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Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

Would have liked to have opened the new year with wonderful news, but have not, unfortunately, found any.

Tonight’s 8-item message begins with statistics on the occupation.  Not very pleasant, but that’s the way things are.

Item 2 is a reflection by a Palestinian on Cast Lead and Palestinian resilience.

Item 3 is a Haaretz editorial, whose title “In the West Bank, Israel’s rule is that of the jungle.  Indeed!

In item 4 Gideon Levy warns Israel’s leaders that Israel’s war drums should not ignore Hamas’ move for change.

In item 5 Uri Avnery says that the Palestinians have much to thank Israel for.

Item 6 is satirical, but all too true, particularly the final statement in ‘World Should be Happy that Steve Jobs was not an Israeli.’

Item 7 is Today in Palestine, with much news, most of it not happy.

The messages conclude with item 8, rather longish but worth reading—Ilan Pappe writes on Confronting intimidation, working for justice in Palestine

All the best, and with hopes (not very high, but hopes) for the coming year.

Dorothy

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1 Israel Killed 180 Palestinians, Including 21 Children, in 2011

http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/3228-israel-killed-180-palestinians-including-21-children-in-2011

By Middle East Monitor

30 December, 2011
Middleeastmonitor.org.uk

The State of Israel killed 180 Palestinians in 2011, including 21 children. These shocking figures were given in a report issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation entitled, “A People under Occupation”. The year also saw 3,300 Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem detained by the Israeli occupation authorities.

The PLO report noted that in 2011 alone the government of the Zionist state approved the construction of another 26,837 settlement units across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including 1,664 housing units in and around Occupied Jerusalem; almost 4,000 acres of land belonging to Palestinians have been confiscated by Israel; 495 houses have been demolished; and 18,764 olive and fruit trees have been uprooted.

With regards to Jerusalem, the report records that the establishment of the Shu’fat military checkpoint by the Israelis, which separates Jerusalem from the Shu’fat refugee camp, has resulted in the isolation of more than 60,000 Palestinians living in the camp and the areas around it. This is part of what the compilers of the report confirm is Israel’s Judaisation policy, as was the closure of the Magharba Gate Bridge which leads to Al Aqsa Mosque.

Illegal Jewish settlers, claims the PLO report, have committed a series of “terrorist” attacks on mosques throughout 2011, which escalated in December with arson attacks on the Okasha Mosque in West Jerusalem, the Nour Mosque in the village of Burqa in Ramallah, and the Ali Ibn Abi Talib Mosque in the village of Bruqin village in Salfit. Settlers also, the report notes, wrote racist slogans on the Sahaba Mosque in Bani Naim in Hebron and violated the sanctity of the St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church near the River Jordan.

Also in December, Jewish settlers set fire to at least 12 Palestinian vehicles across the occupied West Bank and confiscated around 500 acres of Palestinian land to expand their illegal settlements near Jenin and Bethlehem.

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2 Palestine Chronicle

December 29, 2011

 Gaza Lives: Reflecting on ‘Operation Cast Lead’

And the flag that refuses to lie down. (Julie Webb)

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/

By Mohammed AlNadi – Gaza

In Israel, nothing is more rewarding than committing systematic mass killings and war crimes against Palestinians. It seems, according to Israel’s moral system and code of conduct, nothing is more trivial than a Palestinian life. Inflicting death on Palestinians is not punishable in Israel but instead ornamented with decoration and job advancement. I reckon it’s the highest and most honorable accomplishment through which an Israeli soldier can achieve most prominent ranks in the military.

This has been evident throughout the Palestine-Israel conflict, as countless planned massacres were and are still being committed against Palestinians since Palestine was occupied in 1948, and typically, the perpetrators have always been leaders of sorts, either political or military figures.

For example, every year Palestinians widely remember Sabra and Shatila massacre, in which thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982. An independent Israeli investigation followed at the time, and it held the then minister of defense Ariel Sharon responsible for allowing the massacre to take place. Not only that, Sharon was found guilty of committing several pogroms against Palestinians. However, he never stood a trial; but on the contrary, he kept ascending the highest rungs of power, where he eventually ended up being Israel’s prime minister in 2001.

Colonizers living on land illegally sequestrated from Palestinians in the West Bank are possibly most hostile to Palestinians, who are subject to constant humiliation and attacks. Every now and then, news is heard of separate incidents of settlers stabbing an unarmed Palestinian, running over a child, or committing mass murder, like the Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein did in 1994, when he opened fire inside the Ibrahimi Mosque at the Palestinian prayers performing the dawn prayer during the Holy Ramadan, killing 29 persons, and injuring another 125.

Israel’s 22 day invasion of the Gaza Strip three years ago was not an exception. Based on universally held moral values and international laws of war, a lot of neutral and fact-based reports conducted by human rights organizations, including the Goldstone report, and consistent documentations proved that Israel committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians. Israel particularly dismissed the Goldstone report as “biased and one-sided,” refused to cooperate and claimed it would launch its own investigations.

A year ago, the Guardian reported that: “The military’s Judge Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit ordered almost 50 investigations arising from the operation.” Surely, one can’t help but burst into laughter at what some of these investigations were about. The report continues recounting three specific cases, one of which was “for stealing and using a Palestinian’s credit card”. Another Israeli soldier was convicted “for forcing an 11-year-old boy to open bags which could have contained explosives.” For Israeli judges, stealing one’s money—still immoral of the Israeli army–is by all means far more incriminatory than bombing his body. And did Israel really sanctify the Palestinian children’s lives? If so, what about the 352 children who were killed in cold blood? Were they all posing a threat to Israeli soldiers?

Some of the alleged Israeli investigations were reportedly said to be covering—as Col. Tamir Yadi put it—”claims regarding incidents in which many uninvolved civilians were harmed,” but not mentioning a single word about Al Samouni massacre, the single most atrocious incident in the entire assault, where Israeli forces had ordered the entire Al Samouni family to gather in one house—of course, to ensure the highest ratio of casualties–before they premeditatedly bombed it, killing 21 persons and injuring 19 others.

The incident, however, grabbed the world’s attention as hundreds of media reports and firsthand witnesses amassed. Israel immediately pretended an investigation was under way. Despite the overwhelming evidence, including a bunch of air force officers’ compatible testimony, that Ilan Malka, a senior brigade commander, was responsible for authorizing the strike while being aware of a civilian presence in the area. Later on, exactly three years after the massacre, Israel deliberately buried the case and didn’t take any legal actions against him, but instead decided to promote him to the position of brigadier general.

This was quite shocking to me, but later I couldn’t think of any “state” other than Israel capable of doing this. And in retrospect, I was able to grasp the horridness of this racist, inhumane behavior of Israel.

December 27, 2011 marks the third anniversary of Israel’s war–or “Operation Cast Lead,” as Israel sinisterly put it– on the Gaza Strip in late 2008. What can’t be coincidental is the day on which Israel initiated its intensive airstrikes before it proceeded with a 22-day operation from land and sea; it was few days before 2008 drew to a close.

The end of every year is and will always be totally different for the people of Gaza, for it evokes all the painful memories of bodies torn asunder, of houses, mosques and schools destroyed. The timing of the strike was absolutely right, that Israel purposely intended to make the grievance of the people of Gaza recurrent.

Even the Gaza youth, instead of celebrating the heraldry of the new year by congratulating each other and posting hopeful wishes on all social networking sites like the people in the rest of the world do, you see most of them posting statuses of reverential sorrow and lamentation, and make the famous corner-taped black background picture indicating mourning for Gaza their profile pictures. Some others post pictures of burnt children or their beloved relatives Israel killed during the 22 days.

The same is true for Christians in Gaza. They suffered just as equally. When they were supposed to celebrate their Holy Christmas peacefully in 2008, Israel rained on their parade and turned it into an absolute nightmare, which is going to be remembered yearly.

The irony seems beyond imagination; while the entire world was preparing to welcome 2009’s beginning with celebrations and fireworks, Palestinians in Gaza were made to have their own special rituals and extraordinary fireworks too, but ones that rained downwards and made flesh sizzle and bones melt.

This, however, didn’t work completely. It is true Palestinians lost their sons and houses, but one thing they can’t lose for sure is their resilient spirit and ability to heal. In Gaza, meanwhile, Christians are going to churches, decorating their Xmas trees and having lively celebrations. Also, Muslims are going to celebrate on the eve of the New Year and hang out with family and friends. My friends and I have plans too.

– Mohammed AlNadi is Gaza-based English literature graduate. He works as a translator. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to the Palestine Chronicle.

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3.  Haaretz Editorial

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In West Bank, Israel’s rule is that of the jungle

In the hands of this government, which mainly involve moving buildings built on private lands to ‘state lands’, have become instruments to deepen the occupation and obstruct the two-state solution.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/in-west-bank-israel-s-rule-is-that-of-the-jungle-1.404821

Haaretz Editorial

Tags: Israel settlements Ehud Barak Israel occupation Palestinians West Bank

In the diplomatic arena, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has excelled mainly at stagnation; in contrast, he has shown excessive creativity when it comes to nurturing the settlements. Every time the judicial system has ordered the removal of an illegal outpost, including those erected on private Palestinian lands, a magical solution has been found to breach the court order.

Over the years, successive Israeli governments have retroactively approved dozens of illegal settlements, many of which were established with its blessing and public money. In cases where the High Court of Justice ordered the evacuation of an outpost built on stolen land, the State Prosecutor’s Office pledged to carry out the order. But at the end of last week, the government took another step down the slippery slope of the rule of law related to the land of settlements: Minister Benny Begin pledged to retroactively authorize the outpost of Ramat Gilad, which was established without official approval or involvement of the government.

According to the agreement, which was struck in the shadow of threats by the settlers and their representatives in the Knesset and the government, nine prefabricated buildings built on private land will be moved a few dozen meters, from the hill on which the outpost now stands to “state lands.” The legal status of two other structures is to be looked into. As a reward for agreeing not to attack soldiers who were to have evacuated the residents of Ramat Gilad, the state will legalize the rest of the buildings in the outpost, which was established without the approval of the defense minister and without building permits.

In the hands of this government, solutions in the same vein as that offered to Ramat Gilad, which mainly involve moving buildings built on private lands to “state lands,” have become instruments to deepen the occupation and obstruct the two-state solution.

Israel is the only country in the world that recognizes the right of its citizens to settle over the Green Line. Based on Ottoman law, Israel has over the years expropriated about a million dunams (250,000 acres) by defining them as “state lands,” in order to establish Jewish settlements on them. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has likened Israel to a “villa in the jungle.” Nothing is closer to the law of the jungle than a system of distorted laws and procedures that make it possible to build villa neighborhoods in the settlements and legalize wildcat outposts like Ramat Gilad.

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4. Haaretz

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Israeli war drums ignore Hamas move for change

Instead of encouraging moderation, whether genuine or imaginary, whether strategic or tactical, Israel is rushing to nip it in the bud.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israeli-war-drums-ignore-hamas-move-for-change-1.404822

By Gideon Levy

Tags: Gaza Hamas Palestinian Authority Israel occupation West Bank

The writing is clearly on the wall. The head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshal, has ordered his group’s military wing to stop terrorist attacks against Israel, saying his organization will make do with popular protest. Hamas is declaring that it supports a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and the Palestinian Authority has expressed a willingness, in exchange for 100 prisoners, to give up its demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank as a condition for the resumption of peace talks. What more will we ask for?

On our side, too, the writing is clearly on the wall. Israel is ignoring the changes in the Palestinian positions. Most of the media is systematically obscuring the situation. Security sources are saying in response that they know nothing about the shift, or that it is only tactical. Israel is also rejecting the Palestinian Authority’s negligible conditions with repeated “nos” in the finest of Israeli rejectionism.

This time, however, Israel isn’t just making do with that. All of a sudden, on the third anniversary of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, there is a chorus of threats being heard from the military brass of another assault on Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, along with the former head of the IDF Southern Command and the southern brigade commander, are all saying there is no alternative to a Cast Lead II. The brigade commander even promised it would be more “painful” and “forceful” than the first Cast Lead. More painful than that first, shocking Operation Cast Lead, Mr. Commander?

Never mind the constant Israeli rejectionism on the peace process, since we only ever take the Palestinians seriously when they talk war and terrorism. When they talk peace and negotiations, we discount what they have to say, but what’s this about an attack on Gaza? Why? What has happened? Can someone explain this discordant, nasty beating of the war drums apart from Israel’s inherent need to threaten again and again? Experience teaches, however, that Israel is not just making noise. Its threats have a dynamic of their own.

The IDF chief of staff should be reminded that the first Operation Cast Lead inflicted huge damage on Israel. Maybe it’s not visible from the army bases, but world opinion has subsequently been dramatically transformed in how it relates to Israel, which has become an object of denunciation as never before. The pictures from Gaza have been indelibly etched in the world’s consciousness.

And here’s another reminder to the military brass: A new Egypt is taking shape before our eyes, a country that probably would not stand by in the face of another brutal assault on Gaza, which has again taken its place in Egypt’s backyard. The members of the Muslim Brotherhood currently rising to the fore in Egypt are brothers to Hamas, and it would be best not to unnecessarily arouse them.

Over the weekend, the IDF took pride in the fact that its troops killed 100 Palestinians in Gaza over the past year, a year in which barely a single Israeli was killed, thank God. So we have “improved” upon the horrifying fatality ratio from Operation Cast Lead. It was 1:100 in that operation but it was virtually 0:100 in the second year after the operation; a real bargain price.

The volleys of rockets on the south of Israel, which are indeed intolerable, almost all came in response to IDF assassination operations in Gaza. So why do we need a war now? If Israel was more intent on seeking peace, it would make haste to welcome the changes in the Palestinian positions. It wouldn’t harm Israel’s real interests one bit. If it had been a little more reasonable, it would have at least posed a challenge: Let’s release 100 Fatah prisoners, this time without the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, and, as we have been preaching, return to the negotiating table.

Instead of encouraging moderation, whether genuine or imaginary, whether strategic or tactical, Israel is rushing to nip it in the bud. And why should Hamas become more moderate if the Israeli response is to threaten Gaza? And why should the Palestinian Authority show flexibility if the response is rejectionism?

Are we preoccupied with confronting ultra-Orthodox extremism in Beit Shemesh, with no interest in solving our other problems, which are the most crucial of all? On the other hand, we have no reason whatsoever at the moment to carry out another assault on Gaza. We’ve already seen what the last one did. It’s already a little boring to write about it (and surely also to read about it). There is nothing that endangers Israel more than that absence of a settlement of our dispute with the Palestinians.

It may be no less boring to again ask: if the answer is “no” and again “no,” what do we say “yes” to? If it’s “no” to the Palestinian Authority and “no” to Hamas, “no” to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and “no” to Khaled Meshal, “no” to Europe and also “no” to the United States, who are we saying “yes” to? And above all, where are we headed? The writing is clearly on the wall, and it is a matter of great concern.

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5.  Hi,

A Happy New Year to all of you!

Shalom, Salamaat,

uri

——————————-

[

Other articles by Uri Avnery:

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery

]

Uri Avnery

December 31, 2011

                  Shukran, Israel [shukran = thanks in Arabic]

IF ISLAMIST movements come to power all over the region, they should express their debt of gratitude to their bete noire, Israel.

Without the active or passive help of successive Israeli governments, they may not have been able to realize their dreams.

That is true in Gaza, in Beirut, in Cairo and even in Tehran.

LET’S TAKE the example of Hamas.

All over the Arab lands, dictators have been faced with a

dilemma. They

could easily close down all political and civic activities,

but they could not close the mosques. In the mosques people

could congregate in order to pray, organize charities and,

secretly, set up political organizations. Before the days

of Twitter and Facebook, that was the only way to reach

masses of people.

One of the dictators faced with this dilemma was the Israel

military governor in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Right from the beginning, he forbade any political

activity. Even peace activists went to prison. Advocates of

non-violence were deported. Civic centers were closed down.

Only the mosques remained open. There people could meet.

But this went beyond tolerance. The General Security

Service (known as Shin Bet or Shabak) had an active

interest in the flourishing of the mosques. People who pray

five times a day, they thought, have no time to build

bombs.

The main enemy, as laid down by Shabak, was the dreadful

PLO, led by that monster, Yasser Arafat. The PLO was a

secular organization, with many prominent Christian

members, aiming at a “nonsectarian” Palestinian state. They

were the enemies of the Islamists, who were talking about a

pan-Islamic Caliphate.

Turning the Palestinians towards Islam, it was thought,

would weaken the PLO and its main faction, Fatah. So

everything was done to help the Islamic movement

discreetly.

It was a very successful policy, and the Security people

congratulated themselves on their cleverness, when

something untoward happened. In December 1987, the first

intifada broke out. The mainstream Islamists had to compete

with more radical groupings. Within days, they transformed

themselves into the Islamic Resistance Movement (acronym

Hamas) and became the most dangerous foes of Israel. Yet it

took Shabak more than a year before they arrested Sheik

Ahmad Yassin, the Hamas leader.  In order to fight this new

menace, Israel came to an agreement with the PLO in Oslo.

And now, irony of ironies, Hamas is about to join the PLO

and take part in a Palestinian National Unity government.

They really should send us a message of Shukran (“thanks”).

OUR PART in the rise of Hizbollah is less direct, but no

less effective.

When Ariel Sharon rolled into Lebanon in 1982, his troops

had to cross the mainly Shiite South. The Israeli soldiers

were received as liberators. Liberators from the PLO, which

had turned this area into a state within a state.

Following the troops in my private car, trying to reach the

front, I had to traverse about a dozen Shiite villages. In

each one I was detained by the villagers, who insisted that

I have coffee in their homes.

Neither Sharon nor anyone else paid much attention to the

Shiites. In the federation of autonomous ethnic-religious

communities that is called Lebanon, the Shiites were the

most downtrodden and powerless.

However, the Israelis outstayed their welcome. It took the

Shiites just a few weeks to realize that they had no

intention of leaving. So, for the first time in their

history, they rebelled. The main political group, Amal

(“hope”), started small armed actions. When the Israelis

did not take the hint, operations multiplied and turned

into a full-fledged guerrilla war.

To outflank Amal, Israel encouraged a small, more radical,

rival: God’s Party, Hizbollah.

If Israel had got out then (as Haolam Hazeh demanded), not

much harm would have been done. But they remained for a

full 18 years, ample time for Hizbollah to turn into an

efficient fighting machine, earn the admiration of the Arab

masses everywhere, take over the leadership of the Shiite

community and become the most powerful force in Lebanese

politics.

They, too, owe us a big Shukran.

THE CASE of the Muslim Brotherhood is even more complex.

The organization was founded in 1928, twenty years before

the State of Israel. Its members volunteered to fight us in

1948. They are passionately pan-Islamic, and the

Palestinian plight is close to their hearts.

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict worsened, the

popularity of the Brothers grew. Since the 1967 war, in

which Egypt lost Sinai, and even more after the separate

peace agreement with Israel, they stoked the deep-seated

resentment of the masses in Egypt and all over the Arab

world. The assassination of Anwar al-Sadat was not of their

doing, but they rejoiced.

Their opposition to the peace agreement with Israel was not

only an Islamist, but also an authentic Egyptian reaction.

Most Egyptians felt cheated and betrayed by Israel. The

Camp David agreement had an important Palestinian

component, without which the agreement would have been

impossible for Egypt. Sadat, a visionary, looked at the big

picture and believed that the agreement would quickly lead

to a Palestinian state. Menachem Begin, a lawyer, saw to

the fine print. Generations of Jews have been brought up on

the Talmud, which is mainly a compilation of legal

precedents, and their mind has been honed by legalistic

arguments. Not for nothing are Jewish lawyers in demand the

world over.

Actually, the agreement made no mention of a Palestinian

state, only of autonomy, phrased in a way that allowed

Israel to continue the occupation. That was not what the

Egyptians had been led to believe, and their resentment was

palpable. Egyptians are convinced that their country is the

leader of the Arab world, and bears a special

responsibility for every part of it. They cannot bear to be

seen as the betrayers of their poor, helpless Palestinian

cousins.

Long before he was overthrown, Hosni Mubarak was despised

as an Israeli lackey, paid by the US. For Egyptians, his

despicable role in the Israeli blockade of a million and a

half Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was particularly

shameful.

Since their beginnings in the 1920s, Brotherhood leaders

and activists have been hanged, imprisoned, tortured and

otherwise persecuted. Their anti-regime credentials are

impeccable. Their stand for the Palestinians contributed a

lot to this image.

Had Israel made peace with the Palestinian people somewhere

along the line, the Brotherhood would have lost much of its

luster. As it is, they are emerging from the present

democratic elections as the central force in Egyptian

politics.

Shukran, Israel.

LET’S NOT forget the Islamic Republic of Iran.

They owe us something, too. Quite a lot, actually.

In 1951, in the first democratic elections in an Islamic

country in the region, Muhammad Mossadeq was elected Prime

Minister. The Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had been

installed by the British during World War II, was thrown

out, and Mossadeq nationalized the country’s vital oil

industry. Until then, the British had robbed the Iranian

people, paying a pittance for the Black Gold.

Two years later, in a coup organized by the British MI6 and

the American CIA, the Shah was brought back and returned

the oil to the hated British and their partners. Israel had

probably no part in the coup, but under the restored regime

of the Shah, Israel prospered. Israelis made fortunes

selling weapons to the Iranian army. Israeli Shabak agents

trained the Shah’s dreaded secret police, Savak. It was

widely believed that they also taught them torture

techniques. The Shah helped to build and pay for a pipeline

for Iranian oil from Eilat to Ashkelon. Israeli generals

traveled through Iran to Iraqi Kurdistan, where they helped

the rebellion against Baghdad.

At the time, the Israeli leadership was cooperating with

the South African apartheid regime in developing nuclear

arms. The two offered the Shah partnership in the effort,

so that Iran, too, would become a nuclear power.

Before that partnership became effective, the detested

ruler was overthrown by the Islamic revolution of February

1979. Since then, the hatred of the Great Satan (the US)

and the Little Satan (us) has played a major role in the

propaganda of the Islamic regime. It has helped to keep the

loyalty of the masses, and now Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is using

it to bolster his rule.

It seems that all Iranian factions – including the

opposition – now support the Iranian effort to obtain a

nuclear bomb of their own, ostensibly to deter an Israeli

nuclear attack. (This week, the chief of the Mossad

pronounced that an Iranian nuclear bomb would not

constitute an “existential danger” to Israel.)

Where would the Islamic Republic be without Israel? So they

owe us a big  “Thank you”, too.

HOWEVER,  LET us not be too megalomaniac. Israel has

contributed a lot to the Islamist awakening. But it is not

the only – or even the main – contributor.

Strange as it may appear, obscurantist religious

fundamentalism seems to express the Zeitgeist. An American

nun-turned-historian, Karen Armstrong, has written an

interesting book following the three fundamentalist

movements in the Muslim world, in the US and in Israel. It

shows a clear pattern: all these divergent movements –

Muslim, Christian and Jewish – have passed through almost

identical and simultaneous stages.

At present, all Israel is in turmoil because the powerful

Orthodox  community is compelling women in many parts of

the country to sit separately in the back of buses, like

blacks in the good old days in Alabama, and use separate

sidewalks on one side of the streets. Male religious

soldiers are forbidden by their rabbis to listen to women

soldiers singing. In orthodox neighborhoods, women are

compelled to swathe their bodies in garments that reveal

nothing but their faces and hands, even in temperatures of

30 degrees Celsius and above. An 8-year old girl from a

religious family was spat upon in the street because her

clothes were not “modest” enough.  In counter-

demonstrations, secular women waved posters saying “Tehran

is Here!”

Perhaps some day a fundamentalist Israel will make peace

with a fundamentalist Muslim world, under the auspices of a

fundamentalist American president.

Unless we do something to stop the process before it is too

late.

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6.  Haaretz

Sunday, January 1, 2012

World should be happy that Steve Jobs wasn’t Israeli

Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, Apple’s slogan would not have been “Think Different.” It would have been “Think Like Everyone Else.”

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/world-should-be-happy-that-steve-jobs-wasn-t-israeli-1.404823

By Boaz Gaon

 (Inspired by the bestseller “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson )

1. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, his father – who was of Syrian extraction – would have been hunted by the Oz immigration police. Instead of completing a doctorate in international relations at the University of Michigan, Abdulfattah “John” Jandali would have been shoved into some prison truck in the middle of the night and from there thrown into the “prison facility” near Hadera. Jobs wouldn’t have been born at all and, even if he had, he would quickly have been spotted in the gunsight of Interior Minister Eli Yishai and kicked out of here, the sooner and the further the better.

2. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, it is doubtful whether his fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hill, would have noticed his exceptional talents. It is also doubtful whether his literature teacher would have taken him, in his senior year, on an “inspiring snow hike in Yosemite National Park.” Instead, Jobs would have been required to memorize the difference between “chalky soil” and “clay soil”; to swallow, every year, the pornography of violence toward children called “Holocaust studies in school”; and, in his last year in high school, to be preoccupied with only one question – whether to enlist in the elite Maglan unit or the elite Duvdevan unit in the Israel Defense Forces.

3. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, instead of walking around undisturbed on the paths of Reed College dressed as a Buddhist monk, one of his fellow students would have taken him into some corner and broken his bones for being a “no-good freak.” Right-wing Zionist organization Im Tirtzu would have leaked to one of the journalists from the daily Maariv that the “son of a Syrian” was hanging around the campus.

4. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, it is doubtful whether he would have considered computers “a symbol of self-expression and liberation,” just like LSD and Bob Dylan albums. He would have been drawn into IDF unit 8200, which specializes in cyber warfare, or Mamram, the IDF computer unit, and there he would have learned that computers are a tool for surveillance, a tool for eavesdropping, an electronic fishnet that can and must be used in order to catch people like barbounias.

5. Had Steve Jobs been Israeli, he would have worked less on designing Apple products and more on maximizing their cost and lowering production costs. Instead of “shooting for Museum of Modern Art quality,” as he put it, he would have been shooting for the quality of the Everything for a Shekel chain. Instead of investing hundreds of millions of dollars from his own pocket to improve Apple and its products, he would have distributed mega-dividends to himself, leveraged himself to death and dated models.

6. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, he would not have been able to develop the revolutionary animation mammoth Pixar, and he certainly would not have been able to sell it to Disney for $7.4 billion. Instead, Jobs would have been appointed the chairman of the Rabinowitz Foundation for the Arts, written a report commissioned by the Ministry of Culture on “Reform in the Film Industry” (which would quickly have been rejected ), and handed out the prize for “Zionist creativity” together with actor Haim Topol, at an impressive ceremony in the new cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

7. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, he would have refused the invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama to come and help get him elected in order to defeat the extreme right. Instead, he would have been a member of the Trajtenberg Committee for social and economic change, as an expert.

8. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, Apple’s slogan would not have been “Think Different.” It would have been “Think Like Everyone Else.”

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6.  Today in Palestine

http://theheadlines.org/11/30-12-11.shtml

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7.  Ilan Pappe

Electronic Intifada

December 27, 2011

Confronting intimidation, working for justice in Palestine

http://electronicintifada.net/content/confronting-intimidation-working-justice-palestine/10746

Ilan Pappe

If we had a wish list for 2012 as Palestinians and friends of Palestine, one of the top items ought to be our hope that we can translate the dramatic shift in recent years in world public opinion into political action against Israeli policies on the ground.

We know why this has not yet materialized: the political, intellectual and cultural elites of the West cower whenever they even contemplate acting according to their own consciences as well as the wishes of their societies.

This last year was particularly illuminating for me in that respect. I encountered that timidity at every station in the many trips I took for the cause I believe in. And these personal experiences were accentuated by the more general examples of how governments and institutions caved in under intimidation from Israel and pro-Zionist Jewish organizations.

A catalogue of complicity

Of course there were US President Barack Obama’s pandering appearances in front of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, and his administration’s continued silence and inaction in face of Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, siege and killings in Gaza, ethnic cleansing of the Bedouins in the Naqab and new legislation discriminating against Palestinians in Israel.

The complicity continued with the shameful retreat of Judge Richard Goldstone from his rather tame report on the Gaza massacre — which began three years ago today. And then there was the decision of European governments, especially Greece, to disallow campaigns of human aid and solidarity from reaching Gaza by sea.

On the margins of all of this were prosecutions in France against activists calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and a few u-turns by some groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe caving in under pressure and retracting an earlier decision to cede connections with Israel.

Learning firsthand how pro-Israel intimidation works

In recent years, I have learned firsthand how intimidation of this kind works. In November 2009 the mayor of Munich was scared to death by a Zionist lobby group and cancelled my lecture there. More recently, the Austrian foreign ministry withdrew its funding for an event in which I participated, and finally it was my own university, the University of Exeter, once a haven of security in my eyes, becoming frigid when a bunch of Zionist hooligans claimed I was a fabricator and a self-hating Jew.

Every year since I moved there, Zionist organizations in the UK and the US have asked the university to investigate my work and were brushed aside. This year a similar appeal was taken, momentarily one should say, seriously. One hopes this was just a temporary lapse; but you never know with an academic institution (bravery is not one of their hallmarks).

Standing up to pressure

But there were examples of courage — local and global — as well: the student union of the University of Surrey under heavy pressure to cancel my talk did not give in and allowed the event to take place.

The Episcopal Bishops Committee on Israel/Palestine in Seattle faced the wrath of many of the city’s synagogues and the Israeli Consul General in San Francisco, Akiva Tor, for arranging an event with me in September 2011 in Seattle’s Town Hall, but bravely brushed aside this campaign of intimidation. The usual charges of “anti-Semitism” did not work there — they never do where people refuse to be intimidated.

The outgoing year was also the one in which Turkey imposed military and diplomatic sanctions on Israel in response to the latter’s refusal to take responsibility for the attack on the Mavi Marmara. Turkey’s action was in marked contrast to the European and international habit of sufficing with toothless statements at best, and never imposing a real price on Israel for its actions.

Do not cave in to intimidation

I do not wish to underestimate the task ahead of us. Only recently did we learn how much money is channeled to this machinery of intimidation whose sole purpose is to silence criticism on Israel. Last year, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs — leading pro-Israel lobby groups — allocated $6 million to be spent over three years to fight BDS campaigns and smear the Palestine solidarity movement. This is not the only such initiative under way.

But are these forces as powerful as they seem to be in the eyes of very respectable institutions such as universities, community centers, churches, media outlets and, of course, politicians?

What you learn is that once you cower, you become prey to continued and relentless bashing until you sing the Israeli national anthem. If once you do not cave in, you discover that as time goes by, the ability of Zionist lobbies of intimidation around the world to affect you gradually diminishes.

Reducing the influence of the United States

Undoubtedly the centers of power that fuel this culture of intimidation lie to a great extent in the United States, which brings me to the second item on my 2012 wish list: an end to the American dominance in the affairs of Israelis and Palestinians. I know this influence cannot be easily curbed.

But the issue of timidity and intimidation belong to an American sphere of activity where things can, and should be, different. There will be no peace process or even Pax Americana in Palestine if the Palestinians, under whatever leadership, would agree to allow Washington to play such a central role. It is not as if US policy-makers can threaten the Palestinians that without their involvement there will be no peace process.

In fact history has proved that there was no peace process — in the sense of a genuine movement toward the restoration of Palestinian rights — precisely because of American involvement. Outside mediation may be necessary for the cause of reconciliation in Palestine. But does it have to be American?

If elite politics are needed — along with other forces and movements — to facilitate a change on the ground, such a role should come from other places in the world and not just from the United States.

One would hope that the recent rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah — and the new attempt to base the issue of Palestinian representation on a wider and more just basis — will lead to a clear Palestinian position that would expose the fallacy that peace can only be achieved with the Americans as its brokers.

Dwarfing the US role will disarm American Zionist bodies and those who emulate them in Europe and Israel of their power of intimidation.

Letting the other America play a role

This will also enable the other America, that of the civil society, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the progressive campuses, the courageous churches, African-Americans marginalized by mainstream politics, Native Americans and millions of other decent Americans who never fell captive to elite propaganda about Israel and Palestine, to take a far more central role in “American involvement” in Palestine.

That would benefit America as much as it will benefit justice and peace in Palestine. But this long road to redeeming all of us who want to see justice begins by asking academics, journalists and politicians in the West to show a modicum of steadfastness and courage in the face of those who want to intimidate us. Their bark is far fiercer than their bite.

++++++++

7.  Today in Palestine

http://theheadlines.org/11/30-12-11.shtml

+++++++++++

8.  Electronic Intifada

December 27, 2011

Confronting intimidation, working for justice in Palestine

http://electronicintifada.net/content/confronting-intimidation-working-justice-palestine/10746

Ilan Pappe

If we had a wish list for 2012 as Palestinians and friends of Palestine, one of the top items ought to be our hope that we can translate the dramatic shift in recent years in world public opinion into political action against Israeli policies on the ground.

We know why this has not yet materialized: the political, intellectual and cultural elites of the West cower whenever they even contemplate acting according to their own consciences as well as the wishes of their societies.

This last year was particularly illuminating for me in that respect. I encountered that timidity at every station in the many trips I took for the cause I believe in. And these personal experiences were accentuated by the more general examples of how governments and institutions caved in under intimidation from Israel and pro-Zionist Jewish organizations.

A catalogue of complicity

Of course there were US President Barack Obama’s pandering appearances in front of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, and his administration’s continued silence and inaction in face of Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, siege and killings in Gaza, ethnic cleansing of the Bedouins in the Naqab and new legislation discriminating against Palestinians in Israel.

The complicity continued with the shameful retreat of Judge Richard Goldstone from his rather tame report on the Gaza massacre — which began three years ago today. And then there was the decision of European governments, especially Greece, to disallow campaigns of human aid and solidarity from reaching Gaza by sea.

On the margins of all of this were prosecutions in France against activists calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and a few u-turns by some groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe caving in under pressure and retracting an earlier decision to cede connections with Israel.

Learning firsthand how pro-Israel intimidation works

In recent years, I have learned firsthand how intimidation of this kind works. In November 2009 the mayor of Munich was scared to death by a Zionist lobby group and cancelled my lecture there. More recently, the Austrian foreign ministry withdrew its funding for an event in which I participated, and finally it was my own university, the University of Exeter, once a haven of security in my eyes, becoming frigid when a bunch of Zionist hooligans claimed I was a fabricator and a self-hating Jew.

Every year since I moved there, Zionist organizations in the UK and the US have asked the university to investigate my work and were brushed aside. This year a similar appeal was taken, momentarily one should say, seriously. One hopes this was just a temporary lapse; but you never know with an academic institution (bravery is not one of their hallmarks).

Standing up to pressure

But there were examples of courage — local and global — as well: the student union of the University of Surrey under heavy pressure to cancel my talk did not give in and allowed the event to take place.

The Episcopal Bishops Committee on Israel/Palestine in Seattle faced the wrath of many of the city’s synagogues and the Israeli Consul General in San Francisco, Akiva Tor, for arranging an event with me in September 2011 in Seattle’s Town Hall, but bravely brushed aside this campaign of intimidation. The usual charges of “anti-Semitism” did not work there — they never do where people refuse to be intimidated.

The outgoing year was also the one in which Turkey imposed military and diplomatic sanctions on Israel in response to the latter’s refusal to take responsibility for the attack on the Mavi Marmara. Turkey’s action was in marked contrast to the European and international habit of sufficing with toothless statements at best, and never imposing a real price on Israel for its actions.

Do not cave in to intimidation

I do not wish to underestimate the task ahead of us. Only recently did we learn how much money is channeled to this machinery of intimidation whose sole purpose is to silence criticism on Israel. Last year, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs — leading pro-Israel lobby groups — allocated $6 million to be spent over three years to fight BDS campaigns and smear the Palestine solidarity movement. This is not the only such initiative under way.

But are these forces as powerful as they seem to be in the eyes of very respectable institutions such as universities, community centers, churches, media outlets and, of course, politicians?

What you learn is that once you cower, you become prey to continued and relentless bashing until you sing the Israeli national anthem. If once you do not cave in, you discover that as time goes by, the ability of Zionist lobbies of intimidation around the world to affect you gradually diminishes.

Reducing the influence of the United States

Undoubtedly the centers of power that fuel this culture of intimidation lie to a great extent in the United States, which brings me to the second item on my 2012 wish list: an end to the American dominance in the affairs of Israelis and Palestinians. I know this influence cannot be easily curbed.

But the issue of timidity and intimidation belong to an American sphere of activity where things can, and should be, different. There will be no peace process or even Pax Americana in Palestine if the Palestinians, under whatever leadership, would agree to allow Washington to play such a central role. It is not as if US policy-makers can threaten the Palestinians that without their involvement there will be no peace process.

In fact history has proved that there was no peace process — in the sense of a genuine movement toward the restoration of Palestinian rights — precisely because of American involvement. Outside mediation may be necessary for the cause of reconciliation in Palestine. But does it have to be American?

If elite politics are needed — along with other forces and movements — to facilitate a change on the ground, such a role should come from other places in the world and not just from the United States.

One would hope that the recent rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah — and the new attempt to base the issue of Palestinian representation on a wider and more just basis — will lead to a clear Palestinian position that would expose the fallacy that peace can only be achieved with the Americans as its brokers.

Dwarfing the US role will disarm American Zionist bodies and those who emulate them in Europe and Israel of their power of intimidation.

Letting the other America play a role

This will also enable the other America, that of the civil society, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the progressive campuses, the courageous churches, African-Americans marginalized by mainstream politics, Native Americans and millions of other decent Americans who never fell captive to elite propaganda about Israel and Palestine, to take a far more central role in “American involvement” in Palestine.

That would benefit America as much as it will benefit justice and peace in Palestine. But this long road to redeeming all of us who want to see justice begins by asking academics, journalists and politicians in the West to show a modicum of steadfastness and courage in the face of those who want to intimidate us. Their bark is far fiercer than their bite.

 

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