Archive | November, 2011

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


Short but not so sweet.  NGOs are again on the firing line.


The first of the 4 items below is a brief report on a new bill , which combines aspects of 2 former bills, and worsens them.  This was clearer from the Israeli TV news on channel 2 this evening than from any report in English that I have been able to find. Tomorrow will probably bring fuller ones.  The long and the short of it is that in the new bill certain organizations will be forbidden all funding.  Among these are New Profile and Yesh Gvul.  Hopefully the bill will not become law, but I wouldn’t bet on that happening.  


Item 2 is a request for funds for organizations that support refusers.  If you have any intentions of donating to any of these, you’d better do it quickly, before the new law (if it passes) takes effect.


Item 3 is a discussion about the ROR (Palestinians’ Right of Return).  I agree that this is the crux of the problem, and that Israel does not recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return, there is small chance of resolving the conflict.  I have yet to meet a Palestinian who does not insist on this right, and justly so.  There may be exceptions who are willing to forgo the ROR, but they are far from being anywhere near the majority.


In item 4 Amira Hass lashes out at the orthodoxation that Israel is now undergoing.  


I wonder if the fascism and orthodoxation that Israel is now undergoing aren’t a blessing in disguise.  These will surely give Jews abroad pause, and help them realize that Israel is not the country they want to support.


All the best,




1.  Jerusalem Post  Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Photo by : Marc Israel Sellem


NGO bills revived in new, combined version



[see also ]



11/30/2011 22:26



Newest draft, written at PM’s request, divides organizations into 3 categories for potential foreign gov’t funding.

Talkbacks ()  

  At the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, MKs Ofir Akunis (Likud) and Faina Firschenbaum (Israel Beitenu) drafted a new version of the controversial NGO bill, which seeks to limit foreign government funding to political organizations. The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is expected to authorize the bill in 10 days.


Following Netanyahu’s call for Akunis to clarify further and define which organizations are political, the new version of the bill divides NGOs into three categories, combining elements of both MKs’ original bills.


The ministerial committee originally approved Kirschenbaum’s bill, which would levy a 45 percent tax on foreign governments’ donations to NGOs, and Akunis’s, which capped such contributions to political NGOs at NIS 20,000, but the initiatives were thwarted by an appeal from Minister without Portfolio Bennie Begin, who declared them “dead.”


On Monday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to attempt to pass Kirschenbaum’s bill despite the appeal, and Netanyahu’ s office hurried to find a compromise that both the prime minister and the foreign minister would find satisfactory.


The new draft, which is signed by both Akunis and Kirschenbaum, forbids any foreign government donations to NGOs that rejects Israel’s right to exist, incites racism, supports violence against Israel, supports putting Israeli politicians and IDF soldiers on trial in international courts, call for boycotts of the state or for IDF soldiers to refuse orders.


In addition, donations from within Israel to such organizations will be subject to a 45% tax.


Political organizations, such as Betselem or Peace Now , will also have to pay a 45% tax on donations. However, they will have the option of undergoing a hearing in the Knesset Finance Committee, which may decide to waive the tax.


Non-political organizations that receive state funding will be tax-exempt and may receive unlimited donations from foreign governments. This category includes Magen David Adom and Hebrew University , among other NGOs.


Earlier this week, Begin expressed confidence that the NGO bills are “practically dead,” due to his appeal, and said that Netanyahu is unlikely to allow them to pass when he and numerous other ministers oppose them.


When asked on Wednesday whether he would support the new version of the bill, he said he would not know until he reads it.


“I need to learn it in depth, meet with people, and after that I’ll decide,” Begin told The Jerusalem Post.


Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.  


2.    Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Dear friend of the Refuser Movements,


Yes, it’s that time of the year. You are, no doubt, hearing from many groups, asking for your support. We hope that you will be able to extend some of that financial assistance to the refuser movements in Israel .


This has been a momentous year in so many ways, in the Middle East . The Arab Spring has led to “regime change” in several countries. The people of Egypt have shown their unwillingness to accept a replacement military regime. And the conflict in Syria deepens, as the Arab League takes strong steps to isolate Assad and hopefully compel him to stop attacking and killing Syrians. The Palestinian Authority has begun its push for recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations.


From the standpoint of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the news is not good. Israel is pushing forward with aggressive, accelerated plans for construction of housing in many places in the West Bank. And, as the New York Times recently reported in its “Israel’s Other Occupation” article, there is a broad, multi-faceted campaign by the settler movement and most extreme right-wing elements in Israel to suppress opposition to the occupation and to isolate/attack the Arab citizens of Israel.


As is so often the case with this conflict, there is little good news to report. On the other hand, the refuser organizations have maintained and in some cases increased their levels of activity and impact.


We believe that the refusers remain among the most important voices and activists inside Israel (and, increasingly, among Palestinians as well, through Combatants for Peace). You will find detailed information from Yesh Gvul , New Profile and Combatants for Peace about their view of the situation and their plans for 2012.


We hope that you will continue your support of these organizations with an end of year, tax deductible contribution. You can do so very easily with your credit card by visiting and clicking on the Donate Now button. If you would like to direct your contribution to a specific refuser group, be sure to select that group’s name in the “RSN Project” field. You will also find instructions on our website for donating by check.


Finally, we are saddened to report the death of Peretz Kidron , a longtime activist in Yesh Gvul , the oldest refuser movement in Israel . Active in the Israeli peace movement since the late 1960s, he was a founder member of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and served on the steering committee of the human rights group B’Tselem. He died on 6 November 2011 after a lengthy battle against illness. We will miss him greatly.


Many thanks in advance for your support,

The RSN Board of Directors


Yesh Gvul

In response to the Israeli governments’ determination to expand the occupation of Palestine and increasingly anti-democratic and aggressive policies, Yesh Gvul is launching a new campaign in the next coming months, aimed at Israeli soldiers and inductees:


“Where’s your limit?”


The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst Israeli soldiers regarding the occupation, Israeli aggression and attacks against civilians, and challenging them regarding their personal responsibility.


The campaign will be make extensive use of internet and social networking in order to reach men and women who are serving in the Israeli army or whom are now being drafted. These online tools will comprise an electronic version of our traditional leafleting to IDF soldiers.


Campaign methods will include:


Video clip “dialogues” with soldiers about the occupation

Banners and ads on Israeli news websites and Facebook ads geared to soldiers


Online facebook reactions to events in Israel and the Occupied territories which stress our messages

In addition to the campaign Yesh Gvul’s plans for the near future include:



The third annual Yishiyahu Leibowitz Award (end of December). Yesh Gvul has organized this prize ceremony, which honours the memory of Prof. Leibowitz, an Israeli gadfly who warned Israelis about the dangers of the occupation in June 167, and was an early and steadfast supporter of Yesh Gvul and the refuser movement .The annual award is given to Israelis whose actions personify Leibowitz’s legacy.

Continuing our legal campaign against war crimes. We are continuing with our petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the use of white phosphorus munitions in civilian areas, and are now working on an action against a former ranking officer who called on the army to kill Palestinian militants in their beds.

Appeal from New Profile

There is good reason to be concerned for Israel . Right wing influences are growing and and sanctioning limitations on Israel ‘s democratic freedoms. These limitations are regulated by the government and the Knesset, the two representative bodies who should be responsible for preserving and promoting democracy. During this present administration we are witness to a growing number of officials adopting anti-democratic legislation aimed at silencing opposition and the media. Additionally unsympathetic and accusing statements are made against peace and human rights organizations, political organizations, and minorities. New Profile stands with the many peace and human rights NGOs, in protest to these present policies and the ongoing attempts made to limit dissent and opposition.


However New Profile has already been singled out, and any of you have readily recognized the gravity of this turn of events and written us to express support and solidarity. We are very grateful for your support.


The bigger events are as follows:


In 2009 – 2010 New Profile was subject to a criminal investigation into our activities, during which many of our activists were interrogated by the police and their personal computers, and families’ computers were confiscated. The criminal charges were found to be baseless and were dropped.

Then New Profile was banned by direct order from Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar from participating in events in high schools.

In July 2011 Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman publically called New Profile and other human rights organizations ‘terrorist organizations”. Naturally New Profile refutes these allegations and continues to be committed to non-violence, while encouraging true and open civil discourse in Israel . Accordingly we feel that Minister Lieberman systematically leads and provokes incitement against human rights and civil society organizations in Israel . The attempt to slur us as ‘terrorist’, can only be deemed as outrageous, emphasizing the ruling power’s basic misunderstanding of democracy.

In spite these repeated allegations and accusations we continue to be committed to our goals, questioning Israeli society’s deep seeded militarism by offering alternative educational programs for demilitarization. We encourage rethinking conscription and give support to all refusers. Additionally we oppose the military means Israel uses to impose sovereignty in Palestine . In our charter we state, ‘We refuse to go on raising our children to see enlistment as a supreme and overriding value. We want a fundamentally changed education system, for a truly democratic civic education, teaching the practice of peace and conflict resolution, rather than training children to enlist and accept warfare.’


This October New Profile celebrated 13 years of activism as a movement. This in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. We aspire and rise to the challenge of engaging with the Israeli public in spite of present day policies. New Profile encourages new venues that allow for an open and frank discussion, similar to what we saw evolve during in the social uprising this summer, creating new hope for change.


New Profile continues to maintain several key projects, focusing on youth and refusal. These projects were established as the movement developed and continue to be the foundation for our activities with young people. The projects are as follows:


Youth groups : One of our oldest projects, the youth groups, presently located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Kiryat Shmona, provide a safe space for high schools students to meet weekly and discuss matters of the day including: politics, activism, gender, conscription, refusal, ecology, globalization, and more. Each group has two facilitators who prepare the weekly discussion.

Refusers Counseling Network: Based on New Profile’s belief that there is a vast underground refuser movement amongst young Israelis today, the Network provides tools for rethinking conscription. Involving a team of active counselors nationwide, it is the Network’s directive to work with anyone and everyone who seeks information and/ or support on issues regarding refusal, discharge from the military, discharge from reserve duty, and military classifications, (called profiles in Hebrew). The counselors work with applicants specifically on a one-on-one basis, either in person or on the phone, as to ensure discretion. The majority of requests for counseling or receiving general information comes from teenagers who are considering the option of enlisting. But others, such as conscripts who are already serving in the army, and are resolved in terminating their military service, or reservists seeking information on how to be released from long-term military service, also apply for assistance. One new but growing phenomenon is that of parents seeking advice on how to support their children’s decisions to refuse to conscript. All applicants are informed in detail of their legal rights and options and provided with descriptions of others’ individual experiences.

Legal Aid Network : The network is an important component in our refusers’ support system and comprises work with several law firms, offering solid legal consultations, and support for draft resisters and their families. It is one of New Profile’s more expensive activities and is assigned high priority. The team, coordinates visits by lawyers to refusers in prison, and provides preliminary consultations and interventions. This team also maintains regular contact with the parents of imprisoned refusers. During 2011 we established a joined supervising team for the Counseling and Legal projects. One of the major roles of this new team is to strengthen the connection between the two projects.

Alternative Summer Camp: Following up on a six year long tradition, New Profile’s 7th Alternative Summer Camp for Youth took place in July at an ecological farm in Moshav Even Sapir. Some 80 participants, all aged 15-19, participated in the camp, making it a great success. An even greater success was the fact that for many attendees this was a first acquaintance with this project or with New Profile Most of the content of the summer camp was composed of workshops given by guest speakers on various issues such as education, the economy, the place of militarism in Israeli society and gender and sexuality. Other subjects that were touched on were the Israeli occupation, ecology, migrant workers and refugees and the internally displaced Palestinians within Israel .

The participants are encouraged to develop tools for critical thinking about society, media, politics, the environment and much more, enabling them to become activists for social change. A winter seminar/camp is planned for 2012.


We anticipate launching our new web site by the end of the year. In the meanwhile limited information can be on our temporary site Included on the site is our new digital and translated exhibit, which we use to show how militarization permeates all aspects of society. The link to the exhibit is


Many of you have readily recognized the gravity of recent of events and have written us to express support and solidarity in light of the destructive anti-democracy policies now openly governing Israel/Palestine. We appreciate any small or large action you can take and truly need you, now and over the months and years to come. Your continued support is deeply meaningful.


Ruth Hiller

International Network Coordinator



Appeal from Combatants for Peace

Combatants for Peace is a grass-roots, Israeli-Palestinian peace movement. It was founded in 2005 by Palestinians and Israelis who had taken an active part in the cycle of violence, and now work together to break it. CFP is committed to non-violence and conscientious objection. This means that the Israeli members refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories and the Palestinians publicly reject the armed struggle. Our movement is based upon the belief that only when Israelis and Palestinians join forces is it possible to break the cycle of violence, establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. CFP’s activity brings together growing numbers of people from both sides, and fosters the recognition that violence and the occupation are ruinous for the future of all. CFP has won numerous awards for its work, including The Anna Lindh Euro-Med Award for the Dialogue Between Cultures; the Livia Foundation Conflict Resolution Award and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.


Our Mission


To help put an end to the occupation and assist the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.

To raise awareness and promote an understanding among both publics regarding the hopes and suffering of the other side, and create partners for dialogue.

To educate both sides about reconciliation and non-violent struggle.

To put political pressure on both governments to demand that they stop the cycle of violence and the occupation and resume a constructive dialogue.

Our activities and projects 2010-2012


We stage high-profile events, such as the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony, every year in May.. This ceremony commemorates both Israeli and Palestinian victims of violence in the belief that acknowledging the joint pain and loss can break down walls rather than perpetuate them. Instead of de-humanizing the other, Palestinians and Israelis mourn together for all victims of conflict. The annual ceremony has been held every year since 2006. The numbers grow every year, and last May, in Tel Aviv, 1,500 people attended. The event attracts a great deal of local and international media attention.

five bi-national peace-building groups based in different areas of the West Bank and Israel: Tel Aviv-Tulkarem; Beer Sheva-South Hebron; Jerusalem-Ramallah; Jerusalem-Bethlehem; Tel Aviv-Nablus. A group comprises approximately 15 Palestinians and 15 Israelis. About 600 active members fill the broader ranks. We have thousands of supporters.

The Tel Aviv-Tulkarem bi-national group, for example, meets regularly in the West Bank village of Shufa. Among the Israeli cohort are two theatre professors, who have influenced this group’s use of Theatre Workshops as an effective tool for dealing with oppression and bereavement. Through these workshops, the group is constantly improving the personal connections between its members. The group protests the hardships in the Palestinian villages of the Tulkarem region and has carried out a protest and advocacy campaign aimed at bringing electricity to Shufa.

The Beer Sheba-Hebron group is focused on two assignments: 1) organizing agricultural work with area Palestinian villagers: safeguarding shepherds, digging water holes, planting, plowing and harvesting. 2) creating the Palestinian Trail, a path connecting villages and offering a hiking route from South to North of the West Bank. 15 Kilometers have already been created.

The Jerusalem-Bethlehem Group is involved in the villages Wallajeh and Ma’asra, where we lead community rehabilitation projects, and a non-violent struggle approach to the separation wall built around the villages.

The Jerusalem/Al-Quds/Ramallah group is currently engaged in a video project of stories and testimonies.

The Tel Aviv/Nablus group is developing its work in the village of Yanoun, Nablus District. We started by erecting a community playground there.

We initiate and participate in various public activities, such as joint olive harvests, tree plantings, public demonstrations, tours for Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

We conduct public workshops, in which members of CFP meet members of the public, adult groups, and share with them our experience and the meaning of our work.

Impact & Assessment


In her new book titled The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Movement: Combatants for Peace (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) Donna Perry suggests that “Members of the group have a mutually transformative effect upon one another and that they jointly sustain one another in the challenging process of building peace. Membership in the group influenced their very identity and the lens with which they viewed the world. Participants found their involvement in the group deeply meaningful and an important part of their lives. They felt that they were living up to their values and doing something good for themselves and their community”.


3. [forwarded by Sam B.]


The Harper’s article mentioned in this article may be found here:







Geographies / Near & Middle East 


Home and Garden 

by Mitchell Plitnick on Nov 30, 2011 


This week, Iceland became the first European country to recognize the State of Palestine. The declaration had a curious clause: “Iceland recalls also the right of Palestinian refugees to return to former homes in accordance with numerous UN resolutions.” 


To be sure, this carries little weight; Iceland is a country of less than 320,000 people. It’s a political maverick, frequently charting its own course, and is not a member of the EU. While it’s unlikely that other European states will follow Iceland’s lead, the fact remains that a first world country has formally endorsed the return of Palestinian refugees. 


Coincidentally, the issue of the Palestinian Right of Return (RoR), made some waves a few days earlier when the noted Zionist dove, Bernard Avishai, published a piece in Harpers (print only, but available here) which took on the issue directly and tried to find some resolution to it that both Israelis and Palestinians can live with. 


This was no small task Avishai took on. For the overwhelming majority of Israelis, including most of the Israeli left, Right of Return is nothing more than code for the end of Israel as a Jewish state. For most as well, this has connotations of mass expulsions or fleeing the country at best, violent dangers at worst. Thus, even among most supporters of peace and withdrawal from all the Occupied Palestinian Territories, RoR is anathema to Israelis. 


For Palestinians, the Right of Return is not just a negotiating point. It is the very heart of their nationalism, the focus of their historical claim to lands from which they were driven. It is both a national right, which can be negotiated by their leaders, but also an individual right, which cannot. It is at once the key elderly Palestinians still keep with them to the homes from which their families were driven more than 60 years ago; it is also the grievance they feel must be addressed, the fact of that expulsion, if there is ever to be reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. 


In more than a decade of activism, including many visits to Palestinian towns, cities and refugee camps, I have spoken with Palestinians from all parts of the political, cultural, religious and economic spectrum. I have heard many views regarding the implementation of RoR. But not a single man, woman or child has ever said they would give it up. 


Except for the tiny minority of Israeli Jews who support the Right of Return, the mere mention of the idea casts a pall of terror across their faces. Many Israelis will withdraw from the West Bank, abandon the settlements and in smaller numbers, share Jerusalem. But RoR is an absolute non-starter. 


It is little wonder, then, that there has been virtually no serious discussion about the Right of Return, in or outside of Israel/Palestine. There have been repeated declarations by both sides of the heartfelt, and absolutist, stances, but little real discussion. In peace proposals, the “refugee issue” is left to vague wording that promises nothing to the Palestinians, yet still raises Israeli anxiety to a boiling point. For this reason, both Iceland’s declaration and Avishai’s article are extremely important. 


The Icelandic statement is a reminder to the West that this issue cannot be skirted around. The well-worn cliché about the only resolution being negotiations between the parties conducted in a fair and balanced atmosphere (that is, one where outside parties strive to balance the skewed power dynamics between the regional superpower, Israel, and the occupied, stateless and powerless Palestinians) is absolutely true in this case. 


But instead of taking that on, the United States, Europe, and all the other major players have tried their best to avoid it. Frankly, this is absurd, and always has been. 


No peace deal yet devised has ever taken a real look at RoR. Discussions ensue about what “the people” will accept, and it is usually, if quietly, assumed that the Palestinian position is so weak that they will swallow forgoing the Right of Return in order to end the occupation and build their state. Those making that assumption have never bothered to talk to an actual Palestinian. Whether in a café in Ramallah, a workshop in Gaza City, a refugee camp in Lebanon or an organizers’ meeting in Paris, they would have gotten a clear message that RoR must be seriously addressed if any peace proposal is to garner even moderate Palestinian support. 


Avishai, who has come under some justifiable criticism for an approach to this issue reflective of his privileged Israeli position, must be applauded for finally bringing this question into mainstream US discourse. 


It is the discourse, in the US, Europe and most of all in Israel and the Occupied Territories that has been missing for all these years. On all other issues, there have been the stated demands on both sides and then public discussion, within and across borders, about how to reconcile pragmatism with ideology, historical wrongs with present-day realities. But on RoR, there has been only the tense exchange of absolutism. 


Avishai’s proposed solution may not seem realistic to many. However, the solution isn’t the point right now. Opening a discussion about this, allowing Palestinians to make their case in a public forum, and Israelis and their advocates to respond, like every other issue, is the task at hand. 


Already, Avishai’s piece stirred up intense debate on the very nature of Zionism and the Jewish State. And that is precisely the discussion that Right of Return is going to provoke. Instead of running away from that discussion, it should be embraced. 


More than any other issue, RoR both challenges the status quo and stirs serious legal and ethical questions of history. Until they are grappled with, we are likely to see a continuation of the polarization we have seen in recent years and an ongoing stalemate which only leads to more violence and insecurity. 


The Right of Return is the very heart of the conflict, the definition of Palestinian dispossession and the cause of the fear, born (for the many Israelis of conscience) of historical guilt in Israel. Resolving it in a manner that both sides can live with is indispensable. Who knows. Maybe Avishai is right, and the road to resolving it, whether on his path or some other, contains the key to resolving the conflict as a whole. 


– Jaffa tanner’s home portrait courtesy of gnuckx. Published under a Creative Commons license. 




4.  Haaretz

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The Zionist ultra-Orthodox are cashing in their I.O.U.

Those spending their Saturdays having fun rather than defending shepherds and farmers should not be surprised if the day after, Jewish fundamentalism even invades their bedrooms.




By Amira Hass


The Haredim and Hardalim, as the non-Zionist and Zionist ultra-Orthodox are respectively known, are now cashing in their promissory note from Israeli society. Their bitterness at an ungrateful secular-nationalist public is certainly justified. For what is doing without women’s singing in comparison to the direct line to God they offer us? And what are advertisements featuring men only compared to the blank check God gave all of us to be the masters of the entire Promised Land?


Haredi and Hardali Judaism sold three assets on credit to the Israel that desecrates the Sabbath and loves the charming, Arab-free views from the Galilee kibbutzim and the West Bank outposts. These are the assets that enable Israel to be indifferent to both the history that was and the history now in the making, and to live as an armed, gilded ghetto, a beloved outpost of the “developed” and “civilized” Christian West in the Muslim East.


We could have clung to the historical, secular explanations for our ingathering in this land (briefly, the “final solution” of that same civilized Christian West, which also expelled us from the countries of the Diaspora ). This would have committed us to the humanitarian and earthly values and perceptions that have emerged from every struggle against ethnic persecution and oppression. But the historical explanation would also have obliged us to admit our similarity to other colonialist movements, and to understand that what was possible in the 18th and 19th centuries in America and Australia is not possible here and now.


To escape the contradictions created by history and its lessons, we chose to buy the meta-historical explanation of our armed, fortified presence here: no more and no less than God’s promise to Abraham, from whom all of us are directly descended. This promise is what permits us, in our view, to do whatever we please to the people that dwells here, the natives of this land: to expel, to concentrate, to divide, to blockade, to impoverish, to dry out, to bomb, to uproot, to dispossess.


This same divine promise grants all Jews everywhere – even those who have never set foot in Israel – more rights in this land than any Palestinian who was born here. This land is ruled by a state that refuses to be a state of its actual citizens and thinks only of potential citizens from the Diaspora.


Ethnic head-counting is second nature to this state. Thus the Haredim and Hardalim know that the second asset they are selling is beyond price: their high birthrate. In the Haredi view, this high birthrate is worth more than any military service or tax payment could ever be.


The Hardalim, in contrast, combine this with a third asset for sale: lust for battle, and for ascending the military ranks, and a willingness to “die for our country” – all of which have been on the wane, relatively speaking, among other sectors of the population. In a state that has done everything in its power over the last several decades to miss any opportunity for peace, this military enthusiasm is a vital asset – especially as good neighborly relations in this region now seem more unachievable than ever before.


Hardalim and Haredim see that most of the Israeli Jewish public has eagerly bought these inexhaustible assets, so now they are continuing down the same consistent path. The Haredim and Hardalim simply long for wholeness: the divine promise and the laws of kashrut. They are offering soldiers in the demographic warfare in exchange for the non-mixing of women and men in the army.


The problem then is not the sellers but the buyers. The secular Jews who allow or even encourage the expulsion of Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, Al-Arakib and Safed, should not complain if tomorrow, theaters and concert halls are required to set up separate sections for the female portion of the audience. And those who spend their holy Saturdays having fun rather than going out to defend shepherds and farmers from skullcap-wearing Salafists should not be surprised if the day after, Jewish fundamentalism even invades their bedrooms.

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As an activist against Human Rights abuses, particularly of the sort that the Nazi style entity called Israel inflicts on Palestinians on a daily basis, I have been fortunate to be involved in some direct actions which were very effective in exposing among other things the illegal collective punishment on one and a half million Palestinians a.k.a. the Siege of Gaza. More recently I have had the privilege to attend many lectures by intellectuals on various subjects relating to zionism and it’s evil ideology. A learning process which often finds me agreeing with most of what someone states as the issues facing Palestinians but perhaps not always agreeing on how each person or group sees the solution, such as was the case with the amazing Dr Norman Finkelstein lecture recently.

All protests, flotillas, convoys and lectures feature people of different religions (or none) from a broad spectrum of political backgrounds, yet amazingly there is a huge amount of solidarity across the board with everyone contributing in many different ways within their own area of expertise. The common thread holding us all together is a firm belief in Truth and Justice.

The Meir Institute report after the Mavi Marmara particularly noted, to their great consternation that Muslims (Islamists as they call politically active muslims) and people from every kind of religious and political background were able to unite against the common enemy of Zionist oppression. This is the real meaning of Solidarity.

Muslims in particular are keenly aware that Zionists are actively engaged in oppressing Muslims in the west as well as in Palestine. One only has to read Zionists blogs to understand that their main obsession is Islam, and their main activity is trying to provoke never ending war between western powers and Muslim countries. The Fox/Werrity/Gould agenda of pushing for war on Iran exposes the money and power behind the decisions that western governments take and why. The recent report by Spin Watch called The Cold War on British Muslims, into lobby groups such as Policy exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion expose another agenda of increasing suspicion against Muslims in the U.K. promoting fear of terrorism from Muslims and increasingly an agenda of restricting personal freedoms for everyone in the name of security.

All activists who expose the truth about Zionist politics and the racial supremacy which is integral to that ideology are labelled as anti semitic, a bit of research uncovers the driving forces behind the changing definition of what anti semitism is. Groups such asC.S.T. want the British government to adopt the E.U. working document on anti semitism which has never been used and would make anyone critical of Israel and it’s policies anti semitic. When I look at the websites of my local M.P.’s I find they attend C.S.T. annual dinners and in the case of Mike Freer even get named as a “Friend” of CST. It is frightening to discover that lobby groups whose primary interest is a foreign country’s security and expansionist agenda, and whose policies continue to cause so much death and human suffering in the region, even when it leads to our government waging illegal wars and the death of millions of innocents not to mention the British soldiers who are operating at the heart of British Politics, by now we the British public should be very concerned.

With the amount of funding that our government receives from wealthy Jewish business men and with wealthy Jewish business men donating heavily to Jewish interest lobby groups, it is no surprise that pro Palestine Campaigners are up against a formidable force. Not only do we have to expose and take on the Israeli government but we also have to expose and take on the Western governments as well. How simple would it be for Western Governments to insist that Israel would comply with International Law and so bring an end to a lot of misery and suffering of the Palestinians, but Governments such as the U.K. for one seem terminally helpless when it comes to Israel.

Realising that Zionist interests are not contained within Israel/Palestine alone but reach out and shape western foreign policy, means that there can be no peace, as long as the Zionist agenda is the oppression and complete subjugation of billions of people, every single one whom they believe is a security threat, or at least wish to portray as such.

To be successful against the Zionist machine we have one weapon in our favour and that is solidarity, every person following alternative media and who discovers the truth about injustice and the perpetrators of oppression finds it difficult to sit and do nothing. As a Muslim I have to operate within Islamic methodology, the left wing activists have their own views and they don’t agree with some of our religious restrictions, however, on the whole we do not attack each other publicly or seek to disown, distance or discredit each other.

A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link, and sadly at this time we are witnessing a weak link right at the head of the PSC leadership. Some statements of appeasement to Zionists have been made by PSC leadership, this immediately led to another article on Zionist blogs which condemned the statement, twisting it’s words and saying it was not enough. Even more worrying, is the fact that PSC leadership have released a statement saying they do not work with Gilad Atzmon. Why ? What possible reason is there for that statement? The immediate result was further comments on Zionists blogs asking well if the PSC is distancing themselves from Gilad Atzmon why don’t they distance themselves from Sheik Raed Salah? In reality Gilad Atzmon has huge support at PSC branches around the UK.

You see now? There can be no appeasement, there can be no weakest link, anything said to curry favour with Zionists fails miserably and only creates more demands. Gilad Atzmon is not anti semitic or his book would not be endorsed by some of the top humanists of our time. Sheik Raed Salah is also not anti semitic and the accusations against him made by the very dubious translations of CST failed to stand up to scrutiny.

Some very good activists have been encouraged to fall on their swords by the PSC  leadership because they hold views where they would wish some aspects of the holocaust to be re-examined. If they are not using a PSC platform to express those views why is it any business of the PSC? For example if I believe the only solution to the Israel/Palestine situation is global jihad, isn’t that my business as long as I am not saying it is PSC policy or using my position within the PSC to promote that view?

There is an endless witch hunt going on in the UK by Zionists and a very small group of particularly venomous anti Zionists who want to control every group of activists including those activists personal views. It is very shameful, but by now equally well known that the small group of anti Zionists are like a cancer within the movement, writing vile accusations on blogs and in emails about people (including me) and phoning people up insisting to control who speaks or performs in public. Recently we saw how even men of the cloth were subject to a concerted hate campaign to halt a jazz concert, an action which had echos of the Third Reich’s censorship of Jazz players in Nazi Germany. It was no surprise to me (an ex Christian) when the Dean of Bradford tried to appease all sides in the dispute and ended up looking very wobbly and upsetting everyone.

There has to be real belief in our hearts that we are able to stand firm in the onslaught of lies, libelous blogs and in my case even anonymous and threatening emails but if I can withstand those rather sinister attacks then surely for those who are leaders within the movement, it should be like water off a ducks back.

We now are at a crisis point, the leadership of the PSC has to firm up, because the vultures are already circling in the belief that the solidarity has been broken and the movement is falling apart.

Laura Stuart


Shamsi Air base


Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

The disused Bhandari airstrip 200 miles south of Quetta in Balochistan was gifted to Shiekh Zahid Al-Nahyan the ruler of Abu Dhabi by the government of Pakistan in the 1990’s. The airstrip called Shamsi was developed by Emirates Shieks into a jet capable airfield , and was used for falcon hunting of rare Bustards in Balochistan. It was leased out to US Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 by UAE with President Musharraf’s approval, and was developed by the United States Air Force as a military air base in great secrecy for bombing of Afghanistan.

CIA occupation of the base clearly had his approval. General Pervez Musharraf as President should have comprehended the long time strategic implications of handing over Shamsi air base to Washington! Development of of Shamsi for clandestine operations was kept a highly guarded secret, and Chief Minister Magsi and even Corps Commander were not allowed to visit it, when it was being developed for Drone operations and construction of the required infrastructure for this purpose was taking place.

There is no evidence on record that the UAE government handed over Shamsi to the CIA for Drone operations. It was general Musharraf who handed over Shamsi and allowed US Air Force operations against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants from some other PAF bases including the Shahbaz Air Base. The PPP led government continued Musharraf’s policies till recently, and allowed CIA to launch Predator drones from Shamsi Air Base for the destruction of terrorist hideouts in FATA. Islamabad’s denials that the government was unaware of CIA drone operations from Shamsi till very recently, may be justified by being kept in the dark, by ally America, which has refused to share anti-terrorist intelligence with Pakistan.

The United States spent billions of dollars on the development of Shamsi air base. The USAF developed Bandari airstrip into a jet capable airfield with long runways for handling bombers and heavy transport aircraft. Shamsi has taxiways, tarmacs and refueling facilities for sustained bomber, fighter and drone operations. By 2006 Predator drones began to be launched against Taliban hideouts and selected targets in the tribal belt. Shamsi has remained a busy base for anti-terrorist operations in FATA. Few weeks back Washington post reported that three months ago the US had stopped air and drone strikes from Shamsi base. This was soon after the Raymond Davis dispute exploded into a full fledged fiasco. The Post reported that US-CIA personnel and the Predator drones remain at Shamsi air base till further decision. Recently Google Earth showed three predator drones parked on the Shamsi tarmac, next to a hangar.

During the last six years Predator drones launched from Shamsi Air Base killed hundreds of militants and in collateral damage greater number of civilian men women and children have been killed and injured. It is shocking that Pakistani soil is being used for launching American missiles for bombing Pakistani villages and homes in FATA and killing Pakistani citizens along with foreign militants. The drones cannot distinguish Pakistani citizens from Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Thus drone attacks kill peaceful citizens along with the terrorists. According to some defence specialists the collateral damage in Pakistan is minimal as compared to Afghanistan. The Tehrik-Taliban- Pakistan and its god father Al-Qaeda are engaged in suicide attacks across Pakistan including FATA and in Afghanistan. They bomb mosques, hotels, bazars, police stations, schools, military, Rangers, FC, CID and Navy installations.

They kidnap and murder people and have killed 36000 Pakistani’s including 5000 military personnel. They are enemy number one of the Pakistani nation. Across the border in Afghanistan the terrorists target NATO, and Afghan National Army installations, hotels and shopping centers. It is unfortunate that thousands of Pakistani nationals have become terrorists and are sheltering foreign and local criminals in the tribal Agencies and elsewhere, with the motive to spread myhem, death and destruction in their own country. Washington considers Predator attacks on their Hujras and villages justified with drone missiles to end the terrorist menace.

Pakistani protests to pressure America to stop drone attacks to wipe out terrorism have a humanistic face, but are difficult to justify, considering terrorist massacres and destruction, and adverse effect on national morale. Hillary Rodham Clinton the US Secretary of State, Robert Gates the Defense secretary and Director CIA Leon Panetta, who is the new US Defense Secretary have categorically rejected Pakistani pleas to stop drone attacks, asserting that the Pakistani establishment in the past had approved such attacks, which were being launched from Shamsi Air Base. The nation needs to be told the truth.

The nation must be told the truth about the gifting, leasing out or renting of the Shamsi Air base to the UAE, the CIA and the United States Air Force. The terms and conditions must be known to remove the impression that the United States has forcibly usurped the Shamsi base, and has plans for perpetual occupation of the strategically important air base.

A PAF officeer who declined to be identified said, “ We have told them to vacate the base. We are unable to provide security to their people”. In a tough response on June 30, US authorities responded, “ United States is rejecting demands from Pakistani officials that American personnel abandon the Shamsi military base used by the CIA to stage drone strikes against suspected militants. US Personnel have not left the remote military installation , and there is no plan for them to do so.

The base is neither vacated, nor being vacated. This blunt rejection of the Pakistani demand was confirmed by another senior US official. Having spent billions on the base infrastructure, and being fully resolved to eradicate terrorist safe heavens in FATA, US drone operations from the Shamsi air base are likely to continue unabated. This will add fuel to the fire of the acrimonious Pak-US relationship over the intensified drone bombings and violation of Pakistani sovereignty by the Obama Administration.

Undeterred by blunt US response Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar claimed that, “ Shamsi air base is being shuttered, and drone operations from it had stopped.” This claim was rejected by the US disclaimer from Washington. But Ahmed Mukhtar told Reuters, “ When the US forces will not operate from there, no drone attacks will be carried.” This expectation was rudely rejected by US officials.

But a crafty CIA official remarked that no American military personnel had ever been stationed at Shamsi air base. The drone program from in Pakistan (from the Shamsi air base) is run by the CIA.” CIA Director Leon Panetta, who has been promoted as US Defense Secretary, during his last visit to Islamabad was urged by President Asef Ali Zardari and Prime Minister yusuf reza Gilani to bring an end to the drone attacks and devastation in FATA. Panetta bluntly rejected to halt drone attacks, and refused to assure the top Pakistani leaders that drone attacks could be halted.

In an incisive article Brigadier Farooq Hameed Khan comments about the strategic advantages that the United States drives from the occupation of Shamsi air base. “This airfiels provides a launch pad 200 miles south of Quetta, where the US believes hides the Afghan Taliban Shura led by Mullah Omar. CIA believes that Mullah Omar is hiding in Quetta, much like Osama bin Laden lived undetected in Abbottabad. Shamsi base is one hundred miles east of the Iranian border, and is ideally located for spying on Iran. It enables the United States to conduct spying and covert intelligence missions into and around Iran. Washington considers Tehran as its foremost foe, and will use Shamsi base to gather vital intelligence information about Iran.

And importantly it is not too far from Chagai-Pakistan’s nuclear test site. Being close to the Balochistan coast it enables the US to spy over Gwadar, and keep an eye on Pak-China collaboration for the development of this important sea port, and an important trading center in the future. Shamsi will enable CIA to gather data about Pakistan’s coastal areas, with several vital Pakistan Navy installations there. In the adjoining Arabian Sea the massive presence of US Navy’s aircraft carriers, missile firing cruisers, destroyers, submarines and landing craft provide evidence of massive sea power, menacing deployed posing a very serious threat to Pakistan’s security and sovereignty.

As a first step, Pakistan could urge the US by diplomatic means, to share the Shamsi air base with Pakistan Air Force, for joint operations against terrorists. ISI may offer to cooperate with the CIA for sharing intelligence information about Taliban and Al-Qaeda fugitives. This is a difficult exercise, but we cannot and should not allow permanent occupation of a strategic air base by a foreign power. Shamsi air base is being used for launching drone attacks by the CIA. While Pakistans sovereignty has been trampled under foot, the collateral damage has killed hundreds of innocent civilians. This must stop.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Shamsi Air base

An Open Letter to British Athletes and the 2012 Olympics


Len Aldis for

Olympic Games set to compete in a stadium surrounded by a curtain of shame made by Dow Chemical.

(LONDON) – Next year in East London the two Olympics will be held when sportsmen and women from many countries will compete against each other in many fields of sport. This will be an opportunity to meet your competitors and to establish friendships. 

Unfortunately, the Stadium, in which the opening and closing ceremonies will take place and field events held, will be stained in blood.

This is due to Dow Chemical being given a contract by the London Olympic Committee to surround the stadium with 336 huge panels’ for advertisements. Stained by the blood of innocent people, Dow Chemical was and remains responsible for the manufacture of Agent Orange and Napalm, used extensively on Southern Vietnam from 1961 until 1971, resulting in the deaths of many thousands of Vietnamese and causing many thousands more to suffer from various illnesses and deformities.

Eighty million litres of Agent Orange/Dioxin was sprayed by US forces that destroyed thousands of acres of Forests and the animal life within, poisoned the lakes and streams and in turn the fishes.

In my yearly visit to Vietnam from 1989, I have seen the jars at the Tu Du Hospital that contain the foetus of abnormal births. Have also met with children born with missing limbs, eyes etc, with twisted bodies due to Spina Bifida, and Dow refuses to accept responsibility or make any compensation to these tragic victims. 

This is the same company that bought United Carbide responsible for the horrific toxic gas leak causing the deaths of over 15,000 people of Bhopal in India. Today in Bhopal there are 100,000 still suffering from the effects of that explosion, and as with the Vietnamese of which there are four million still suffering, Dow refuses to accept responsibility or make any compensation.

Friends, it is into that Stadium that you will march and compete during the period of the two Olympic Games, in a stadium surrounded by a curtain of shame made by Dow Chemical. Ask the athletes from the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Vietnam about Agent Orange whose relatives may have served in the Vietnam War, and became affected by Agent Orange?

You might also consider this, in a letter to Lord Coe asking for the contract to be cancelled there were signatures of twenty-three MPs and twenty-one Indian athletes who took part in previous Olympics. There are reports that some Indian athletes, if not all, will boycott the Olympics if the Dow contract goes ahead.

Yours sincerely

Len Aldis. Secretary

Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society

Flat 2, 26 Tomlins Grove, London E3 4NX

Secretary: Len Aldis

Tel: 020 8980 7146. Mobile: 0779 657 1017


Skype: Len.Aldis

Posted in UKComments Off on An Open Letter to British Athletes and the 2012 Olympics

Integrity to Indecency: The Hyena Bares Its Fangs





“Progressive” News Organization Shows It’s War Mongering Underbelly

By Gordon Duff,  Senior Editor

Caught lying?  Is this the best way to put it?  Something worse, perhaps, working for a foreign government against the United States while pretending to “stand up for the little guy?”

The Center for Public Integritya self confessed “progressive” group with heavy funding and the appearance of “liberal” values just did a “180.”  Now they seem to want a war.

What did they do?

They carried a story saying Libya got its chemical weapons from Iran.  Here is part of their groundless and deceptive piece intended to support an unprovoked attack on Iran’s civilian population:

The Obama administration is investigating whether Iran supplied the Libyan government of Moammar Gadhafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades, U.S. officials said.

The shells, which Libya filled with highly toxic mustard agent, were uncovered in recent weeks by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya. Both are under heavy guard and round-the-clock drone surveillance, U.S. and Libyan officials said. The discovery of the shells has prompted a U.S. intelligence-led probe into how the Libyans obtained them, and several sources said early suspicion had fallen on Iran.

“We are pretty sure we know” the shells were custom-designed and produced in Iran for Libya, said a senior U.S. official, one of several who spoke on condition of anonymity because the sensitivity of the accusation.

The truth?

  • Libya reported these munitions to the United States in 2002 and requested funding to destroy them.

  • The plants that built them were designed by the Israeli’s, based on a similar program that was dismantled in South Africa, a well known chemical and nuclear weapons program between those nations that ended in 1990.  In addition to mustard gas, VX and other weapons were produced also.  Some were used, killing hundreds, under combined South African and Israeli supervision.

  • Iran had taken part in the program until 1979 but only under the Shah.

Here are more of their bizarre assertions:

Pentagon and CIA analysts have asserted that Iran fired chemical artillery shells at Iraqi troops in 1988, a contention supported by secret Iraqi government documents obtained after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. A 1987 letter, written by Iraq’s military intelligence director and stamped “top secret,” described three Iranian chemical attacks and sought to assess what appeared to be a growing Iranian interest in mustard agent.

“The enemy has chemical bombs/shells,” concluded the letter, part of an archives acquired by the Conflict Records Research Center at National Defense University. It said Iran probably received help from a foreign power in obtaining the chemicals to fill its munitions, and asserted that Tehran was attempting “by various means to reach an advanced stage of chemical agent production.”

The truth:

  • Iraq got their chemical weapons from the US, Britain, West Germany and Norway, brokered by Prescott Bush and Company.  It was Iraq, not Iran, that used chemical weapons, including against the Kurds well into the 1990′s.

  • Statements made about Iran, dating back many decades, have absolutely nothing to do with chemical stockpiles in Libya that had been under US and British oversight for many many years according to this article which includes a state department cable that totally debunks all  assertions made by the “Integrity Center.”

  • In fact, it is Israel that helped Gaddafi develop the weapons in question.  Curiously, one finds that Israeli citizens make up a significant portion of the operational leadership of the “Integrity Center.”

The following video provides some proof of the Libya/Israel ties.  The article from the “Integrity Center” produces nothing at all, no cable, no names, no testimony and, frankly, runs contrary to common sense.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

If you read the official cable, one taken from Wikileaks, you will note that the “Integrity Center” actually invented the entire story using anonymous sources that we assert they entirely invented.

It is utterly impossible for those responsible for this report to not know everything they have written is utterly inaccurate.

Moreover, there could be no intention in printing something as outlandish as this unless “tasked” to support a military strike against Iran based on false and purposefully misleading information.

As no US interests of any kind are served, is it possible that The Center for Public Integrity may well be an agency of a foreign power?  Is bothering to ask a question about something so obvious as silly as the article itself?





1.(S/NF) Summary: Dr. Ahmed Hesnawy, head of Libya’s chemical weapons destruction program, defended Libya’s Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) extension request….


2.(S) During a September 30 meeting, Pol/Econ Chief jointly delivered ref a demarche with French DCM to the head of the chemical weapons destruction program at Libya’s National Chemical Weapons (CW) Authority, Dr. Ahmed Hesnawy. During the meeting, Hesnawy also provided a detailed briefing on his progress toward meeting Libya’s Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) commitments.

3. (S) Hesnawy gave a long explanation of the reasons for the extension request, including resistance from the local community when construction work began at the building site…..

3.(S/NF) Hesnawy then explained that the next problem he confronted was with the “civil defense people,” who…..

UK EMBASSY WARNS OF HESNAWY’S CONFIDENCE9.(S) In a separate meeting, xxxxxxxxxxxx told P/E Chief that while the MFA IO officer Tajouri Shiradi had made the same request for support for Libya’s CWC requests, he did not provide as much detail on the progress of the Libyan program. xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed surprise that Hesnawy had met with us, relating that he was an elusive character….

10.(S/NF) Bio info: Hesnawy is a charismatic and gregarious character, who spoke fluent American English. He used American expressions and slang with ease and was clearly trying to endear himself to P/E Chief. He said that he has been head of Libya’s Chemical Weapons Program for the last 12 years and was intimately aware of every technical detail relating to that program. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, Hesnawy may be working with National Security Advisor, Muatassim al-Qadhafi, on missile purchase requests.

In their most recent statement on Libya, the UN organization that oversees chemical weapons released the following statement which fails to make any mention of the conspiracy theories from the “Integrity Center.”

The OPCW and Libya

The recent crisis in Libya has highlighted the role of the OPCW in eliminating the world’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. When Libya joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to become an OPCW Member State in January 2004, the then-government of Libya declared possession of about 25 metric tonnes of a blistering agent, sulfur mustard, and over 3,500 chemical munitions in the form of unfilled aerial bombs.

It also declared nearly 1,400 metric tonnes of precursor chemicals that could produce more lethal weapons like the nerve agent Sarin, as well as three chemical weapons production facilities. The OPCW immediately verified the accuracy of the declaration with on-site inspections and has verified all of Libya’s subsequent destruction activities.

The entire arsenal of aerial bombs was crushed with bulldozers in March 2004, eliminating Libya’s capacity to weaponise its sulfur mustard. In due course, two of the former chemical weapons production facilities were demolished down to their foundations, and with the OPCW’s approval the third facility was converted into a pharmaceuticals plant. With these actions the Libyan government gave up its ability to manufacture warfare agents from the precursor chemicals. Operations to destroy the sulfur mustard finally got underway in October 2010. Over the next four months Libya neutralized nearly 55% of its stockpile and was potentially on track to meet the 15 May 2011 deadline set by the OPCW to finish the job. Unfortunately, a heating component of the neutralization unit malfunctioned in early February of this year and its operations had to be suspended.

The OPCW recalled its on-site inspectors to headquarters in The Hague until destruction activities could resume. These developments coincided with the eruption of protests against the Qaddafi government. Due to the mounting crisis and the imposition of sanctions against the regime, the spare part needed to repair the destruction facility could not be delivered.

The OPCW subsequently moved the destruction deadline to 29 April 2012, the maximum allowable under the Convention. The remaining stocks should be destroyed under the verification of OPCW inspectors as soon as circumstances permit, and steps have been taken in that direction.

On 16 September 2011, the United Nations formally recognised the new government in Tripoli as the legitimate authority of Libya, which assumed Libya’s obligations under the CWC to complete destruction of the remaining stockpiles. The OPCW Technical Secretariat is now engaged in regular consultations with the Libyan government and other Member States to enable the return of OPCW inspectors to examine conditions at the storage depot and verify destruction operations when they recommence. Further updates on the Organisation’s activities in Libya will be posted on this webpage as they develop.

Our position?  Our own politics follow the “Integrity Center” 99% of the time on almost every issue with the exception of inventing false stories to justify waging aggressive war.

This has been done several times recently and it is a reasonable assumption that, rather than being a “progressive group” as they claim, the “Integrity Center” is a Neocon front with no other purpose than to attract liberals and progressives and, when needed, propagandize them into following an ultra-right wing pro-war agenda.

Such a tactic is common for groups tied to certain intelligence agencies.

Remember what Lenin said:

“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” Vladimir Ilyich LeninVladimir Ilyich Lenin

The “Integrity Center” does a lot of talking about money in politics and the “evil Koch brothers.”  However, what we smell is just another front site for the Koch Brothers and the left hand of Fox News and the Limbaugh gang.

Posted in USAComments Off on Integrity to Indecency: The Hyena Bares Its Fangs

How Palestine Became IsraHell


The Catastrophe (Al Nakba)

“November 29th, commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

If Americans Knew

Jerusalem 1839 by David Roberts – With the mosque of Omar at the center, the Dome of the rock at the background this beautiful drawing gives a feeling of warmth, unique, & relaxed Arabic ambience of the holy city in the 19th century

In the late 1800s a small, fanatic movement called “political Zionism” began in Europe. Its goal was to create a Jewish state somewhere in the world. Its leaders settled on the ancient and long-inhabited land of Palestine for the location of this state.

Palestine’s population at this time was approximately ninety-six percent non-Jewish (primarily Muslim and Christian).

Palestine the land now occupied by the state of Israel was a multicultural society with Arabs comprising 96 % of population in late 1800s

Over the coming decades Zionist leaders used various strategies to accomplish their goal of taking over Palestine:

  1. Encouraging Jewish immigration to Palestine, partly through the invention of such deceptive slogans as “a land without a people for a people without a land,” when, in fact, the land was already inhabited. Since the majority of Jews were not Zionists until after WWII, Zionists used an array of misleading strategies, including secret collaboration with the Nazis, to push immigration.

  2. Convincing a “Great Power” to back this process. By turn, Zionists approached the Ottomans, the British, and the U.S. to further their cause. While the Ottomans turned them down, the British (being promised that American Zionists would push the U.S. to enter World War I on the side of England) eventually acceded, as did the U.S. (due to concerns of politicians like Harry Truman that they would lose elections otherwise).

  3. Buying up the land (sometimes through subterfuges), proclaiming it Jewish for all eternity, and refusing to allow non-Jews to live or work on the purchased land. This was called “redeeming” the land and was financed by a variety of means, including by such wealthy banking families as the Rothschilds.

  4. Violence, if such financial dispossession should fail or prove too slow – as it did.

In the 1930s, Jewish land ownership had increased from approximately 1% to just over 6% of the land, and violence had increased as well. With the emergence of several Zionist terrorist gangs (whose ranks included a number of future Prime Ministers of Israel), there was violent conflict. Numerous people of all ethnicities were killed – then, as now, the large majority of them Christian and Muslim Palestinians.7

The Catastrophe

750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were expelled from their homes by violent Israeli forces (1947-49)

This growing violence culminated in Israel’s ruthless 1947-49 “War of Independence,”in which at least 750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were expelled from their homes by numerically superior Israeli forces – long before any Arab armies joined the war. This massive humanitarian disaster is known as ‘The Catastrophe,’ al Nakba in Arabic.

Zionist forces committed 33 massacres and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns.           Author Norman Finkelstein states: “According to the former director of the Israeli army archives, ‘in almost every village occupied by us during the War… acts were committed which are defined as war crimes, such as murders, massacres, and rapes’…Uri Milstein, the authoritative Israeli military historian of the 1948 war, goes one step further, maintaining that ‘every skirmish ended in a massacre of Arabs.’”

Count Folke Bernadotte, a former official of the Swedish Red Cross who saved thousands of Jews during World War II and was appointed U.N. mediator in Palestine, said of the refugees: “It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes.” Bernadotte was assassinated by a Zionist organization led by future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Injustice Continues

Over the 60 years since Israel’s founding on May 14, 1948, this profound injustice has continued. Palestinian refugees are the largest remaining refugee population in the world.

1.3 million Palestinians live in Israel as “Israeli citizens,” but despite their status as citizens, they are subject to systematic discrimination. Many are prohibited from living in the villages and homes from which they were violently expelled, and their property has been confiscated for Jewish-only uses. In Orwellian terminology, Israeli law designates these internal refugees as “present absentees.”

Israeli tanks demployed in East Jerusalem after the 1967 offensive.

In 1967 Israel launched its third war and seized still more Palestinian (and other Arab) land. Israel also attacked a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing and injuring over 200 Americans, an event that remains largely covered-up today, despite efforts by an extraordinary array of high-level military officers and civilian officials to expose it.

Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip – the final 22% of mandatory Palestine – and began building settlements for Jewish Israelis on land confiscated from Palestinian Muslims and Christians. It has demolished more than 18,000 Palestinian homes since 1967. In 2005 Israel returned Gazan land to its owners, but continues to control its borders, ports, and air space, turning Gaza into a large prison, where 1.5 million people are held under what a UN Human Rights Commissioner described as “catastrophic” conditions.

Over 11,000 Palestinian men, women, and children are imprisoned in Israeli jails under physically abusive conditions (many have not even been charged with a crime) and the basic human rights of all Palestinians under Israeli rule are routinely violated. Some prisoners tortured by Israel have been American citizens. In the violence that began in fall, 2000 through Jan 18, 2009, Israeli forces killed 6,288 Palestinians; Palestinian resistance groups killed 1,071 Israelis. Israel’s military, the fourth most powerful on earth possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons.

American Involvement

Because of Israel’s powerful US lobby, American taxpayers give Israel approximately $7 million per day – far more than we give to all of sub-Saharan Africa put together. In its 60 years of existence, Israel, the size of New Jersey, has received more of our tax money than any other nation on earth. While most Americans are unaware of these facts (studies have shown that media report on Israeli deaths at rates up to 13 times greater than they report on Palestinian deaths) our governmental actions are making us responsible for a continuing catastrophe of historic proportions – and which is, in addition, creating extremely damaging enmity to the US itself. Israel partisans have played a significant role in promoting U.S. attacks on Iraq and Iran.15

As more Americans learn the facts, there is a growing bipartisan, multi-ethnic movement to counter Israel’s US lobby, which has long has held a vicegrip on American Mideast policies.

Palestinian loss of land 1946 – 2005

“Confusion about the origins of the conflict all too often has obscured Americans’ understanding of its true dimension. It began as a conflict resulting from immigrants struggling to displace the local majority population. All else is derivative from this basic reality.”

– Donald Neff, former Senior Editor, Time MagazineFallen Pillars: U.S. Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945

“[T]he story of 1948… is the simple but horrific story of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine… Retrieving it from oblivion is incumbent upon us, not just as a greatly overdue act of historiographical reconstruction or professional duty; it is… the very first step we must take if we ever want reconciliation to have a chance, and peace to take root, in the torn lands of Palestine and Israel.”

– Ilan Pappe, Israeli Historian, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

“The Palestinian Holocaust is unsurpassed in history. For a country to be occupied, emptied of its people, its physical and cultural landmarks obliterated, its destruction hailed as a miraculous act of God, all done according to a premeditated plan, meticulously executed, internationally supported, and still maintained today…”

– Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta, Palestine Right Of Return, Sacred, Legal, and Possible

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on How Palestine Became IsraHell

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter


* Newsflash; Israel still has many responsibilities in Gaza

Newsflash; Israel still has many responsibilities in Gaza

Posted: 28 Nov 2011


From leading Israeli human rights, Gisha:

Hard to disagree with Assange calling many mainstream editors shills for power

Posted: 28 Nov 2011


Mainstream media and editors came under fire from WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange at the Global Editors Network summit in Hong Kong today, as he accused most journalists of entering the profession to “crawl up the ladder of power to become associated with power”.

Addressing the conference via Skype, Assange told the audience of editors that most journalists aim to “sit at same table as those you hold to account” and as a result editors “become corrupted”.

“We all know what is going on. As insiders we all know when people in the media become powerful … editors are invited to sit at the table of those powerful individuals and the reality is that’s why most journalists go into journalism. It is to crawl up the ladder of power to become associated with power, to sit at the same table as those you hold to account.

“Editors become corrupted and they do not hold those very people to account, we know that. What is new is that the rest of the world is starting to know it. Not just as a result of reaction to attack by Washington on WikiLeaks, it is starting to know it as a result of there being other forms of publishing, unmediated publishing. There is a crisis of legitimacy within the mainstream press, a rightful crisis of legitimacy.

“We always maintained the line that our moral justification for our existence … is our moral virtue and our moral virtue is holding power to account. If the press doesn’t hold powerful corporations and governments to account then how can a democratic process work? But the mainstream press has failed in that task and failures are becoming evident and corruption in individual cases are becoming evident.

“The mainstream press is not able to be its own gatekeeper any more,” he added.

Speaking after Assange, Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director of Le Monde – one of the media partners involved in the release of the US embassy cables – responded saying “I didn’t do this job to crawl up the ladder of the powerful”.

“I don’t think this accusation stands,” she added.

During Assange’s speech – which came a day before the one year anniversary of the US embassy cables releaseand a day after WikiLeaks was awarded a Walkley award for most outstanding contribution to journalism – he also discussed the redaction process carried out by its news partners to remove material from the cables which he said would breach human rights.

As a comparison, he claimed that while the Guardian redacted one in four cables, the Hindu in India redacted just three out of 5000 cables, and questioned this “discrepancy”.

Kauffmann said she was “sorry” certain papers had been singled out which were not represented on the panel.

Returning to the debate later, Assange responded to Kauffmann by also questioning Le Monde’s redaction decisions. He also followed up on earlier criticisms of former media partners such as the Guardian and New York Times by saying: “Both of these organisations have done fine work with us, their best stories were very good.”

But he said, in his opinion, the “best journalism” from the cables has come not from “old democracies” but from countries including “India, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Kenya”.

“Those journalists are more courageous, hard working and often younger than ones in older democracies. And for them the stakes are higher and therefore journalism has more ability to impact the power structures within the country.”

When asked whether any information should be kept private, he re-stated the “duty” of news organisations. “Media organisations have a duty and that is to inform the public. We should be very careful about compromising that prime objective.”

Woodside in the Kimberley; Exploitation Inc

Posted: 28 Nov 2011

My following investigation appears in today’s Crikey:

When West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said recently that he welcomed the announcement of a permanent US military presence in northern Australia, his words were worth considering in a wider context.

“We have a large open expanse in northern Australia, we are near one of the most troubled regions in the world and the problems of Asia are now our problems,” Barnett argued. “There’s no doubt that the offshore gas facilities are vulnerable … so I think we are wise to have a friendly military presence in our north.”

The premier was effectively advocating militarising the vast Kimberley, an expanse of desert that potentially holds billions of dollars of resources to be exploited in the coming decades. The current campaign by Woodside to develop James Price Point (JPP) near Broome is just the latest example of this trend.

Crikey recently visited the area — about one hour by car from Broome along mostly red, dirt tracks — and found a pristine area of coastline and signs of collusion between the West Australian police and private security forces against indigenous owners and protesters opposed to the massive $50 billion development. Crikey was told by local campaigners and activists that footage shot by private security is handed over to the police and used against them in a court of law, all without proper accountability of the process. Police have publicly said they support private companies suing peaceful protesters against JPP and Crikey was told many times that police would often turn up at the blockade and show them footage shot by a private security company.

Environmental issues continue to haunt the project.

Most of the mainstream media have ignored instances of strict policing, not least because the corporate press in Perth and elsewhere largely support the Woodside plans, despite investors questioning the company’s “execution risks” over various gas projects.

The company itself released its own draft environmental impact statement in mid-November (claims dismissed by a range of green groups with whom I spoke in Broome) and the company claimed JPP would bring 8000 jobs and “did not represent a significant risk” to the ecology of the area.

What I saw on the current Woodside compound near JPP challenged this assertion, with countless bits of broken concrete in the dirt, air-conditioners attached with flimsy pieces of rope and leaking waterEvidence for this damage is constant and includes environmental experts disputing Woodside claims.

As we walked around the site, a man appeared carrying a video camera — he refused to say what he was doing or for whom he worked — and began filming us. He disappeared 30 seconds later.

Later, another man appeared, wearing a bright-yellow fluorescent Thrifty car rental vest and dark sunglasses, and a small camera attached to his chest was flicked on to film us. He refused to say what he was really doing (apart from claiming he was protecting our “safety” near the Woodside compound) or where the footage would be screened or used.

My guides in the area, Damien and David, two men who have spent months at the blockade at JPP and established a sustainable camp with phone and internet coverage, said that these kinds of acts — the guards are employed by Hostile Environment Services (HRS) — occurred daily.

ABC TV’s Lateline reported in May that Woodside-backed security were harassing and intimidating residents for peacefully protesting the JPP development. Damien said that massive generator-powered lights routinely shone into the camp in the middle of the night and HRS guards appeared at all hours with video cameras filming them on public land.

Nothing has changed since the ABC story and it seems the pressure has only increased as Woodside notices a large swing in Broome against its plans — despite constantly inaccurate and pro-Woodside mainstream coverage.

Activists told Crikey that none of the appropriate state policing or environmental bodies took action against the evasion of privacy with the indiscriminate filming or environmental damage, despite being informed about them on a regular basis. I was shown large amounts of footage detailing HRS interrupting scientists gathering evidence of dinosaur tracks in the area.

The Woodside plans have mostly received unquestioned state and federal government backing but they’ve been surprised by the diverse range of opposition in the Kimberley. Moreover, The Wilderness Society, the group I independently accompanied during my visit, has committed many resources to place JPP as its top campaign priority.

Groups such as Save the Kimberley and Environs Kimberley have utilised people power and social media to generate growing resistance to Woodside’s plans, principally by explaining through community events and actions that the JPP plans will not bring long-term economic gains. Both organisations state they are not ideologically opposed to any development but demand alternative forms of resource exploitation.

Even the former chief of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority Barry Carbon recently stated toPerth Now that the state’s approval process for development projects was “corrupt”. ”It has now become a universal stand-over for proponents to contribute so called ‘offsets’ to governments, government friends, or favourite causes before approvals are considered,” he said.

The only major local organisation backing the JPP plan, The Kimberley Land Council, voted in highly suspicious circumstances — earlier in the year and every Aboriginal land owner I met told me they believed indigenous people would not benefit from the JPP development despite the financial incentives given by Woodside.

Crikey was told by leading anti-gas hub campaigner Louise Middleton that, “we shouldn’t be bought by big business because they don’t have our interests at heart.”

The JPP development is an attempt by Woodside and its corporate partners to establish a stronghold in the Kimberley that will then allow them to invest in the upcoming gas boom. Crikey heard many times in Broome, including from The Wilderness Society’s Glen Klatovsky, that the Canning Basin could be the ultimate source of shale natural gas and fracking. Is Australia the next global energy hub, a future Saudi Arabia or Qatar? I was shown by the head of Environs Kimberley a document entitled the Petroleum Titles Map and it detailed the literally dozens of proposed fracking places across Western Australia. Rey Resources and TPL are two key companies involved.

This tantalising possibility is why the battle of JPP is so crucial. Stopping a $50 billion project would be an Australian first. This has global resonance as corporations ramp up their bids to win lucrative contracts in remote locations. Witness the successful lobbying in America and Canada against the Keystone XL pipeline that is now on semi-permanent hold  — with public protest a major factor in shaping this outcome  — and the largely ignored energyGreat Game in Afghanistan.

*Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist currently working on a book about disaster capitalism.

Hey #Occupy people; let the 1% enjoy the wealth, and cars, and island holidays

Posted: 28 Nov 2011

John Kenney pleads for understanding in the New Yorker:

We, too, have mobilized.

We come from near and far, by any means necessary, some on private jets, others on extremely large private jets.

But you will not find us sleeping in a park and waiting in line at a Burger King to urinate. Have you heard of Mustique? Because that’s where we have mobilized. Don’t bother trying to Google Earth us, though, because we have proprietary military software that prevents you from doing so.

Our numbers may be smaller than those demonstrating in New York and other cities, but we are still a movement, coalesced around a cause, sleeping two and sometimes three people to a villa.

Perhaps you are wondering what our cause is. Perhaps you’re wondering why we, the richest people on the planet, have come together. Perhaps you’re curious whether what we’re undertaking couldn’t technically be called a vacation. These are all good questions.

We’re angry. We’re angry at something we’re calling “imagined frustration.” By this we mean that, except for Congress, the White House, banks, major lobbyists, and the editorial boards of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, no one is listening to us. And we’re tired of it.

You claim to know something about us. You think we are rich beyond comprehension, that we can do anything we please at any time, go anywhere we want at a moment’s notice, wander the earth in a state of constant bliss, enjoying abundant and fabulous sex. Perhaps you do know us.

Posted in Nova Newsletter1 Comment

Zio-Nazi Racist “Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs


Last Thursday, November 24, employees of the Israeli company “E.T. Legal Services”, hired by the deceptively named “Civil Administration” arm of Israel’s military Occupation regime in the West Bank, demolished a mosque. Among other things.

To add insult to injury, Occupation forces arrested two young women for passive nonviolent resistance (see the video below). This is not your vanilla American “Occupy” arrest-and-release, get lawyer-and-defendant-rights arrest.The girls were entered into a sealed military vehicle and carted off to an unknown location (which eventually turned out to be an Israeli jail some 3 hours drive away), without any means – or rights – to defend their obvious innocence.

On that very auspicious day, the Occupation goons also handed out demolition orders to an impoverished village’s schoolhouse. Yes, that is the very same, one-year-old school whose pictures we brought to you in the last Villages Group blog post.

Now look.

Many people are unnerved, confused, even offended, hearing the terms “apartheid” or “ethnic cleansing” with regards to Israel, or even only with regards to the Occupation dictatorship Israel insists to continue running in its backyard.

I understand.

But I also know that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. This is beyond disgusting. This is beyond apartheid and ethnic cleansing and squabbling over terminology.

In its actions, especially in “Area C” that comprises 60% of the West Bank, Israel’s government is trying to murder the soul of a people and wipe it out as a nation – leaving only “human dust” that can be blown hither and thither and molded into whatever shape its rulers feel like.

And you know what I, personally as an Israeli, find MOST insulting? Two things.

1. That all this outrage is carried out mainly in order to safeguard the petty thievery of some scraps of land and property belonging to people far poorer and less privileged than ourselves. While we have more than enough to live on, and enough places to live. A “luxury robbery”, if you will. And
2. That all the while, two generations and counting, mainstream Israel pretends that this kind of stuff is not happening on a daily basis, brushes it off, explains it away, lies about it with a straight face – and continues to maintain the ridiculous charade of cultural and moral “superiority” over the Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular.

If you are Jewish, and/or hold Israel dear, and/or don’t like reading this, WAKE UP. This is not about a specific politician, and certainly not about me or my choice of words. The actions described below are those of a fine-tuned machinery in operation for decades. It is ruthless, it is reckless, it is remorseless and it is soulless – and unless it is stopped, it will eventually leave nothing worth saving in Israel-Palestine, on all sides of whatever lines you choose to draw on that suffering land. So if you read this, you can say many things – but don’t say you haven’t been warned. Multiple times.

We will try and engage larger organizations for action on these matters. Meanwhile, you can start protesting this outrage with an email to Israel’s defense minister, or, fax +972 3 6976711 (they are said to hate faxes), or the ministry’s US outlet (, fax 212-551-0264). Besides the demolitions that already took place, don’t forget to mention the school that was just served with a demolition order.

The pretext for demolishing the school (“without permit”, of course – see above and below for the non-permit regime in Area C), is that it is claimed to be some 100 meters, maybe less, inside Area C, bordering on Area B. In Area B, the deceptively named “Civil Administration” has zero formal jurisdiction (don’t worry, then the Occupation’s other arms can come and carry out “security” demolitions if push comes to shove). In Area C, Israel is carrying out its newest social experiment and innovative contribution to the region in its role as “The Only Democracy”(TM): full control with zero accountability, with a generous helping of taxation-and-demolition without representation to the local Arabs. And of course, forget about building permits in Area C. Those are for Jews only.

I end my personal rant, and here is the report from Ehud, followed by some more background information for those interested and/or those in deep-freeze denial, who for some indecipherable reason still bother themselves with reading this.

Some of the events of the day have been filmed and uploaded to Youtube by Israeli activist Guy Batavia. Please watch it. There are more segments on his Youtube channel.



The demolitions that the Israeli Occupation forces carried out in the the same day in South Hebron Hills (Thursday, 24.11.11) show that the duration of the bureaucracy leading up to the demolition itself changes from case to case: in the instance of Muhammad Mussa Mu’ghanem from Susya it was over within a few weeks. Without legal defense , no more than two months passed from the date the orders were issued to stop the works until Thursday, 24.11 when the bulldozer, escorted by army and police forces, arrived and demolished the two temporary structures that had served the Mughanem family in the past months.

On the other hand, in the case of the cave-dweller hamlet of Umm Fakra (sometimes spelled “Umm Faghara”), the same bureaucratic process leading up to the demolition has lasted much longer: in spring 2000, the inhabitants returned to their hamlet from which they had been expelled in winter 1999. According to a High Court of Justice ruling enabling their return, they were prevented from any construction work until the final ruling in their case. The years went by and the final ruling was not given. The freeze preventing any possible development at Umm Fakra (including the forbidden connection to the power grid) became a permanent fact.


About 4 years ago, the inhabitants of Umm Fakra began to breach this freezing order and dared build a small stone mosque for their own use. At the same time, the village elder, Mahmoud Hamamde, put up a structure with two dwelling rooms on top of his cave, for the use of his growing family. The following years saw some more structures built in Umm Fakra.

The Occupation’s deceptively named “Civil Administration” has issued work cessation orders against all of these additions, shortly after their construction. The lawyers hired by the owners managed to delay the Occupation bureaucracy’s inevitable action for several years, until last Thursday (24.11.11): two bulldozers arrived at the hamlet, escorted by Occupation agents, soldiers and policemen, and completely demolished the village mosque and the living structure of the Hamamde family that served as a rabbit pen. Only one of the two rabbits at the time survived, the other died in the process. While demolishing at Umm Fakra, the Occupation forces arrested two young women of the hamlet – the mukhtar’s daughter, Sausan Hamamda, a 21-year old student, and her 17-year old relative, Amal Hamamda. The two were taken to Tel Mond prison inside Israel.

From the little information we have at this point, apparently the Israeli police intends to accuse these two young women (whose professional and academic studies we have been supporting) of serious offenses, as might cause their relatively long incarceration.

Ehud Krinis
The Villages Group


International scholar and Taayush activist David Shulman also posted a piece earlier this month – not on these specific actions, but on the South Hebron Hills regime in general:

The senior commander from the [deceptively named] Civil Administration turned up to inspect us, together with thirteen bored, awkward soldiers. He’s the same guy I met at [Israeli outpost] Avigayil last month– easy-going, fluent in Arabic, all charm and good nature; the one who put an end to the Jibrin family’s plowing that day. He’s done it again this morning, when the Jibrin farmers attempted once more to plow near the ugly outpost.

In fact, this pattern is now well established. They manage to plow for a few minutes, the settlers come out, then the army arrives, and the cheerful man from the [deceptively named] Civil Administration plays his inevitable role. The courts have confirmed that the land belongs to the Jibrin, but they only manage to plow it bit by bit, stolen moments before the machine stirs, an ungainly beast, and drives them away.

…I suppose we should be grateful. You get used to the whole lunatic business. It even begins to seem normal, the normalcy of the Pax Israelica in the territories. That is: you become habituated to a world dominated by outright theft and all that derives from this single, organizing principle.

…One can dither about whether the term “apartheid” is appropriate for the reality of the Occupation… But can Palestinians get on an Israeli bus passing their homes in the West Bank? Can Palestinian drivers use the roads built for settlers and settlers only? Can Palestinians get a permit to add a room to their house if it’s in Area C, or even to put up a tent or an outhouse? Can they graze their sheep on their own lands without being driven off at gunpoint by settlers or soldiers or both? Can they put down a gravel road that traverses their fields without the [deceptively named] Civil Administration stopping the work and impounding their tractors? Do they enjoy even the most minimal of civil liberties? Do they have legal recourse in the not uncommon event that they are suddenly stripped of their land, their possessions, and their freedom?

Regarding Area C in general, earlier this year Amira Hass reported that in 2010, demolitions of Palestinian structures in this region had tripled.

The UN OCHA wrote about the Area C no-permit-for-Palestinians regime,

In area C, a building permit from the Israeli Civil Administration is required for all types of construction including rudimentary dwellings, pit-latrines and even fences. According to OCHA, Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in 70% of area C, while in the remaining 30% there is a range of restrictions and administrative requisites that greatly reduce the possibility of obtaining a permit. Given the difficulties in obtaining construction permits, many Palestinians living in area C take the risk to build without a permit, therefore facing the threat of administrative demolition by the Israeli Authorities.

There’s a wealth of information all over the Web – for example, a recent Btselem report about disposession in the predominantly-Area-C Jordan Valley.

Keep in mind that Area C was conceived under Oslo as a temporary staging ground, to be rather quickly transfered to Palestinian control – pending final outline of borders on the ground (those famous elusive few-percent “land swaps”). As such, the jurisdiction of any Israeli body to tell any Palestinian what to build in Area C, where and how, is extremely questionable.

Instead, when the process faltered, Israel started behaving as if the area was its own to keep. Except, well, the democracy, basic decency and rule-of-law parts of governing. Among other things.

The thick irony is that the knee-jerk reaction in Israel to any story of such demolitions is “What do you want? The Law must be upheld!” This stupid response would have been funny, if the reality they help hide wasn’t so sad and revolting.

Please help us stop this ugly, corrupt-to-the-core madness. Thank you.

PS: In case this is the first time you read of such illegal demolitions by the deceptively named “Civil Administration”, or have a short memory –

then just here on the Villages Group, just with respect to South Hebron Hills, we reported about such vandalism (demolitions, road blockages, and other “contributions” to culture and society)

here (2008 road blockage) and 

here (2008 demolition orders to the mosque that was eventually destroyed last week) and 

here (home demolitions, 2008) and 

here (blocking roads again, preventing water supply) and 

here (building settler-only roads that blocks and damages wells and shepherding) and 

here (soldier idly watch as settlers attack people and vandalizes property) and 

here (another demolition order, Umm Al-Kheir 2009) and 

here (Palestinians finally return under court-order to a village that was ethnically cleansed, to

see the scale of destruction there) and 

here (student from A-Tuwani arrested, tortured, released) and 

here (play-by-play description from Prof. Shulman, of how soldiers issue an illegal “Closed

Military Zone” order to drive sheperds off their legally-owned land) and 

here (soldiers try to halt public work that did have a permit; fortunately Israeli activists were

present and prevented the stoppage) and 

here (another Shulman description of the military harrassment sheperds undergo, after a new

illegal settler outpost had been set up on their land) and 

here (2010 demolition of water cisterns, some of them ancient) and 

here (home demolitions, Umm Al-Kheir, 2 months ago) and 

here (destruction of line connecting village to Palestinian power grid, see pic).

These reports come only from a tiny sparsely-inhabited piece of land. There are many, many more such “cultural activities” carried by the Israel government, showering freedom, democracy and progress on the Palestinian residents under its total control, all across Area C.

Also, I found some more phone and fax numbers for the Zio-Nazi Ministry of Defense. Phone: +972 3 6975349 Fax: +972 3 6976218 /691 6940 / 696 2757 / 691 7915/

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zio-Nazi Racist “Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs

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Reflections on solidarity – November 29, 2011

Nov 29, 2011

Jennifer Bing

Jennifer Bing (left) visiting friends in Ramallah.

Speech given at Wellington Church in Chicago, IL on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: 

As I look out among all of us gathered here tonight, I realize that so many of us are engaged in this work for peace and justice due to a visit to Palestine.

For those who have visited a Palestinian community, one will always remember the hospitality. Tea, coffee, soda, sweets, and fruit are offered to each guest, even if the host has barely enough food to feed his or her family. We remember the fresh baked bread, olive oil, za’atar, and sweet white cheese that is collectively shared at breakfast. We remember the handshakes and greetings from all members of the family – even from children who are just learning to walk.

We remember spending time looking at family photo albums, the certificates of achievement from schools and universities, letters sent from family abroad, and perhaps a peek at a wedding video. We remember walking the fields of villages, climbing olive trees and hilltops, and dancing to the beat of a late night drum. We remember being told stories of struggle and of joy; of fear and frustration, of great sadness and great hope. And we remember often leaving with a memento of our visit – an embroidered pillow, a bottle of olive oil, a plastic bag filled with marameeya, or a photo and email address promising to stay in touch.
I’ve been reflecting today on what it means to be in solidarity with Palestinians. So many people often ask – how do we continue to work for peace and justice, especially as the situation on the ground is so grim – more settlement colonies built, more people living in poverty, more political unrest, violence and disunity? There are three qualities that I think those who desire to be in solidarity must develop: courage, compassion, and commitment.

It takes courage to visit Gaza and the West Bank. Courage to see the reality of life under military rule. Courage to hear the stories of pain and suffering. Courage to understand the risks people take to stay steadfast in their homes and lands. Courage to remain hopeful that change is possible.

It also takes courage to come back to the United States and tell the stories of what we’ve seen. To speak to our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and elected officials — some who may misinterpret our passion and accuse us of being traitors, self-hating, one-sided, anti-semitic. As we’ve learned here in Chicago from the FBI subpoenas sent to members of our community, it also takes courage to stand up to the US government’s attempt to criminalize solidarity efforts, even humanitarian assistance to Palestine.

It takes compassion to be in solidarity with Palestinians. So often our hearts can become hardened to the suffering of those who live in Palestine and Israel. We become numb to the statistics, frustrated by double standards and endless efforts to negotiate, angered by US policies that allow military occupation to continue. We tire of having to explain the basic information about the conflict to those who should know better, or to dispel cherished myths that dehumanize one or the other side. We must remind ourselves of the power of love to overcome evil, and to practice compassion in our pursuit of a just peace, even when we feel deep anger and sadness.

Finally, it takes commitment to be in solidarity with Palestine. Quakers began their efforts in Gaza in 1948-49, administering to the needs of Palestinian refugees. Today Quakers still maintain a presence in Gaza, working with youth to rebuild their communities and lives despite conditions of occupation and siege. We stay committed to changing US policy and divesting from corporate investments that support military occupation.

Many in this space tonight have dedicated many days, years, and decades to the cause of Palestinian self-determination, human rights, and peace. Our commitments must be praised and re-energized by coming together as a community like we have this evening, to find creative ways we can move forward together in solidarity. Let us have the courage, compassion, and commitment to a future day of solidarity where we will celebrate a free Palestine.

Now they care

Nov 29, 2011

Philip Weiss

New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario

The Israeli border guards’ brutal treatment of a pregnant NY Times photographer at the Gaza crossing has driven Joe Klein to denounce “Israeli Thuggery” at Time:

Lynsey Addario… was forced to pass through the machine 3 times while being verbally abused and then strip-searched for good measure.

This is completely outrageous, of course. It is another indication that Israel has been brutalized by its occupation of Arab territories since 1967. For those of us who feel strongly about the need for Israel to exist–especially those of us who love the place, warts and all–this incident is yet another reason to fear for Israel’s future.

Tablet’s Allison Hoffman is also upset. “Israel’s Infuriating Treatment of Lynsey Addario”:

But what is there to understand, exactly? That it’s okay for teenage checkpoint guards to decide whether it’s safe to expose a fetus to X-rays? That it’s okay for them to treat an American journalist in a cavalier and cruel fashion without, say, stopping to consult with their superiors? Or that it’s okay for the apparatus of the military occupation to continue committing acts that, inevitably, bring shame and embarrassment on Israel, a country that is constantly striving to paint itself as a moral and just haven, one that American Jewish organizations, and the American government, spend millions of dollars and valuable political capital every year defending from delegitimizing attacks suggesting otherwise? […]

The truth is there’s simply nothing to excuse, justify, or even really explain why these guards decided to force Addario back through the machine twice, and then three times, “as they watched and laughed from above,” according to Addario’s complaint. Nor would anything make reason of the fact that, afterward, they forced her to strip down to her underwear and lift her shirt to expose her belly for additional inspection. This, from a country that treats women’s fertility and prenatal health as a paramount public policy issue. This, from a country that prides itself on the procedures used by its military. This, from a country whose soldiers should know better than to do anything that they wouldn’t want the world to see on YouTube, and whose commanding officers should know to watch their teenage charges like hawks. This, from a country that imagines itself as the kind of place where Addario, and any other person who posed no threat, is treated with fairness and perhaps even kindness. Thankfully, she seems to be fine. The rest of us should be apoplectic.

Oh but Dahlia Scheindlin at +972 gets the story (boldface mine):

Here’s the rub: we get upset when the face is known to us, even by association: New York Times; hostage in Libya; journalist. The fact is this happens all the time, to other 27-week pregnant women with no editor to write the IDF and stand up for them. If you cut them, do they not bleed? And if you wrong them, will they not take revenge?

I’ll say it again: occupation behavior is monster that cannot be silenced on command. Once an occupier of Palestinians at a checkpoint, you will be an occupier of westerners and journalists at the checkpoint, of Arab citizens in Israel, on the roads, in the supermarket, and probably, eventually, in your very own home.

Personal narratives vs. a colonial reality: Inside the Palestine Writing Workshop

Nov 29, 2011

Ian Rhodewalt

Nancy Kricorian meets with the Palestine Writing Workshop

We settle into our chairs, our small talk introductions, as we wait for the table to fill up. The workshop, titled “Family Stories: Writing Fiction and Nonfiction Narrative from Life” with Nancy Kricorian, is being offered by the Palestine Writing Workshop and draws us for different reasons. Some of us want practice in a writing workshop, some are striving to break away from the dryness of academic writing with the wish to return to the creativity of a younger time (before university killed said creativity), some come for lessons from a published author, and some for a budding interest in this thing called “writing”.

Nancy Kricorian (Photo: Palestine Writing Workshop)

The class begins, and Nancy asks us to introduce ourselves formally and give some biographical background. At the table there is an economist, a runner, a development worker, a mother, a few college students, a grandmother who writes about Palestinian embroidery. We relay details about what brought all of us together at this particular moment, for this week of writing classes. After we’ve gone around, Nancy introduces herself as an author and activist, a mother and an Armenian. She points out how each one of us picked out one particular facet, of the thousands that make up our identity, to describe ourselves. What is it about each of these individual, unique facets that we cling to in order to identify ourselves, she wonders.

Then she sets a task for us, to write about one of the family photos we had been asked to bring with us. As we all put on intense writing faces for fifteen minutes, and dip into the memories, the room becomes silent. History sits in the center of the table, as we scratch away with our pens, putting into words these images before us, their meaning to us, these stories we carry inside our chest, stories of Ramallah, of Jaffa, of the Mount of Olives and the old city of Jerusalem, of rural Pennsylvania, of India, of Gainesville, Florida, of Portugal – some of us were born and raised here, some of us are expats.

When we break for tea, our heads remain in this swirl of history, and that’s where our conversations turn to now. Where is the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah? Who lives there now? What happened there during the first Intifada? Those families that used to live on the hills where the settlements now sit – what happened to them? The children of that time must have families of their own now – where are they?

As we return to the second half of this first class, our new assignment is to now write for fifteen minutes on a different photo that belongs to one of our classmates. This time, the writing feels more challenging – more of us have furrowed brows, we struggle with making up stories about people we don’t know who are somehow related to someone else at the table, someone we only just met. We worry about creating fiction about real people, we worry about getting facts wrong, or making up facts. Eventually, we just write what we see.

The next day, we begin by talking about writers whose work we really admire. The list is an impressive one – Mahmoud Darwish, Naguib Mahfouz, John Burger, Elias Khoury, Mourid Barghouti, Jose Maria de Eca de Queiroz, John Edgar Wideman, Sherman Alexie, Ian McEwan. “This is quite an esteemed group of authors we’ve put together here,” Nancy notes, pointing out that many of them are highly politically engaged in terms of what they write. “No wonder,” someone says, “being here.” And it’s true. In a place like Palestine, where we eat, breathe, drink and sweat politics, even being able to get the proper medicine is a political act, so it should come as no surprise that the writers we are drawn to are political. Or that in the writing of our family stories, our earliest memories, even the dialogue of two characters who want different things, the words we choose, how we tell the tale, all this is deeply infused with an urgency, a demand to be heard, a thirsting for justice. At some point, Nancy mentions that it is these strong, powerful personal narratives that can burn through the colonial narrative that Israel, the US, and establishment media in the West present.

Over the course of the week, as we work our way through drafts, workshop feedback, revisions, more drafts, one-on-one meetings with Nancy, and further revisions, we hone the voice and the message of each of the pieces that we’re working on individually. An exciting aspect of a workshop setting like this is that we each bring our own thoughts, passions, and writing obsessions to the table, and through sharing them out loud with each other, a transformation occurs. Not only do we have an appreciative audience for our own work, listening to our fellow writers enriches us as well. We hear stories that otherwise we might never have encountered. More than that, we learn ways of storytelling that may differ from our own. This weeklong workshop allows, or rather, creates, a space for each of us to engage in one of the most essential and important functions of being human – making sense of our lives from the whirl of information we receive on a daily basis.

Under occupation, where it is often said that ‘existence is resistance’, we get great value from articulating the truths of our existence to another’s ears. Expressing this through the written word solidifies that truth, and sharing our writing adds a layer of solidarity with our audience. That is, through writing our stories, we become the validation that we seek, and through listening to other’s stories, we join together, we gain empathy. In this process, we place our narratives side by side, so that they stand in the face of a colonizing force that does not tolerate resistance.

Ann Lewis and Bill Kristol do ‘playful banter’ at AIPAC summit

Nov 29, 2011

Philip Weiss

Ann Lewis

Erika Schupak Neuberg reports in a Phoenix Jewish publication on an AIPAC summit in Scottsdale, AZ (h/t Max Blumenthal):

Proud. Energized. Alarmed. Exhilarated. These are just a few of the words that describe my experience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Summit – our premier foreign-policy conference held Oct. 30-31 at the Fairmont Princess Resort….
We were soberly reminded of the overwhelmingly dangerous and unpredictable threats to Israel’s safety and security, yet also armed with strategic tools to make a difference. We felt collective pride and awe as we saw a few examples of the amazing technology coming out of Israeli companies, including the Iron Dome missile-defense system and ReWalk, a powered exo-skeleton technology that actually enabled a paraplegic woman to rise from her wheelchair and walk.

We were entertained by the playful political banter among Paul Begala, Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy and Ann Lewis.

I think this is an important point. One difficulty with the Israel issue is that American Jews of my generation and older tend to close ranks in support of anything Israel does. And really there’s no difference between liberal Jews and rightwing ones, let alone Democrats and Republicans. Thus all the liberal Jewish Democrats who voted for the Iraq war, in part because Tom Lantos was calling Saddam “Hitler” because he backed suicide bombers. Thus Barney Frank, a big liberal, says he privately opposes settlements but he won’t go public unless Jeff Halper can find 5,000 Jews in his district who will support him.

The AIPAC anecdote explains Frank’s problem. His own sister Ann Lewis is a big liberal Democrat, close to Hillary Clinton, and she does a lot of work for AIPAC. She has said, “The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.”(perDana Milbank).

Really is there any difference on this issue between Ann Lewis and Bill Kristol? Israel is the royal road to neoconservatism.

Key Occupy Wall Street organizers include activists with roots in Israel/Palestine

Nov 29, 2011

Alex Kane

Amin Husain recently appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss the movement.

Lost in the debate over whether Palestine is a pertinent issue to the Occupy movement is this interesting fact: two of the core organizers behind Occupy Wall Street in New York have close ties to both Israel and Palestine.

A new New York magazine feature on the Occupy Wall Street protests does not delve into the controversy over Palestine solidarity, it does paint an interesting picture of organizers Yotam Marom and Amin Husain.

From John Heilemann’s article:

Take Amin Husain, who is characterized by a number of the prime movers as one of OWS’s “deep thinkers.” Husain, a 36-year-old Palestinian-American who grew up poor before becoming a corporate lawyer, spent much of the aughts working on complex structured-finance deals. His last job before leaving the law to become an artist was as a contract attorney at Cravath, laboring on behalf of its client Pricewaterhouse­Coopers when PWC was being sued over its auditing (or, arguably, non-auditing) of AIG, reading hundreds of internal e-mails that may expose the perfidy of both.

In his kaffiyeh and a camouflage military cap, Husain certainly has the look of a revolutionary, but he sounds more like the artist he’s become. When I ask what drew him to OWS, he says, “I felt it was a moment for something to shift. It’s time to have people empowered to imagine, what does it mean to live in a beautiful country like the United States of America? This is a movement not about speaking to people, but about hearing. It’s not for the people. It’s with the people. It’s a new way of thinking.”

This kind of talk is common among a certain sort of OWSer, especially those who are newbies to public agitation. But then there is another sort: committed activists. Among the OWS prime movers, a goodly number, including Yotam Marom, were involved in Bloombergville, the sidewalk protest near City Hall against the city’s budget cuts that took place last summer. While their vernacular is at times as airy as Husain’s, their politics are much firmer, steeped in the cut-and-thrust of battles for tangible objectives. And, unlike Husain, who invoked the phrase “leaderless movement” again and again, the ­activist prime movers make no bones about the fact that OWS has a leadership ­cadre—and that they are part of it.

“Anybody who says there’s such a thing as a totally nonhierarchical, agenda-less movement is … not stupid, but dangerous, because somebody’s got to write the ­agenda—it doesn’t fall out of the sky,” says Marom, who in some ways is Husain’s ­mirror image. A 25-year-old veteran of the New School occupation and co-founder of the quasi-socialist Organization for a Free Society, Marom was raised in Hoboken by Israeli parents and has lived in both a commune (in Israel) and a collective (in Crown Heights). Articulate and charismatic, he came to OWS with a bone-deep wariness toward many of the far left’s ingrained tendencies, notably “the glorification of process and vagueness,” he says.

Marom is a familiar face in New York’s activist scene.  He was a part of the occupation of the New School two years ago, and was a key activist involved in Bloombergville, a 24/7 protest encampment earlier this year that is seen as a precedent for Occupy Wall Street.  Marom, a member of the left-wing Zionist group Hashomer Hatzair, has written some on Israel/Palestine (here he is responding to an article by Ilan Pappe), although his interests also include “communalism, education…parecon, gender, sexuality, student activism, and vision and strategy for a new society.”

Husain is also an interesting character.  The Toronto Star writer Leslie Scrivener reported on Husain in a recent piece on the protest movement:

Husain, 36, a former finance lawyer, smiles. A tall man, lightly bearded, wearing a kaffiyeh, he saw that day as the start of something he had longed for all his life. He grew up in the Palestinian uprisings of the ’90s and spent time in prison in his early teens. He links that movement to the present one:

“It was this hope we can create a better world.”

And he believes that it is now underway: “There are moments when the stars align.”

Kalle Lasn, the editor of Adbusters, told me that he believes the Occupy movement has the potential to change

not just the way we think about financial speculators and fat cats on Wall Street, but all kinds of arenas as well, including the political and foreign policy arenas

Husain’s linking of the Palestinian intifada to the Occupy movement is indicative that Lasn may be right.

Israeli forces tear gas and arrest girls during home demolition in South Hebron Hills

Nov 29, 2011


Video: Israeli occupation forces demolish homes and mosque, arrests girls near Hebron, Ali Abunimah

On 24 November Israeli occupation forces demolished two homes, a mosque and a barn, killing livestock, and arrested two young women in the village of Umm Fagarah, in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank.

“Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs, Assaf Oron
Last Thursday, November 24, employees of the Israeli company “E.T. Legal Services”, hired by the deceptively named “Civil Administration” arm of Israel’s military Occupation regime in the West Bank, demolished a mosque. Among other things.
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Army To Demolish A Palestinian Home In Jerusalem

The Israeli Army decided to demolish a home that belongs to resident Nawal Al Jahaleen in Jabal Al Mukabber area, in occupied East Jerusalem.
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Israeli demolition firm takes pride in West Bank operations

Having relatives in the West Bank is a problem. So is a school in the South Hebron Hills. The list of prohibitions is endless.

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Lift Travel Ban on Human Rights Defender, B’Tselem
Israeli authorities in the West Bank should lift the travel ban imposed since 2006 on West Bank resident Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem said today. Israeli authorities violated Jabarin’s due process rights in imposing the ban and have not produced any evidence that would justify continuing to restrict him from travel, the groups said.

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Witness looks at the struggle to get an education under occupation.

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Israeli Regime Violence / Aggression

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, 350 private Israeli security guards are currently employed in East Jerusalem by private security firm Modi’in Ezrahi, which is subcontracted by the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction, to protect 2,000 settlers living illegally in the occupied territory.

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Organized chaos and bare life (*): The non-story of the night raids
There exists a general, intentional, cleverly constructed misunderstanding surrounding the true nature of the Israeli occupation. Some say it’s a simple dispute over land, like many others in the world; other think the conflict is about national independence for the Palestinians, prompting statements like, “The Basques and the Kurds aren’t independent either, so why do people pick on Israel?”  But the occupation is something else. It is the ongoing military control over the lives of millions, and everything that comes with it: The lack of civil rights, the absence of legal protection, and perhaps more than anything else, a sense of organized chaos, in which the lives of an entire civilian population is run at the mercy of soldiers 18 to 20 years old. Most of the time, it’s almost hard to explain how bad it is for those who haven’t seen it with their own eyes.
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Political Detainees / Interrogations / Other Prisoner News

Two girls detained, livestock crushed in Umm Fagarah

On November 24, the Israeli army broke into the South Hebron Hills village of Umm Fagarah, demolishing several huts and detaining two girls.
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Adnan Ghaith summoned for investigation again

Silwan secretary-general of Fatah Adnan Ghaith was summoned for investigation by Israeli police on 24 November, in Oz police station on Al-Moqaber. Ghaith was interrogated about his activities and correspondences during his 8 months of exile from Jerusalem this year, which he spent in Ramallah. He was also threatened by interrogators to cease all political work, lest he be punished again.

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Israeli intelligence summonses two female ex-detainees for interrogation

The IOF violently stormed at dawn Sunday the homes of two Palestinian women released as part of the swap deal between Hamas and Israel and handed them summonses from the intelligence.

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Israel blocks visit to Palestinian prisoner
Israeli occupation forces blocked a visit to Palestinian prisoner Sheikh Jamal Abul Haija by his daughter Sajeda on Monday without giving reasons.

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Self-Education: Story of a Palestinian Prisoner, Ben Lorber and Khalil Ashour

On the third floor of the Nablus Municipality Library, there sits a room of over 8,000 books set apart from the rest. Many of these books are very old and tattered; many of them, in lieu of a normal face, are adorned with images taken from old National Geographic or Reader’s Digest magazines. Some are laboriously written by hand. The spines of the books show a variety of languages, from Arabic to English, French and Spanish. ‘The New English Bible’ is flanked by ‘The Great American Revolution of 1776’ on one side and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ on the other; across the aisle, Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’ and ‘The Greek Myths’ look on silently, next to ‘Elementary Physics’ and a study of ‘The Chinese Road to Socialism’.

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Aruri: 2nd stage of exchange deal should take place by 19 December
Political bureau member of Hamas Saleh Al-Aruri has said that Israel should set free the second batch of Palestinian prisoners by 19 December in accordance with the exchange deal.

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Prisoners write to Abbas demanding PA support
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails sent a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday demanding support from the Palestinian Authority in their fight for better conditions. The letter highlighted that Israel had enacted punitive policies against prisoners since the swap deal in October between Israel and Hamas, and said the situation for detainees was “on the verge of explosion,” a statement from a prisoners’ society said.
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Official: Fatah, Hamas to release political prisoners
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah and Hamas are in talks to release political prisoners in a bid to end all outstanding disagreements, an official said Monday. “(President Mahmoud) Abbas gave instructions to the director of the Palestinian Authority’s general intelligence service, Majid Faraj, to release Hamas-affiliated detainees stated in a list received from Hamas,” Fatah affiliated lawmaker Faysal Abu Shahla told Ma’an.
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Gazans wait on outcome of Egypt elections
Egyptians take to the polls, many Palestinians hope Egypt’s future foreign policy will be more sympathetic to their cause. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party. It is expected to do well in the elections that started on the 28th November. There is some concern that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins in Egypt and Hamas grows stronger, human rights in the Gaza Strip could suffer. After the Egyptian revolution, the military council announced it would re-open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. This is the only crossing not controlled by Israel. Many Palestinians would also like to see Egypt establish a full commercial crossing at Rafah. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.
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Gaza Quarries: Resisting Ruin, Ruqaya Izzidien
The Gaza Strip is a small coastal enclave that is frequently bombed, destroying and damaging houses, agricultural land and businesses. But under the blockade that Israel imposes, construction material is banned from entering Gaza. Although a small amount of building materials does enter, it is assigned from the outset to internationally recognised organisations, making it seemingly impossible for regular Palestinian civilians to rebuild.

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Despite Israel’s blockade on building materials entering the Gaza Strip, local entrepreneurs have come up with a way to turn destruction into reconstruction by recycling rubble into construction material.

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Israeli Racism / Discrimination

Virtually all military court cases in West Bank end in conviction
Report shows the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with judges accepting 67 percent of prosecution appeals, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.

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Living in the grey area: African refugees in Israel

For years, Israel ignored African refugees rather than making a legal framework to process the requests of asylum seekers. Now, the state is building a detention center to simply lock them up.

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Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

UN marks ‘day of solidarity’ with Palestinian people

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that a Palestinian state was “long overdue,” in a statement to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. “The need to resolve this conflict has taken on greater urgency with the historic transformations taking place across the region,” Ban said. The UN chief said that a solution to the conflict must end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and establish two states with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

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As the Australian delegate on the Tahrir boat with the recent Freedom Waves initiative, Michael Coleman recently confronted all of the barriers that the government of Israel could muster.

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo Donates Sport Boots for Palestinian Children Foundation
Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, showed his concern to the Palestinian children in Gaza by donating his sports shoes to the Palestinian kids foundation.
Original enclosure (ronaldo_with_palestinian_

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Israel Declared an Apartheid State in “People’s Court”
…a panel of eminent jurists serving on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine heard testimony from expert witnesses regarding the apartheid practices of Israel against the Palestinian people.

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PCHR Strongly Condemns WHO’s Decision to Conduct a Conference in Jerusalem
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of WHO Europe to conduct an official conference in Jerusalem, hosted by Israel. The first World Health Organisation (WHO) European Conference on the New European Policy for Health is to take place on the 28–29 November 2011.

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DePaul University Students Declare Victory in Sabra Hummus Campaign
Just prior to Thanksgiving, US Campaign coalition member group DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced an important victory in its campaign against the sale of Sabra hummus in university dining halls. Earlier this year, DePaul SJP launched a campaign to have Sabra hummus removed from campus dining halls because it is partially owned by the Strauss Group, which provides material and financial support to Israeli military units. After an inquiry into the activities of the Strauss Group, the university elected to continue selling Sabra hummus. However, the university has quietly introduced the sale of an alternative brand of hummus in the university’s dining halls providing students with the opportunity to make ethical consumer purchases.

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“On the morning of Black Friday – the single largest shopping day of the year – demonstrators went through three of the busiest shopping centers in Chicago: H&M, Nordstrom and the Water Tower Place Mall. The demonstrators asked holiday shoppers to think of the ethics behind their purchases, and organized brief two-minute chants in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid and advocated a consumer boycott of Israeli products.

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Europeans hold 60 ‘Boycott Israel’ actions in 10 countries
In a European Day of Action under the banner ‘Take Apartheid off the Menu’, human rights activists in ten countries held actions on Saturday calling on consumers to boycott food products made in Israeli settlements, and urging supermarkets to stop carrying Israeli settlement-made products.

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BDS success or health problem? MF DOOM mysteriously cancels Tel Aviv show
The Israeli news site Walla! reports that British-American rapper MF Doom canceled his Tel Aviv show, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to take to the stage.

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Citizens Sue Minnesota State Board of Investment for Illegal Investments in Israel Bonds
The lawsuit asserts that investment in Israel Bonds by the SBI is both unlawful and imprudent, and further contends that such investment violates the Minnesota statutes that control the types of foreign investments that the SBI is permitted to make.

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Streisand to sing at Israeli soldier benefit in LA

Rare performance: Barbra Streisand will play a Dec. 8 LA gala for the Israel Defense Forces. Hosted by Jason Alexander, who is going to forge the two-state solution. Sponsored by Haim Saban. (Hebrew link) She’s a big Democrat, right? So’s Saban, more or less. No Christian Zionists in sight. Here’s Barbra talking about Bill Clinton’s dedication to human rights. And kids in Africa, and global climate change. Progressive except Palestine. This is what J Street is up against, inside the Jewish community. And what America is up against.

Cornel West & Rosemary Ruether launch petition to stop Marc Ellis’s dismissal from Baylor University, Adam Horowitz
Mondoweiss contributor Marc Ellis is under threat of losing his job at Baylor University under pressure from new university president Kenn Starr (yes, that Kenn Starr). Cornel West and Rosemary Ruether have started a petition on to support him:

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Organize a Film Screening of New Documentary about Israeli Apartheid

In 2006, at the 5th Annual National Organizers’ Conference of the US Campaign, coalition member groups overwhelmingly resolved to adopt the language of apartheid and Jim Crow segregation in describing Israeli policies towards Palestinians. Applying the apartheid framework to analyses of Israeli practices offers a methodical and startling assessment of conditions on the ground in occupied Palestine. The apartheid framework also explicitly highlights Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian human rights and international law. Palestinian solidarity activists Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson have produced an important new documentary,“Roadmap to Apartheid,” comparing Israeli policies with those of apartheid-era South Africa. A film tour is being scheduled for 2012 (see below for more info) and we would like to encourage you to consider organizing a screening in conjunction with an anti-apartheid training seminar. For information on how to organize an anti-apartheid training in your community, please see our training curriculum.

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Political Developments / Diplomacy

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli official said Saturday evening on live television that if the Palestinian Authority collapses it would not be the “end of the world for Israel.” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Shimon Sheffer, former Palestinian minister Sufian Zayda, and Dove Viziglas, who was former adviser to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, were analyzing the possibility of the PA disbanding on the television show “Face the press.”

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Lieberman fights PM over release of PA tax revenues but foreign minister backs down from threat to topple Netanyahu’s coalition.

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Lieberman vows to stop release of Palestinian tax funds
FM fervently opposes transferring tax revenues to Palestinian Authority, says money is used to fund housing for terrorists.

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Lebanon (now remember, Al Qaida in Lebanon is supported by Western allies, not by Hezbollah)

Rockets ‘fired from Lebanon hit Israel’
Several Katyusha’s fired from southern Lebanon landed in Israel, but there were no casualties, Israeli army says.

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Israel hits suspected Lebanon rocket sites
Missiles land in the town of Ayta Shaab after rockets launched from south Lebanon strike northern Israel.

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Hezbollah denies involvement in rocket fire on north

Militant Shiite group says had nothing to do with Katyusha fire on western Galilee; IDF says event likely an isolated incident

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Al-Qaida linked group claims responsibility for Katyusha fire against Israel

UNIFIL deploys extra troops and patrols along border, after four rockets launched into Israel overnight; no causualties reported in rocket fire, Israel responds with artillery rounds.

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Egypt gas pipeline ‘blown up by saboteurs’ for the 9th time
Blast strikes pipeline carrying gas to Jordan and Israel, in the latest of a series of attacks on the export route.
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Israel security unnerved by Egyptian politics 
The Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak had particular resonance in Israel. The country lost one of its closest allies in the region, and a loyal partner in security and now with the Muslim Brotherhood poised to make great gains in the elections, Israel’s long-standing peace treaty with Egypt is again coming into question. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports from Sinai.

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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Knesset member Benjamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday said Israel should be prepared for “the worst scenario” following changes in Egypt. Ben-Eliezer called for the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in order to improve relations with Egypt, Israeli Radio reported.

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Israel must adjust its policy to Egypt’s changing reality

The attitude to Israel does not necessarily depend on a religious perception, but rather the understanding that Israel has caused injustice to the people it has occupied. Thus, for now, it would be deceptive to say the Muslim Brotherhood or Islam in general were responsible for the change in attitude toward Israel. Israel must recognize that the region’s political and social reality is changing. It would do well to consider how to adjust its policy to the change instead of lamenting the change itself.

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Egypt military chief warns of ‘extremely grave’ consequences of crisis

Haaretz report from Alexandria / Activists hold another demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday as part of ongoing efforts to force the ruling military council out of power.

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Mosireen, “Sayed Mohsen Abdel-Ghani, 17 Years Old, Tortured by Egypt’s Army and CSF” (Video)
On Sunday, 20 November, Sayed was arrested on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. For four days, the Central Security Forces and the army tortured him.

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Egyptians demand an end to military rule 
Egyptians have started casting their ballots in the first parliamentary elections since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising earlier this year. Over 50 political parties are contesting the elections, along with thousands of candidates running as independents. But the preparations have been marred by a new wave of demonstrations, as protesters occupied Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand the military council that replaced Mubarak hand power to a civilian government. Mike Hanna reports from Cairo on protesters demanding an end to military rule.

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Alexandria getting ready for post-revolution vote 
Egyptians in Alexandria are going to the polls for Egypt’s first parliamentary vote since its revolution. Beside the mediterranean shore of Egypt’s coastal city, the variety of campaign banners erected represent members from more political parties than in the time of Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak, where the ruling National Democratic party was the main attraction. Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal takes a closer look at the political landscape of Egypt’s second largest city.

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Long lines as Egyptians vote in historic poll

Large numbers, including a high turnout of women, go to the polls in the first election since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

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Women come out in full force for Egypt elections 

Egyptians voted for the first time since their Arab Spring uprising ousted former-leader Hosni Mubarak; and people say it’s the calmest vote they’ve ever seen in heavily armed upper Egypt. And it’s not only men who are casting ballots. Women, both Muslim and Christian, have come out in full force to vote – an unusual scene in this conservative region of the country where women don’t normally play a prominent role in politics. What’s more, there were no signs of violence or coercion. Some election violations did occur as few parties continued to campaign even as voting was underway. For the most part, however, voting went smoothly. Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from Assiut, Upper Egypt.

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Zionist Minister of MK: Prepare for War If Egypt Deploys in Sinai


 in Uncategorized 

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU): world public opinion should be primed to see Egyptian army entry into Sinai as casus belli.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) warned Sunday that Israel must prepare for the possibility that Egypt will deploy its military in the Sinai peninsula – and respond to that act as a declaration of war.

Eldad, who is a member of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, said Israel “must prepare for the annulment” of the treaty, or its abrogation without a formal annulment.

Israel could face a situation in which “the Sinai will no longer be just a place for storing arms and training, and military forces beyond what was agreed upon in the peace treaty will enter it,” he said. “World public opinion should be prepared for the fact that this would be a casus belli,” he said.

Eldad added that he does not believe Israel’s government will take these steps, but also said that “we cannot afford not to do this” because “otherwise we will find Egyptian divisions hurtling in our direction through Sinai.”

US forces deployed in the Sinai provide no protection, he said, because they might be evacuated “by means of a single phone call” as occurred in the case of a UN force stationed in Sinai before the Six Day War.

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