Archive | November 15th, 2011

YNETNEWS: THE PROTOCOLS OF GILAD ATZMON

NOVANEWS
GILAD ATZMON

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4147243,00.html

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: The Wandering Who made it to Israel. Three days ago, Yediot Aharonot, the largest Israeli paper published a three pages article about The Wandering Who and myself. And as one may imagine, the patriotic Israeli media giant wasn’t very happy about the book, or my views.

But Yediot was at least brave enough to include an interview with me in Hebrew.   In the interview I said many things that wouldn’t see daylight on any of our Western Zionised papers. The Zionist paper allowed me to say all those things that our Jewish anti Zionists (AKA AZZ Anti Zionist Zionists)  insist to shove under the carpet.

For instance, I compared Israel with Nazi Germany — I even told Israelis that from some perspectives, Israel is actually worse than Nazi Germany.

I told Israelis that an Israeli attack on Iran would lead to a shift in the vision of Jewish past and the Holocaust in particular. I believe that repeating these ideas  in Israel in Hebrew in  the current climate is my ethical duty.

I told Israelis that the holocaust must be opened to historical scrutiny.

Would the Guardian or the New York Times allow me to say it? Certainly not, or let us say, not yet.

Ynet, The Israeli patriotic ultra Zionist paper admitted that the book is a best seller and that it is praised by some  of the most influential and distinguished academics around. Seemingly, our so called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists are way behind such reasoned debate. They still pray for the book to evaporate.

Needless to say that the Israeli article provoked some Israelis to share with me their most violent fantasies – but interestingly enough  -many more Israelis contacted me to thank me for telling the truth; and some even sent me  very interesting documents which I will certainly use in the near future.

As I mentioned once before, ‘The People Of the Book’ is not the appropriate description  of the contemporary political Jew. ‘The People Of the Cut & Paste’ is much more suitable. Yaniv Halily, the paper’s correspondent in London didn’t actually read the book: instead he copied quotes from discredited Zionist mouthpiece, Alan Dershowitz, who also didn’t read the book but copied from others. And as we all know, Dershowitz is notorious for being a plagiarist.

So in fact, part of the Yediot’s article is an embarrassing chain of Zio-centric plagiarists drivel.  Seemingly, none of the plagiarists read my original work. They are clearly driven by a phantasmic trauma. Interestingly enough, The Wandering Whodescribes this very trauma in details.

I already addressed Dershowitz’ clumsy drivel here. Since Ynet, copied and pasted Dershowitz’ misquotes. There is no reason to deal with the matter once again.

As far as I am aware, the article didn’t make it to the Hebrew online Ynet (it is hidden in the Hebrew achieve), but yesterday it found its way to the English website Ynetnews I guess that someone in Israel must have realised that it may be too dangerous to let Israelis grasp the truth.

The article in English contains some gross mistranslations and misquotes. It seems as if Yediot’s writer failed to translate ‘self hatred’ into Hebrew. He has managed to come up with with some very creative ideas, such as ‘a Jew who hates Judaism’, and ‘Jew Hater.’ I will point at these mistranslations in the body of the article.

The protocols of Gilad Atzmon

Israeli musician living in London publishes book filled with troubling anti-Semitic statements. ‘Israel is worse than Nazi Germany’ and ‘The Holocaust narrative is historically illogical’ are only some of his beliefs

Yaniv Halily

LONDON – “We must take the accusations that Jews are trying to take over the world with utmost seriousness. Israel is the Nazi Germany of our time. In fact, Israel today is worse than Nazi Germany.”

These harsh statements are not the beliefs of a German neo-Nazi, but rather of an Israeli living in London. The speaker is Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli jazz musician performing around the world, whose new book “The Wandering Who?” deals with world Jews and the State of Israel, and includes some very disturbing sayings.

Atzmon, 48, was born in Jerusalem and has been living in Britain since 1994. He is considered a gifted musician who performs in Europe’s best jazz clubs, but also one of his homeland’s most serious critics in Britain.

He has published quite a few books and articles blasting Israel in the past, but this time it seems he has crossed all red lines.

‘Some will say Hitler was right after all’ (Photo: AP)

In his new book he states that he is “proud to be a self-hating Jew”, and says that his “insights” are based on the writings of Jewish Austrian philosopher Otto Weininger, who he describes as “an anti-Semite who loathed almost anything that wasn’t Aryan manhood.”

Atzmon says he is a strong opponent of “Jewishness” and clarifies, “I despise the Jew in me.”

“To be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order,” he explains in the book, a commitment which he says draws an increasing number of Jews into a dangerous, unethical and vague partnership.

(GA: misquote taken from Alan Dershowitz’ article. discussed here)

Eventually, he writes, a nuclear war will erupt between Iran and Israel, which will lead to the killing of tens of millions of people. “Some brave people will say that Hitler was right after all.”

(GA: this is a mistranslation of a double misquote. here are my original words: “We, for instance, can envisage a horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called ‘pre-emptive’ nuclear attack on Iran escalates into a disastrous nuclear war, in which tens of millions of people perish. I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’
The above is obviously a fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one, yet such a vision of a ‘possible’ horrific development should restrain Israeli or Zionist aggression towards Iran.” The Wandering Who Pg 191)

His reference to Hitler is not accidental. Atzmon often compares the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Holocaust, he writes, is “an ancient religion as old as the Jews themselves”, and “even if it is accepted as the new Anglo-American liberal-democratic religion – people should be allowed to be atheists.”

The text also includes some of the most classic anti-Semitic accusations. Atzmon claims that American Jews are trying to control the world, blames them for the global financial crisis, and rules that high-ranking Jewish officials in the United States – like Rahm Emanuel and Paul Wolfowitz – “stayed abroad instead of moving to ‘Zion’ in order to serve the Zionist interest in the best way possible.”

He even accuses American media of failing to “warn the American public of the danger from within.”

Moreover, Atzmon even addresses the classic blood libel, claiming that children should be allowed to ask their school teachers “how do they know that the accusations that Jews used the blood of gentile children to back matzot are indeed empty or groundless accusations.”

(GA: misquote taken from Alan Dershowitz’ article. discussed here)

Jesus hated Jews too

Asked why he hates Jews, Atzmon stresses that he is in good company. “The Jews who ultimately contributed to humanity are those who hated themselves,” he says in an interview. “Jesus was a Jew who hated Jews, and so did Spinoza and Marx.”

(GA: Clear mistranslation here. the reference  is to ‘self hatred’. accordingly Jesus was a ‘self hater’.  Instead of “Asked why he hates Jews” it should be “Asked why is he a self-hater’. it should read “Jesus was a self hater, and so were Spinoza and Marx.”  )

Albert Einstein did not hate his Jewish identity.

“Einstein didn’t contribute to humanity. He contributed to physics and was the person who started the Manhattan Project which led to the atomic bomb. When you talk about humanity, you talk about a universal system of values promoting love for one another – Einstein didn’t contribute anything to that.”

He defines himself as a ‘Jew hater’. Do you think your identity allows you to be Impartial?

“Of course. As a Jew who hates Judaism, I put myself under a magnifying glass and examine every Jewish aspect in me. I don’t see any problem with it, and everything I say is subject to the readers’ review. By the way, the book has already sold 6,000 copies on the first month of its publication, which is a significant achievement.”

(GA:  For some reason, the writer couldn’t handle the notion of ‘self-hatred’ it must have felt like a cognitive dissonance. It should read as “He defines himself as a ‘self hater’. and consequently “Of course. As a ‘self hater’, I put myself under a magnifying glass.)

Are Jews responsible for the global financial crisis?

“When I diagnose the lobby which led to the global financial crash, I can’t ignore these two people, Paul Wolfowitz and Alan Greenspan. In 1994, Wolfowitz wrote that Israel is an important strategic asset, and he was also the architect of the Gulf War – I have no doubt he’s a Zionist.”

You have also voiced harsh claims against the Holocaust narrative accepted by the Western world today.

“I find this narrative unacceptable. History should be subject to criticism as part of a dynamic process of understanding. Holocaust museums perpetuate Jewish suffering, preventing Jews from reaching such an understanding.”

‘Einstein didn’t contribute to humanity’ (Photo: Getty Images)

The Holocaust issue is subject to an ongoing research process.

“This process institutionalizes the Jewish suffering and doesn’t impress me. I heard about Holocaust deniers who were forced to sit in jail just because they wouldn’t fall for the Holocaust narrative as described by the Zionists. Holocaust denial laws are the worst – they prevent Jews from understanding their own history.

“Take the death marches issue, for example. It’s clear to everyone that at the beginning of the war the Nazis wanted to clear the Reich of Jews. If that’s the case, why did the lead the Jews at the end of the war into the Reich in what people refer to as ‘the death marches’? If the Nazis wanted to destroy the Jews, the last thing they should have done was lead them to Germany.”

Jews were an essential labor force.

“Jews were no longer a labor force. They were too weak and therefore died in the marches. Jews say the Nazis wanted to conceal evidence, but that’s an idiotic response because the Nazis left Jews behind in the camps.”

Okay, so you tell me why the marches took place.

“According to one interesting answer, the Jews preferred to stay with the Germans than fall into the hands of the Russians. There was a typhus outbreak and the assumption was that if the Jews were taken to Germany, the Americans and Britons could deal with the disease.

“So the death marches were actually humane. This is a very consistent ruling.”

So the marches were a demonstration of humanity. You also claimed that Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. Do explain.

“Both Nazi Germany and Israel are driven by ethnocentrism. They are both racist countries with a tendency to expand. Israel and the Nazi movement are similar in many categories. But since Israel is a democratic country, each of its citizens is responsible for its crimes, while in Nazi Germany only the Führer and his party members were responsible for the war crimes.

“Moreover, the Zionist movement was born before the Nazi movement. The Nazis disappeared, but the Zionists remain – and today they are even stronger than America.”

Something very Jewish

Atzmon’s statements are not troubling just because of their content, but mainly because of their surprising approval. Researchers from leading US universities, including Richard Falk of Princeton and John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, have adopted the book and saluted Atzmon for his “courage”.

James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Binghamton University, praised the text, calling it “a series of brilliant illuminations”.

Mearsheimer, who is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, concluded that Atzmon “has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world”, which he said should be read by both Jews and non-Jews.

This troubling popularity is also expressed in the fact that the book can be purchased on Amazon, a website with a clear policy of not selling books promoting open racist opinions or any type of anti-Semitism. In case you were wondering, you won’t be able to buy “Mein Kampf” there.

All this is naturally joined by Holocaust deniers and anti-Israel protestors, who have been praising the book and quoting from it. The fact that the text was written by an Israeli makes many of them accept it as legitimate and address it as a scientific document.

‘Arguing with him is pointless.’ Yardena Arazi (Photo: Daniel Hakim)

Atzmon, by the way, says he has a loyal audience in Israel too. “Quite a few people in Israel agree with what I’m saying, he states.

Yoram Kaniuk asked to remove the Judaism classification from his identity card, and I’ve heard that hundreds of Israelis are following suit. It’s a simple conclusion: Many have decided to become like me, to ask questions and wander, at least spiritually.

“My mother agrees with my ideas, and my father said recently that for the first time he understood where I was coming from. I had tears in my eyes.”

“I read the book even before it was put to print and I think it’s wonderful,” confirms the mother, Ariella Atzmon. “It’s a very important book, which was a best-seller and analyzes our existence in a very intelligent way.

“It’s not at all anti-Semitic. Gilad has a problem with Jews, he talks about three categories of Jews, but you have to read everything to understand – rather than bring quotations and take them out of context.

“It’s time for people to start thinking about the situation we are living in and about our past in a realistic manner, instead of living by myths. I am very proud of my son.”

Israeli singer Yardena Arazi, who worked with Atzmon in the past as a musician, producer and player, is not so proud.

“He is extremely talented, really gifted, but I’m not surprised by his statements,” she says. “He is a provocative and witty person, with a lot of humor, and when he first started talking like this – I thought he was joking.

“After he went to London I visited him there once with my daughter Alona, but over time he became even more radical, and it eventually ended between us when we slammed the phone in each other’s face.

“I took a step back from him. He wrote very painful things, and I don’t agree with any of his statements of course, but arguing with him is pointless. He is entrenched in very radical opinions, and there is no way of communicating with him on this level.

“He is an argumentative person and an outsider, and there is something very Jewish about him, even though he denies his Jewishness. I once told him that one day he would become a believer and a great rabbi, but I guess I was very wrong.”

 

  This is the book they don’t want you to read: The Wandering Who-A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, available on  Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

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VOLKSWAGEN AG DONATING $1 MILLION TO ADL

NOVANEWS
GILAD ATZMON

Gilad Atzmon: My Right Wing ultra Zionist grandfather didn’t allow my father to buy a German Car. Now I see why.

http://www.jta.org/

 

 

 

NEW YORK (JTA) — Automotive giant Volkswagen AG said it will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.
The money will go toward ADL workshops addressing issues at schools and in the workforce, including diversity training, programs aimed at cyber bullying and maintaining respectful working conditions, and anti-bigotry efforts.
“ADL’s initiatives and programs align with Volkswagen AG’s commitment to diversity in our workforce and in countries all around the globe,” Volkswagen board member Christian Klingler said in a statement Tuesday.
ADL National Director Abraham Foxman in a response to the statement said, “We are extremely gratified to have Volkswagen’s generous support as a partner in the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry.”
The Volkswagen group is the largest car manufacturer in Europe. Their brands include Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Scania.

 

The Wandering Who-A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, available on  Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

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OY VEY, FINALLY A CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF ME BEING AN ANTI SEMITE

NOVANEWS
 GILAD ATZMON

 

Notorious Zionist, pro-war and Islamophobia Award Winning Harry’s Place have found the final evidence which proves that I am indeed an ‘anti Semite’!!!

This is a glimpse into  Zionist hysteria

Judge for yourself

http://youtu.be/0RS1MaQ1d_Q

Update: this was sent by Gary Keenan-“During late April and early May 1948 (before Israel was declared a state), in accordance with Plan Dalet and as instructed by the Jewish Agency (led by Polish born David Ben-Gurion), well armed Jewish forces (mainly Irgun and Haganah/Palmach) expelled 60,000 essentially defenceless Palestinians from Haifa and 70,000 from Jaffa.  Many were forced to flee on flimsy boats while Jewish snipers shot at them on the docks, killing several.  Scores drowned at sea.

In short, Palestinians were actually “thrown into the sea” by the Zionists.”

I would add here that the Zionist phobia of being ‘thrown into the sea’ may as well be a crud and banal projection.

 

The Wandering Who-A Study on Zionist Hysteria , available on  Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

 

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on OY VEY, FINALLY A CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF ME BEING AN ANTI SEMITE

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Follow the Freedom Rides

Nov 15, 2011

Adam Horowitz

Watch live streaming video from freedomriders at livestream.com

You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. Here are some Twitter accounts offering updates:

One killed, four wounded in the Israeli attack on Gaza

Nov 15, 2011

Kate

AP Video: Aftermath of Gaza airstrike
(52 seconds) 14 Nov – Palestinian officials say a Hamas naval policeman has been killed and seven others have been wounded in an Israeli airstrike on their building in the northern Gaza Strip.

Airstrike kills police officer, wounds 4 in Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an/Reuters) 14 Nov — One police officer was killed and four others injured early Monday morning when Israeli warplanes targeted a naval police building in Gaza City. Medical sources in Gaza identified the victim as Muhammad Kilani. His body was found amid the rubble … The airstrike came hours after a homemade projectile was fired from Gaza, landing in the Shaar Hanegev area. No injuries were reported [in the projectile attack].

French consul and family wounded in Israeli attack on Gaza
IMEMC 14 Nov — On Monday, 14 November 2011, the French Consul in the Gaza Strip, Majdi Jameel Yaseen Shaqqoura, 44, his wife and his two children were wounded in an Israeli attack on the Palestinian Navy site in the southwest of Beit Lahia, located in northern Gaza. They were in their home when they were injured by shrapnel. Additionally, as a result of the same attack the consul’s wife suffered from hemorrhage that led to a miscarriage.

And more news from Today in Palestine:

Haniyeh: Israel targeted police in airstrike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Monday accused Israel of deliberately targeting a police compound in an airstrike which killed a coastal police officer.  Speaking at the funeral of Muhammad Kilani, Haniyeh called the strike “a treacherous crime that can’t be justified.”

Gaza man shot dead entering Egypt via tunnels
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — A Palestinian man was killed in the Egyptian city of Rafah on Sunday, as he tried to enter Egypt via a smuggling tunnel. Police in Gaza said a Palestinian-Egyptian man opened fire on Ahmad al-Amsi and three others who managed to escape and return to Gaza … Police in Gaza said that the group admitted under interrogation that they had tried to enter Egypt with fake passports. The unidentified man suspected of committing the murder is from the Gaza Strip, police said. It is not not known why the man opened fire on the group.

FM: We’ll lift Gaza restrictions if France sends Foreign Legion
Ynet 14 Nov —  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee that he has told his French counterpart he is willing to lift all restrictions from the Gaza Strip as long as France sends the foreign legion and not “girls bearing olive branches.” Lieberman explained that “the problem won’t be solved if we reach an understanding about 1967 borders. After an agreement the Palestinians will demand autonomy in the Galilee.”

Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Palestinian culture & history

Jerusalem Municipality determined to build biblical park in Al-Bustan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 14 Nov — The Jerusalem Municipality counselor has requested the District Organization Committee to speed up its implementation of the planned “King’s Park” scheme for Al-Bustan. The order comes despite the left-wing Meretz faction of Jerusalem Municipality coalition’s agreement with conservative city mayor Nir Barakat to freeze construction plans. The King’s Park plan encompasses the construction of “biblical gardens” over vast tracts of Palestinian neighborhood Al-Bustan in Silwan, where many of the houses have been scheduled for demolition by the Municipality. Meretz has stated that its members feel deceived by Barakat’s promises, including a statement from the mayor that there would be no home demolitions in Al-Bustan “unless the residents approve it.”
link to silwanic.net

Archaeologists resume work at contentious worksite of Jerusalem museum
Haaretz 14 Nov — No one involved in the digs would comment on any archaeological findings since the resumption of the excavations, which are taking place in the capital’s Mamilla neighborhood — Archaeologists have resumed excavating the Jerusalem site where the Museum of Tolerance is to go up, amid controversy surrounding the exhumation of skeletons in what had been a Muslim cemetery for nearly 1,000 years. In addition to fielding objections to the museum site, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is sponsoring and financing the project, also has to contend with the recent resignation of the two architects who planned the museum. But for all the troubles, construction of the museum is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks … the first archaeologist to work at the site said there must be more skeletons there. “There are definitely skeletons there,” said Gideon Sulimani, who also used to head the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Jerusalem district. “They’re digging at the edge of the excavation I conducted, and the graves continue in the direction in which they’re currently digging.”
link to www.haaretz.com

Khaldun Bshara has dodged bullets to preserve Palestinians’ heritage
Ramallah (CSM) 14 Nov – Most visitors to the Palestinian architectural company RIWAQ would be forgiven for thinking that its building and people are similar to others in the area. With its Arabesque entryway, high ceilings, and tiled floor, the stone structure that houses the firm is a standard Ottoman design common across the region. And the people, busily working behind desks, appear to be like any other office employees. But RIWAQ, which means “gallery” in Arabic, is more than just an architectural firm: It’s a thriving center for architectural conservation. Today, as the dream of an independent Palestinian state grows more realistic, the organization’s work in preserving Palestinian cultural heritage has taken on added significance … Aside from its impressive data-collection operation aimed at identifying all buildings of significance to Palestinian history, RIWAQ has gained financial support from a wide range of local and international sources, which has allowed it to improve people’s lives by rejuvenating their surroundings.
http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20111114/wl_csm/419988

Palestinian family in Silwan served eviction order
IMEMC 13 Nov — The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported that a Palestinian family in Silwan was served an eviction order issued by the Jerusalem municipality with the intent to replace them with Jewish settlers. The center stated that the family was ordered to leave their home by November 28th. The family filed several appeals at the Israeli District Court, and the High Court, since the early 1990’s after the El Ad fundamentalist settler organization occupied land that belongs to the family.  Israel claims that the home in question belongs to “Lord Rochelle” and has done so for dozens of years. Should it become clear that the Rochelle family does not own the property, Israel will still confiscate it under the so-called “Absentee Property Law.” In both cases the Palestinian family is left homeless despite the fact that it historically owned and inhabited the property, the Center said.
link to www.imemc.org

Again, demolition orders for Hadidiyah
JVC 14 Nov — On the 10th November 2011, the occupation forces delivered 9 new demolition orders to the Bedouin community of Hadidya. Al Hadidiya community faced numerous home demolitions, the last one happened last June. The new demolition orders regard 17 structures, homes and animal shelters. It states the demolitions will happen on the 18th November. Al Hadidya is surrounded by two settlements, Ro’i and Beqa’ot, and three big military bases. The community has no direct access to water, nor to health or education. Al Hadidiya looks like a desert while water run under the Bedouins’ feet.
link to www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org

Israeli bulldozers raze Qalqiliya village lands
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces accompanied bulldozers that razed through Palestinian-owned lands near Qalqiliya on Sunday, locals said. The vehicles cut down trees and leveled ground belonging to farmers from nearby village Azzun Atma, residents said. Local farmer Ibrahim Abdullah told Ma‘an the area was bulldozed to “ensure security for settlements which they originally confiscated from Palestinian citizens.” … Azzun Atma lies between Israeli settlements Oranit and Shaare Tiqwa, and locals fear Israeli authorities plan to construct a no-go zone on the most fertile land of the village to buffer the settlements.
link to www.maannews.net

88% of Jerusalem property tax to settlements expansion, says official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 Nov — Ahmad Rwaidy, a consultant in the office of President Mahmoud Abbas for Jerusalem affairs, Sunday in an interview said around 88% of the property tax (‘Arnona’) that Israel collects in Jerusalem goes to settlement expansion and Israeli interests. Rwaidy, talking to Voice of Palestine radio, said Israel intends to double the current Arnona as part of its ongoing policy and demographic war against the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and to expand settlements. The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem prosecutes any Jerusalem resident who does not pay Arnona, which accumulates to exorbitant sums that Jerusalemites cannot afford. Ultimately, in case of non-payment, the municipality puts the property to auction to facilitate takeover by Jewish groups.
link to english.wafa.ps

Detention / Prisoner swap

Hamas: Egypt says prisoner deal second phase on track
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Egyptian officials confirmed Israel will carry out the second stage of a prisoner release deal according to the agreement they brokered between Hamas and Israel, the Hamas leader charged with overseeing the swap said Sunday. Sheikh Salah al-Aruri said Egypt was pressing Israel to release the remaining 10 female detainees in Israeli jail shortly, before the two month deadline for the next group of prisoners to be freed, Hamas-affiliated news site Palestine Information Center reported.
link to www.maannews.net

Ministry: Israel has failed to lift restrictions on detainees
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — A report released Saturday by the Ministry of Detainee Affairs in Ramallah has found that prison authorities have failed to lift arbitrary restrictions against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails … Ashkelon prisoner representative Nasser Abu Hameed said that the Israeli prison administration did not take into consideration the religious rights of detainees during the Eid Al-Adha holiday, with many basic rights being violated … The report said that prisoners in Israeli jails have not noticed any improvement in conditions since a prisoner exchange deal in early October between Hamas and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in June that Palestinians would see restrictions on their prison rights until captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is freed. Ramon detainee Jamal al-Rjoob said that detainees are still banned from continuing higher education and room raids and beatings by prison guards are commonplace.
link to www.maannews.net

Families of former detainees prevented from visiting them in exile
IMEMC 12 Nov — The Israeli authorities are preventing dozens of Palestinian families from travelling to meet their sons who were released from the Israeli jails last month under the Gilad Shalit prisoner-swap deal, and were sent into exile in Syria, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gaza strip, the Palestine News & Info Agencies (WAFA) reported.
link to www.imemc.org

Army raids homes of prisoners freed in swap deal
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Israeli forces overnight Sunday raided the homes of seven prisoners freed as part of the Oct. 18 prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Military vehicles entered the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya overnight Sunday and issued summons to Akram Mansour, Shadi Zayid and Ibrahim Yasin to report to Israeli intelligence. Mansour, who had been serving a life sentence since August 1979, took part in hunger strikes while in jail to protest prison conditions. He is suffering from brain cancer. Soldiers also raided the homes of two former prisoners Nael and Fakhri Barghouthi in the central West Bank village of Kubar near Ramallah. The two cousins were also issued summons to report to Israeli intelligence. Nael Barghouti was 20 when he was detained in April 1978. He was the longest serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, having spent 33 years behind bars for alleged membership of an armed group.  The Jenin home of former detainee Adnan Zeid al-Kilani was also raided by soldiers, Ma‘an’s correspondent said … Israeli forces also raided the home of former female prisoner Latuifa Abu Thiraa late Sunday, a Ma‘an reporter said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said she had no reports of any of the incidents.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli forces raid home of freed female prisoner
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces raided the house of a female former prisoner near Ramallah on Sunday, less than a month after she was released under Hamas’ prisoner exchange deal with Israel. Forces issued summons for Sumud Karaja, 23, to report to Israeli intelligence in the Ofer military base near her village of Saffa, locals told Ma‘an. Her identity card was also confiscated, they added.
link to www.maannews.net

Palestinian woman struggles for proper medical treatment / Wahed Rejol
ISM 14 Nov — In 2004 Amal Jamal was sentenced to 12 years in Israeli prison. A year later the Palestinian woman from Nablus was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Today from a hospital in Nablus she awaits a decision from Israel authorities that will determine whether she will be permitted to travel outside of Israeli controlled territory to receive medical treatment. In 2005 Jamal began to suffer from severe pain and bleeding as a result of her illness. Yet she received little treatment from the Israelis. She was given only medication for pain and an unidentified sedative that affected her mental stability. Her diabetes went untreated altogether resulting in later complications … Last month Jamal was released by the Israelis as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas where 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners were released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Jamal has refused further treatment within Israel and is instead awaiting permission from the Israelis to travel to France via Jordan to receive medical attention.
link to palsolidarity.org

Freed Palestinian prisoner shares his personal story
AIC 14 Nov — Badia Dwaik is Deputy Coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, a grassroots Palestinian organization that organizes demonstrations and educational events as part of a nonviolent struggle to resist the Israeli occupation of Hebron. Here he reflects on growing up in Hebron while his father was in an Israeli prison.  One of the Palestinian prisoners freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit, Dwaik also reflects on his time in an Israeli jail…
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/3895-freed-palestinian-prisoner-shares-his-personal-story

“Only one half of me is free, but the other half is still there, locked up behind Israeli bars” / Shahd Abusalama
ISM/Palestine from My Eyes 13 Nov — In a nice restaurant overlooking Gaza’s beach, beneath a full moon with a beautiful halo surrounding it, I sat with my new friends who recently were released from Israeli prisons … One of my new friends is Chris Al-Bandak, the only Christian of the released detainees, who was freed in the first stage of the swap deal … Chris said that he was one of the people besieged by the Israeli Occupation Forces at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002. That alone made me impatient to hear the rest of his story. “The siege lasted for 40 days. It got more unbearable as time passed, with the food and first aid equipments dwindling … During the period before Chris was released, he shared a prison cell with Hafith. “Other detainees received the news of their freedom with screams of joy and happiness, but I received it with tears. I didn’t even feel 1% happy, as I realized that only I was included in the swap deal. Even now, I feel like my body is outside but my heart is still inside the prison with Hafith and all the other detainees”, Chris said with sadness on his face.
link to palsolidarity.org

Israeli forces arrest Hebron journalist
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist on Sunday night after raiding his home in the Wadi Hariyya neighborhood of Hebron in the southern West Bank, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Raed al-Sharif, 23, had been shortly detained and interrogated by Israeli intelligence in October 2010. Director of the Palestinian prisoner’s society in Hebron Amjad Najjar denounced the detention, describing it as part of Israel’s policy of “intimidation against Palestinian journalists to prevent them from reporting the truth about the torture and oppression of Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinian people.”  An Israeli army spokeswoman said that al-Sharif was arrested for “suspected involvement in terrorist activity.”
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli forces detain 5 people overnight
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces detained five people overnight Saturday across the West Bank, Palestinian police and the Israeli army said. Three people were arrested in the Hebron and two in Nablus, Palestinian sources said. Salam Affana and Saed Affana were detained while picking olives on their land in Nablus while Thaer Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashem, 24, and Iyad Jameel Ahmad al-Alami, 24, were detained in Beit Ummar, police said. A fifth person, Ahmad Zein Ad-Din Atallah Jawabra, was detained in Al Arrub camp in Hebron after soldiers raided his home.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli forces detain 3 men in Balata camp, Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — The Israeli army raided Balata refugee camp in Nablus on Monday morning and detained three young men. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli military vehicles entered the camp at dawn and raided several homes before detaining Mahmoud Hkroush, Qays Dabaki and Murad Sawalha. An Israeli army spokeswoman said three men were taken for security questioning.
link to www.maannews.net

Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Palestinian Freedom Rides echo the Civil Rights Movement / Ben Lorber & Mya Guarnieri
AIC 13 Nov — This week’s Palestinian Freedom Rides will resemble those of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. As the American Jewish community was widely supportive of the Civil Rights movement, the event serves as an opportunity for American Jews to reflect on Israel’s system of segregation — a system that it opposed in the United States. The Palestinian Freedom Rides, which are set to begin on Tuesday, will seek to replicate those of the African-American Civil Rights movement. Palestinian youth activist and organizer Fadi Quran explains, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in the US. Apart from disrupting the segregation and challenging the oppression imposed on us by Israel, we chose this form of direct action to highlight the similarities between the Palestinian struggle and the [African American] civil rights movement to an American audience.”
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/3888-freedom-rides

Israeli military uses rubber-coated bullets on peaceful demonstration
AIC 14 Nov — According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: A peaceful protest in the village of Nabi Saleh was attacked with tear-gas by Israeli soldiers on Friday, as protesters tried to march to their lands adjacent to the Jewish-only settlement of Halamish. Following the attack on the peaceful procession, clashes ensued between soldiers and local youth.
The soldiers shot volleys of tear-gas projectiles into the crowd, as well as rubber-coated bullets, causing injuries to at least ten protesters, among them an eleven year-old who was hit by a rubber-coated bullet to the chest and suffers a suspected fracture to the rib. An organizer from the village was hit in the face by a rubber-coated bullet shot from close range and was evacuated to the hospital.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Jerusalem: Explosions, arrests and violence as Israel clears way for settlement activity
[with photos] ISM 13 Nov — Three Palestinians were arrested and others were detained, beaten and pepper sprayed by the Israeli military in Al-Walajeh yesterday, as villagers attempted to prevent the detonation of explosives used to widen the route for the separation wall on the village’s land. Previously, large explosions on 3 November2011 in the village had sent large rocks several metres into the air, damaging nearby houses and trees and endangering life.  The explosions have damaged the foundations of nearby properties.  Yesterday, protesters attempted to peacefully prevent a similar explosion from taking place.
http://palsolidarity.org/2011/11/jerusalem-explosions-arrests-and-violence-as-israel-clears-way-for-settlement-activity/

Soldiers detain 2 for blocking work on separation wall
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli forces detained two men in Walaja village near Bethlehem on Sunday morning, after residents gathered to stave off a planned explosion by the army to blast a route for the separation wall … Forces detained Palestinian-American professor Mazin Qumsiyeh and Walaja resident Mustapha Awda, villagers said. Construction crews carried out the blast shortly after … Last week, a series of explosions rocked the village to carve out the planned route of the wall and were captured by photographer Anne Paq.
link to www.maannews.net

Injuries, arrests in peaceful anti-settlements march near Bethlehem
BETHELEHEM (WAFA) 13 Nov — Israeli soldiers Sunday suppressed the peaceful anti-settlements march, condemning the apartheid wall, in the village of Al-Walaja, northwest of Bethlehem, injuring three Palestinians, causing suffocation cases and arresting two, according to security sources. They said that Israeli soldiers suppressed the march, beating protesters with their rifles butts and hands, as well as firing tear gas bombs at them, injuring three Palestinians and causing many suffocation cases, including a youth and a 60-year-old.
link to english.wafa.ps

UK regulator rules against deceptive settlement ad in The Jewish Chronicle / Ali Abunimah
EI blog 14 Nov — The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK body that regulates truthfulness in advertising, has ruled against an ad in The Jewish Chronicle for promoting real estate in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The 2 November ASA ruling says that the ad, which appeared in June 2011, was headlined, “Vineyard View EFRAT New Neighbourhood in Dekel UNIQUE DEVLEOPMENT [sic] OF 26 NEW HOUSES.” …  However, the ASA upheld a complaint by Michael Shanahan that the advertisement “misleadingly implied that the development in Efrat in Dekel was in Israel.” Efrat is not in “Israel” but is an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.
http://electronicintifada.net/blog/ali-abunimah/uk-regulator-rules-against-deceptive-settlement-ad-jewish-chronicle#.TsGXm_LNleM

Campaigners push for Israeli products boycott
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Campaigners passed out leaflets and erected posters in central Bethlehem on Sunday in a new push to boycott Israeli products. The campaign, organizer by political party Palestinian National Initiative and the Bethlehem-based International Solidarity Initiative, urges residents to stop buying Israeli products available in the West Bank … ISI Director Fadi Kattan said it was time for Palestinians to stop paying money that is used by people “who kill Palestinians and confiscate their lands,”
link to www.maannews.net

Political news

Israel maintains block on tax transfers to PA
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 14 Nov — Israel’s cabinet decided on Monday to continue to withhold the transfer of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, a measure it imposed two weeks ago after the Palestinians won full membership of the UN cultural agency. A government official said cabinet ministers voted narrowly in favor of continuing the freeze on the handover of revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The money, which includes duties on goods being imported to the Palestinian territories, amounts to about $100 million each month. PLO official Saeb Erekat called the move “blackmailing, bullying and stealing.”
link to www.maannews.net

DFLP lawmaker:  Israel trying to ‘choke’ PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Nov — Lawmaker Qais Abu Laila on Monday said Israel was trying to “choke” the Palestinian Authority by withholding its tax revenue … Abu Laila, a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, noted in a statement that the revenue — which includes duties on imported goods — belonged to the Palestinian people and was not a gift or donation from Israel.
link to www.maannews.net

Erekat to Quartet: Settlements and 2-state solution are mutually exclusive
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Nov – Palestinian negotiators meeting Quartet representatives in Jerusalem on Monday stressed that Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian Territory and the two-state solution are mutually exclusive. In a statement issued following the meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in Jerusalem, the second since the Quartet has issued its September 23 statement on reviving mediation efforts between the Palestinians and Israelis, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat re-emphasized the importance of halting settlements. “We are ready to discuss all final status issues once Israel proves its seriousness and commitment by freezing all its illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and accepting clear terms of reference, specifically the 1967 borders,” he said.
link to english.wafa.ps

PA will resume peace talks if Israel freezes settlement building, Abbas says
Haaretz 13 Nov — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a top U.S. official on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority was willing to cooperate with the Quartet on the Middle East in order to restart peace talks with Israel, but added that Israel had to both freeze all settlement construction and recognize the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations.
link to www.haaretz.com

Fayyad may quit for sake of Palestinian unity
Ramallah (Reuters) 14 Nov — Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled on Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.
The departure of the U.S.-educated former World Bank economist, 59, would be a concession by President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the mainly secular Fatah movement which is dominant in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to his Islamist rivals Hamas, who control the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. Abbas will call in a speech on Wednesday for a government of independent experts to prepare for the elections, presidential adviser Nemir Hammad told Reuters.
link to www.reuters.com

Abbas urges US envoy to reconsider UN bid stance
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas urged the US to reconsider its attitude towards the Palestinian bid for UN membership, at a meeting with the American envoy to the Middle East on Sunday, PLO official Saeb Erekat said. Abbas told David Hale that Palestine is ready to cooperate with members of the diplomatic Quartet — the US, Russia, EU and United Nations — whether individually or as a group, to address the core issues of the conflict.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli foreign minister: Jordan is not Palestine
JERUSALEM (AP) 14 Nov — Israel’s hard-line foreign minister has praised Jordan and condemned talk of it becoming the Palestinian state. At Israel’s parliament Monday, Avigdor Lieberman said, “Talk about Jordan as a Palestinian state damages Israel.” He praised the neighboring country as a “stabilizing element in the region.”
link to old.news.yahoo.com

Israel and Egypt, Turkey

Egypt detains Sinai leader accused of Eilat attacks
EL-ARISH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Muhammad Eid Musleh Hamad, also known as Muhammad al-Teehi, is accused of planning the deadly attacks in Israeli border city Eilat in August, as well as a number of attacks in the Egyptian peninsula, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Al-Teehi was detained in northern the Sinai city El-Arish after a joint police and army operation, Egyptian security officials said. Egyptian authorities said al-Teehi is leader of the “Jihadists and Takfiris” movement, founded after the January revolution which ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak. Authorities say he masterminded attacks on police stations in the city and has topped a government “wanted” list, official news agency MENA said. A Ma’an correspondent in El-Arish said that Egyptian authorities had also accused Hamad of being involved in planning the Aug. 18 assault on number of Israeli vehicles near Eilat, which killed eight Israelis. Israel said it shot dead six gunmen and blamed the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, who denied any involvement. Within hours of the attack, Israeli forces struck back at targets in southern Gaza, leading to four days of cross border violence that killed 15 Palestinians, and wounded more than 50. In September, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that an unreleased army investigation revealed the Eilat attacks were carried out by a group of Egyptians operating in Sinai.
link to www.maannews.net

Egypt detains 2 from group accused of Eilat attack
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 14 Nov  — Egyptian authorities on Monday detained two members of a militant Islamist group in Sinai, a day after arresting the movement’s leader, security officials told Ma‘an … Security officials told Ma‘an that Egyptian police were sweeping the Sinai Peninsula to arrest militants, adding that the detainees have been sent to Cairo for interrogation.
link to www.maannews.net

Egyptian arrest of author of Eilat attack in Sinai proves Israel lied in blaming Gazans / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 14 Nov — Despite reams of nonsense published by the likes of Eli Lake and Avi Issacharoff in the Washington Times and Haaretz respectively, regurgitating IDF talking points that the Eilat terror attacks were planned and orchestrated by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza — Idan LandauAlex Fishman and I knew otherwise.  We said the attacks were carried out by Egyptian militants based in Sinai.  We said that killing 30 Gazans merely because the Israeli government couldn’t take revenge on Egypt and needed to take revenge on someone, was criminal.  Issacharoff even sneered at my talking of this as a potential war crime.  Well, who’s sneering now?
link to www.richardsilverstein.com

Wrecked Israeli spy drone found in Turkish territory
ISTANBUL (PIC) 13 Nov — Local news reports disclosed that the Turkish defense forces found lately the wreckage of an Israeli spy drone in Adana province, south of Turkey, and opened an investigation into the matter. According to newspaper Yeni Safak on Saturday, a Turkish fisherman from Karatas town, discovered pieces of the drone known as Heron and reported what he saw to the coast guard authority, which in turn, sent a probe team to the scene … The newspaper noted to the possibility that this drone was used by the Israeli occupation forces to help the Kurdish rebel group referred to as PKK to launch terrorist attacks against Turkey.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Israeli Racism / Discrimination

Youth basketball league limits numbers of ‘foreigners’
AIC 14 Nov –Two Filipino boys play a one-on-one basketball game in South Tel Aviv, an area where many migrant workers and their Israeli-born children live. The kids shout at each other in Hebrew as they dribble, shoot, and score. As local as they might seem, these boys are likely to be excluded from a local league due to a little known policy that prevents many non-Jewish ‘foreigners’ from joining basketball teams. The rule was made by and applies to the national basketball league for seventh and eighth graders. When it was first discovered by the human rights organization Israeli Children — a group that was founded to fight Israel’s plans to deport children of migrant workers — the policy stated that only ‘two foreigners’ were allowed on each team. But, in most cases, the kids who are excluded are not foreigners — they are kids who were born and raised in Israel and who will receive citizenship when they turn 21.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Proposed bill would indefinitely detain refugees seeking protection / Sigal Rozen
972mag 14 Nov — Israel was created 64 years ago by refugees and for refugees. But despite its young age, the state seems to suffer from memory loss when it comes to dealing with the refugees who seek its protection today.
link to 972mag.com

Amendment on African refugees would worsen a humanitarian crisis / Issa Edward Boursheh
972mag 14 Nov — “Love ye therefore the sojourner; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt” Deuteronomy 10:19 — A new bill to be discussed in the Knesset Interior Committee on Monday would severely amend one of Israel’s main immigration laws, called the ‘Prevention of Infiltration Law’.  The law, aimed at African asylum seekers crossing the Egyptian border, would result in the immediate three-year imprisonment of illegal ‘infiltrators’ who enter Israel, including children, and any Israeli who provides humanitarian aid or assistance to ‘infiltrators’ would risk up to five years’ imprisonment.
link to 972mag.com

MESS Report: In the IDF, it’s the officers vs. the rabbis / Amos Harel
Haaretz 14 Nov — Military elders are struggling against a gradual cultural shift that threatens the position of women in the IDF … Until now, the only voice heard has been that of the civilian rabbinate. They were the ones to articulate the distress of their students, whose adherence to their faith occasionally provoked clashes with the IDF. Now a voice is also being heard from the other side. A group of 19 major-general reservists signed a letter calling on the defense minister and the IDF chief to prevent any damage to women serving in high-ranking military positions. The major-generals warned against allowing the coercive norms “suitable for a small portion of the religious community” to take effect over the entirety of the military, claiming that they do not fall in line with the spirit of the IDF.
link to www.haaretz.com

Israel’s proposed anti-democratic laws criticized

Netanyahu’s ‘draconian laws’ are attack on Israeli democracy, say MKs
Haaretz 14 Nov — As the Knesset get ready to vote Monday on a number of controversial bills, MKs from both the opposition and the governing coalition have voiced strong criticism of the proposed laws, saying they are draconian and anti-democratic. “We will fight Netanyahu’s draconian laws,” said Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. “This is an attempt to turn Israel into a dark… dictatorship.” Livni added: “Every government minister, even if he or she opposes the laws, is part of a system that is silencing the citizens. This is not a matter of an opposition to the government; there must be a front that expresses the sane and balanced voice.”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/netanyahu-s-draconian-laws-are-attack-on-israeli-democracy-say-mks-1.395558

Israeli groups slam approval for funding clampdown
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov — Israeli human rights groups on Sunday condemned an Israeli ministerial committee’s approval of two bills set to choke foreign funding to organizations in the country. Israeli military watchdog B’Tselem pledged “this government will not silence us,” after lawmakers passed the measures restricting foreign contributions to 20,000 shekels ($5,400) a year and hiking tax on donations, targeted at non-governmental organizations. Critics say the bills will stifle free speech by organizations that oppose Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.
link to www.maannews.net

In Numbers / Breakdown of foreign funds for Israeli human rights groups
Haaretz 14 Nov — [figures for Peace Now, Ir Amim, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Physicians For Human Rights]
link to www.haaretz.com

Al-Maqdese condemns Israeli bills hindering human rights work in OPT
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Nov — Moaz Za‘tari, General Manager of Al-Maqdese for Society Development (MSD), strongly condemned the decision of Israeli Ministerial Committee for legislation to pass discriminatory laws, hindering the civil work and human rights organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, according to a press release published by MSD on Monday … He added these laws do not affect the right wing and settler organizations as assistants for the Israeli government in implementing the Zionist agenda. These organizations specifically receive millions of dollars from the Israeli government and the Zionist Lobby all over the world.
link to english.wafa.ps

A new Israel in the making / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 13 Nov — One day not long from now we will wake up to a different kind of country, the country that’s now in the making. It won’t look like the country we know, which already has its share of flaws, distortions and ills. And when we become aware of this, it will be too late. At that point, the old Israel will be described in glowing terms, a model of democracy and justice, compared to the new version that is taking shape as we close our eyes to it, day after day, new law after law. The way of life in the new Israel where we will live and die won’t remind us in the least of the country we’re used to. Even this article won’t be publishable. Only proper opinions will be put into print, the ones approved by the new government-sponsored journalists’ association, whose people will sit in every newsroom so there is no divergence from the accepted chorus of opinion.
link to www.haaretz.com

Analysis / Opinion

If you’re to be killed by a soldier, better to be a Jew than an Arab / Haggai Matar
972mag 14 Nov — The state and media responses to this week’s shooting of Rabbi Mertzbach, seen alongside the killing of 10 year-old Abir Aramin, a Palestinian, highlight the difference in treatment of Jewish and Arab blood … First, the media reports: Two days have passed since the shooting that killed Rabbi Mertzbach. A Google search of his name, limited to the last two days, bring up some 20,000 results. No media outlet in Israel failed to deal with the story at length – reporting on the shooting, the investigation launched as a result, the funeral, the family’s history, and so on. A Google search of Abir Aramin, limited to the month and a half following her shooting, brings up exactly seven results in Hebrew, five of which are from left-wing sites, one by Haaretz’s Gideon Levy, and one on the NRG [Maariv] news site. Here, the reports focus on the unique personage of Abir’s father, Bassam Aramin, one of the founders ofCombatants for Peace. How many Palestinian children are killed under similar circumstances, without even one such mention of their parents?
link to 972mag.com

Hasbara: Why does the world fail to understand us? / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 13 Nov — A short discussion of the Israeli term used to describe the ongoing, ever-growing, national propaganda effort — Hasbara is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past. Often, Hasbara efforts includes a negative portrayal of the Arabs and especially of Palestinians. The Hebrew meaning of the word Hasbara (הסברה) is “explanation” (the term “propaganda” has a different word in Hebrew – תעמולה). I believe that the popular use of this term also reflects a widespread public notion that a better effort of explaining Israel’s actions to the world will generate better understandings of Israel’s policies, and more international support … The Israeli government encourages all citizens to actively engage in Hasbara.
link to 972mag.com

Get lost! / Yitzhak Laor
Haaretz 11 Nov — A historian of Jewish ethics will one day have to describe our nation as one that moved from a culture of disgust with collaborating with regimes to one in which informing on others is a daily routine … Today it is known that Shin Bet witnesses lied for years and that the judges who sent huge numbers of accused to hundreds of cumulative years of imprisonment were cooperating with a mechanism that was above the law. That is a reason to prevent Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet head, from being a legislator. His competition with the dead Meir Kahane and the living Avigdor Lieberman is an inherent part of the way in which for many years he ruled over the exposed, tortured, beaten and humiliated Palestinian body that was thrown into jail without due process and without defense, as if it were not that of a human being.  
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/get-lost-1.394918

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

Separate Is Not Equal: Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian Freedom Riders

Nov 14, 2011

Adam Horowitz

palfreedomridepanel0004

(Image: Ethan Heitner)

The above image is part of a protest Jewish Voice for Peace is planning tomorrow in solidarity with the Palestinian Freedom Rides. The artist, Ethan Heitner, explains in a post on the Just Seeds Artists Cooperative website how the images fit into the protest:

Jewish Voice for Peace asked me to make large images for a solidarity action that will take place on Tuesday, November 15th in New York City and hopefully other cities supporting a new phase of popular struggle in Palestine.

On November 15 Palestinian activists are going to assert their right to basic human needs: freedom of movement, access to their holy sites in Jerusalem, equality. In the tradition of the Freedom Riders of the American South, 50 years ago, who faced violent segregationists with the power of their bodies and their presence, they are going to attempt to peacefully board and ride settler buses.

Jewish Voice for Peace wanted to create a toolkit for a creative demonstration that could be held in front of, for example, bus stops around the country. Rabbi Alissa Wise, who is helping organize the actions, explained to me they were thinking about cantastoria, a very old human storytelling tradition of singing a story while gesturing to large illustrations.

See the rest of the illustrations, listen to the cantastoria, and learn how to get involved on the Jewish Voice for Peace website here.

Five Republican congressmen take Christian Zionist solidarity tour of settlements

Nov 14, 2011

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

conggroup
Left to right, Avi Zimmeman – Ariel, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1st), Tony Perkins – President – Family Research Council, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA-4th), Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R -VA-4th), Rabbi Eliezer Melamed – Har Bracha, David Ha’ivri -Shomron Liaison, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4th) (Photo: Heather Meyers)

From the Arutz Sheva article “Congressmen with ‘Judeo-Christian Spirit’ Tour Heartland“:

On November 9, five US Congressmen ventured into otherwise uncharted territory, at least by the standards of traditional diplomatic delegations to Israel. A strong affinity to Israel and genuine frustration with repeated fatal failures of “peace processes” drove these American leaders to take a fresh look at Israel’s heartland. . . .

gohmertmesika

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1st) with Gershon Mesika, the Director of the Samaria Regional Authority. (Photo: Heather Meyers)

The historic visit began with a bus tour led by Mayor Ron Nachman along the Trans-Samaria highway, where the delegates learned about Israel’s narrow waistline, security needs and strategic provisions. At the Ariel and Barkan Industrial Parks Mayor Nachman discussed co-existence, the 4,000 Arabs employed at the factories and the indiscriminate boycotts imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and European Union on products from the factories. Mayor Nachman also showed the group the layout of the Ariel Bloc of communities, and the short distance from the Tel Aviv Coastal Plain.

The Congressmen learned about Judeo-Christian teamwork and at Israel’s primary outdoor training facility, the Ariel National Leadership Development Center. From there the group proceeded to the Ariel Regional Center for the Performing Arts, where they enjoyed a private performance by Ariel’s young singers and internationally renowned dancers . . .

Rep. Randy Forbes (R -VA-4th) addressed the [inaugural Samaria] by stating his unwavering support for Israel’s peace and security. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5th) discussed Israel’s inherent value and the commitment of the Congressional Republican Israel Caucus and the Israel Allies Caucus which he co-chairs. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1st), who is known for his instrumental role in arranging for Prime Minister to deliver his acclaimed speech to both houses of Congress in May, 2011, explained how Israel cannot sacrifice its own security by relinquishing land to those who are committed to its destruction. They were joined by Congressman John Fleming (R-LA-4th) and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH-4th), who shared the sentiments of their colleagues.

The mission:

The tour is a manifestation of the “Judeo Christian” teamwork that has been growing deeper in recent years, as pioneering Jews in Judea and Samaria and Christian Zionist leaders in the US and elsewhere learn to trust each other. In the face of genocidal Muslim fanaticism, leaders of the nations that have the Bible in common are seeking common political ground as well.

The lobbyist:

The 2011 Congressional Initiative was arranged by Heather Johnston, who identified the need for America’s leading Congressmen to become familiar with Judea and Samaria and develop ties with Members of Knesset.

heatherAt left is a photo of tour leader Heather Johnston, on left, from a Christian Zionist site.

It looks like Johnston is here. She’s religious, and splits her time between northern California and Birmingham, Alabama.

Heather is the spiritual director of summer staff at JH Ranch and is responsible for JH Ranch curriculum development. She helps lead our tours to Israel and overseeing the JH Ranch partnership with the city of Ariel, Israel to develop a national youth leadership program.

Freedom Rides highlight the lack of Palestinian rights, and the unjust system attempting to keep it that way

Nov 14, 2011

Adam Horowitz

Bill Fletcher Jr., Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and past president of TransAfrica Forum, comments on tomorrow’s Freedom Rides in the West Bank:

When I first heard about the planned Freedom Rides scheduled for Tuesday, November 15th to take place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories I realized that this was a brilliant tactic. Much as with the Freedom Rides that were used in the USA to dramatize the violence of Jim Crow segregation in the South, and later the Immigrant Freedom Rides to dramatize the plight of immigrants, the Palestinian Freedom Rides are about dramatizing violence—the violence that the Palestinian people face every day as a result of the Israeli Occupation.

B’Tselem video on Israel’s segregated Route 443.

In my visit to Palestine this past June, the problem of transportation was discussed in virtually every conversation. The limits on transportation for Palestinians tell you virtually all that you need to know about the racist Occupation. One graphic example is that there are different license plates for Israeli settlers from those of the Palestinians. A car with Palestinian plates cannot travel into Israel. And, in fact, there are roads within Occupied Palestine, on which Palestinian vehicles are prohibited. Another graphic example, which relates directly to the matter of the Freedom Rides, was explained to me at a border crossing where Palestinian workers were going into Israel for

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

History could be made in Palestine

NOVANEWS

Dear friends,


In hours, brave Palestinians will risk attack and arrest to board public buses that are forbidden to Arabs. This could be the beginning of a game-changing, non-violent Palestinian spring — direct action to win freedom and a new state. Avaaz is webcasting the action LIVE — click to watch, and provide the global solidarity the activists need to win:

Click here to sign the petition

In the next few hours, history could be made in Palestine. A small number of brave Palestinians will risk attack and arrest to commit a forbidden act — they will board a public bus.

Lacking their own state, Palestinians are forbidden to use buses and roads reserved for non-Arabs — part of a host of race-based rules that US President Jimmy Carter has called “apartheid”. 50 years ago, African-Americans in the US challenged these rules by simply and non-violently refusing to follow them. In a few hours, Palestinians will take the same approach, and their actions will be live webcasted by Avaaz teams at the link below.

As diplomats stall in the fight for a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people are taking the fight into their own hands, one public service at a time. And they’re doing it with the simple, elegant and unstoppable moral force of non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The Palestinian spring begins right now – click below to watch it LIVE, register support, and give these brave activists the global solidarity and attention they urgently need to win: 

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_freedom_riders/?vl

Non-violence is the game-changing force in this long-standing conflict. Boarding buses is a symbolic act, but so was Gandhi’s salt march, and Rosa Park’s own courageous ride on a segregated bus in the US. Just as non-violent protest was able to topple dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, so can it finally free the Palestinian people from 40 years of crippling military oppression by a foreign power.

There are many dangers. Israel has been arming the extremist settler population, a tactic which is likely, if not intended, to provoke awful violence that will draw the news cameras away from the brave acts of non-violence. Even the Palestinian authorities are pushing back on the action which they fear will start a democratic protest movement that they cannot control. But these few brave Palestinians have had enough, and if we stand with them now, we can help them ignite a flame that will burn its way all the way to a free and peaceful Palestinian state: 

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_freedom_riders/?vl

We have no idea what will happen in the next 24 hours. Maybe the authorities will crush this brave action. Maybe it will spark into a massive conflagration. Maybe it will sow the first seed of an unstoppable movement with tremendous integrity. But we can watch it live, and lend our voices to the effort. And maybe one day, we can tell our grandchildren that we were there when Palestinians boarded the buses that would ultimately take them to freedom. 

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Emma, Alice, Raluca, Pascal, Diego and the rest of the Avaaz team

Sources:

I Woke Up This Morning with My Mind Set on Freedom

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clarence-b-jones/i-woke-up-this-morning-wi_b_1087407.html

Freedom Riders: 1961 and the struggle for racial justice

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/books/review/19foner.html 

Palestinian Freedom Rides echo the Civil Rights Movement

http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/3888-freedom-rides

‘Freedom Rides’ to Resume in Palestine

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=17242

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on History could be made in Palestine

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

What US Federal Court ruling over Twitter and Wikileaks says about free speech online

Posted: 14 Nov 2011

 

“We teach life, sir” – Palestinian Rafeef Ziadah

Posted: 13 Nov 2011

 

Ever-expanding Bagram is Obama’s Guantanamo Bay

Posted: 13 Nov 2011

 

And now for that swastika joke

Posted: 13 Nov 2011

 

That’s right, Murdoch, BDS isn’t anti-Semitic

Posted: 13 Nov 2011

The following Press Council decision appears in today’s Murdoch Australian newspaper:

The Australian Press Council has considered complaints by Dale Mills and Vivienne Porzsolt about headlines on articles in The Australian on July 28, this year related to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that is aimed at businesses associated with Israel. One complaint related to the headline on a print article and the other to the headline on the somewhat different online version.

The articles reported a public protest against BDS by a number of people several weeks after a BDS protest against an Israeli-owned chain of confectionery stores that is part of a broader food and beverage company that supplies the Israeli army. The print version was headed “Anti-Jew protest condemned” and the online version was headed “Prominent Australians fight anti-Semitism with hot chocolate”. The articles noted the BDS protest had been condemned as “violent” and “anti-Semitic” and the online version added a quote that it had been “anti-Jewish”.

Mr Mills claimed that by describing the BDS protest as “anti-Jew” and “anti-Semitic” the headlines were inaccurate, because it was actually a protest against Israeli government policies. He said these assertions involved matters of opinion being presented as facts. He also said the newspaper should have published the letter to the editor in which he sought to correct the inaccuracy.

The newspaper initially said the headlines were accurate because, if the BDS protest was simply anti-Israeli, it should have been targeted at agencies or representatives of the Israeli government. Mr Mills replied the organisers live in Melbourne and there are no Israeli government agencies in that city.

The newspaper added that concerns about the anti-Jewish nature of the protest, together with the accompanying violence, were at the heart of the story’s newsworthiness. It subsequently informed the council, however, that since these articles appeared it had clarified that the BDS campaign should not be described as “anti-Jew” and had advised its staff accordingly.

The council has concluded that the headline on the print version, “Anti-Jew protest condemned”, was a clear breach of the council’s standards of practice because it reported a matter of opinion as if a fact. It also failed reasonably to convey the tenor of the article itself, in which the original demonstration was described as “anti-Israel” but not as “anti-Jew”. Accordingly, the complaint against the headline is upheld on both these grounds.

The council has concluded that the headline on the online version, “Prominent Australians fight anti-Semitism with hot chocolate”, is reasonably capable of being read as a description of the prominent Australians’ opinions, rather than a statement of fact. This interpretation also means that the headline fairly reflects the tenor of the online version especially as, unlike the print version, it included a quote that the campaign was “not anti-Israel but anti-Jewish”. On balance, therefore, the complaint against the online headline is not upheld.

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Dorothy Online Newsletter

 NOVANEWS

1.  Haaretz Monday

November 14, 2011


It’s not that Israel is finding new ways to expel Palestinians, it’s that no one cares

Israel routinely produces new ploys to counter Palestinian pleas for justice. But is anybody interested?

 

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/it-s-not-that-israel-is-finding-new-ways-to-expel-palestinians-it-s-that-no-one-cares-1.395437

 

By Amira Hass

Tags : Moshe Katsav West Bank Palestinians settlements

 

The affair of the rapist president Moshe Katsav is always associated in my mind with my limitations as a journalist. And the mention of the week in which the affair became public (after July 8, 2006 ) brings to mind the Israeli expulsion bureaucracy.

 

How so? It was in that week that I planned to begin publishing a series of articles about a new step taken by the interior, justice and defense ministries. In league, and unbeknownst to the public, they decided to cease respecting a gentlemanly agreement with with Palestinians and their spouses holding passports of mostly western countries, and who were living in the West Bank on only a tourist visa. Some were born in the territory occupied in 1967 – Israel canceled their resident status based on various ruses, but allowed them to come and go as tourists. Others, particularly after 1994 (the year of the Oslo Accords ), were allowed to work in the Occupied Territory (in universities, various NGOs, PA bureaucracy and in businesses ), also based on a tourist visa only.

 

Suddenly, beginning in the spring of 2006, hundreds of people discovered that this arrangement no longer existed : At the border terminals at Ben-Gurion International Airport and the Allenby Bridge and Sheikh Hussein terminal officials began to mark their passports with the stamp “Denied Entry.” A similar stamp was put on the passports of those who had indeed come here for the summer, to visit family, to stay in the house in which they were born. Thousands of “convicted” Palestinians were suspected of an organized conspiracy to undermine the demographic balance of “Greater Israel.”

 

Due to the printed space and the media noise generated by the Katsav affair, the articles’ publication was postponed for a day or two. No big deal. But as expected, they did not generate much noise when they were published. Bureaucracy is boring, especially bureaucracy whose victims are Palestinians. It is the place where people exercise their right not to know. They take no interest, don’t read and don’t agonize over what they haven’t read. To myself I said: I guess I didn’t present the information in an attractive wrapping.

 

To my rescue came then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Palestinians who were citizens of Western countries, particularly the United States , and were hurt by the discrimination (compared with Jews or evangelist Christians carrying the same passports ) organized, protested, complained and met with their elected officials. The foreign press did take an interest. Rice reprimanded Israel , and the information’s stock rose high in the media market.

 

The chastised bureaucracy began to provide partial answers. Many of the “tourists” finally received Palestinian resident status. For others, new rules were created, as usual lacking any transparency, according to which they could acquire the desired visa. Sometimes it is a visa for two weeks, sometimes for three months. Sometimes for a year. And sometimes, the visa is flat out denied after all.

 

Routine denial

 

In the past two years a new ploy has been in regular use, the protests against discrimination notwithstanding. Yet despite a number of articles, its media stock value has remained low. Those suspected of being Palestinians or related to Palestinians receive visas to “Palestinian Authority only,” though, like tens of thousands of Jewish and evangelist Christian tourists, they are bona fide citizens of Western states friendly to Israel , first and foremost the United States .

 

True, they are not prevented from moving through areas designated as “C” (areas that make up 60 percent of the West Bank and are under double and triple Israeli control ) in order to be in what is officially defined as PA territory. But they are, by underreported routine, denied entry anywhere else (East Jerusalem, the Galilee, the “Triangle” region of Israeli Arab towns, places that lie west of the Separation Fence, etc. ), although (or perhaps because ) they have family, friends and property there, not to mention churches and mosques. And their foreign ministries are doing nothing on their behalf.

 

Routine is considered the enemy of the press. In the past, harassment of women by men (beginning with lower wages for women, not only rape ) constituted an unreported routine. Today, the (happily ) non-objective press races to report such routine harassment, taking pains to emphasize that although the case in question is a singular one , it represents a phenomenon. Readers of both sexes hungrily exercise their right to know, and the news item usually acquires high media value (expressed, among other things, in the length of its appearance on newspaper websites ).

 

A different kind of routine is implemented almost daily throughout Area C of the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem ). There, Israeli bureaucracy encourages Jews to do what it prohibits Palestinians from doing: building. Even when our soldiers are not destroying tents and huts without proper permits, the ban on building itself is a kind of passive destruction and expulsion of potential dwellers. In this way, the bureaucracy has ensured that the greater part of the West Bank will be inhabited by as few Palestinians as possible (today the number is around 150,000 ). This makes it easier to perpetuate the concept of empty land suitable for Jewish settlements and Israeli annexation.

 

One of the obstacles in the way of the “empty land” myth is some 27,000 Bedouin living in Area C. About 80 percent of them are already refugees, deported from the Negev desert around 1950. In a gradual, calculated process that has been going on since the 1970s, the Israeli bureaucracy has been closing in on them, limiting their nomadic way of life and destroying their livelihood as shepherds, while preventing them from improving their living standard on the sites they do inhabit.

 

An obstacle to the immediate plans for expanding Ma’aleh Adumim and its sister settlements, until they close ranks with Jerusalem , are some 2,400 Bedouin living east of the capital. In a few weeks or months, the Israeli authorities will implement a plan for their expulsion and forced concentration near a hazardous garbage dump, in a village also born out of the sin of expulsion for the sake of Ma’aleh Adumim and its expansion.

 

Please, someone, throw me an attractive lead paragraph and a sexy headline – something to give the item about the expulsion two more minutes of screen time and six more readers.

 

[It’s not the lack of readers as it is the governments that swallow every dirty thing that Israel does! Dorothy]

 

=======================================

2.  The Forward Published

November 13, 2011, issue of November 18, 2011.

 

News Israel Trip Divides Jewish Service Group

Avodah Protest Launched Over Perceived Shift in Priorities

 

Avodah members visit downtown Chicago . The group is a domestic service group, and a new planned service trip to Israel has proven divisive.

 

http://forward.com/articles/145989/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=The%2520Forward%2520Today%2520%2528Monday-Friday%2529&utm_campaign=Sunday_Daily_Newsletter%25202011-11-14#

 

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

 

A social service trip to Israel may seem like an innocuous program for a Jewish social service organization. But at Avodah, a domestic Jewish anti-poverty group, one staff member has quit and others involved with the group have launched a protest petition amid heated argument sparked by the prospect of just such a trip.

 

The conflict follows the announcement of an Israel trip planned by Pursue, an alumni network jointly sponsored by Avodah, which focuses on service projects in the United States , and by American Jewish World Service, which works in underdeveloped countries. The Avodah staff member who resigned and some current participants and alumni of Avodah allege that the trip will not address Israel ’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. Such a trip, they say, threatens to betray the commitment to confront social injustice that drew them to join the group.

 

Courtesy of Michael DeheegerMichael DeheegerThe episode appears to underscore the extent to which Israel , once the unifier of the Jewish community, has become a source of division among some of its youth. The invitation of author Peter Beinart, whose essay drew attention to this problem last year, to the recent General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America highlighted the Jewish establishment’s effort to grapple with this problem.

 

“A trip like this, organized by a social justice organization, helps normalize the oppression of Palestinians by drawing attention away from the daily abuses that they’re suffering,” said Michael Deheeger, the Avodah staff member who quit over the trip.

 

Leaders of AJWS and Avodah say that it’s premature to criticize the content of the trip, which is scheduled for March 2012. “We’ve heard some concerns, and we’re going to take them under consideration,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “I don’t know what the outcomes will be.”

 

American Jewish social justice groups like AJWS and Avodah make a point of not taking positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that Israel is not part of their stated missions and can be a distraction from their work.

 

Avodah’s policy of avoiding a public stance on Israel has led some of the young people doing anti-poverty work with the group to see it as a rare space in the Jewish mainstream where anti-Zionist and non-Zionist Jews are tolerated. Partly as a result, the prospect of a trip to Israel has unleashed deep anxieties resting just beneath the surface.

 

A petition circulated among current Avodah participants and alumni demands that the trip include visits to the Palestinian territories and interactions with Palestinians who live there. As of November 8, the petition had attracted nearly 100 signatories. There are approximately 500 Avodah alumni and current participants.

 

The petition alleges that Avodah has “chosen sides” by sponsoring the Israel trip , and demands that if the trip is to take place, its itinerary should include visits to the occupied territories and interactions with Palestinians.

 

“While Avodah was previously a space where all political viewpoints on Israel-Palestine were welcome, the organization may now alienate a growing generation of Jews who see Israeli policy as inconsistent with Jewish social justice values,” the petition claims.

 

But Avodah and AJWS emphasize that such complaints are premature as no itinerary has been set. A spokesman for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which Pursue has hired to run the trip, told the Forward, “It’s too early to tell what this itinerary will look like.” But when pressed, the spokesman, Michael Geller, acknowledged that the JDC, which has often run similar programs for other groups, has never included social service work in the West Bank in its itineraries.

 

Founded in 2006 by Avodah and AJWS, Pursue offers programming for alumni of Avodah’s intensive yearlong anti-poverty programs in the United States , alumni of AJWS’s worldwide social action programs and others. The March trip will be Pursue’s first trip to Israel . AJWS, which sponsors social service trips around the world regularly, has not sent a group to Israel in roughly a decade.

 

Priced at $225, the heavily subsidized program was described on a Pursue e-mail list in late October as a service and learning trip that would include work on community

projects and meetings with experts and government officials.

 

Continued at http://forward.com/articles/145989/?p=2

 

=====================================

3.  Today in Palestine

November 13, 2011

 

http://www.theheadlines.org/11/13-11-11.shtml

 

==================

4.  http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/11/14/mondoweiss-online-newsletter-383/

 

Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 11/14/2011:

 

A weekend of terror in Occupied Palestine

US Freedom Riders woke a nation. Palestinian Freedom Riders must wake the world

Romney says ‘zero’ aid to all foreign countries– then rushes to issue an exception

Occupy movement cannot be silent on Israel/Palestine, say 3 Jewish groups

Golden oldies: Tom Friedman at start of Iraq war telling Arabs to ‘suck on this’

At Slate, casual racism toward Palestinians (their ‘violent, vengeful’ culture) and some smart talk about Jews

Wait– who is afraid of nukes in the Middle East?

A weekend of terror in Occupied Palestine

Nov 13, 2011

Seham

 

IDF thugs attack Palestinian and International activists in June; though this video is months old, it merits all the exposure we can give it.

 

[the link will take you to the several items. Dorothy]

 

========================================

5. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Cape Town session

Dr. Hanan Chehata  [Thanks to Terry for forwarding]

 

www.uruknet.info/?p=83024

 

November 10, 2011

 

MEMO Summary

 

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) is an international people’s tribunal set up with the intention of seeking justice for the Palestinian people where governments and international institutions have failed to do so. By raising global levels of awareness it is hoped to put pressure on decision-makers to look at the facts surrounding Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Following two successful sessions in Barcelona and London, the third session was held in Cape Town. The tribunal considered the question, “Are Israel’s practices against the Palestinian people in breach of the prohibition on Apartheid under International Law?”

 

Cape Town was a hugely symbolic and fitting venue for the programme, not least because it took place in the iconic District Six Museum in the city. District Six was a thriving multi-racial, multicultural community broken up in the 1970s by the South African apartheid government. Only now are homes being rebuilt for, as far as possible, the original tenants or their descendents. The devastating destruction of a community for purely racist reasons has strong parallels with what is happening in occupied Palestine today. Esteemed veterans of the South African struggle against Apartheid, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils, lent added weight to the value and gravity of the RToP proceedings with their presence.

Before the session began the RToP was mired in controversy. Judge Richard Goldstone wrote what will undoubtedly be regarded as an infamous article in the New York Times in which he derided both the tribunal and the subject matter it was due to investigate. He declared attempts to brand Israel as an apartheid state to be “offensive… false… [and] malicious”, claiming that “in Israel, there is no apartheid”. This assertion was obliterated soundly during the intense two-day hearing.

 

The Russell Tribunal brought together a panel of distinguished jurors to listen to experts and witness testimonies on the various ways in which Israel can be said to be committing the crime of apartheid. Among the jurors were Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire; Michael Mansfield QC, one of the UK’s leading barristers; Ronnie Kasrils, a veteran of the South African anti-apartheid struggle and a former member of Nelson Mandela’s government; Stѐphane Hessell, a concentration camp survivor and one of the original framers of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congresswoman and presidential nominee for her party in 2008; and Alice Walker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The tribunal’s sitting concluded with the jury’s unanimous determination that, having given due consideration to relevant international law as well as examining some of Israel’s institutional policies of discrimination against the Palestinian people, Israel can be said to be committing both the crime of Apartheid and the crime of Persecution, both of which amount to crimes against humanity. How did the jury reach that conclusion? The following is a brief summary of some of the key witness testimonies. The experts putting their case to the jury included Palestinian eyewitnesses as well as South African experts on apartheid and international professionals from all walks of life who testified to the apartheid nature of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

 

DAY ONE

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivered the opening remarks and began by recalling his “anguish” and “deep sadness” when held up at checkpoints in the occupied West Bank where he witnessed the same gross mistreatment of Palestinians that black people had been subjected to during South Africa’s apartheid regime. Criticising the Israelis who “seem to have forgotten their own history” of suffering and persecution and are meting out untold hardships on the people of Palestine, Archbishop Tutu issued the warning that Israel has already lost because, “God is always on the side of the weak, the oppressed, the downtrodden.” He asked, “In this situation, who are the oppressed? Who are the suffering ones? … Always in the end the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised will be vindicated because God is on their side; always… In the Holy Land the Palestinians are the ones who are suffering.”

 

Raji Sourani, a leading human rights lawyer from the Gaza Strip, put the matter into perspective by describing the current status of the occupation of his country. He described the “Swiss cheese” West Bank dotted with its ghettos and “Bantustans”, and Israeli control of 80% of the water in the West Bank (Palestinians only get 20 litres a day whereas Israelis get 300 litres per day). He referred to the daily and systematic torture of Palestinians by Israelis, the practice of deportation as punishment, the immoral and excessive use of administrative detention (indefinite detention without charge or trial), and so on. He decried the way that the Palestinian people have been punished, imprisoned and “paralysed” in Gaza for daring to vote for Hamas in free and fair elections. He reminded the jury members how, during Operation Cast Lead, civilians were targeted, as well as schools, homes, hospitals, food and medical storage facilities and even the UNRWA headquarters, and yet no justice has been forthcoming and Israel has not been called to account. Sourani called this a global conspiracy of silence. “The siege is still intact,” he said, “the suffocation is still there and there is still the smell of death and destruction in Gaza’s streets. The situation is worse now than it was in 2009.”

 

Associate Professor of International Law Max du Plessis, a South African, detailed the relevant legal instruments in international and customary law in relation to the definition and legal prohibitions against apartheid. His assessment included a consideration of the Apartheid Convention [1973]; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination [1965]; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and other legislation. He determined that despite arguments to the contrary the legal term apartheid absolutely can apply to situations beyond that to have occurred in South Africa. Dr David Keane, a law lecturer from the University of Middlesex in Britain, also discussed the issues of race and racism for the purposes of international law.

 

Whereas most experts were either speaking from a Palestinian or a South African perspective, Professor John Dugard, former Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and a South African himself, was able to speak on both fronts from his own personal and professional experience. He described the “substantial similarities” between the white apartheid regime in South Africa and the Israeli apartheid system today, and the similarities in terms of their policies of discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation. The “discrimination” element, he said, was evidenced inter alia by issues like the racist behaviour at checkpoints; the treatment of Palestinians as “sub-humans”; and the thousands of illegal house demolitions. Prof. Dugard determined that the illegal Israeli separation wall and the racist Israeli-only roads were tools of discrimination which went far beyond anything that was ever employed in South Africa by the apartheid regime.

In terms of “oppression” he referred to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) raids on Palestinian homes; the brutal use of attack dogs; IDF torture of Palestinians; and the practice of administrative detention. Dugard declared that there were far more Palestinian political prisoners in captivity today than there had ever been in South Africa (there are at the very least still 6,000 Palestinians political prisoners incarcerated in Israel). With regards to “territorial fragmentation” and the seizure of land he pointed to the 500,000 settlers (or vigilantes as he called them) who are currently occupying the West Bank. He mentioned how Palestinian land has been expropriated by the Israelis via the construction of the illegal wall, illegal settlements, militarised zones and so on. Prof. Dugard ended by saying that “one can safely conclude that the three principle features of apartheid… are repeated in the Palestinian territories… There are sufficient similarities between the two regimes to justify a full scale investigation…” Furthermore, he criticised the fact that “Israel accuses the Palestinians of terrorism, overlooking the fact that both the IDF and settlers engage frequently in terrorist activities, and so it was in South Africa.”

 

Emily Schaffer, an American-Israeli human rights lawyer based in Tel-Aviv gave a detailed summation of the discriminatory treatment faced by Palestinians under Israeli law. She cited the example of two men committing an identical crime, one being Palestinian and one being an Israeli Jew, and demonstrated how different their treatment would be. This differential treatment includes the following: Israelis are tried under civil law, Palestinians are tried in military courts; the Israeli man will see his lawyer without delay, the Palestinian can be denied access to a lawyer for 31 days (in fact the Palestinian man’s lawyer – if a Palestinian himself – may not get the travel permit to travel to the Israeli military base where the prisoner is being held); the Israeli man can expect to see a judge within 24 hours, the Palestinian man can be held for 8 days before a judge sees him; the Israeli could be held on remand for as long as 30 days (in security cases up to 9 months) whereas the Palestinian could be held on remand for up to two years.

Moreover, Israeli prisoners have a right to know the charges against them whereas Palestinians don’t and sometimes only meet their lawyer for the first time in court. Proceedings are all in Hebrew which is fine for the Israelis but unjust for the Arabic-speaking Palestinians. The Israeli in a civil trial has his proceedings open to public scrutiny and they can be recorded, whereas the trials of Palestinians take place on military bases and are carried out in secret, and often not even family members are able to attend, let alone the media or other interested parties. Maximum sentences also differ according to your race/religion, so whereas a maximum sentence for an Israeli for the crime of manslaughter is 20 years, for a Palestinian there is no maximum and they can be sentenced to life. Schaffer gave many other examples of how Palestinians are denied fair process and the legal and moral presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

 

Other stark differences in legal processes include the difference in the age of responsibility for Israeli children which begins at a later age than that for Palestinians. Many Palestinians are also subjected to administrative detention whereby they are held without charge or trial, and can be held this way for years on end. Israelis are rarely, if ever, subjected to this form of abuse. By comparing the two different legal systems under which Israelis and Palestinians are treated Ms Schaffer gave one of the starkest examples of systematic discrimination which added to the case proving the existence of an apartheid system in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

 

DAY TWO

 

Ironically, the tribunal’s second day began with the announcement that one of the Palestinian speakers due to offer first-hand witness testimony about restrictions on movement for Palestinians had been subjected to an Israeli travel ban and was not allowed to leave the country. The point about restrictions on free movement having been demonstrated more by his absence than anything he could possibly have said in person, the morning continued with a discussion on that very subject.

 

Testimonies were given relating to the denial of basic rights to Palestinians including the right of free movement, which is hindered by hundreds of checkpoints, roadblocks, trenches, settler-only roads and militarized zones. The subjugation of Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley was also highlighted; 59% of the valley is controlled by Israel by virtue of its declaration that the land is either a “closed military area” or a “nature reserve” or designated for (illegal) settlements.

 

Luciana Coconi described the extent of restrictions placed on Palestinians including discriminatory policies impinging on their rights to health care, water, housing, education and fair wages. Following her, Lea Tsemel, a legal advisor for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and a founding member of the Israeli feminist movement, outlined some of the discriminatory bills and laws passing through the Israeli Knesset (parliament) which discriminate against Palestinians. She referred to a series of land laws which make it impossible for Palestinians to buy or lease land; the Nakba laws which make it an offence to commemorate the massacres and mass expulsion of Palestinian in 1948; the Loyalty Oath and so on, all of which amount to a systematic regime of domination and subjugation amounting to apartheid.

 

Professor Jeff Halper, the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD), described the symmetry between the control of housing rights in apartheid South Africa and Palestine. He pointed out that the figure quoted by ICAHD, of 26,000 Palestinian homes having been demolished since 1967, does not include the number of Palestinian homes and villages destroyed inside Israel itself, nor the homes destroyed during military action, such as during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza where at least 8,000 homes were destroyed; nor does it include self-demolitions in which Palestinians are forced to tear down their own homes to avoid Israel fining them $15-20,000 (fines are reduced by half if you demolish your own home). In his estimation, the Judaisation process and system of relocation “is certainly ethnic displacement and I would even go so far as to say is ethnic cleansing.”

 

One of the most impassioned and hard-hitting witness testimonies was delivered by Palestinian Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi. In the second ironic twist of the day, only shortly after she delivered her testimony it was revealed by session chairman Michael Mansfield that word had just been received that the Israeli Knesset was, once again, trying to strip Ms Zoabi of her Israeli citizenship, presumably, in part, as a punishment for her speaking out about the discrimination that she and other Palestinians are facing. Just before this announcement Haneen Zoabi had stood at the podium and reminded us emphatically that having been born in Bethlehem, “I didn’t immigrate to Israel, it was Israel which immigrated to me”; and yet, in the racist narrative espoused by Israel’s Knesset, courts and media it is the native Palestinians who are referred to as the “invaders”. She said that she and all of the other 1,200,000 Palestinians living in Israel were direct and living proof of the racist Israeli apartheid system.

They were not even referred to as Palestinians but as “non-Jews” and as “non-Jews” living in a “Jewish state” they, the “forgotten Palestinians”, were described by Israel not as the native people but as a “strategic threat”. But, she said, in Israel it is democracy that is the true strategic threat. She asked how a state which privileges Jews over Palestinians and is controlled exclusively by Jews for Jews at the expense of the native Palestinian population could be anything other than a form of apartheid. Her citizenship is conditional on her swearing, not to uphold the laws of the land, but swearing loyalty to Zionism. She went on to describe the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the Judaisation of her homeland, and the changing of all road signs and place names into Hebrew wiping out the historical names of Arab villages.

 

Many other witnesses and experts also gave their testimony, including Jamal Juma’a, the Co-ordinator of the Palestinian organisation Stop the Wall, and Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements.

 

Having given due consideration to the testimony of over 20 experts and witnesses the jurors retired to deliberate and on the third day delivered their opinion which was unanimous and unequivocal: “Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law” and “Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid.” This applies to Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel, and in the diaspora.

 

Although not legally binding the Tribunal ended by urging “the state of Israel to dismantle its system of apartheid over the Palestinian people immediately, to rescind all discriminatory laws and practices, not to pass any further discriminatory legislation, and to cease forthwith acts of persecution against Palestinians.” It also offered a list of recommendations (including compensation for Palestinians) and called upon the international community to fulfil its duty “to cooperate to bring to an end the illegal situation arising from Israel’s practices of apartheid and persecution… to consider appropriate measures to exert sufficient pressure on Israel, including the imposition of sanctions, the severing of diplomatic relations collectively through international organisations, or in the absence of consensus, individually by breaking bilateral relations with Israel.”

 

See full summary of the judgment produced by the Russell Tribunal

 

[Final Note: The planning for the next session of the Russell Tribunal is currently already underway with New York as a potential venue next September.]

======================================

3.  Today in Palestine

November 13, 2011

 

http://www.theheadlines.org/11/13-11-11.shtml

 

==================

4.  http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/11/14/mondoweiss-online-newsletter-383/

 

Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 11/14/2011:

 

A weekend of terror in Occupied Palestine

US Freedom Riders woke a nation. Palestinian Freedom Riders must wake the world

Romney says ‘zero’ aid to all foreign countries– then rushes to issue an exception

Occupy movement cannot be silent on Israel/Palestine, say 3 Jewish groups

Golden oldies: Tom Friedman at start of Iraq war telling Arabs to ‘suck on this’

At Slate, casual racism toward Palestinians (their ‘violent, vengeful’ culture) and some smart talk about Jews

Wait– who is afraid of nukes in the Middle East?

A weekend of terror in Occupied Palestine

Nov 13, 2011 

Seham

 

IDF thugs attack Palestinian and International activists in June; though this video is months old, it merits all the exposure we can give it.

 

[please use the link to read the various posts. Dorothy]

 

 

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

IsraHell giant UAV becomes operational

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Dubbed ‘world’s most advanced UAV’ and weighing five tons, Eitan unmanned aerial vehicle to begin operations in several months

ed note–a leg up in killing even more Arab men, women and children for the State of Israel.

The Air Force’s largest unmanned aircraft is scheduled to begin operations within several months after eight years in development, Ynet learned. In the past it was reported that the Eitan UAV was developed to reach Iran and Sudan.

Several Eitan UAVs are scheduled to begin operations in the various combat sectors including Gaza and Lebanon.

Eitan is 14 meters long and has 26 meter-long wings. It is able to fly for 20 hours straight at a maximum speed of 143 Knots and reach a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet. It weighs five tons and can carry up to one ton.

Eitan can fly up to 20 hours straight (Photo: Reuters)

Eitan is meant to be utilized in complex intelligence gathering missions. It has already been dubbed “the most advanced UAV in the world.”

The “heavy UAV,” as it has been called, will also attempt to distinguish between terrorists and civilians in sensitive combat regions. “For the first time in military history we have a combatant who takes part in intercepting military targets with no direct threat to his life,” Lieutenant-Colonel Ido Frumer said.

“This requires a very solid ideal system and that is why we have arranged for an ethics workshop during the training course.”

Lieutenant Dudi, an IAF instructor added that “UAV operators are able to make life and death decisons away from the battlefield and we have taught them how to make the right decisions under pressure. On the one hand they will stick to IDF values which emphasize persistence and on the other we have stressed the importance of morality.”

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Western official: IsraHell is behind recent Iran explosion

NOVANEWS 

Western intelligence source tells Time Magazine that he believes the Mossad was responsible for deadly blast near Tehran which killed key figure in Iran’s missile program.

Haaretz

Israel stands behind the recent explosion at an Iran missile base, a Western intelligence source told Time Magazine on Sunday.

“Don’t believe the Iranians that it was an accident,” the Western official told Time, insisting that widespread assumptions that Israel’s Mossad was responsible for Saturday’s blast, which killed 17 and wounded 15, were correct.

The official also said that more plans to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program exist, telling Time, “There are more bullets in the magazine.”

The massive explosion at the military arms depot near Tehran killed a Revolutionary Guard commander who was a key figure in Iran’s missile program.

Gen. Hasan Moghaddam was killed together with 16 other Guard members Saturday at a military site outside Bidganeh village, 40 kilometers southwest of Tehran. The Guard said the accidental explosion occurred while military personnel were transporting munitions.

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America’s Dirty War on Islam

NOVANEWS

by Stephen Lendman

America’s dirty war, in fact, targets Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, political activists, and Muslims for their faith, ethnicity, and at times prominence and charity, exploiting them as “war on terror” scapegoats.

On July 9, a Press TV US prison system racket interview highlighted the problem and urgency to address it, accessed through the following link.

America’s media ignore how unjustly it harms millions of disadvantaged people. Instead, they regurgitate spurious high-profile case accusations, always when Muslims are affected. Most often they’re men, occasionally women, bogusly charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit it, when, in fact, they’re guilty only of being targets of choice and/or being in America at the wrong time.

Why Muslims when, in fact, Islam teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism; or that Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common roots.

Who’d know though in today’s climate of hate and fear at a time America wages global wars on Islam, including at home.

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame is America’s latest high-profile target, illegally captured, interrogated (and likely tortured) at sea for over two months, based on spurious allegations of Islamic terrorist ties.

Post-9/11, the same pattern repeated ruthlessly against hundreds of innocent victims. Pronounced guilty by accusation, America’s media shamelessly regurgitate fabricated hate charges, not legitimate honest accounts, doing what good journalists should – their job.

On July 5, New York Times writers Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt headlined, “US to Prosecute Somali Suspect in Civilian Court,” saying:

Obama’s Justice Department will “prosecute (Warsame) in civilian court,” likely “reignit(ing) debate about (whether) to bring newly captured detainees to” Guantanamo, try them before military commissions, or do it “in civilian court.”

While admitting Warsame plotted no attack, and that administration officials gave contradictory accounts of his importance, the article presumed guilt by accusation.

It failed to question whether or not charges are legitimate, let alone his illegal capture, detention, interrogation, and likely torture at sea secretly for over two months.

A same day Karen DeYoung, Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe Washington Post article headlined, “US indicts Somali on terrorism charges,” was just as one-sided, presuming guilt because administration officials say so.

Quoting “human rights attorney” John Sifton, his best shot was saying, “It is not exactly satisfactory, from a legal point of view,” adding “that the Justice Department is better suited to prosecute” than a military tribunal, instead of explaining what authority gives either the right.

In addition, he didn’t question the core guilt or innocence issue or whether Warsame can get due process and judicial fairness in any court, given the circumstances of his capture, charges with no evidence, and America media’s acting as judge, jury and executioner.

On July 5, a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release headlined, “Accused al Shabaab Leader Charged with Providing Material Support to al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” saying:

“AHMED ABDULKADIR WARSAME, aka “KHATTAB,” aka “FARAH,” aka “ABDI HALIM MOHAMMED FARA,” aka “FAREH JAMA ALI MOHAMMED” has been indicted on charges of providing material support to al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (“AQAP”), two designated foreign terrorist organizations, as well as conspiring to teach and demonstrate the making of explosives, possessing firearms and explosives in furtherance of crimes of violence, and other violation.”

In fact, no evidence exists when suspects are charged with providing material support or conspiracy to commit terrorism. Moreover, in 2008, the State Department bogusly designated Al Shabaab a “foreign terrorist organization” like it’s shamelessly done to other groups, scapegoating them for political advantage. More on that below.

DOJ said America’s military captured Warsame on April 19, 2011, “question(ing him) for intelligence purposes for more than two months,” allegedly after (but very likely never) reading him his Miranda rights.”

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara called him “a conduit between al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – two deadly terrorist organizations – providing material support and resources to them both.”

In fact, Al Shabaab members are Somali freedom fighters, not terrorists, and Al Qaeda is a 1980s CIA creation. Moreover, no nation may charge citizens or residents of another one with alleged internally committed crimes. Only host countries may do it, but it doesn’t deter America’s military or covert CIA agents from lawlessly operating anywhere, at times with complicit regimes – pressured, intimidated or willingly going along.

Warsame’s indictment alleges that “at least (from) 2007 until April 2011, (he) conspired to provide and provided material (support) to al Shabaab (and) allegedly fought on (its) behalf (in) Somalia in 2009 and provided other forms of support….including explosives, weapons, communications equipment, expert advice and assistance, and training.”

Other allegations included providing money, training, various other weapons, facilities and personnel, with no evidence proving anything only host countries may address if legitimate.

In total, Warsame’s indictment included nine counts:

“Count One: Conspiracy to provide material support to al Shabaab, causing death;

Count Two: Providing material support to al Shabaab, causing death;

Count Three: Use, carrying, and possession of firearms (machine guns and destructive devices) in furtherance of crimes of violence (in Counts One and Two);

Count Four: Conspiracy to provide material support to AQAP;

Count Five: Providing material support to AQAP;

Count Six: Use, carrying, and possession of firearms (machine guns and destructive devices) in furtherance of crimes of violence (in Counts Four and Five);

Count Seven: Conspiracy to teach and demonstrate the making of explosives;

Count Eight: Conspiracy to receive military-type training from AQAP; (and)

Count Nine: Receiving military-type training from AQAP.”

If convicted on most or all charges, Warsame faces life in prison even though all the above charges are spurious.

The full press release can be accessed through the following link.

Notably post-9/11 alone, America committed horrific crimes of war and against humanity in multiple theaters, including Somalia, waging imperial wars on Islam, killing millions in the process – genocide by any standard.

Established by the Rome Statute in July 2002, the International Criminal Court is mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes of war and against humanity. Instead, it functions solely as an imperial tool, targeting victims, not mega-criminals like US warlords and co-conspirators.

Al Shabaab – Somali Freedom Fighters, not Terrorists

On the Horn of Africa, Somalia is strategically adjacent to the Red Sea, Suez Canal, the area’s vital commercial waterways, and neighboring Sudan, valued for its oil and gas reserves nation’s like America, China, India and others covet.

In December 2006, Washington-backed Ethiopian forces unseated the governing Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), replacing it with a Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Thousands were killed. Over a million became refugees.

In January 2009, Ethiopian forces temporarily withdrew, following an agreement between the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), a UIC coalition with other opposition forces. However, fighting continues with America backing TRG/African Union forces to keep Islamists from regaining power.

Including moderate and radical elements, UIC members aren’t terrorists. They’re freedom fighters, struggling to liberate their country and end years of conflict, divisions and instability. Mogadishu traders initially set it up to bring order to the city’s insecurity, and end clan divisions after years of instability and civil war in most parts of the country.

Al Shabaab and other opposition forces continue the struggle. Portions of its rank and file call themselves the Mujahideen Youth Movement (MYM). Estimates of its strength size vary from several thousand to double that number or more, new recruits replacing others injured or killed.

In May 2009, AFP reported Ethiopian forces back in Somalia despite its communications minister, Ermias Legesse, claiming otherwise. Witnesses, however, saw troops and dozens of armored vehicles engaged in fighting.

On March 7, 2011, New York Times writers Mohammed Ibrahim and Jeffrey Gettleman headlined, “Militias Help Somalia Force Regain Towns Near Borders,” saying:

“Somali government troops and allied militias (battled) Islamist militants….near the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders,” claiming “a string of victories,” according to Somali officials who lie like American ones and major media.

On February 29, 2008, the State Department designated Al Shabaab a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 (as amended).

On July 13, 2010, The New York Times called the organization “one of Africa’s most fearsome militant Islamic groups….affiliat(ed) with Al Qaeda since 2007. (For) years, (it) threatened Uganda, Burundi, and terroriz(ed) the Somali public, chopping off hands, stoning people to death and banning TV….in their quest to turn Somalia into a seventh-century-style Islamic state.”

As usual, Times reports bear no relation to reality. Instead, they regurgitate official Washington’s position, without explaining Somalia’s strategic importance, and America’s imperial interest, waging direct and proxy wars of conquest and domination unendingly for years, causing a longstanding humanitarian crisis in the process.

On May 25, 2011, Eritrea-based analyst Thomas Mountain headlined his CounterPunch article, “UN Cuts Food, Expands War in Somalia,” saying:

The UN/African Union army was “increased by thousands of Ugandan troops along with dozens of additional tanks, heavy artillery and helicopter gun ships.”

At the same time, “the UN is overseeing the slow death by starvation of the million Somalis they are responsible for,” as part of America’s “war on terror.” For over 20 years, in fact, Washington turned Somalia into a “hell on earth,” what major media reports, including The Times, won’t report or highlight Mountain asking, “Where is our humanity?”

It’s nowhere in sight anywhere, waging imperial wars abroad and dirty ones at home against Islam. Legitimate journalism would highlight it in feature reports.

However, instead of comforting the oppressed and oppressing the comfortable, America’s mainstream does the opposite, shamelessly supporting wealth and power, not popular needs, truth and justice, or right over wrong, complicit for their own self-interest.

No wonder, growing numbers value alternative sources for real news, information and analysis like this web site and programs like the Progressive Radio News Hour.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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