Archive | October 12th, 2011

Tens of thousands rally in support of Assad in Syria capital

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Crowd chants ‘America, out, out, Syria will stay free,’ and slogans warning the European Union not to intervene; many carry pictures of Assad and Syrian flags.


Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated in central Damascus on Wednesday in show of support for President Bashar Assad, who is battling a six-month uprising against his rule in which the United Nations says 2,900 people have been killed.

“America, out, out, Syria will stay free,” chanted the crowd, many of them carrying pictures of Assad and Syrian flags. They also shouted slogans warning the European Union not to intervene in their country.

“God, Syria and Bashar,” they sang.

State television described the government-backed rally as a “million-strong march … supporting national independence and rejecting foreign intervention.”

At the start of the demonstration a man holding the flags of Russia and China, which both vetoed a European-drafted resolution against Syria at the United Nations last week, flew over the crowd, suspended from a helicopter by rope.

It was the biggest demonstration for months in the centre of the capital, which has been relatively untouched by the protests which have rocked Damascus suburbs and other parts of the country.

Assad has responded to the protests with a promise of reforms and a military crackdown on protesters in which tens of thousands have been arrested, according to activists.

There have also been increasing reports of clashes between security forces and opponents, made up of deserting troops and gunmen. Authorities blame armed groups for the violence and say 1,100 members of the security forces have been killed.

The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Syria and called on Assad to step down. Russia and China have blocked Western efforts seeking UN action against Damascus, but have told Assad he must speed up reforms.

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SURPRISE, SURPRISE–Israel court orders release of suspect in ‘price tag’ mosque attack

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Petah Tikva judge orders police to release suspect accused of setting fire to Galilee mosque due to lack of new evidence; West Bank resident accused of abetting attack also set to be released later this week.


A Petah Tikva court ruled Tuesday that there is not enough evidence to convict a man accused of setting fire to a mosque in the Galilee village of Tuba-Zanghariyya last week.

Judge Nitza Maimon-Shashua allowed the police to extend the suspect’s remand until Sunday in order to produce new evidence. However, she stipulated that if no new evidence could be produced, the police would be ordered to release the suspect.

The suspect, who was arrested just hours after the attack, was brought before the court for a hearing on his remand last Thursday, where an attorney representing the suspect said his client disavowed any link to the incident.

Legal representation to the suspect is provided by the Hanenu organization, which provides legal counseling to those prosecuted over acts committed during military service in the West Bank and as part of right-wing political activity.

The mosque in the village of Tuba-Zanghariyya, a Bedouin town of some 5,500 people two kilometers east of Rosh Pina, was attacked at about 2:30 A.M. on Monday morning. The mosque’s interior was seriously damaged, and many holy books were destroyed by the blaze.

Police suspect that extreme right-wing Jews carried out the arson as a “price tag” operation, referring to vandalism and revenge actions initiated by activists, usually against Palestinians, following terror attacks or state demolitions in settlements or outposts.

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Egypt charges Grapel with setting fire to police stations

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

In addition to espionage, American-Israeli is accused of throwing fire bombs at Egyptian Interior Ministry following revolution, ‘Al-Ahram’ reports.

Egypt added setting fire to police stations to the list of charges faced by  American-Israeli law student Ilan Grapel, who has been detained in  Cairo since June on suspicion of spying for Jerusalem, state-run  Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Monday.

The state reportedly accused Grapel of throwing fire bombs at police  headquarters at the Egyptian Interior Ministry in the wake of Egypt’s  January revolution, based on witness statements. The charges are in addition to espionage.

US and Israeli officials, and  Grapel’s family and friends, have dismissed allegations of espionage as “absurd,” and say the 27-year-old Emory University law student traveled to Egypt  to volunteer with an organization aiding African refugees.

Grapel’s parents were allowed to visit him first time late last month, along with US consul-general to Egypt, Robert Powers.

He served in the IDF and was wounded in the second Lebanon War, an incident that was well publicized.

An Egyptian court ruled to extend the remand of Grapel by 45 additional days on September 14, Al Ahram reported.

Grapel was arrested at his downtown Cairo hotel by Egyptian state security officers in June on suspicion of working for Israeli  intelligence to foment sectarian strife and gather intelligence on  post-revolution Egypt.

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US Arms Bahrain While Decrying Russian Weapons in Syria

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 
Inter Press Service

Peeved at Russia’s Security Council veto derailing a Western-sponsored resolution against Syria last week, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice implicitly accused the Russians of protecting the beleaguered government of President Bashar al-Assad primarily to safeguard their lucrative arms market in the Middle Eastern country.

But around the same time, the United States was evaluating a $53 million weapons contract with Bahrain, where political unrest has claimed the lives of 34 people, mostly civilians, at least 1,400 others have been arrested, and more than 3,600 dismissed from their jobs for participating in street demonstrations demanding a democratic government.

“The U.S. government appears hypocritical when it condemns the use of force against Syrian protestors but condones similar behavior in Bahrain,” Dr. Natalie J. Goldring, a senior fellow with the Center for Peace and Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, told IPS.

Sadly, she said, the administration of President Barack Obama is on shaky ground when it lectures other countries about their arms transfers.

“Its recent announcement of proposed weapons sales to Bahrain signals business as usual, at a time when we should be doing the opposite,”she said.

The proposed arms contract, which has triggered strong protests from human rights groups, includes 44 armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), wire-guided and other missiles and launchers, along with related equipment and training.

Maria McFarland, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, said, “It will be hard for people to take U.S. statements about democracy and human rights in the Middle East seriously when, rather than hold its ally Bahrain to account, it appears to reward repression with new weapons.”

Goldring pointed out that Ambassador Rice said the opponents of the U.N. resolution would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.

“Transferring weapons to Bahrain leaves the U.S. government vulnerable to the same accusation that we would rather sell arms to the Bahrain regime than to stand with the people of Bahrain,” she added.

The Obama administration would be in a much stronger position to influence other countries’ behavior if it stopped selling weapons to countries that abuse their citizens’ human rights, Goldring said.

Although a majority of the Security Council members — nine out of 15 —voted in favor of last week’s resolution, qualifying it to be adopted, the two vetoes by Russia and China negated the positive result.

The draft resolution, which strongly condemned the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by Syrian authorities, drew positive votes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, France, Gabon, Germany, Nigeria, Portugal, the UK, and the United States.

The countries abstaining were India, Brazil, South Africa (collectively known as IBSA), and Lebanon.

The resolution, which was co-sponsored by France, Germany, Portugal, and the UK, also called on Syria to immediately cease the use of force against civilians.

If Syria failed to do so within 30 days, the Security Council would consider “other options,” a euphemism for economic and military sanctions.

Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher in the Arms Transfers Program of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), told IPS Russia is Syria’s most important arms supplier.

In the past five years, he said, Russia delivered an estimated 36 Pantsyr-S1 mobile air defense systems and a quantity of Igla-S man portable surface-to-air missiles.

All indications are that more is on order and to be delivered, including reportedly 24 MiG-29SMT combat aircraft, a Bastion coast defense system with Yakhont missiles, several Buk longer range surface-to-air missile systems, and an unknown number of YAK-130 combat trainer aircraft.

“Altogether the Syrian orders make up a significant amount in revenues for the Russian arms industry,” Wezeman said.

After losing the Iranian and Libyan markets, he said, they would not be keen to lose this market too, and this is likely to be one reason, among others, for Russia to resist arms-related sanctions on Syria.

Goldring told IPS that Syria is a key Russian political and military ally in the Middle East. But Russia also has strong economic motivations to maintain this relationship.

According to a recently released Congressional Research Service report, Syrian arms sales accounted for nearly a quarter of Russia’s global arms sales agreements reached between 2007 and 2010.

“While China has also had an active arms transfer relationship with Syria, Russia has dominated the Syrian market, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all arms sales agreements with Syria between 2007 and 2010,” Goldring said.

After China and Russia vetoed the Security Council resolution, Ambassador Rice said, “Those who oppose this resolution … will have to answer to the Syrian people and, indeed, to people across the region who are pursuing the same universal aspirations.”

She didn’t refer to China and Russia by name, although they were the only countries that voted against the resolution.

“Russia and China seem to have united against a common adversary. Together, they’re acting as a counterweight to U.S. diplomatic and military activity in the Middle East,” said Goldring.

After the vote, Rice told reporters: “No, I don’t think diplomacy or pressure has reached a dead end.”

“I mean, the fact of the matter is, despite the vote that we saw today in the Council, the majority of members supported the resolution,” she said.

“This is not, as some would like to pretend, a Western issue. We had countries all over the world supporting this resolution, and we have countries throughout the region who have been very clear that the brutality of the Assad regime has to end and that the behavior of the regime is absolutely intolerable.”

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US Will Not Respond Militarily to Iran Over “Assassination Plot”

 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 



Senior Obama administration officials say the U.S. does not have any information right now indicating that either Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knew about the assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. that was revealed today.

But they underlined that absence of evidence was not necessarily evidence of absence. Meaning: Khamenei and Ahmadinejad might have known about the plot, there just isn’t yet any information to suggest that.

The assassination plot was tied to the Quds Force, the militant unit of Iran’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, which the U.S. government says has been tied to attacks on Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for regimes in Syria and Lebanon, as well as support for Hamas and Hezbollah, which groups the U.S. State Department labels as terrorist.

“This plot is in keeping with their support for terrorism, but it escalates it,” a senior administration official told ABC News.

That a foreign government would plot to kill a foreign leader on American soil could be seen as an act of war, but Obama administration officials say the path the U.S. government will purse will align with American interests – and a military response and possible armed conflict with a third Muslim nation would not be part of that. (Though, it should be noted, the official White House position is “no option is off the table.”)

This afternoon the Treasury Department announced further sanctions against Iran, and in coming days diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere will discuss further ways to isolate Iran, while American officials will spread far and wide throughout the region that the Iranian government was planning to kill an Arab leader.

The president was first briefed on the plot in June, and after law enforcement officials built enough of a case, the Saudi government was informed.

President Obama stopped by a “Principals Committee” meeting this morning at the White House – featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, CIA director David Petreaus, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Attorney General Eric Holder, and others – to thank the team for its work and for preventing the assassination.

The Treasury Department this afternoon announced new sanctions on five individuals tied to the plot, four of whom are senior Quds Force officers:

· Qasem Soleimani, who oversees the Quds Force officers alleged to have been involved in this plot;

· Hamed Abdollahi, alleged to have coordinated aspects of this operation;

· Abdul Reza Shahlai alleged to have coordinated the assassination plot by working through his cousin Manssor Arbabsiar; and

· Ali Gholam Shakuri, alleged to have provided financial support to Arbabsiar as well as having met with him several times to discuss the planned assassination.

The fifth individual is Manssor Arbabsiar, accused of plotting to carry out the assassination of the Saudi ambassador.

Ahmadinejad has said he knew nothing about any plot, and he accused the U.S. of concocting the entire thing.

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Zio-Nazi Forces Destroy West Bank Mosque For Third Time


by crescentandcross 

Aggression by Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank has increased

Israeli forces demolished for the third time a mosque in a remote Bedouin village in the northeast of the West Bank on Tuesday.

The mosque and its surroundings had been previously razed by Israeli forces last February and before that in November 2010. In a statement released Tuesday, the Israeli military said it had destroyed the mosque “because it was built without permission in an area that is used for army training.”

The mosque is located in the village of Khirbet Yarza, in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control and where all construction and planning issues must get the permission of the Israeli Civil Administration. In these areas, it is “virtually impossible for a Palestinian to obtain a permit for construction, while Israeli settlements receive preferential treatment in the allocation of water and land, and approval of development plans,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has said.

Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes and construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank has risen dramatically in 2011, actions fully supported by the Obama administration.

In recent months, an especially after the Palestinian Authority’s bid of statehood at the United Nations,attacks on West Bank Palestinians by Israeli settlers have increased significantly and Israeli Defense Forces are quick to use excessive force against Palestinians, including recent killings, detentions, and beatings.

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Republican Presidential Hopeful Cain To Ahmadinejad ‘Make My Day’

 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized


Republican presidential candidates have woven their war plans into their jobs plans in speeches during the past week, even as foreign policy prescriptions have taken a backburner to economic issues for most of the primary season.

From troop levels in Afghanistan to ballistic missile-defense systems, the GOP candidates have donned their commander-in-chief hats to present their plans for how they would oversee the U.S. military.


Herman Cain makes no secret of his qualms with Iran. If elected, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank chairman said he would upgrade America’s missile-defense system, load those missile defenses on naval ships, strategically position the ships and then tell Iranian President Ahmadinejad to “make my day.”

The underpinnings of Cain’s idea are echoed in those of Mitt Romney, who also wants to increase naval and missile-defense spending. Romney said that if elected, he would “reverse the hollowing of our Navy” by increasing the number of Navy ships built each year from 9 to 15.

“God did not create this country to be a nation of followers,” Romney said in a speech at South Carolina’s military college the Citadel Friday. “America must lead the world, or someone else will.”

Jon Huntsman too would focus on Iran as an example of when U.S. force might be necessary.

“I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran,” Huntsman said in New Hampshire today, according to prepared remarks. “If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that.”


Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry would accelerate the departure of troops from Afghanistan, while Romney would “order a full review” of troop levels and make a decision “free from politics.”

Huntsman said his military expenditures would be counter-terrorism based.

“Simply advocating more ships, more troops, and more weapons is not a viable path forward,” Huntsman said, making an obvious reference to Romney’s plan to build more Navy ships. “We need more agility, more intelligence and more economic engagement with the world.”

Texas Rep. Ron Paul would bring the troops home. All of them.

He said Saturday that war is “one of the greatest threats to the family.” Instead of the United Nations or NATO being the “proper authority” for going to war, Paul said the United States should look to the golden rule.

“I would like to suggest that possibly we should be thinking about having a foreign policy of the golden rule and not treat other countries any way other than the way we want to be treated,” he said.

But Perry said he is “not going to compromise when it comes to our national security.” And the first step in making America secure is securing the border, he said, a task that might include taking on Mexico.

“Make no mistake about it, what we are seeing south of our border is nothing short of a war being waged by these narcoterrorists,” Perry said at a social conservatives conference Friday. “To face this threat, we shouldn’t take any options off the table, including security operations in cooperation with the Mexican government as we did with Colombia some years ago.”

And as for threats in the Middle East, Perry would call Pakistan at 3 a.m. to build better relationships, he said in a rambling response to a question at the Florida debate.

And speaking of that 3 a.m. phone call,  Rick Santorum vowed to be “up and waiting” before the phone even rings.

“When that phone call comes at 3 in the morning, ladies and gentlemen, I will be up and waiting for the call because I will know what is going on in the world around us and they won’t have to get me out of bed,” Santorum said.


Except for Paul, the GOP candidates have unanimously criticized Obama for not emphatically supporting Israel and expressed robust support for America’s Middle East ally.

“If you mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America,” Cain said Friday.

Under the “Cain Philosophy,” America must “clarify” which countries are “friends” and which are “enemies.”

“And as we clarify who our friends are, he said, “then tell the rest of the world who are our friends that we are going to stand by so they will know not to mess with our friends, like the nation of Israel.”

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Israel is destroying America, period

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized


By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for America’s phenomenal economic and financial problems, which affect America’s overall global standing, has to do with the so-called Israeli factor.

I know it is politically incorrect to say so, especially in an electioneering atmosphere.

None the less, knowing and telling the truth shall set us all free.

President Obama admitted recently that the US is facing the severest economic crisis ever since the great depression. However, like most of his predecessors and nearly all others contemporary politicians in Washington, the last thing that comes to Obama’s mind is pointing an accusing finger at Israel and her powerful lobbies and pressure groups that have effectively hijacked the American government, especially Congress, by making sure that the American political establishment is answerable, first and foremost, to the Zionist Jewish power-centers, not to the American people.

The shipyard dogs of Israeli propaganda as well as the numerous political prostitutes who would do virtually anything to get Jewish attention (and money) would go to any extent in order to deny the obvious, namely that Israel is destroying America by utilizing and exploiting the erstwhile great country in order to expedite regional and global Zionist interests, including territorial expansion and regional supremacy.

None the less, it seems that America’s economic woes are too real and too pervasive to be obliterated through a façade of lies and prevarication by the Zionist-controlled media.

We hope that the thousands of activists who are now marching to “occupy” America’s major cities will have the guts to call the spade a spade. This is because a real American recovery needs and requires a real American revolution.

In short, in order for America to reclaim itself from the current quagmire of subservience to Israel, the American people  needs to eject the small but powerful Zionist Robber Barons who have enslaved their country, by transforming most of America’s politicians into willing  slaves serving Israeli whims and interests.  In short, the American people need to deliver their country from the claws and clutches of Israel and her supporters and agents who hold America by the throat.

The Zionist stranglehold over the American decision-making process is as malignant as it is tight. The Zionist octopus has its arms and tentacles deeply penetrated throughout the American establishment.

The recent disgraceful retreat of the White House over the issue of Palestinian statehood in the face of hysterical congressional pressure on Israel’s behalf, showed for the umpteenth time who really calls the shots in Washington.  The same thing can be deduced from the multiple standing ovations Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu received recently at Congress.

But Israel is much more than just a domestic American issue. In fact, Israel is a real cancer corroding and debilitating America, and America has two stark choices to deal with this fateful menace of historical magnitude: Either to eradicate or neutralize the impact of the Zionist cancer, at least by keeping it at bay, which is very difficult, or to succumb to it and kiss America’s erstwhile status and stature goodbye.

None the less, there is no escaping telling the truth, however unpalatable it may be. Because In the final analysis, America has only itself to blame for the serious moral, political, and economic degeneration it is now experiencing and which many meaningful experts contend is not merely a passing summer cloud.

Such is the colossal price America has now to pay for years of complacency, obsequiousness and apathy vis-à-vis Israel.

The deliberate corruption by Israel and her agents and supporters of America’s moral will didn’t start yesterday. For decades, Israel and her supporters sought successfully to desensitize America’s moral responsiveness and reactions to Israel’s utterly immoral and manifestly criminal acts. 

This moral callousness on America’s part saw many episodes of oppression and aggression take place in the Middle East, including the mass murder of innocent people, ethnic cleansing of people because the victims happened to be non-members of the “holy tribe” as well as the unceasing crimes of land theft, home demolition and building of colonies for die-hard Jewish fanatics at the expense of tormented Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like military occupation.

Eventually, and as the United States, the country which boasts about “give me freedom or give me death,” looked on passively as Israel transferred hundreds of thousands of her fanatical Jewish citizens to live on land that belonged to another people.

American politicians didn’t want to disturb their mental equanimity by asking the simple question of whether a country that builds settlements and transfers its citizens to arrogate land that belongs not to them was really interested in peace.

For most American politicians, wining the political race, even at the expense of incurring a moral breakdown, was paramount, certainly more important than facing the disquieting question of Palestinian rights and grievances.

Unfortunately, the same moral breakdown that characterized the American policy in the Middle East for decades is still the name of the game in Washington D.C. as President Obama strives, probably against his own conscience and moral convictions, to appease Israel and the Jewish-controlled Congress on no ground other than the fact that it is politically correct to do so.

The confiscation by Israel and her rapacious supporters of America’s political will and obliteration of her moral conscience enabled former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to enthusiastically laud and justify the genocidal annihilation of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and civilians, by saying “if it is good for America, then it is worth it.”

Israel led America to invade, occupy and destroy two distant Muslim countries, causing the death of over a million persons, including thousands of American soldiers.

Then there was the so-called war on terror or more correctly war on Islam, which guaranteed that 1.6 billion human beings will be perpetual haters of America, not because “they hate our freedoms” as claimed by the former ignoramus of the White House, but rather because of America’s never-ending embrace of Israeli Nazism.

America’s embrace, whether occurring willfully or in spite of America’s national will, has drawn much more than Arab-Muslim hostility. It has also cost America hundreds of trillions of dollars; resources if otherwise spent responsibly would have saved America from the economic calamity it now faces.

There is no  doubt that America, the country in  which this writer received his graduate and post-graduate education, will continue to move from one  crisis to another severer crisis until it faces the hour of truth, which will be the hour of America’s ultimate collapse.

Perhaps, the Americans can still salvage their country, although the momentum toward the point-of-no-return is going at a high speed.

However, it should be amply clear that any progress will hedge on America’s collective ability to terminate, once and for all, its subservient connection to Israel and its mighty fifth column.

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Israeli Settlers Continue ‘Price-Tag’ Rampage

 by crescentandcross 


“On Saturday, we as a nation atoned for our sins. I as a Jew feel ashamed of myself. I’m asking for forgiveness,” declared Ron Hulday, mayor of this mixed city, immediately at the closing of the Day of Atonement.

As Jews fasted and prayed to amend for their past behavior, vandals, presumably Jewish, desecrated tombstones in two cemeteries of the Jewish-Arab city, one Muslim, another Christian, with slanderous tags against Arabs and “Russians,” the country’s largest minorities.

One in five Israelis is an Arab; there are more than one-and-a-half million citizens from the former Soviet Union.

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar. According to tradition, God “seals” the Book of Life into which each person’s fate is inscribed for the coming year in accordance to his or her past deeds.

“The perpetrators are weak-kneed terrorists,” fumed former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, “for the dead cannot defend their name.” Sheikh Ahme Abu Ajwa, president of the Islamic Movement in Jaffa, joined the chorus of unanimous condemnations: “This is an attempt by extremists to incite the Arabs.”

The desecrations weren’t just isolated incidents. They share a common modus operandi.

What’s been labeled by settlers as a “price tag” for “eye-for-eye” retribution against Palestinians collectively accused by them of violent actions perpetrated by isolated Palestinians against Israelis, has become not merely the “plague” of the day, but “policy.”

In just the past fortnight, there were numerous such attacks. In the West Bank, according to police sources, young extreme right-wing settler activists attempted to torch a Palestinian village mosque and sprayed its walls with injurious “death to Arabs” and “price tag” graffiti, their signature.

Alarmingly, the outbreak of assaults has known no respite and no border, national or physical. The door of a left-wing Israeli activist living in Israel proper was sprayed with menacing paint.

But the gravest incident occurred last week in the Bedouin Israeli village Tuba-Zanghariya. A mosque was torched and severely damaged. Copies of the Quran were destroyed in the blaze.

The blackened walls were sprayed with “price tag” graffiti in revenge for the alleged murder, a week earlier, of two settlers, father and son, who were driving on a West Bank road at the time of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Police investigators had concluded — hastily it seems — that the deaths were the result of a traffic accident. But evidence showed that Palestinian youths had thrown rocks at the car which caused it to overturn. Last week, the suspected rock-throwers were arrested.

Other recent vengeful actions included the defacement of the Tomb of Joseph, a shrine revered by Jews but also by Muslims, located near the West Bank town Nablus.

All politicians and religious figures have stood up united in their condemnation and reprobation: “Jews do not desecrate holy sites, period,” is the mantra.

“Israel … will show no tolerance for those who oppose it,” stated Netanyahu at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. The statement was wide open to interpretation — as in “when” Israel “will show no tolerance.”

For beyond the veneer of moral indignation and making, appropriately, good Kippur resolutions, what’s striking is the double-standard policy with regard to rule of law enforcement against “price tag” assailants. Police are responsible for law and order — including in the settlements.

Whereas a suspected arsonist of the Israeli mosque was quickly apprehended, no one was ever detained, let alone tried, for “price tag” arsons and defacements of Palestinian mosques and for other acts of vandalism against Palestinian property, such as uprooting olive trees, a common settler practice.

When a military jeep was destroyed and tagged two weeks ago in response to the forced evacuation and demolition by police units — the army usually provides only peripheral security to the operation — of an “unauthorized settlement outpost” “illegally” built on “Palestinian-owned” land in the occupied West Bank, the perpetrators were quickly arrested. But the army is sacrosanct, so it would seem.

Other such “outposts” are slated for evacuation at the end of the High Holiday season. Tension between the Israeli military and police and settlers is on the rise. Wednesday, settlers blocked an army vehicle and assaulted its soldiers.

“A Jewish authority has taken shape in the West Bank,” warned political commentator Zvi Barel in the daily Haaretz. “Its goal is to replace the state as sovereign authority, and eventually also supplant the military authority.”

Hence, the ominous warning issued last month by Bar-Ilan University Prof. Hillel Weiss at a settlers’ event marking the creation of a new “Jewish Authority” (as counterweight to the Palestinian Authority) labeled “the rescue of the Jewish people and the land of Israel.”

The notorious far right-wing speaker said: “Instead of a governmental authority which gleefully cracks the skulls of Jewish youths, instead of what the state calls ‘the rule of law,’ there are Jews who stand up. … We Jewish citizens to be abandoned to the authority of an artificial enemy state [a future Palestine] declare that this will never happen.”

Yom Kippur seals the Days of Awe. This holy day presaged more such days to come. In the land ostensibly cursed by its own holiness, each parcel of it is replete with shrines, pilgrimage sites, houses of prayers, places of worship, and cemeteries.

“Price tag” militants not only target places of elemental religious tolerance, which all too often have been misrepresented as ferment of political intolerance.

As the land — who controls it, what stands on it, and who lives in it — is slated for division (at least nominally under U.N. auspices), the “price taggers” also risk turning to ashes any prospect of a two-state solution.

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Jewish People Are Just That–People, And Far From Chosen

by crescentandcross 

The idea that we are members of the chosen people is deeply ingrained, not only in the Jewish tradition, but also among modern and ostensibly secular Israelis.

By Gideon Levy

October 09, 2011 “Haaretz” — On Saturday, the prayer was once again read in the synagogues. “You have chosen us from among all the nations” was once again heard all over the land. The idea that we are a special nation was once again specifically expressed, as is often the case in prayers and in the Torah, and not only on Yom Kippur.

But the idea that we are members of the chosen people is planted far deeper, and not only in Jewish tradition and among those who observe it – modern and ostensibly secular Israel believes in it with all its heart. There are not many other ancient Jewish ideas as deeply implanted in the contemporary Israeli experience as the idea that the “Jewish people,” however it is interpreted, is better than any other nation. If you scratch beneath the skin of almost any Israeli, you’ll discover that he really is convinced of that: We’re the best; the “Jewish genius” is the most successful; the Israel Defense Forces is the most moral. Nobody will tell them different, we’re simply the best in the world.

This is not only unnecessary and groundless arrogance, it’s also an extremely dangerous idea that enables Israel to behave as it does, with blatant disregard of the world’s feelings. Nor does it lack benighted ultra-nationalist and racist foundations. It’s good and well that a nation considers itself successful. The Jewish people have many reasons for that, of course, and many accomplishments of which to boast, as does the State of Israel, which is a kind of wonder, almost a miracle. But among all these, prominent in its absence is an equally important national trait: modesty. It is hard to accuse the Israelis of having it.

At the basis of Israeli arrogance lies the idea that this really is a special nation with special traits that are shared by no other nation. You can see that among Israeli travelers abroad; you can hear it from anyone who comes into contact with foreigners; you can sense it in the deeper currents of Israeli policy. The Americans are “foolish,” the Indians are “primitive,” the Germans are “square,” the Chinese are “strange,” the Scandinavians are “naive,” the Italians are “clowns” and the Arabs are … Arabs. Only we know what’s good for us, and not only for us but for the entire world. There is nothing like Israeli ingenuity, there is nothing similar to Jewish intelligence, the Jewish brain invents new ideas for us like no other brain, because we’re the best, bro.

There are many opportunities to see this idea in action. The latest example not only erupted from the synagogues on Yom Kippur, but was observed on the eve of the holiday, when we heard the very happy news that another Israeli scientist had won the Nobel Prize. And it really was heartwarming: Prof. Dan Shechtman certainly deserves the prize, but Israel does not deserve the sentimental national celebration that immediately erupted. In a society where blunders and failures are always the responsibility of the individual, achievements are nationalized and belong to us, all of us. We were all together on April 8, 1982, in Shechtman’s laboratory in Maryland when he first observed his quasicrystal; we’re all with him now, on the way to Stockholm.

The achievement of the individual immediately becomes a communal achievement, the communal achievement immediately becomes more irrefutable proof of Israel’s superiority. “The crystal is ours;” “The secret of our existence;” “National pride;” and the “Israeli brain” screamed the headlines in a tasteless and unfounded display at the news of the individual prize.

In order to confirm the baseless notion that we are all partners to Shechtman’s impressive achievement, they immediately come with the calculations: how many Nobel Prizes “we” have won, and where that places us relative to the size of the population. The list of Jewish Nobel laureates throughout the generations is immediately put on display, as though saying that they won because they were Jewish. Every prize that is added to the collection immediately reinforces the idea that it’s a matter of clear genetic superiority. That is the other side of racism – on the one hand, trampling the other; on the other, we praise and exalt the “chosen people” above everyone else. Two sides of the same coin: unconscionable racism.

We should, of course, continue to read the prayer “You have chosen us.” It is part of the Jewish heritage. But Israel should long since have freed itself from its contemporary and practical meaning. No, we are not a special nation – we haven’t been for a long time. Nor are we chosen, certainly not above other nations. Therefore, the day after this Yom Kippur, with another Nobel Prize for an Israeli, let’s try to be at least a nation like all other nations.

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