Archive | December 15th, 2011

BLAME IT ON THE RABBIS

NOVANEWS

Radical, violent settlers have been cultivated for many years by extremist rabbis

ynet

We should keep things in proportion: A bunch of religious nutcases do not threaten Israel’s very existence. After all, if the army really wishes to do so, it can embark on a Cast Lead-style operation against them which they won’t forget for many years to come.

However, the army is not a gang. It shows responsibility and restraint – even when these people produce smalltime provocations in order to divert attention away from the evacuation of outposts.   Should this phenomenon keep growing, there will be no choice and a clear rule will have to be formulated: Anyone who endangers the lives of IDF soldiers or damages military equipment will be characterized as an enemy and handled like an enemy – even if he happens to wear a kippa. Those who play with fire lose the right to complain about burns.

Yet there is no wonder this is happening. After all, these bad weeds are being carefully cultivated in the backyards of radical rabbis who have been poisoning Israel’s public sphere for long years with their nationalistic, dangerous and foolish ideas.

After all, for these rabbis the Torah and the Land of Israel are everything, while the State of Israel can be a fleeting episode as far as they’re concerned. And if a soldier intends to evacuate an illegal outpost tomorrow morning, harming him is permissible.

These righteous, unseen rabbis have been exposed for the miserable people they are. If they endorse the violent acts yet remain silent, they are cowards. But if they object to these acts yet fail to condemn them, they are even bigger cowards. 

In any case, the rabbis already lost their traditional right to roll their eyes, play dumb and say: We didn’t know. If we know, you too know. And if you are missing out on the opportunity to show leadership precisely at a time when such leadership is needed more than ever, don’t be surprised if soon you’ll discover that you are no longer relevant.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on BLAME IT ON THE RABBIS

NEW YORK CHARITY ABETS ZIO-NAZI SETTLER VIOLENCE

NOVANEWS

An Israeli soldier gestures

Brooklyn-based “Hebron Fund” supports Nazi groups attacking Palestinians

Salon.com

On the June 18, 2007, a nonprofit organization called the Hebron Fund held a fundraiser on a cruise ship in the Hudson River to support Israel settlers’ occupation of a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron. Some 250 people paid a minimum of $65 each for the “Cruise ‘n’ Schmooze.”  The proceeds went to support the settler who had taken the property from the Rajabi family, who denied the settlers’ claims that they had legally purchased the home.

A year and half later, Israeli police using stun grenades carried out a government order to evacuate a group of some 100 settlers hunkered down in the four-story hilltop. The house had become the center of a crisis when the Israeli government ruled that the building had been illegally seized from the Rajabi family, and ordered the settlers out.

Once evicted, the settlers commenced a rampage that lasted several hours, setting fire to Palestinian houses, olive trees and cars. Twenty-five people were wounded, including a man in critical condition after a settler shot him at close range. A Palestinian Red Crescent official told U.S. Consulate officials that during the riots, settlers stopped an ambulance and defaced the ambulance, painting “let the Arabs die” and covering the red crescent symbol with the Star of David.

The Hebron Fund is just one of more than 40 organizations that have raised some $200 million over a decade in tax-exempt donations for Israel’s West Bank settlements, a project that places them in violation of U.S. foreign policy and international law.

U.S. presidents from both parties have opposed settlements in occupied Palestinian territory since Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. Early in his administration, President Obama made settlement expansion a centerpiece of his now-defunct push to renew negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The State Department reiterated this policy last June, saying in a statement, “Like every American administration for decades, we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.”

Despite official opposition to the settlement enterprise from the White House and State Department, the U.S. Treasury gives tax breaks to groups whose sole purpose is to raise funds for the settlements. These groups have collectively raised more than $200 million over 10 years.

Some U.S. civil rights activists also say groups like the Hebron Fund are violating tax law by engaging in deceptive fundraising.

“Maybe on their website they have ‘donate $100 to education in Hebron’ but really the $100 goes to security,” said Abed Ayoub, an attorney at the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee. “Really they turn around and they’re buying machine gun stands.”

Ayoub also said settlement-backing charities violate the law by funding discrimination, since, by definition, settlements and their schools, roads and other infrastructure are not open to Palestinians, often the very people whose land these institutions are built on.

“Would we sit back and allow a school in the middle of Los Angeles not allowing black students?” said Ayoub. “There would be an uproar, rightfully so.”

In recent years the Hebron Fund has been written about by Matt Duss in the American Prospect and by Justin Elliott in Salon. The group was assailed by bloggers and activists in 2009 when it planned a fundraiser at the Mets’ Citi Field.

The group raised between $1.2 million and $2.2 million a year for each of the last several years. The organization’s website says its mission is to raise funds for “parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, after-school programs, libraries, and summer youth activities; as well as sponsorship of public cultural and educational events” for the settlers in Hebron.

There is no evidence directly linking Hebron Fund’s activities directly to settler attacks on Palestinians, however, as the 2008 house incident showed, the settlers’ very presence can result in violence and violations of Israeli law. In addition, money raised by the Hebron Fund may support settler violence indirectly, for example, by paying legal fees for settlers arrested in connection with attacks.

The Hebron Fund also stands out because of its support for a militant fringe of the settler movement. Public records in the U.S. and Israel show that the Hebron Fund uses funds from American donors to support the activities of specific settlers who have been convicted of deadly armed attacks on Palestinians in the past.

Hebron Fund officials did not return several phone calls seeking comment for this article. In Hebron, settler spokesman David Wilder refused to discuss the specifics of his organization’s funding or activities. “Organizations do not deal with those kinds of questions, not with journalists, not with anybody else,” he said.

A city divided

Hebron is a city of more than 160,00 people in the southern West Bank, and is best known as the site where the biblical matriarchs and patriarchs are buried. The tomb, known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, is also the site of the Ibrahimi Mosque, so called because of its association with Abraham.

Israeli forces occupied Hebron along with the rest of the West Bank during the June 1967 war. A small group of Israeli settlers rented a hotel in the center of the city on Passover 1968 and then refused to leave, creating the kernel of what became the present day settlement.

The city was divided by an agreement signed in 1997 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then serving his first term, and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

The agreement, part of the phased redeployment of Israeli forces during the Oslo peace process, placed most of the city under Palestinian Authority control. A smaller portion, labeled “H2,” remained under direct Israeli military occupation. H2 is the location of the settler compounds supported by the Hebron Fund.

Because of Israeli military rules, much of what was Hebron’s city center is today off-limits to its original Palestinian inhabitants. A survey by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found that 1,014 Palestinian housing units in the city center have been vacated by their occupants. Another 1,829 businesses have also been abandoned.

Also living in this virtual ghost town are 800 settlers, many of them staying in “evacuated” Palestinian homes.

The H2 sector of Hebron is also an epicenter of settler violence against Palestinians. Human rights groups have long documented near-daily incidents of stone throwing, beatings, stabbings, hit-and-runs, and other violence on the part of the settlers in the area. A 2008 United Nations report on the issue found that 31 percent of all West Bank settler violence occurred in H2, and 42 percent in the Hebron governorate.

“They are attacking Palestinian houses almost daily. They are attacking Palestinian people, Palestinian cars, Palestinian property,” said Issa Amro, a human rights field worker living in Hebron. “People in Hebron suffer almost daily from all kinds of violence.”

History of extremism

Public records in the U.S. and Israel show that the Hebron Fund maintains deep ties to the radical fringe of the Israeli settler movement.

Tax documents show that the Hebron Fund sends money directly to its Israeli sister organization whose director and founding officers include two men convicted of terrorism by the Israeli government for their roles in deadly attacks on Palestinians carried out by the Jewish Underground in the 1980s.

The Jewish Underground carried out a string of armed attacks on Palestinians, and even plotted to blow up the iconic Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. The group was shut down when Israeli police arrested 27 people over those and other attacks.

One of the founders of the Hebron settlers’ organization, which receives Hebron Fund money, Ze’ev Friedman, was convicted in connection with a pair of car bombings in 1980 targeting the mayors of two Palestinian cities. In one blast, Nablus Mayor Bassam Shakaa lost both his legs. In the other attack, Ramallah Mayor Karim Khala lost one leg.

Another man, Menachem Livni, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of planning a 1983 machine gun and grenade assault on students at the Islamic College in Hebron. Three students were killed and 33 others wounded in the attack.

Livni and two accomplices were released in 1990 after Israeli President Chaim Herzog commuted their sentences in response to a pressure campaign by the Israeli right. Today, Livni is still listed as the director-general of the Hebron setters’ nonprofit organization, which receives about half of its financing from the Hebron Fund.

A third man listed as a founding member of the same nonprofit group handling Hebron Fund money is Moshe Levinger, who first established the Hebron settlement. Levinger has been arrested and charged at least 10 times in connection with violent crimes. In the 1980s and 1990s he served four separate prison terms for rioting, assaulting an Israeli officer, and disrupting Muslim prayers. In 1988 he was jailed after accepting a plea bargain for shooting a Palestinian shop owner dead.

A donor network

Very little information about the Hebron Fund’s operations exists in the public record. In the section of the group’s tax filings where is is asked to “describe the organization’s mission,” the response is a mere five words: “Social and educational well being.” Nowhere is it mentioned that the group’s activities are overseas.

However, some details are available. An Israeli accountant’s audit, obtained by this reporter, found that the settlers’ organization (called “Mehadshei Hayishuv Hayeuhudi Behevron”) received 45 percent (about $737,000) of its 2003 income from the Hebron Fund. The Israeli group’s Israeli tax returns show that that figure grew to 55 percent in 2008, the last year for which records were available.

Though little information is available, it appears those funds are raised from a range of American donors, including wealthy foundations like the Jewish Communal Fund.

Other known backers include Irving Moskowitz, a billionaire gambling magnate who is a major funder of a number of West Bank settler groups. Another supporter was Häagen-Dazs ice cream creator Ruth Mattus, who died in 2006.

Much of this money is raised at lavish fundraisers in New York City, including an annual $300-a-plate dinner. In 2010 the group took donors on a cruise it called the “Hebron Aid Flotilla,” a jab at the pro-Palestinian Gaza flotilla earlier that year.

This year’s event was held Dec. 3 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The event featured video messages, one recorded by former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and another from Florida Rep. Allan West, the Tea Party stalwart.

Listed as a member of the dinner committee for this year’s event is Morris Abraham, the Brooklyn man who claimed to have purchased the Rajabi home in Hebron where the confrontation with police occurred in 2008.

Daily harassment

According to the Israeli financial filings, the Hebron Fund’s money also reaches a subset of settlers who have repeatedly been documented harassing their Palestinian neighbors. These are the settlers in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, who, according to the Israeli financial documents, receive the charity’s largesse.

In this neighborhood, the Abu Ayesha family lives on one side of a dead-end street. On the other, settlers. The Palestinian Authority helped the Abu Ayeshas install metal screens on the exterior of the house to protect it from rocks thrown by settlers, giving the whole building the appearance of a cage.

When B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights monitors, distributed cameras to the Palestinians living in the caged house in 2007, they recorded startling scenes of settler children throwing stones at the cage. In what became something of an iconic video, a settler woman peers through the screen repeatedly hissing, “Whore! Whore!” at a woman inside.

That’s what the Hebron Fund is paying for with tax-deductible U.S. contributions.

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EGYPT: Zionist regime Imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad sentenced to two years’ imprisonment

NOVANEWS

Maikel Nabil Sanad

 

Maikel Nabil SanadImprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by a military court on 14 December 2011, after a re-trial that had been postponed repeatedly, and had turned into a complete farce.

Maikel Nabil Sanad was arrested at the end of march on charges of violating article 184 of the Egyptian penal code, which criminalizes “insulting the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council or any State Authority, or the Army or the Courts”, and article 102, “spreading false information”. In a trial in front of a military court violating all established legal standards, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 10 April 2011, in absence of his family, friends, or lawyers. Since then he has been kept in El Marg prison.

On 23 August, Maikel Nabil Sanad began a hunger strike in protest against his imprisonment. In a statement at the beginning of his hunger strike, he declared that his hunger strike is in protest against the severe injustice he is subjected to, namely his unfair trial in front of a military court, the slow processing of his appeal, and the difference of treatment compared to other cases.

On 11 October, the military appeal court declared the original sentence of 10 April 2011 “null and void”, but failed to release Maikel Nabil Sanad.

Maikel Nabil Sanad refuses to co-operate with the re-trial, and also asked his lawyers to stop any co-operation with the military court. On 18 October, a re-trial in front of the military court began, and the court appointed a lawyer to represent him, who – according to one of Maikel Nabil Sanad‘s lawyers – was unacquainted with the case. The court ordered to transfer Maikel Nabil Sanad to a psychiatric hospital “for examination” (see co-alert, 20 October 2011), but the hospital refused this attempt at pathologisation of political dissent, and sent him back after a few days, declaring him “sane”.

The sentencing of Maikel Nabil Sanad to two year’s imprisonment is a blatant violation of Egypt’s interim constitution, and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Egypt is a party. It guarantees the right to a fair trial in article 14, and freedom of opinion and expression in article 19. On 21 July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations passed a new General Comment 34 on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It writes: “States parties should not prohibit criticism of institutions, such as the army or the administration.” (see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/GC34.pdf). The sentencing and imprisonment is in clear violation of the interpretation of article 19 ICCPR, as shown in General Comment 34.

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been adopted by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience”, and the human rights organisations is urging Egypt to release him (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/egypt-urged-release-blogger-sentenced-mil…).

While the case of Maikel Nabil Sanad was the first case of a blogger imprisoned and charged for his blog posts following the toppling of Mubarak, it is by now not the only one. Famous activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was arrested on 30 October, and has been kept on repeated 15 day sentences since, pending an investigation into his case. He was arrested following public criticisms of the army’s conduct on the night of 9 October, when at least 27 people were killed during a Coptic Christian protest in downtown Cairo. Like many other activists, Abd El Fattah accused the army of direct involvement in the bloodshed, a claim that appears to be supported by extensive witness reports and video footage. He was charged by military prosecutors with “inciting violence against the army”, and is being held since.

War Resisters’ International calls for urgent letters of support to Maikel Nabil Sanad:
Maikel Nabil Sanad
El-Marg prison
El-Kalag
El-Khanka
Qalyubeya
Egypt
Letters to Maikel can also be sent via http://wri-irg.org/campagins/supportmaikelnabil

War Resisters’ International calls for urgent letters of protest to the Egyptian authorities.

Director of Military Judiciary
Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2 402 4468 / +202 2 411 3452 (ask for fax)

Military General Attorney
Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, Egypt
+202 2 412 0980 (ask for fax)

Minister of Defence
His Excellency Muhammad Tantawi
Ministry of Defence
Cairo, Egypt
mmc@afmic.gov.eg ; mod@afmic.gov.eg
Fax: +20 2 2 5748 822
A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/14350.

War Resisters’ International calls on the Egyptian authorities to respond to Maikel Nabil Sanad’s hunger strike and to immediately release him.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters’ International

Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts

Posted in EgyptComments Off on EGYPT: Zionist regime Imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad sentenced to two years’ imprisonment

Video: Ola Tamimi reacts to shooting of her brother

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Rana Baker

 

The above video depicts Ola Tamimi, Mustafa Tamimi’s sister. You probably haven’t heard of Ola but news of Mustafa’s tragic end has most probably reached you.

Mustafa Tamimi is a 28-year-old Palestinian from Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. Just like any other Palestinian, just like any other human who cannot afford seeing his land forcibly annexed by an alleged state that claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East, Tamimi joined the weekly protest against Israel’s colonial-settler regime in his own village.

Tamimi, armed by bare hands and a few rocks scattered on the ground, was fired at with a tear gas canister from a one-meter distance. He was badly injured in his head; he passed away this morning.

 ”Beddi ashoofo” screams Mustafa’s sister, Ola. “I want to see him.”

The screams in the video are heart-breaking. But the coldness with which the Israeli soldiers deal with Ola is nauseating.

How did bare-handed Mustafa Tamimi look like a terrorist in the eyes of his murderer?

Neither I nor anyone can give an answer.

I tried to get a statement from 17-year-old Deema Alsaafin, who joined the protest today in Ramallah to mourn Tamimi’s death; the only answer I received from her was this: “I don’t think I’d be able to write anything about him; we’re all in utter shock.”

Today, Palestine mourns another Palestinian stone-thrower, another shocking example of what a racist state can do to protect its supremacist system.

Tags:

Nabi Saleh Mustafa Tamimi Ola Tamimi tear gas Deema Alsaafin popular resistance

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Video: Zio-Nazi army violence follows funeral of Mustafa Tamimi, “martyr of popular resistance”

NOVANEWS
Submitted by maureen 

A ten-minute video released today by David Reeb shows moving scenes from yesterday’s funeral for Mustafa Tamimi and the Israeli army’s use of force against protesters following the funeral.

Tamimi, 28, died of his injuries after he was shot in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers during last Friday’s popular demonstration against the occupation and settlements in Nabi Saleh village (read Linah Alsaafin’s searing account of Tamimi’s shooting).

The video shows mourners bidding farewell to Tamimi as he is declared a “martyr of the Palestinian people, a martyr of steadfastness … a martyr of popular resistance.”

It also shows protesters being detained by Israeli soldiers and being loaded into ambulances as Israel uses more brutal force against protesters in Nabi Saleh village, only two days after Mustafa Tamimi was deliberately shot in the face for defending his village against an invading army, armed with nothing but a slingshot and his consciousness.

More documentation of yesterday’s funeral and protest can be found on the photography collective ActiveStills’ Flickr stream.

ActiveStills photographer Anne Paq was also present when Tamimi was shot and reflects on documenting this and other protests on her blog:

The truth is that every week when I go to this protest I think that this is a miracle that no-one was seriously injured or killed. Yesterday there was no miracle [for] Mustafa. He died as the UN was passing by to “observe” and they did not even stop when we told them that somebody was seriously injured and that they should do something. I will always remembered Ola, Mustafa’s sister, who ran to the Israeli soldiers begging them to let her pass so that she can be with her brother (the Israelis stopped the car in which Mustafa was a few meters away after the military gate at the entrance of the village). They did not let her. Her screams are still in my ears.

To set the record straight- Mustafa was killed INSIDE his village, he was protesting against the occupation and colonization of HIS lands. He did not carry a weapon, just stones. Stones against a fully equipped army, a military armored jeep. He had the right to defend his village, even according to international law, and he did it with courage.

Activist Ben Lorber, an occasional contributor to The Electronic Intifada, interviewed eyewitness Ibrahim Bornat, who was next to Tamimi when he was shot by Israeli soldiers. Bornat, no stranger to Israeli repression himself, and who has been hospitalized dozens of times because of injuries sustained during demonstrations, recounts:

Of what I can say about it, it is worse than words can say. The whole half of his face was blown off, and his eye was hanging out, and I tried to push his eye back up. I could see pieces of the inside of his head, and there was a pool of blood gathering under him. His whole body was trembling. It started from his feet, then up to his arms, then it reached his chest, and then his head, and then a gasp came out and I’m sure at that moment he died. He gasped, and let out a bunch of air, and I knew at that moment his soul had left. I have seen many people, not a few, die in front of me, and I know death. Maybe later on they revived his heart, but I knew that his soul had left.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on Video: Zio-Nazi army violence follows funeral of Mustafa Tamimi, “martyr of popular resistance”

Video and testimony: Zio-Nazi soldiers’ savagery at Mustafa Tamimi’s funeral

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Linah Alsaafin

For an introduction, I recommend reading the following links: Mourning Mustafa Tamimi as Israeli Soldiers Escalate Violence, and Funeral of Murdered Mustafa Tamimi Ends in moreIOF Violence and Savagery.

I want to laugh every time I look at the picture below. Call it hysteria, call it exhaustion, call it the result of being subjected to so many cruel emotions the past few days after witnessing the murder of a freedom fighter.

Funeral of Mustafa Tamimi, Nabi Salih, 11.12.2012, on Flickr

The picture shows Tasneem H, @Tweet_Palestine, @_Watan, and myself among others in a human pile on the ground with Israeli soldiers beating us as we tried to prevent them from arresting us and the other activists we were protecting with our bodies. The following is our testimonies, collected and edited by me.

Me:

The soldiers were in their place, watching us advance. They didn’t fire tear gas; their presence itself was enough provocation. We stood in front of them, and began shouting at each of the soldiers, going from face to face with Mustafa Tamimi’s poster held up by our hands.

Our grief spilled into rage.

“Which one of you killed Mustafa?”

“Which one of you did it?”

“Which one of you has the courage to look in his sister’s eyes, the one you prevented from seeing him?”

“WHICH ONE OF YOU MURDERED HIM?”

@_Watan:

The question was asked a million times that day, and was answered by tons of tear gas, sound bombs, and physical violence. They were afraid of the question, terrified to look at the eyes of the man they killed, and we were not going to be silent any more.

Me:

Chants of “Murderers! Murderers! Murderers!” and then “Animals! Animals! Animals!” The soldiers backed away from us a few steps, perturbed. We wouldn’t let them go that easily. We followed them.

Tasneem H:

We were simply using our words…Our words and our voices of truth to question the Israeli soldiers of the murder of Mustafa Tamimi. I took out a poster with a photo of Mustafa and asked the soldier to look at the man they were responsible for murdering. I wondered to myself if their conscience would be moved at all by this. Did they still have a conscience?

 Me:

I had the picture of Mustafa and was demanding them to look at it, to look at Mustafa’s eyes, the man they killed so heartlessly. One of the soldiers grabbed the picture from me and balled it in his fist. I went berserk.

“Give it back!” I shrieked. “Give it back, you animal! You’re not human give it back!” I grabbed at his hand and he shoved me vehemently. I tried again and he threw the torn picture on the ground.

@Tweet_Palestine:

All of a sudden one of them jumped on Jonathan [Pollack] who was standing next to us. They tried to arrest him and we all jumped on him trying to keep the soldiers from taking him. The soldiers kept hitting us everywhere. Then one of them tried to choke Jonathan until he fainted and was carried away.

@_watan:

They were hitting him, and choking him. The rest of the girls and I ran toward them, trying to save him from their murderous hands. His face was starting to get blue and then he passed out, and still the soldier wouldn’t let go of him. Luckily we were able to get him out just in time to save him from being killed too.

Me:

We were over the metal rink, on the road now. The spring was only across the road. The soldiers began shoving and pushing us, as we continued to demand justice for Mustafa’s murder. Sound bombs were thrown right next to us. Then we saw one international activist lying face down on the ground, his hands tied behind him. We tried to stop the soldiers from taking him with our bodies. They shoved us roughly. We screamed back. I felt a rifle butt hit me on the forehead. The commander came over and said we had five minutes to clear off. I told him we wouldn’t and for them to clear off. He pointed at me and ordered for my arrest. I felt myself being dragged by two soldiers and my biggest fear was that if my parents found out I could kiss this world goodbye. Then I felt someone grab my legs, someone else around my waist, and we all collapsed to the ground. The girls, my fellow activists, my sisters were clinging to me as hard as they could, preventing the soldiers from taking me.

@_Watan:

I turned over to see my friend Linah in the hands of two soldiers. They were arresting her, and the only thing I could remember next was holding her in my arms, and I was not alone…the girls gathered making a human pile, each holding the other so strongly to save her from being arrested.

Me:

More soldiers came and began to drag the other girls away. There was a flurry of movement and another international activist was pinned to the ground by the soldiers. We grabbed him as he became buried in our human pile. He clung to my leg. One of my arms was around my friend’s back, the other clutching another friend’s shoulder. My waist and legs were gripped by them tightly. The soldiers hit my friend on her head. One repeatedly slammed his knee in the back of the international activist we were shielding.

@_Watan:

The soldiers pushed us and we fell on the ground. We were literally on top of each other, yet we were not willing to let go. We were hit and kicked everywhere and one of them hit me on the head with the back of his gun.

@Tweet_Palestine:

We lay on the ground holding him while the soldiers hit us in every direction. I remember Linah next to me screaming the same words over and over again “You will not take any of us.” Another girl was screaming “This is for Mustafa, stay strong!” I had lost my voice by then and couldn’t scream but I moaned and cried as one soldier was trying to break my fingers away from one of the Israeli activists buried within us. Another soldier pulled me from my kuffiyeh and choked me with it, and then I let go of the activist because the pain was just too strong. I watched the soldiers pulling him away from me, dragging him on the street while one soldier put his leg above his head.

@_Watan:

They tried to choke her with her own kuffiyeh.

@Tweet_Palestine:

In a split second another soldier screamed “Take this girl!” and someone pulled my legs and I was dragged away from the girls. I knew that it meant it was over: they were going to arrest me. I was on the ground when I heard the girls screaming out my name and I then knew I was safe, I knew they would not let the soldiers take me. One soldier had his leg on me crushing me to the ground and the girls jumped on the soldiers and tried to free me.

Tasneem H:

Our human barrier made things difficult for the Israelis. We were in their way. They began violently pulling, kicking and punching the girls and I as well as the protesters they tried to arrest. I heard cries of anguish as the Israelis tried to wrench the human barrier. And in between these cries of anguish, you could still hear the words of truth continuing to be spoken by each and every single one of us.

Me:

We were screaming and kept holding on to each other, our bodies pretzeled against each other. The soldiers were beating us as we lay there, and my anger was spent. I whispered, “You have no humanity” followed by repeating, “You’re not taking any one” over and over again.

@_Watan:

“You are not gonna take any one of us.” Her voice broke my heart yet also made it stronger. We were sad, angry, hurt, tired, and beaten up. But we were also a pile of determination and each time they hit us we became stronger. I remember the face of the international activist we were shielding. He was looking at us as if we were the safest place on earth. It was us vs. Mustafa’s killers, Truth vs. Violence.

Me:

I felt so helpless, so futile. I was looking at the soldiers in their eyes as they beat us and attempted to drag us away. I wanted to cry so badly. They were not human. They didn’t even have not one ounce of humanity in them. Isn’t it enough they killed a man yesterday that they had to beat up girls today? Is it too much to ask to mourn Mustafa properly?

I looked up and realized more people from our side had arrived. They tried to talk to the soldiers. We finally but very carefully and gingerly picked ourselves off the ground as the people formed a human wall around us and we jumped over the metal rink. Another international activist was getting arrested. We jumped back and tried to grab him but we were pushed back with even more brutal force. The commander kept telling us to go. He added the word “please”. My hands were bruised, my knuckles were blue and bleeding, my body was aching. I was shaking all over. Mustafa’s picture was still in my hand. We turned back to make the long trek up the hill, and they fired tear gas aimed at our bodies to hinder us.

@Tweet_Palestine:

I ran as fast as I could then fell to the ground.

Me:

@Tweet_Palestine fainted. The men carried her and went down to the ambulance on the road.

@_Watan:

We climbed back up the hill, carrying the unanswered question and more determined than ever to continue and bring Justice to Mustafa.

@Tweet_Palestine:

I saw friendly faces around me. I realized I had fainted in the ambulance. I was terrified; what if they took any of the other girls? I should stand on my feet and go back but somehow my brain was no longer in control of my body. I was taken to one of the warm houses in Nabi Saleh, the same house I was taken to when I was attacked the last time. I just wanted to know if the girls were safe and I kept asking “Where is Linah where is @_Watan? Did they take them what happened where are they?” and then they came in from the front door and we hugged each other and started crying uncontrollably.

Tasneem H:

I still can’t comprehend why arrests were made and violence was used by the Israelis. Were our words of truth threatening to them? Were our words of truth threatening their security? Did our words of truth penetrate so deep into their conscience that caused insecurity within themselves?

Me:

They couldn’t even respect Mustafa in his death with this show of savagery.

@Tweet_Palestine:

What had we done I thought. Did it make any difference in the world when we asked these soldiers who killed Mustafa?  I don’t know if it did but I felt that my voice again was my only weapon and even if these soldiers did not feel anything even if they beat me up, still I did something I raised my voice. I refused to be silenced by their guns, I refused to be silenced by the Canister that silenced Mustafa. The Israeli army and government and the Zionist movement need to understand that their weapons of murder and their methods of torture will not stop us, will not silence us. We will keep screaming and fighting and as hard as they try to silence us they will never succeed.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on Video and testimony: Zio-Nazi soldiers’ savagery at Mustafa Tamimi’s funeral

No miracle yesterday in Nabi Saleh: Mustafa Tamimi murdered

NOVANEWS

Mustafa Tamimi

“Ambulance! Ambulance!”

So far, there were three people who had suffocated from the tear gas, and three people injured by rubber bullets. I saw gas, and so assumed that it was another case of suffocation. But the cries got louder, urgent, desperate — quite unlike the previous calls. Along with those around me, we began running to where the injured person lay, 50 meters away.

Screams. “Mustafa! Mustafa!

I ran faster. I stopped. The youth I was so used to, the same ones who were always teasing and joking and smoking, were crying. One turned to me and groaned, “His head. His head is split into two!”

My stomach plummeted and I forgot to breathe. Exaggeration, I thought. Impossible. Not here. More screams of “Mustafa!”

I saw the man lying on the ground. I saw the medic with one knee on the ground, his face a mask of shock. I saw his bloodied gloved hands.

Mustafa’s sister was screaming his name. I saw Mustafa. I saw the blood, the big pool of dark red blood. I saw the blood dripping from his head to the ground as they carried him and put him in a taxi, since the ambulance was nowhere to be found. I saw other the tear-streaked faces of other activists, and all I felt was numbness.

Mustafa’s sister Ola was still screaming, so I put my arms around her as she buried her head in my chest. I was babbling, “It’s ok, he’s gonna be fine, it’s ok” but she kept on screaming. Her screams and the disturbing reactions of those around me made my legs numb. Ola then left to go to the watchtower where the taxi with her brother was, and my state of shock crumbled as I gasped out my tears in the arms of my friend.

The first protester death in Nabi Saleh

Friday, 9 December marked the second year since the tiny village began its weekly demonstrations protesting the expropriation of their land for the neighboring illegal settlement of Halamish, and the confiscation of the village’s main water supply, the Kaws Spring. It also marked the 24th anniversary of the first intifada. Fittingly, it seemed only natural the Israeli army would react with more violence than usual. But never did we expect someone to be killed. It’s too awful to think about. Nabi Saleh has a population of around 500 people. Everyone knows everyone in this tight-knit community, so when one gets killed, a big part of us dies also.

Mustafa, 28 years old, was critically injured after Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister at his face, and died at a hospital after his treatment was delayed by the occupation forces who had invaded the village to repress the weekly demonstration.

One difference that distinguishes Nabi Saleh from other villages with popular resistance committees, like NilinBilin, Biddu and Budrus is that no one has been killed, or martyred in the protests. Beaten up, yes. Arrested, ditto. But never a death. Until yesterday.

My humanity is only human

Just before Mustafa went into the operating room, some good news came through. He had not suffered any cognitive damages to his brain, although he suffered a brain hemorrhage. There was a chance his eye might be saved. Relief washed over us. We tweeted, “please #Pray4Mustafa.”

I had pictured myself going to Nabi Saleh the next day, not the following Friday. I had imagined sitting in a room with weeping women, after passing by the somber men sitting outside. I had envisioned a funeral and an inconsolable Ola with her mother. Thank God there was a reassuring chance he would be ok. We’d make fun of his bandaged face, just like we did to Abu Hussam when a rubber bullet hit him under the eye a few weeks ago.

Then I got the call that Mustafa had succumbed to his wounds.

My humanity is only human. I hate my enemy. A deep vigorous hatred that courses through my veins whenever I come into contact with them or any form of their system. My humanity is limited. I cannot write a book titled I Shall Not Hate especially if my three daughters and one niece were murdered by my enemy. My humanity is faulty. I dream of my enemy choking on tear gas fired through the windows of their houses, of having their fathers arrested on trumped-up charges, of them wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets, of them being woken up in the middle of the night and dragged away for interrogations that are spliced with bouts of torture.

The soldiers laughed. They smiled. They took pictures of us, zooming in on each of our faces, and they smirked. I screamed at them: “Nazis, terrorists, vermin, programmed killing machines.”

They laughed at us as we screamed at them to let us through to where he was, unconscious in a taxi near the watchtower. They threatened us if we didn’t go back. We waved the flag with his blood on it in front of them. One of them had the audacity to bat it away. We shouted, “His blood is on your hands!” They replied, “So?”

I thought of Mustafa’s younger brother, imprisoned all these eight months. I thought of that brother’s broken jaw and his subsequent stay in the prison hospital. I thought of Juju (Jihad Tamimi), he of the elfin face who arrested a few days ago with no rights to see a lawyer after being wanted by the army for more than a year. I shuddered to think of the reactions of these imprisoned men from the village — Uday, Bassem, Naji, Jihad, Saeed – once they received the news.

I got the call just after 11pm Friday night. I was sworn to secrecy, since his family didn’t want to make it public yet. Anger, bitterness and sorrow overwhelmed me. I cried at my kitchen table.

The author (left) with Ola Tamimi (center) after Mustafa Tamimi was shot at close range by the Israeli military in Nabi Saleh village.

I hate my enemy. I can’t go to sleep. The images are tattooed forever inside my eyelids. They yells, the wailing, the groans, the sobbing all fill my ears like water gushing inside a submarine, dragging me further into a cold dark abyss.

I sought out religion as a source of comfort, yet it didn’t alleviate the anguish. His life was written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (The Preserved Tablet) since before he was born. His destiny was to become a martyr. How sweet that will be in the afterlife! But here on this earth, his sister is beside herself. His mother is hurting enormously. Her firstborn gone, no longer to drink the tea she makes or to make her laugh with his jokes.

The images are tattooed forever inside my eyelids. A bloody pulp on one side of his face. The pool of blood rapidly increasing. (Mama, there was so much blood.) His mouth slightly open, lying supine on the cold road. His sister screaming, her face twisted in grief. The young men weeping, looking like little boys again.

I hate them for making us suffer

I loathe my enemy. I will never forgive, I will never forget. People who say such hatred transforms a person into a bitter cruel shell know nothing of the Israeli army. This hatred will not cripple me. What does that mean anyway? Do I not continue to write? Do I not continue to protest? Do I not continue to resist? Hating them sustains me, as opposed to normalizing with them. Their hatred of me makes reinforces the truth of their being murderous machines. My hatred of them makes me human.

I can’t sleep. The shock flows in and then dissipates, before flooding back in again. I see no justification is implementing such violence on a civilian population, no sense in the point-blank murder of a man whose rights are compromised, and whose land is colonized and occupied.

Sure as hell, you will not be forgotten. You will become an icon, a symbol, and the added impetus for persisting and continuing your village’s struggle which reflects the plight of the average Palestinian for its basic rights, equality, and justice.

I hate them for making us suffer. Hating them will give me more strength to shatter their barbaric supremacist ideology, and to bring them under the heavy heel of justice. We’ve suffered so much. I hate them for not giving credit to our sumoud (steadfastness), and so continue to kill and dispossess and imprison and humiliate us.

They killed you, Mustafa. My insides crumple. You, in front of me. My tears are drawn from the depth of my wounded soul. You were engaged to be married. You were wanted by the army because of who you are: a Palestinian who resists the occupation he directly suffers from. I think of your father being denied a permit to be with you, of your mother who had to be granted permission by them to see you in the hospital. I think of your quiet, sardonic expression.

Your screaming sister. Your blood. Your murderers’ smiles.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on No miracle yesterday in Nabi Saleh: Mustafa Tamimi murdered

Nazi’s Midnight calls ring Gazan phones

NOVANEWS

Submitted by Rana Baker

IsraHeli seems to be dissatisfied with all the killing and destruction it has been carrying out in the past few days in Gaza.

Drones have been buzzing over our heads at very low altitude setting our nerves on fire. F-16s have been patrolling the sky and bombs have been falling down on whatever place Israel deems as “suspicious.”

Yet, Israel wouldn’t stop there. Our phones are constantly receiving a barrage of calls from the Israeli intelligence asking us to report to them names and locations of Palestinian freedom fighters. If we do report, we will be prized with thousands of dollars in return.

“The information you provide will be kept in full secrecy,” an Arabic-speaking Zionist on the other end says in very professional accent.

It is obvious that Israel is trying to terrorize the people of Gaza even further as these calls usually come late into the night. It doesn’t matter if a very lovely dream was suddenly shattered by a recorded voice message tossed over to you by an Israeli intelligence agent. At some point, you will be an entertaining object of a bored Israeli who enjoys dialing random Palestinian numbers. It doesn’t really matter if it hit the phone of a 13-year-old Palestinian. After all, when did Israel care for our children?

It is so lame the assumption Israel is making here. Yet, it is understandable. A materialistic state like Israel can never fathom that freedom cannot be sold. For Palestinians, our lives, hopes, and resistance are the currency we use to wrest our freedom. But how would Israel understand?

Posted in GazaComments Off on Nazi’s Midnight calls ring Gazan phones

Palestine mourns another real legend, a symbol of motherhood

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Shahd Abusalama

Anees and Akram Al-Namoura and their mother.

My voice is muted but every feature of my face speaks sorrow and anger. There is no need to wonder why. It’s Palestine, the rich land where smiles can turn to tears and laughs can turn to sighs in a second. It’s Palestine, where series of sad stories mixed with strength, will, and glory never end.

Anees and Akram Al-Namoura are brothers who were released in the first stage of the prisoner exchange on October 18 after spending ten years, originally supposed to be two life sentences, in prison. They joined the resistance by the beginning of the second Intifada, answering the call of their occupied lands and oppressed people to defend them, ready to pay any price that their precious homeland, Palestine, would require. While Israel was aggressively and continuously attacking, killing, wounding, and detaining Palestinian citizens, the brothers took to arms against the occupying army hoping for a better future for their family, their neighbors and their community. They planted a bomb beneath an Israeli tank, killing two Israeli soldiers.

I coincidentally met Anees, the elder brother, in his hotel while I was interviewing some other former detainees. After having a short chat, I learned that he was somehow related to my mother’s family. Then he told me that his imprisonment started five months before his brother’s. I commented innocently, “I can’t imagine how hard it is for your mother to have two sons in prison at the same time. But it is a little fortunate that you and Akram met each other there.” He shook his head, smiling at my naïveté, and corrected me. “No. We were in prison at the same time, but separated by the Israeli Prison Administration for the first five years. We tried legal remedies, but no lawyers and no courts could bring us together. So we started an open hunger strike to pressure them, and we were clear that our hunger strike would end only after they had met our demands. We could eventually meet and live as brothers in Armon Prison, in the same cell, for the last five years of our imprisonment. “

Anees and Akram couldn’t enjoy the blessing of kissing and hugging their elderly parents even after they gained their freedom. Israel imposed a separation of a different kind on them as they were exiled from Hebron to the Gaza Strip. But this was only additional pain from a wound that was already existed, as their 80-year-old father, a cancer patient in a wheelchair, and 65-year-old sick mother weren’t allowed to visit their detained sons for more than three years.

When I Googled Anees and Akram’s names, I encountered a video of their parents from a year ago. They were interviewed about how it felt having sons in the Israeli tyrants’ prisons. “How can an old man like me, sick with cancer, threaten Israeli security?” their father wondered with a shaking voice full of sadness. “I collected all papers that explain my health situation, which is getting worse, and tried every possible way to meet my sons again before I die.” After watching the video, I smiled despite my sadness, thinking of how merciful God is: Anees and Akram’s father is still alive and has witnessed his sons attaining freedom.

In the same video, their mother, with expressive wrinkles that evoked long years of suffering, said, “I only wish I could sit on their beds, as I used to when they were young, and play with their hair while their heads lie on my knees.” The father challenged his disability by joining his sick wife and one of his daughters in a trip to the Gaza Strip to meet their sons only six days ago. This trip couldn’t happen earlier, as their permission to leave through Jordan was denied by Israel, and they obviously couldn’t come here through the Erez border for “security reasons.” However, if there is a will, there is a way. They eventually overcame all obstacles and made it here.

Six days ago, I heard Mum speaking cheerfully to Dad about the arrival of Anees and Akram’s parents and sister safely. Today, I saw Mum’s tears for the death of their mother, who had waited long to hug her sons and celebrate their freedom. “Oh Allah, her destiny was to live and not die before she enjoyed seeing and hugging her sons between her arms once again,” Mum said with tearful eyes as she entered our home after the funeral. After ten long years of waiting, with worry, sadness, suffering, and humiliation between checkpoints as she tried to visit her imprisoned sons, she lived six days with them before passing away, leaving us a real legend, a symbol of patience, challenge, and motherhood.

Posted in GazaComments Off on Palestine mourns another real legend, a symbol of motherhood

Gingrich comments on Palestinians a “play” for “Jewish” money, former strategist says

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

 

Newt Gingrich, the US Republican presidential hopeful and former House Speaker who said Palestinians are an “invented people,” was making a “play” to attract “Jewish” money to his campaign, a former close associate said today.

Reacting to Gingrich’s comments on the Palestinians, Matt Towery, a conservative columnist who served as a campaign strategist for Gingrich in the 1980s, told CNN’s Saturday Morning News:

The Republican primary is one in which primarily you have money coming from pro-Israelis and in Jewish organizations and that[s] a play for that money.And you’re really are not going to have a whole lot of folks involved from either the Arab world or from any area that might be affected by these comments that are going to be voting in any of these primaries any time soon.

It is generally considered taboo in the United States and even evidence of “anti-Semitism” to talk about the influence of “Jewish” or pro-Israel money in elections. That a former Gingrich advisor and well-known Republican pundit is doing so openly is a notable development.

Palestinians an “invented people”

Gingrich caused consternation and a great deal of anger among Palestinians when he told The Jewish Channel, a cable TV station, that Palestinians were an “invented people” and suggested that they should have left their country voluntarily to make way for Israel.

While the two main parties in the United States, Democrats and Republicans, are both staunchly pro-Israel, they have engaged in intense partisan battles in the run up to next November’s US presidential election over which party would be more supportive of Israel.

Posted in USAComments Off on Gingrich comments on Palestinians a “play” for “Jewish” money, former strategist says

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