination
Father Michael O’Sullivan of Maison D’Abraham in Ras al-Amud accuses police of failing to protect church, investigate robbery and harassment complaints. ‘I expected more from the only state claiming to be a democracy in the Middle East’.,7340,L-3978583,00.html

Hezbollah Condemns Attack on Church: Zionist Hallmarks Clear
“01/11/2010 Hezbollah vehemently condemned on Monday the attacks on the Archeological Baptist Church in Al Quds and Sayyidat Al Najat -Our Lady of Deliverance- Church in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, which resulted in tens of victims, some of which were worshippers in the Church.  In a statement it released, Hezbollah said that the malicious Zionist hallmarks in this crime are clear as the Zionist scheme is based on fragmenting this region into feuding entities in order to dominate it.

Haaretz: US brain scientist forced to give up her books and remove her bra before boarding El Al flight, Philip Weiss
Last summer Donna Shalala got humiliated by Israeli airport security because of her Arab name. And Shalala, a university president (i.e., fundraiser), smiled and waved. Now Haaretz is reporting that an Indiana University scientist, Heather Bradshaw, had to run the gauntlet at Luton, an English airport, when she sought to board an El Al flight to attend a conference at Hebrew University. Bradshaw is a brain scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, was on her fourth trip to the country, and was forced to remove her bra and give up her many books, about which she was repeatedly questioned. Apparently she made the mistake of having the same name as an activist on Israel’s lists. Haaretz:  When she arrived in Israel, she expected someone from the airline to wait for her and update her regarding her luggage and belongings that were left behind, but no one knew anything, Bradshaw told Haaretz. She said she felt helpless and was holding back tears.

Violence & Aggression/Detainees

OCHA Report: 1,000 Palestinians Injured By Israeli Forces in 2010, Palestine Monitor
The Office for The Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) Protection of Civilians report announced this week that 1,000 Palestinians have now been injured by Israeli forces during 2010. The figure is a 38% increase on the last year’s total for the same time frame.

Medics: Israeli forces shoot Gaza man on border
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian civilian in the central Gaza Strip east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp on Tuesday, medical officials said.  An unidentified 35-year-old man was transported to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the town of Deir Al-Balah, also in the central Strip. Medics said he was lightly injured with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

PFLP group survives IOF shelling
The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP, said that a group of its cadres survived shelling by Israeli occupation forces in central Gaza Strip at dawn Tuesday.

Two Arrested in Beit Amer, Near Hebron
Hebron – PNN – Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in Beit Amer in the Hebron Governorate in the southern West Bank.  Muhammad Awad, spokesman for the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, said those apprehended were Saba’ Sabarneh, 17, and Nidal Husayn Za’qeeq, 20, after their homes were razed in Beit Amer.  Ofer Military Court also handed down the following sentences: 10 months in prison and a 1000 NIS fine for Yusuf Ahmed Khil Abu Hashem, 18,  and 18 months in prison for Husayn Khalil Khalayel, 17.

War Criminals

Deputy PM Meridor cancels London visit following lawsuit threat
Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister reportedly faced charges linked to his role in the IDF raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Spain says it cannot offer Dichter immunity against arrest
Spanish authorities said it cannot grant Avi Dichter immunity from arrest and interrogation if he intends to visit its territories because of an arrest warrant was issued against him.


Hamas: PA detains 6 supporters in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority forces detained three Hamas supporters in the West Bank, the Islamist movement said in a statement on Monday.  The statement said the six were arrested in Nablus, Hebron, Qalqiliya, and Tulkarem.  Hamas says the Fatah-dominated PA is engaged in an ongoing political crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank. The PA denies arresting people for political reasons.

Hamas: PA arrests 9 party members
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas officials in the West Bank accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining nine party affiliates for political reasons. Hamas said in a statement that the men were detained from Tulkarem, Hebron, Qalqiliya and Jenin.  The detentions come as tensions between rival factions Hamas and Fatah persist, and the latest attempts at reconciling the parties through high-level meetings in Syria remain in limbo following a PA-Syria spat at the last Arab League meeting in Libya in October.

IDF waits to see PA’s treatment of W. Bank terror suspects
Military expects reformed Palestinian Authority legal system to charge Hamas operatives, suspected of perpetrating shooting attack on two Israelis, with attempted murder.  In what some view as a test of the Palestinian Authority’s newly reformed legal system, the IDF is waiting to see what charges the PA brings against the alleged perpetrators of a recent shooting in the West Bank.

PA minister suspected of corruption
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Anti-Corruption Commission submitted an official request to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to strip the immunity of a minister suspected of corruption, Ma’an has learned.  The request was based on the recommendations of a presidential commission formed to investigate misuse of public funds and violations of public office, an official familiar with the matter said.


Group: Hamas prevents Balfour protest
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas authorities banned a demonstration planned for the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in Gaza on Tuesday, a local official said.  Mahmoud Zak, an official with the tiny Palestinian Popular Struggle Front said the group had planned to hold a protest outside the United Nations compound in Gaza City.

Salafist group says leader arrested by Hamas
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas authorities have imprisoned the leader of one of Gaza’s radical Salafist factions for launching attacks against Israel, an official said Tuesday.  A spokesman for Jaysh Al-Umma (“Army of the Nation”), told Ma’an that the group’s secretary-general, Abu Hafez Al-Maqdisi, was arrested six weeks ago. The spokesman, who identified himself as Abu Abd Al-Maqdisi in a telephone call, declined to explain why the group waited until Tuesday to make this announcement.

Political “Developments”

Hamas to meet Fatah in Damascus
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said Monday that the next round of unity talks with Fatah would be held in Damascus on 11 November, a Hamas media site said.  Radwan would lead the delegation, and the rival factions would discuss security, the final point of contention on an Egyptian-backed unity deal, the report said.  “We hope this meeting will lead to unity and national reconciliation,” Radwan added.  Negotiations to reconcile the parties came to a sudden halt in October when Fatah pulled out of scheduled talks in the Syrian capital after President Bashar Al-Assad criticized the Ramallah government.

PA denounces remarks by UNRWA official
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Cabinet on Sunday denounced the statement of UNRWA official Andrew Whitley, who said Palestinian refugees should give up their right to return and resettle in Arab countries.  Whitley, outgoing New York director of the UN refugee agency, said refugees should not live in the “cruel illusion” that they will return. He said UNRWA did not publicly advocate the issue, which was not “politically palatable.”

Israel mulls US proposal on leasing Palestinian land: report (AFP)
AFP – Israel is mulling a US proposal for addressing key security concerns that would entail leasing swathes of the Jordan Valley from a future Palestinian state, army radio said on Monday.*

Sources: Netanyahu expects Obama to resume Mideast efforts after midterms
PM asks Clinton to meet with him during his visit to the U.S. next week, already planning to hold talks with Biden in New Orleans.

Ayalon: PA dedicated to political, legal warfare on Israel
“We have to understand that we are facing a very dedicated enemy,” says deputy FM at Jerusalem seminar; continued de-legitimization will be an “obstacle to peace.”

Other News

IDF intelligence chief hints at Israeli role in strike on Syrian nuclear facility
In farewell meeting at the Knesset, outgoing military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin hints for first time at Israeli involvement in 2007 strike.

90% of Palestinians would no longer back the peace process if West Bank settlement building restarted
The issue of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank is critical to the success of any direct peace talks. 90% of respondents would no longer back the peace process if settlement building recommenced. However, only 49% believed that the expiration of the Israeli settlement moratorium (on 30 September) would bring an end to this round of peace talks.

ADL: Carter returns to anti-Israel bias, despite apology to U.S. Jews
Last year, ex-U.S. president apologized to the American Jewish community for ‘stigmatizing Israel’ in a letter published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Israel’s Tea Party draws few supporters to ‘Say No to Obama’ event
Movement is not a breakaway from Netanyahu’s party, Likud MK and organizer says, but is meant to help PM reject Obama’s pressure to bend to Palestinian conditions for peace talks.

Israelis celebrating terrorists: Bar-Ilan students to party on Rabin murder anniversary
Student union of university which Yigal Amir attended decides to hold party for opening of school year on November 4.,7340,L-3978111,00.html

If this were a Muslim organization… Canada: Jewish leader jailed for child pornography
Former B’nai Brith director Bill Surkis found in possession of 21 pornographic videos featuring prepubescent girls in 2008; to spend 45 days in prison as result of plea bargain deal.,7340,L-3978272,00.html

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

Meet Eric Cantor: On Israel/Palestine, Contempt for International Law and Justice, Alex Kane
With the Republican Party set to take the House of Representatives tomorrow, it’s worth taking a look at the new potential majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia and the only Jewish Republican in the House, and his positions on Israel/Palestine, an area that he is “particularly active on.” As Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy writes, “GOP lawmakers stand to play a huge role” in a variety of foreign policy areas, and their impact will be even greater if they are the majority party in the House.

US foreign policy hostage to Israeli diktats, Ramzy Baroud
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim that the resumption of peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have thus far yielded nothing of value, at least not as far as settling the decades-long struggle.

Q&A: Maen Rashid Areikat
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat is a skilled and patient negotiator who represents the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. A robust, dark-skinned man with salt-and-pepper hair and black-rimmed architect’s glasses, he is a protégé of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who supervised Areikat’s work as director-general of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO.

Godard and Zionist hoodlums
I have to ask this to Zionist hoodlums: is there one–one, not two or three–anti-Zionist that you don’t believe is anti-Semitic? Has there been one anti-Zionist that you did not accuse of harboring anti-Semitic views?  Do you know how lacking in credibility you are?  I mean, there has not been one case in which an anti-Zionist has not been accused of anti-Semitism.  Look at this front page story about Godard: they said it is about a controversy when the New York Times itself created the controversy and wants to stir it further. What is the crime of Godard?

Israeli Settlers’ Terror, Dr. Elias Akleh
Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank face waves after waves of Israeli terror campaigns throughout the year. These terror waves are committed by Israeli extremist settlers (colonizers) as well as the Israeli army. The most common attacks include violent trespassing on Palestinian properties during the night, stone throwing at civilians and their homes, physical assaults on farmers, children and women, destruction of all types of properties,  burning civilian structures, crops and trees, shooting livestock, poisoning wells, and theft of crops and cutting fruit trees. The worst of these Israeli terror attacks are committed during harvest seasons, especially during olive season.

My Encounter with a Zionist in Crisis with Her Beliefs, Susan Abulhawa
I received a lovely letter from a reader who identified herself as a Jewish American. To preserve her anonymity, I’ll call her ‘Sally’. She wrote that she loved Mornings in Jenin, even though the historic backdrop of the narrative did not reconcile with what she learned about Israel growing up. It seemed a heartfelt letter and thus worthy of a similar response. I did not see Sally as a Zionist or even as a Jew. I saw her as a woman, a mother, and a fellow writer. So, I was delighted when she came to my panel debate with Alan Dershowitz at the Boston Book Festival, and when she asked if we could talk more after the event, I was happy to invite her to lunch with a group of friends. She was soft spoken, with a gentle demeanor and through the course of the table conversation, I realized that we also shared similar beliefs regarding some matters of spirituality.

Book review: understanding the economics of occupation
In his debut book The Political Economy of the Occupation, economist Shir Hever synthesizes a slew of sources to come to a solid analysis of the economic factors behind the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

MJ Rosenberg: Bill Maher Is A Consistent Bigot, But He’s Cool So Its Okay
The right is right about one thing. Progressives are hypocrites about bigotry.  Check this out about Bill Maher. He is “spooked” by babies named Mohammed because he does not want the “western world” overrun by Muslims.  Maher fancies himself anti-religion. He’s not. He hates Muslims. His film “Religulous” mildly ridiculed the faith of his mother and father (Judaism and Catholicism) but eviscerated Islam. He loves Binyamin Netanyahu and says that he, more than anyone else, has the answers to the problems of the Middle East. In short, Maher doesn’t like Muslims because of what he learned in Sunday school. Just like a lot of the other bigots.


Al-Akhbar: STL Indictment to Be Issued Soon
01/11/2010 The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported on Monday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will issue its indictment in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before the end of the year.  The daily said it has gotten copies of secrete correspondence between the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Swedish Justice Ministry, and the Swedish Embassy at The Hague regarding the appointment of two Swedish police officers who are experts in forensics and evidence investigation.  The embassy had issued a letter to the Swedish foreign and justice ministries stating that the “tribunal plans on issuing the indictment before the end of the year” and that the “investigation requires additional expertise as soon as possible,” the daily added.  It also quoted a legal source in the tribunal as saying that the indictment will be issued in the second or third week of this month.

Lebanon: 3 ‘Israel spies’ sentenced to death
Military court sentences three Lebanese nationals to death for helping Israeli attacks during war; two of them sentenced in absentia.,7340,L-3978265,00.html

In Beirut, a crash course in Arabic — and Mideast politics (AFP)
AFP – When Amtissal signed up to learn Arabic in Beirut, she was in for a bonus: class trips to the offices of Hezbollah and Hamas, both classified as terrorist organisations by her native America.*


Monday: 7 Iraqis Killed, 13 Wounded
Baghdad is still in a state of shock a day after a deadly attack on a Catholic church left dozens of casualties in the captial. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was just one of the many to express dismay at the assault, but at least seven Iraqis were killed and 13 more were wounded in attacks since then.

Iraqi police commander held in church attack (AP)
AP – An Iraqi police commander was detained for questioning Tuesday in connection with the deadly attack on a Catholic church in the capital as a top political leader blamed the carnage in part on lax security.*

After Baghdad church attack, Christians shocked but say ‘we still have a mission here’
At least 58 people were left dead after Iraqi commandos stormed a Baghdad church attacked by Islamist militants.

Italian foreign minister in bid to stop Aziz execution (AFP)
Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, pictured in june 2010, will fly to Baghdad to try to stop the execution of former Saddam aide Tareq Aziz, who was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court last week, his office said Monday.(AFP/File/Attila Kisbenedek)AFP – Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini will fly to Baghdad to try to stop the execution of former Saddam aide Tareq Aziz, who was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court last week, his office said Monday.

Iraqi anger at lawmakers’ ‘lavish’ salaries
Iraqi lawmakers have collected their £56,000 stipend, they’re raking in £14,000 a month in salaries and allowances, and they’re spending free nights in Baghdad’s finest hotel – and they’ve only worked about 20 minutes this year, without passing a single law.

Shiite Iraq government is anathema to Arabs
Iraq has broken the world record for the time required to form a government, surpassing the Netherlands that in 1977 took 208 days. The March 7 elections were inconclusive, producing a hung Parliament with four major blocs, the largest of which is Iraqia of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution states that the bloc with the most seats forms the government.

Iraqis gather plant samples to replace destroyed collection
MOUNT PERMAGRONE, Iraq — On this mountainside in Iraqi Kurdistan, botanists are gathering hundreds of plant samples in an effort to protect their country’s diverse environment, ranging from northern mountain ranges to the marshes of southern Iraq.  Mount Permagrone is home to one-sixth of the roughly 3,300 plant varieties intended to be collected and preserved in a new national herbarium – a catalog of the country’s plant specimens that was looted and destroyed in Baghdad after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Iraqi rowing team makes a splash in the US
Entire team – six rowers, two coaches – was invited to US to train and compete in the world’s biggest crew event.


Torture Orders Were Part of US Sectarian War Strategy, Gareth Porter
The revelation by WikiLeaks of a U.S. military order directing U.S. forces not to investigate cases of torture of detainees by Iraqis has been treated in news reports as yet another case of lack of concern by the U.S. military about detainee abuse.  But the deeper significance of the order, which has been missed by the news media, is that it was part of a larger U.S. strategy of exploiting Shi’a sectarian hatred against Sunnis to help suppress the Sunni insurgency when Sunnis had rejected the U.S. war.


Saudi Arms Deal Is About Iran, Rep. Ron Paul
This month the U.S. administration notified Congress that it intends to complete one of the largest arms sales in U.S. history to one of the most repressive regimes on earth. Saudi Arabia has been given the green light by the administration to spend $60 billion on some 84 new F-15 aircraft, dozens of the latest helicopters, and other missiles, bombs, and high-tech military products from the U.S. weapons industry.

British FM planning secret Iran talks during Israel trip
William Hague arrives in Israel on Tuesday for his first visit since being appointed foreign secretary in Britain’s recently elected Conservative government.

Iran postpones trial date for U.S. “hikers” (Reuters)
Reuters – Iranian authorities have delayed the trial of two Americans arrested near the Iraqi border in July 2009, a judiciary spokesman said on Monday, less than a week before they were due their first day in court.*

Khamenei challenged by senior cleric
Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib, known as the “Green Ayatollah” after the color adopted by the opposition, in critical comments of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has effectively questioned both the man and his position. Dastgheib’s outspokenness could cost him his position on the powerful Assembly of Experts. – Sahar Namazikhah (Nov 1, ’10)

U.S. and other world news

Witness – Bismillah
How do perceptions of faith impact on the democratic process? A young Muslim woman runs for office in Minnesota and tests the system.

US ban on openly gay troops to stay
Appeals court says law should stay in place while Obama administration challeges decision to allow openly gay recruits.

Cluster bomb ban gaining ground
Newly released report finds that even though deaths caused by munitions high, states move swiftly to destory stockpiles.

Saudi Arabia: Free Debtors From Prison: Human Rights Watch
(New York) – Saudi authorities should release insolvent debtors from jail, including Tariq Yunis al-Mashharawi, who has been held in Buraiman Prison in Jeddah for close to four years, Human Rights Watch said today.  Al-Mashharawi is being held on a court order that says he owes a Saudi princess US$640,000. He says he does not have the money, which he claims he turned over to his boss at a luxury car dealership, and disputes that he owes her anything. Al-Mashharawi’s case is not an isolated one, Human Rights Watch said.  “Throwing a penniless person in prison for a debt is not going to get that money back,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Putting someone in prison should be reserved for real crimes.”

Saudi fatwa bars women from cashier jobs
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have challenged the government’s policy to expand jobs for women with a fatwa ruling that they should not work as cashiers in markets, in a statement obtained Monday. In the statement obtained by AFP, the official fatwa issuing body said “it is not permissible for a woman to work in a place where they mix with men.

Danish party urges Arab TV ban
People’s Party says Al Jazeera and other Arabic channels sow hatred against Western society in immigrant communities.

The new Jewish upside-down world: intellectual who calls for equal rights is likened to KKK

Nov 02, 2010

Philip Weiss

Last month we picked up the news that Jewish groups in New Mexico are trying to stop Ali Abunimah’s talk at the University of N.M. next week. Well Abunimah’s blog contains the disgusting news that a local Jewish leader has likened him to the KKK in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal:

Sam Sokolove, executive director of the Jewish Federation who signed the letter, said Abunimah represents a hate movement that is not interested in dialogue. He compared a Jewish conversation with Abunimah to a debate between the NAACP and the Ku Klux Klan.

For shame. Also this from the Journal:

Abunimah, in an interview with the Journal, said the opposition isn’t a surprise. The letter-writing campaign is an attempt to stop the conversation before it occurs because the debate is one critics don’t win, he said. “I’m against apartheid in Israel. I’m against discrimination. I’m for equal rights for everyone, I say that every time I speak. … I believe Israeli Jews and Palestinians have a right to live in peace, tranquility and equality, just like Americans do,” he said. “But that’s a very threatening message for people who believe there should be a system where one group of people has more rights than another. I’m assuming that’s why they don’t want me to be there and speak.”

How can you tell whether an American politician is running for president (of the United States)?

Nov 02, 2010

Philip Weiss

Yes even Grizzly moms with irritating high-pitched nasal voices know the story. The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper spotted this, in a photo from a West Virginia rally. Hat tip: Mark Wauck.

Help send Alex Kane to Israel/Palestine

Nov 02, 2010

Adam Horowitz

As many of you know Alex Kane is a frequent contributor to Mondoweiss. His work on Islamophobia, media analysis, the Freedom Flotilla, and general news from Israel/Palestine has been invaluable. Alex is now raising money to travel to Israel/Palestine as part of a delegation organized by American Jews for a Just Peace. Please help him get there!

This is from Alex’s blog:

In January, I plan on joining a “Health and Human Rights” delegationorganized by members of American Jews for a Just Peace. I will be traveling throughout the West Bank and Israel, meeting with various Palestinian organizations doing amazing work under horrific circumstances.  I plan on staying in Israel/Palestine for over two weeks, learning, experiencing, reporting, writing and blogging.  But I need your financial help.  My initial goal is to raise $1,500 by mid-November—that will cover my plane ticket and additional costs related to the delegation as well as food and other necessities.

The support I received last year enabled me to go to Gaza, and it was a trip that profoundly changed my life.  I saw what it meant to be locked inside a open-air prison, learned from my Palestinian peers what it was like to know of the outside world but be blocked from reaching it by a cruel and illegal blockade and saw images of destroyed schools and buildings that will never leave me.  I also saw people that have amazing spirit, that refuse to give up to the crushing force of the Israeli occupation. Since returning from Gaza, I have become obsessed with everything Palestine. 

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have a vested interest in getting Alex back to Israel/Palestine, because I think there will be some great posts in it for Mondoweiss, but we need all the honest, hard-hitting reporting from the ground that we can get and I know your investment in Alex will be well worth it. You can donate to his trip, and follow his work, through his website here.

Rabbi Gordis once gritted his teeth over discrimination at WASPy school– and now urges Palestinians to learn that lesson

Nov 02, 2010

Philip We

Daniel Gordis is a rabbi who grew up in Baltimore but moved to Israel (I attended seders at his parents’ immaculate suburban Baltimore house when I was a boy). He has lately published a book called Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End. Sounds fun!

The Magnes Zionist, who is also from Baltimore (he was bar mitzvah’d at the same conservative synagogue as I was, though I was in the inner city branch), has written a great post showing that Gordis is implicitly arguing for expelling Palestinian Arabs from Israel before too long. I’m going to quote two passages from Jerry Haber’s post.

The second passage is particularly compelling. In it, Haber says Gordis’s belief that Israeli Palestinians should simply lower their heads and put up with Jewish theocratic rules originates in Gordis’s own experience as a Jew experiencing Christian prayer/religious instruction at an Episcopalian school in Baltimore. Haber believes the unnamed school is the same one he attended: Gilman, which eliminated the Christian portion of the curriculum years after he left the school.

I think this is a hugely-important point.

I went to public high school, but Gilman was the establishment institution in Baltimore, the prep school that trained young men for leadership. I used to curse the place as a bastion of privilege and WASPiness. And well that it did eliminate the Christian instruction; for the Establishment was changing under the weight of the meritocracy, it was beginning to include Jews, and WASPs were saying sayonara. There are no Protestants on the Supreme Court today.

So our society changed; and a religious burden that Gordis today finds exemplary but when he was young was obnoxious– a religious burden that likely played some role in forming his view of Christian life, from which he fled– is a religious burden that our society eliminated 20 or 30 years ago out of a sense of fairness. 

The lesson of the story is simple: In their dealings with Palestinians, Zionists have consciously and unconsciously taken as models forms of anti-Semitism that prevailed in the west many decades ago, but that the west has long ago eliminated. Nationalism of the 19th century, gentlemanly anti-Semitism of the 20th century: these traditions molded Zionism, but they’re gone. I.e., Zionism is anachronistic. Haber:

As he puts it, “Given their history and their families on the other side of the line, Israel’s Arabs are unlikely to become patriots.” Rather, Arab Israelis are potentially an existential threat to the Jewish state. Today, they do not constitute such a threat, but they may very well in the future.

What is particularly striking about the account (aside from its chilling similarity to ethnic exclusionary language used against Jews in nineteenth and twentieth century Europe) is the utter failure to understand why most Israeli Arabs refuse to leave Israel: Their motivation is crystal clear from their writings and their statements: This land, and this state, are their homes in three ways: As natives, it is their home in a way never can be for Rabbi Gordis and myself, who were born and lived much of our lives outside of Israel. As members of the Palestinian people, with the consciousness of having a common history and identity, this land is their homeland. And finally as Israeli citizens, it is most assuredly their homeland.

For despite the best efforts of ethnic nationalists on both sides, there has evolved an Israeli identity shared by native-born Israelis, whether Jew, Arab, and immigrant children of foreign workers. With all due respect to Rabbi Gordis, neither he nor I can ever be as Israeli as Ahmed Tibi, Emile Habibi, or Azmi Bishara. We are immigrants; they are not….

A final comment: When Rabbi Gordis considers the place of Israel Arabs in a Jewish state, he is reminded of his position as a young Jewish student in an Episcopalian prep school. All students including Jews were required to attend Morning Chapel, during which there was a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. As a proud Jew, he balked at bowing his head and saying the prayer, but he did not try to change the policy. He understood that it was a Christian school, that it wished to foster traditions, and that it would have been unreasonable to try to change them.

He could always leave if he didn’t like them, which he eventually did. He thought the policy “eminently fair”. The moral is clear: If you are an Arab living in a Jewish state, you are encouraged to take advantage of its benefits. But don’t think you have any right to try to claim more rights than you have been given, or to lobby to change the system.

What Rabbi Gordis doesn’t write, and what he doesn’t know, perhaps, is that several years after he left the school, it eliminated the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of hymns altogether – as a result, in part, of complaints from Jewish parents over the years. At first there was an attempt to replace the hymns that mention Christ’s name explicitly with ones that did not. But finally, all Christian prayers were dropped. Morning Chapel became Morning Assembly. No doubt some fine and meaningful traditions were lost, but the school still teaches classes in religion, still has a chaplain, and has retained much of its Episcopalian heritage.

How do I know this? You see, unless I’m mistaken,* I attended the very same Episcopalian school in Baltimore that Rabbi Gordis attended, albeit at an earlier date. Like Rabbi Gordis, I stood in silence when the school said the Lord’s Prayer (though hearing it every morning drove into my head); I sang the hymns, omitting Christ’s name. When I attended the school, Catholic students were exempted from the mandatory religion classes, during which period they received their own instruction; they had their own religious educational autonomy, as it were. Jewish students were not exempt, and much of what I know about the New Testament and Christianity I learned from those classes, which were not always pleasant for a proud “in-your-face” Jew like myself.

As a result of my experiences at the school, where I encountered both genteel and not so-genteel anti-Semitism from students and faculty, I resolved never to be as insensitive to the feelings and position of a minority as they had been of mine. Fortunately I made lifelong friends with some of my fellow students, who, as Christians, were genuinely pained by the insensitivity of the majority, and who later worked hard to make the school more inclusive, and to preserve what was true and good in its traditions.

Like Rabbi Gordis, I, Bezalel Manekin, thought the policy of requiring students to attend Morning Chapel eminently fair, at the time. Unlike him, I understand now that when circumstances change, holding on to discriminatory practices can be eminently unfair.

*If I am mistaken, then at least the Episcopalian schools we attended were sufficiently alike for the point to remain.

Corries urge: Press Obama to end sales of Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel

Nov 02, 2010

Philip Weiss

As we have noted, Caterpillar has suspended the delivery of bulldozers to Israel apparently because of the important suit that the family of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer in occupied Rafah in 2003, has brought against the Israeli government. Yesterday the Corries sent out a note saying that the Obama administration may have played a role in the suspension, and urging friends to pressure Obama to end the sale of these vehicles of oppression. Here is the petition. Here are portions of the Corries’ note:

At a State Department briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley did not deny the U.S. government has delayed the delivery, going only so far as to say that he is “not aware of any contacts between the United States Government and Caterpillar, but perhaps it’s a question to ask Caterpillar.”

We already tried that. In written communications with the US Campaign, Caterpillar refused to comment on the reports, but did not deny them.

Whatever is happening behind the scenes, one thing is clear: This represents a major, positive step in the ongoing campaign to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of Caterpillar bulldozers, which are provided at U.S. taxpayer expense as military aid (learn more by clicking here).

We have a small window of opportunity to act before pressure is brought to bear on the Obama Administration to allow the delivery of bulldozers to proceed. Here’s what you can do to make sure this happens, and to advance the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Caterpillar:

1. Sign our petition to the Obama Administration asking it to stop the delivery of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to the Israeli military, and to investigate Israel’s violations of U.S. laws committed with Caterpillar equipment.Together, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and Jewish Voice for Peace all intend to collect 10,000 petition signatures by next week to deliver to the Obama Administration. Sign now by clicking here. .. 

4. Get TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar. TIAA-CREF, one of the largest financial services in the United States, invests heavily in Caterpillar (over $250 million as of their last financial report). Sign a petition asking TIAA-CREF to divest from Caterpillar and other companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. Meanhwhile, the Rachel Corrie Foundation has submitted a paper to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, which will review the human rights record of the United States on November 5. To read its submission, which documents how the United States has failed to uphold its human rights laws in Rachel’s case, please click here.


Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER



NOVANEWS She was a girl back then, in 2003. She had just stopped eating meat because she wouldn’t be

 an accomplice to killing, she said. And on the street she pitied the homeless. When she learned

 about the segregation that had been common practice in the US not so long ago, whereby the

dark-skinned were not allowed to sit next to the fair-skinned, she asked me, her voice quivering,

how could that be? A sensitive girl, a bleeding heart, not quite sixteen. And I told her about

fourteen-year old Omar Matar from Qalandiya refugee camp who had been murdered two

weeks before that. How he and a group of children and youths had run from the soldiers at

the checkpoint and how the soldiers had chased them, knelt, took aim and fired at the boys

as they ran. And how a live bullet entered his neck and he fell, and how he lay dying for a whole

week, and then died.


And I finished telling her and waited for her tears, certain they would come. I remember

I also wanted to apologize to her for telling her something so terrible even though it will be

so sad and hard to hear, because one simply must know what is happening so near, and

because he had been alive and now he’s dead. Perhaps I also needed to get it off my chest,

and whom would I tell if not her.Her eyes remained dry and I wondered. Her gaze was

 flat, and stiff, and empty. Time went by.

Then she said: “But what did he do?”

What did he do? What kind of question is that? What does it matter what he did? He is dead.

Shot in the neck. Murdered. Is that your first question? What did he do?

And I told her, I think I said, “They were throwing stones, and he…”And she said, “I see”.

True, I didn’t tell her – I didn’t have the chance to tell her – that it was not at the innocent

that he was throwing stones, not at the guiltless, but at those who incorporate violence

since they are soldiers.

That he threw stones at those who sit between him and his felled life because they are there,

which is not their home, and that he lives in the ghetto which they maintain, and his neighbors

and family and he himself are humiliated day by day all day, because there is the Occupation,

and they – its facilitators – are there at the gates of his life, at the aorta of his spirit and

rights, and life.

That he threw stones at the checkpoint where the assailant sits, he who bullies and violates

and steals and takes, the executioner, the soldier who is guilty of maintaining and facilitating

 a policy that hurts him.

Perhaps I didn’t tell her all of this, because I did not yet believe that I would have to excuse

myself to her. That dead Omar Matar would have to prove to her his innocence, and his right

 to remain alive and not to die.

Because I thought his death was stronger than anything.

“I see” she said, because for her that was enough. Now everything had become clear.

He threw stones and so he could be shot while running away. In the neck. With live

ammunition. And his life could be taken. “I see” she said to me, and her face remained

empty, and her tears never came. Not even then. Only “I see” which she said, and fell silent.

After I already realized where she had gone inside herself, in the middle or at the end of her

meeting with me then, or perhaps only later in my own feverish thoughts, there was a moment

when – in my mind – I said these words to her:

And if I had told you that not Palestinian Omar Matar but a Haredi (ultraorthodox)

fourteen-year old Jew was the one throwing stones at the checkpoint, at a soldier, at

a policeman? And the policeman then knelt, took aim and fired at his neck while he

was running away and the bullet entered his neck and he fell and died, would you still say

“I see”?

And if I told you that an angry fourteen year-old Jewish boy, had thrown a stone at a

military base housing Wehrmacht soldiers, and after he had thrown the stone he ran away,

and a Wehrmacht soldier chased him, then knelt, took aim and shot him in his neck, and

killed him, would you then, too, say “I see”?

And if I told you that a fourteen-year old boy had entered my next door neighbor’s yard and

thrown stones at his house, and at him, and my neighbor opened his window, took out his

pistol and shot him dead, would you still say “I see”, about this imaginary boy throwing

stones at my neighbor who had never done him or anyone else around any harm, where

there is no occupier and no victim, and my neighbor had never harmed anyone around him

before would shoot him and take his life? Would you still say “I see”?

But I didn’t say anything. I sealed my ebbing sob and my anger and astonishment,

and kept silent.

And I never saw her again. I didn’t happen to, nor did I want to. And perhaps our paths

never crossed again because I didn’t want them to. And years went by.

And I don’t know what she did with them. And I didn’t think about her any more.

2010. Not very long ago, on television, I was watching the coverage of a settler’s attempt

to run over boys in Silwan, and remembered her.

A Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem. In a segregated discriminating city where the

 law forbids Palestinians to build their homes, and the law keeps demolishing their homes,

which will never be made legal, because they are Palestinians. Where Jews have settled and

are protected by the Occupation forces while taking over the place, step by step at the expense

of its inhabitants, under the auspices of the regime.

A car drives along, downhill, deviates from its track, collide with two children one of whom

is hurled in the air and falls on the road.

One’s mind and heart refuse to believe one’s eyes.

With what ease the scene was televised time and again – the child flying in the air again

and again and crashing down on the road – and the Israeli anchormen and women, male

and female reporters all click their tongues, their faces empty and cold just like that of

the girl all those years back after I had told her about the murder of Omar Matar.

He threw stones, they say. It wasn’t the driver who started, it was the boy. The boy the boy

the boy the boy. Who threw stones. Who lay in wait, who threw, who started, who is guilty.

 And the little body is hurled in the air before crashing on the asphalt. And this tiny humanness,

blunt and burning, is flashed back from their empty, cold faces that say “I see”.

But a car, never mind why, hit a boy. A boy was hurled in the air. And crashed down on

the asphalt. Is this not a closed, complete, objective, absolute event?

And even if the driver was afraid and didn’t mean to do it, and did not intentionally change

his course in order to run them over –

And even if other children had thrown stones at him earlier, or even these very

children whom he ran over –And in spite of this automatic acquittal of the Jew

only because he is a Jew be what may, regardless of what he had done – Before all of this,

ahead of all of these contexts and interpretations and rationalizations, is there not a child there?
A child whose little body was hit by a car, its impact hurling it in the air until it fell and

crashed on the road.

True, the child’s skin may have been slightly browner than the assailant driver’s, and if not

his skin color, than his accent may have been different, and he was most likely not the boy

next door, nor possibly the son of a family relation of the Israeli television’s reporters.

And true, by means of ‘mandatory conscription’ that stamps its recruits with the State’s stamp,

be what may, the assailant driver himself – settled in Silwan and manifesting Israel’s inherent

injustice towards this neighborhood – is to a certain extent everyman, every man who serves in

the Israeli army, as are the sons and daughters of all those anchors and reporters, and they

themselves, are either the hitting driver or those who protect him in deed or in some future potential.
Because they too are soldiers.

And it is certainly not easy to sympathize with the victim of someone you might know and be related to. Of your son and daughter. Your own potential victim.

To sympathize with your witness, your mirror.

But is there – still – nothing that is not relative, I wonder, that is not merely in the eyes of the beholder, that bears inherent meaning and value regardless of circumstances and identities of those involved? In his poem On the Slaughter, written following the 1903 Kishinev pogroms, didn’t the poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik write:Vengeance such as this, vengeance for the blood of a small boy,
Satan himself has not devised-

Words that have become emblematic of the non-relativity of evil. Words that say that a crime is a crime, and a child is a child, and injustice is injustice, always.

Again and again I recall that girl, now already 23 years-old. And I imagine her witnessing a horrific traffic accident, perhaps, how her heart begins to pound, how she approaches, with her bleeding heart that I remember so well, and the driver stands there and one person lies dead on the ground, covered, and she approaches the body, lifts the sheet and sees the identity of the victim, and raises her eyes and sees the identity of the hitting driver, and only then does she weeps, or merely says – “I see”.
And I think to myself, no, Bialik, you were wrong. Not the blood of a child. The blood of a Jewish child, perhaps, but not the blood of just any child. Not in these parts and not at this point in time.

Here there is no such thing as ‘a boy’ or ‘a child’ if it is a Palestinian, for a Palestinian is not ‘a child’ but always a Palestinian.Here it is all – really all – about ‘ours’ and ‘us’ and ‘them’. And we are right because it is ‘us’, and they are wrong because it is ‘them’.And there is no evil or good conduct, justice or its violation, as an inherent, permanent and absolute value regarded only in view of the deed itself. Only who killed and who died.
There is only ethnicity.Only that.

Since the attempt to run him over at Silwan, 11-year old Omran Mohammad Mansour whom the car hit was tried and found guilty. He has been placed under house arrest and fined. However, 57-year old settler David Be’eri who drove his car into the two children is not under any kind of arrest, nor fined.

And just as I did back then when Omar Matar was murdered, now, too, I stitch inside me the tears that rise and my anger and astonishment, I lower more curtains, and again I distance Omar Matar and all the other murdered children of Qalandiya refugee camp and the run-over children of Silwan whom I’ve already distanced a bit, and already they are almost mere words, and even less – stains of memory.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on AND SHE SAID ” I SEE”



Keeping War Going a Top Priority, Insists Rep. McKeon

by Jason Ditz,
November 03, 2010

Flush with optimism after major victories in yesterday’s Congressional elections, House Republicans have promised one of their first orders of business is to attack President Obama’s July 2011 drawdown date in Afghanistan, despite the comparative handicap that the president already disavowed that date months ago.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R – CA), seen as a virtual lock to head the House Armed Services Committee, says that the committee’s top priority will be to continue the war in Afghanistan. McKeon pledged to work directly with commander Gen. David Petraeus to commit more equipment and resources to the war effort.

Upon taking office in 2009, President Obama quickly established Afghanistan as his war, dramatically and repeatedly escalating the US presence despite ever worsening conditions. It seems now that he will face challenges from Republicans looking to make it their war instead, and the race may be on to out-hawk one another on the war, despite poll data showing the war is increasingly unpopular among voters.

An aide for Congressional Republicans also suggested that the party will be keeping a close eye on President Bush’s commitment to have troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011, a pledge which President Obama eventually endorsed (after abandoning campaign pledges to end the war at an earlier date). This has become a growing issue as the State Department, which is scrambling to assemble its own army to continue the war for years after 2011, has faced warnings it may not be up to the task.





Budrus hero calls for Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s freedom


By Jesse Bacon

I recently had the good fortune to attend a packed Monday night NYC screening

sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace and the American Arab

Anti-Discrimination Committee. One issue raised by the extremely

well-informed director was how similar protests in other villages have

had difficulty duplicating Budrus’s success. A Budrus protest participant

told me that  even Budrus itself could see its victory threatened as Israel

completes the building of the Wall. So it is inspiring to me that Ayed Morrar,

the Budrus leader, has continued to struggle on behalf of other less fortunate

villages in the West Bank. Here he writes in Huffington Post (apparently more

 “mainstream” outlets passed on it) in support of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, his

counterpart organizer in Bi’lin.

Budrus, a documentary film now debuting across the US, tells the

story of a successful protest campaign by unarmed Palestinian

civilians against Israel’s military occupation in my small West Bank village.

Our struggle’s success and the consequent expansion of civil resistance

to other West Bank communities may provide hope to viewers desperate

for positive news from the Middle East, but today an Israeli crackdown on unarmed Palestinian protesters is threatening this growing movement.

For our movement to thrive and serve as a true alternative to violence,

we need Americans’ to demand that Israel, a close US ally, end this repression.

Budrus depicts our ten month campaign of protest marches in 2003-2004,

which included participation by men, women and children, and by representatives from all Palestinian political factions, along with Israeli

and international activists, to resist the construction of Israel’s

Separation Barrier on our lands. Young women, led by my 15-year-old

daughter Iltezam, ran past armed Israeli soldiers and jumped In front

of the bulldozers that were uprooting our ancient olive trees. The

soldiers regularly met us with clubs, rubber-coated bullets, curfews,

arrests and even live ammunition. But we won in the end. The Israeli

military rerouted the barrier in Budrus, allowing us access to almost all

of our land.

The film ends with Palestinian and Israeli activists heading to the

neighboring village of Ni’ilin where the struggle to save Palestinian

land continues today. But following Budrus’s success and faced by a

growing numbers of civilians protesting the confiscation of their lands,

Israel has responded with military might, attempting to quell this new movement. Twenty Palestinians have since been killed during unarmed demonstrations against the construction of the Separation Barrier.

In Ni’ilin, in the dark of night, Israeli soldiers have staged hundreds of

military raids and arrests of civilians from the village; hundreds more

were injured — forty by live ammunition, and five, including a ten year old,

were shot dead. Today, a horrid 25 foot concrete wall stands in Ni’ilin,

behind which lie 620 acres of village lands taken for the expansion of

illegal Israeli settlements.


Through a five-year protest campaign, another nearby village,

Bil’in, has become an international symbol of nonviolent resistance

to Israeli occupation, with world leaders from Jimmy Carter to Desmond

Tutu visiting to show support. On October 11th, Abdallah Abu Rahmah,

one of Bil’in’s most prominent protest organizers, was sentenced by an

Israeli military court to twelve months in jail. His crime — leading demonstrations in his village that were very similar to those I led

in Budrus.

During Abdallah’s trial, Israel’s military prosecution repeatedly demanded

that an ‘example’ be made of him to deter others who might organize civil resistance. The EU, Britain, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty

International have all condemned Abdallah’s incarceration, yet he

remains in prison.

Palestinians’ wishes are simple — we want what is ours, our land,

with true sovereignty. We want freedom, equality and civil rights —

what Martin Luther King, Jr. called in his Letter from a Birmingham

Jail “our constitutional and God-given rights.”

But Israel is sending a clear message — even unarmed resistance by

ordinary civilians demanding basic rights will be crushed. It is little

known that the second intifada began not with guns and suicide bombings

against civilians, but rather with protest marches to Israeli military

checkpoints inside the occupied West Bank, and with civil disobedience

in the tradition of the US civil rights movement. Israel responded by

firing over 1.3 million live bullets in one month into crowds of protesters.

When ordinary people could no longer afford to risk protesting, small

groups turned, in anger and despair, to armed resistance.

Budrus’s struggle showed that civil resistance can bring down walls,

both literal and those of the heart, and set an example for a bright future

for Israelis and Palestinians in this biblical land. Today Palestinian and

Israeli protesters are together confronting Israel’s military occupation

in other villages. But this hopeful possibility is now threatened again by

Israeli bullets and arrests.

For this future to materialize, those who are outraged by the violence

deployed against protesters must demand an end to the injustice.

If Americans want to see the example of Budrus continue to spread,

individuals, civil society groups and the US government must act to

pressure Israel to end its brutal crackdown on civilian protesters.

More Recent Articals:

Budrus hero calls for Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s freedom

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on FREE ABU RAHMAH



Twenty years after his assassination, supporters are using a kid-friendly medium to spread the Kach leader’s ideas.

Israeli children who don’t find enough inspiration from the exploits of Spiderman can now turn to Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded and led the Jewish Defense League and Kach movements before his assassination in 1990 and now stars as the hero of his own comic book.“Miracle Man,” a 50-page book printed on glossy paper and hardbound, making it more like a graphic novel than a traditional comic, tells the life story of the rabbi in a format designed for older children. The story is told through a school project that young Meir David is assigned to write about. He meets with various people— fictional friends and relatives as well as real-life figures like the Kahane acolyte Baruch Marzel – who knew Kahane personally or were helped by him.

“The idea is to teach the younger generation about Rabbi Kahane. It’s for those who never had the chance to meet him,” Levi Chaden, English director of the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea, Miracle Man’s publisher, told The Media Line. “Everyone loves comics. It’s an easy and fun way to understand his ideas, for kids and adults.”

Kahane’s Kach Party captured one Knesset seat in the 1984 elections before it was banned as racist, and its successor movement Kahane Chai (Kahane Lives) plays a marginal role in Israeli politics today. Nevertheless, his supporters remained determined to spread his philosophy of violence and hostility to Arabs. Some elements of his philosophy have entered mainstream political discourse.

At least one member of Israel’s Knesset, Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party, openly identifies as a Kahane supporter and recent initiatives by the government to require a loyalty oath of new citizens reflect a new assertiveness about Israel’s Jewish identity. An event commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kahane’s assassination at Jerusalem’s Ramada Renaissance Hotel drew 500 people. But the first week of sales for Miracle Man amounted to just 100 copies.

“There has been a process of legitimating the extreme right in Israel,” Gideon Rahat, senior lecturer in the department of political science at The Hebrew University, told The Media Line. “Once you have a member of the Knesset who says that the he identifies with Kahane, these ideas become more identified with everyday politics.”

However, Rahat warned against reading too far into the impact of Ben-Ari and other extremists. Democracies in Europe and elsewhere elect lawmakers from the political fringe, but their ability to influence policy and public opinion is usually very limited.
Kahane was an American-born rabbi who began his career in Brooklyn by forming the Jewish Defense League in 1968 with the aim of protecting Jews against street violence at a time when New York City was experiencing a rising level of crime. He turned his sights to the plight of Russian Jewry in the late 1960s with a campaign of harassing visiting Russian diplomats and artists. He immigrated to Israel in 1971 where his Kach movement openly advocated the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel. He became a member of the Knesset in 1984, but his party was banned from the 1988 elections. After Kahane’s death in 1990, Kahane Chai splintered off from Kach, although it was also barred from politics for being racist. 

“Even though it’s been 20 years since his assassination, his ideas are still alive and kicking in Israeli society today,” Chaden contended.

The comic, written by Na’ama Neiman and illustrated by Dikla Sagiv, and four months in the making, is published by the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea.

Can a comic book reach out to children and influence their view of the world?

Dorit Maya-Gur, an Israeli comic artist that created the hit “Falafel Man” series as well as comics aimed at teaching schoolchildren about the holocaust, said comics can be an effective means of educating kids, but she draws a line at politics.

“If you want the kids, you need to do it in the comic book store,” she said in an interview with The Media Line. “When you get politics in there it changes things, because you are dealing with kids. There is a fine line between education and brainwashing.” 

source–Jerusalem Post


Posted in Education1 Comment



Serco bring in the robots, body and soul

03 Nov 2010

First they privatise hospitals and then they call for cost cutting to increase “efficiency”:

Robots, instead of human staff, would provide some essential services at WA’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital under a plan that unions warn could cost hundreds of jobs.

Serco the company the WA Government wants to provide privatised services at the hospital has already introduced the robots for day-to-day tasks in a hospital it runs in Scotland.

Thirteen “automatically guided vehicles” carry clinical waste, deliver food, clean the operating theatre and dispense drugs at Serco’s Forth Valley Royal Hospital. A Serco spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the company was hoping to use “similar innovations” at FSH.

The company already manages Australia’s migration detention centres and some private prisons.

Health Services Union secretary Dan Hill said the robots could cost hundreds of jobs.

“The public expects to be cared for by a team of professionals, not treated by robots because the private operator of the hospital is trying to make as a big a profit as possible,” Mr Hill said.

The State Government recently named Serco as the preferred firm to provide privatised non-clinical services at FSH, which is due to open in 2014.

The $2 billion hospital in Murdoch will have 643 beds when it opens and has been billed as the saviour of the state’s struggling health system.

In 2006, a UK parliamentary committee found Serco was part of a consortium that milked taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars. The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the consortium, which financed and built hospitals in Norfolk and Norwich, geared up the hospital projects’ borrowing in a bid to make refinancing gains of more than $100 million.


Israel firsters rejoice in US at taming of Obama

03 Nov 2010

Well, the Zionist lobby is pleased:

One prominent pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington is already praising the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives as a net benefit for Israel.

“While Democrats are likely to keep control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans will take over the U.S. House of Representatives following Tuesday’s elections. This is likely to have implications for Israel-related issues such as Israel’s relationship with the United States and the push for sanctions against Iran,” said an e-mail blasted out by The Israel Project only minutes after news stations called the turnover of House control a certainty.

“The takeover of the House by Republicans is great news for Israel and her supporters,” the email quotes Ari Fleischer, White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, as saying. “The House leadership and almost every single GOP member is rock-solid behind Israel. At times like this, Israel needs friends everywhere.”

But the Israel Project’s e-mail then quickly turns on its head and praises Congressional Democrats in the House and Senate for their staunch support of Israel.

“The House Democratic leadership has been powerfully supportive of Israel, and Speaker Pelosi has been nothing short of passionate in her successful pursuit of biting sanctions against Iran – a key interest of the pro-Israel community,” The Israel Project quotes David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, as saying.

So which is it? Is The Israel Project saying that Republicans or Democrats are better for Israel?

“American voters on both sides of the aisle support Israel,” Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, says in the e-mail.

The Israel Project identifies several key Congressional changes that could impact the Israel debate on Capitol Hill. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) will take over the House Foreign Affairs Committee from Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who the Project calls “staunchly pro-Israel,” will likely be the next Speaker of the House and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) could become Majority Leader, “the highest-ranking post a Jew has ever held in Congress,” the e-mail points out.

The Project also points toward Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who could become the new head of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, non-proliferation, and trade, and whoever will replace Barney Frank (D-MA) as head of the Finance Committee, “a key avenue for sanctions against Iran.” The top three contenders for chairman are Spencer Bachus, (R-AL), Pete King (R-NY), and Royce.


Americans just love being American

03 Nov 2010

Why is it that when many Americans are pleased with a politician – such as during today’s big Republican win in the mid-terms – they start shouting in unison “USA! USA! USA!?

I’m sure the Iraqis and Afghans are cheering every time an American soldier drops a bomb on their village.


Hamas is flailing on all fronts

02 Nov 2010

Haidar Eid is a writer and activist based in Gaza. I met him there last year and his determination and passion was striking. He’s one of the key leaders behind the BDS movement.

His latest piece damns Hamas for failing, in his view, to prepare for a democratic future in Palestine:

Despite its somewhat fiery statements, Hamas’s impulse and willingness to deal with American propositions are indeed astonishing. Two letters were sent, as far as I know, to the new Obama administration after the term of former US President George W. Bush ended. The Americans emphasized that they declined to accept the first letter. However, it is the content of the letters and how they reflect the aspirations of Palestinians — both in all of historic Palestine as well as in the Diaspora — that is significant.

The content of these letters along with statements made by senior Hamas leaders indicate to the US Hamas’s acceptance of and commitment to the two-state solution; i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. Yet many Hamas leaders simultaneously accentuate their refusal to recognize the State of Israel and accept the two-state solution! Simply put, the Palestinian leadership elected by the majority of one-third of the Palestinian people, i.e. the population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is announcing its commitment to a racist solution that disregards the rights of 6-7 million Palestinian refugees, and the national and cultural rights of 1.4 million Palestinians in Israel.

The experience of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip offers a miniature model of an Islamic state, whereas the West Bank stands as the Bantustan state to be declared in November 2011. It is common knowledge that Gaza has recently undergone ideological social transformations through laws that are enforced without being enacted. Such laws target individual freedoms, particularly those of women, who are no longer allowed to smoke water pipe in public or ride behind their spouses on motorcycles. Likewise, female students are now forced to wear the jilbab and the hijab, while female lawyers must wear the hijab. Of course, these practices claim to “protect our customs and traditions,” but is there a traditional text that bars women from smoking, for instance? The democracy that provided the foundation for the 2006 elections is based on guaranteeing individual freedoms. Many statements made by Hamas leaders inside and outside of Gaza before the elections emphasized that those leaders would respect such freedoms if elected.

The transformation of many members of the resistance, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their homeland and who exerted impressive efforts to defend Gaza in 2009, into religious police like those in Saudi Arabia requires a serious and critical revision by Hamas.

Therefore, it is obvious that Hamas is unable to realize that the war on Gaza in 2009 has created a new political reality whereby Israel pulled the trigger on the racist two-state/two-prison solution. Hamas insists on adopting this approach and claims it is a temporary tactic until the balance of power shifts, as the movement assumes it will within the truce period of ten or twenty years. During this time, it plans to build a state after its model in Gaza. This only indicates the lack of a clear strategic vision to end the conflict, a vision that draws on past global struggles against colonialism, particularly against the abhorrent South African apartheid regime, which collapsed resoundingly in 1994.

Unfortunately, there has been no indication, based on my reading of many statements made by Hamas leaders, of a clear understanding within the movement either of the apartheid nature of the State of Israel or of the tools used by the South African anti-apartheid movement. One such tool is the international boycott campaign, without which the apartheid regime would not have ended. This demonstrates Hamas’s failure to understand the role of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS). As a recent report by the Israel-based Reut Institute indicates, even the Israelis themselves are concerned about the momentum the BDS movement is gaining. There is no statement whatsoever, either in public speeches of Hamas officials or in its literature, which indicates an understanding of these efforts which, as Reut claimed, served to “delegitimize Israel” and “pose a threat to its very existence.”


Being gay in Israel (with two Jews)

02 Nov 2010

You certainly wouldn’t be seeing this on mainstream TV in most of the Middle East (but then again, if Israeli and Palestinian women wanted to appear, the racism towards the Arab would be massive):

In identical net costumes and with matching long, blonde tresses, a television presenter and a professional dancer will tonight glide on to the set of Israel‘s Dancing with the Stars to become the first same-sex couple to perform in the global television dance phenomenon.

Gili Shem Tov, an openly-gay anchor on one of Israel’s main TV channels, made a female dance partner a condition of competing in the show, which pairs celebrities with professional dancers.

Based on the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing, the Israeli show is now in its sixth series.

“This is my way of life and this is my agenda, and I wanted to express it,” she told a press conference today at television studios in Newe Ilan, near Jerusalem.

“If even just a few people become more tolerant and open-minded as a result, then I have achieved something.”


New Delhi and Tel Aviv get all cosy

02 Nov 2010

The growing friendship between Israel and India.

In a post-US century, the Jewish state can’t simply rely on Washington for backing.


Those WMDs must be somewhere safe, reflected Bush

02 Nov 2010

Causing mass carnage in Iraq? Oh, that was a shame:

Former US President George W Bush still has “a sickening feeling” about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, US media report.

The revelation comes in his memoir, “Decision Points”, to be published next week.

He also reveals that he temporarily considered replacing Vice President Dick Cheney, calling him the “Darth Vader of the administration”.

But he has no comment on his successor in the White House, Barack Obama.

In the autobiography, Mr Bush defends his decision to invade Iraq, according to advanced copies of the book.

He argues that both America and the Iraqis are better off without former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, whom he calls a “homicidal dictator”.

But Mr Bush admits that he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

“No one was more shocked and angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons,” he writes. “I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do.”

The former president also describes how he considered an offer by Vice President Dick Cheney to step down in 2003 so that Mr Bush could pick a different running mate for the 2004 election campaign.

“He had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left,” Mr Bush writes.

“He was seen as dark and heartless.”

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER



Zio=Nazi Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor cancelled on Monday a planned visit to London, England, after receiving information that he might be facing  an arrest warrant upon arrival.

Cabinet Minister Dan Meridor during his tour of the West Bank settlement of Efrat Cabinet Minister Dan Meridor during his tour of the West Bank settlement of Efrat.

Photo by: Haggai Offen


The Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry?  notified Meridor that he may face charges connected to his alleged role in the Zio=Nazi army raid on the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010. The Nazi raid resulted in the deaths of 9 Turkish activists. Meridor refused to comment on the cancellation.

Meridor is member of a forum of seven ministers that advises Zio=Nazi Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The forum discussed the arrival of the Gaza-bound flotilla in a meeting that took place on May 26, according to Netanyahu’s testimony before a committee investigating the raid.

However, Netanyahu denied in his testimony that the forum had discussed the details of the military operation.

This is not the first case of Zio=Nazi politicians facing legal charges in Britain. In 2009, a British court issued an arrest warrant for Zio=Nazi Livni over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza while she served as foreign minister. Livni canceled her trip to London as a result of information of the warrant issued against her.

Livni served as foreign minister alongside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak during the Nazi army offensive in Gaza. The three figures comprised the “troika” of top decision-makers who charted the course of the war.

In 2005, a retired Nazi general, Doron Almog, returned to ‘Israel’ immediately after landing in London because he was tipped off that British police planned to arrest him. The warrant against Almog – who oversaw the bombing of a Gaza home in which 14 people were killed – was later canceled.

Other Nazi leaders, including former military chief Moshe Ya’alon and ex-internal security chief Avi Dichter, have also canceled trips to Britain in recent years for the same reason. 






This is the question to be put, not to the leadership of the organized Jewish community, because they will never make decisions ahead of their membership, but to their memberships, who can make decisions. Why apartheid? Why ethnic cleansing? To maintain Israel as the biggest Jewish ghetto in the history of the world? Crappy idea. I’m with IJAN. You should be, too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On October 10, 2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalized citizens to swear loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic state.” The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – a state whose existence is premised on the removal of the indigenous people of Palestine.

In response to this bill, members of the Zionist “Left” in Israel issued a “declaration of independence from fascism.” Announced at a rally in Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s most ethnically cleansed city (indigenous population: four percent), the declaration asserts that the proposed law “violates [Israel’s] basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace — principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.”

The Zionist “Left” is distancing itself from this policy, but the proposed oath is entirely consistent with Israel’s racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing – all of which the Zionist “Left” has played a central role in perpetrating and whitewashing.

In the 1930s, as the Zionist state was forming, the Histadrut and other Labor Zionist institutions campaigned to dispossess Arab peasants and workers, while helping crush the resulting 1936 Arab rebellion.

In 1947-1948, under the leadership of David Ben Gurion, Labor Zionism – the dominant force in the Zionist “Left” – also directed the Nakba (catastrophe), which established the “Jewish state” by terrorizing and expelling at least eighty percent of the indigenous Palestinian population.

In the following decades, “Left” Zionism imposed domestic apartheid, made apartheid South Africa Israel’s closest ally, and led or supported every Israeli war of domination — most recently in Lebanon and Gaza. Under Labor governments, Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank exploded in number.*

Today, “Left” Zionists, no less than their right-wing counterparts, view Palestinians as a “demographic threat” to Jewish supremacy. Like the “Right,” they insist that Palestinians ratify their own unequal status by recognizing 1948 Palestine (“Israel”) as a “Jewish state.” Ironically, this Zionist racism, violence and apartheid serve to deliver a segregation of Jews that parallels traditional European anti-Semitism.

The problem, then, is not alleged betrayal of Israeli “principles” at the hands of right-wing “extremists,” but Zionism itself — both “Left” and “Right.” For Israeli Jews who reject Israel’s racist foundations, we stand with you.

We ask others not only to join us in opposing the loyalty oath, but to reject the Zionist principles upon which it rests. Concretely, that means supporting Palestinian demands for an end to military occupation, implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land, and equal rights for all throughout Palestine.

*Further analysis of “Left” or Labor Zionism is posted at:

*Also see:

Technorati Tags: anti-Zionism, IJAN, International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, Israel, Jewish anti-Zionism, Palestine, Zionism

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