Archive | March 17th, 2012

The Successes & Failures of Occupy Movement

Credit Image : Yanira Fregoso, VT’s graphic queen.

US police forces have arrested nearly 70 in the latest wave of crackdown against the nationwide anti-corporatism movement. The detainees, charged with trespassing, are the American students protesting cuts to higher education.


 by Debbie Menon


This clearly describes what the US  has become from a Legalistic Republic to a Gulag operated Autocracy without process of law. Each of those “protesters” who are “protesters of principle and dedication” should demand an individual trial, accept no offers, and make the police appear and present evidence of their “wrongdoing” or crime.

Mass arrests at Occupy Education protest at California State Capitol

If “the Law” wants to invoke law against law-abiding citizens, then the citizens should go along with it and demand that the case go to Law.  It might entail some sacrifice and expense on their part, but no one ever said Liberty and Justice come without a price, sweat or some blood.  It never has, and it probably never will.  It is not a pastime for the squeamish.

Press TV interviewed Mark Mason, an Occupy movement protester, who expounds on the successes of the anti-corporate campaign and the change they hope to make in the United States.

Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian from Washington and Joshua Blakeney, activist and staff writer for Veterans Today in Calgary analyze the strategy for effective change…


Source: PRESS TV

The following is an approximate transcription of the interviews.

‘United States is country run by corporate oligarchs’ Mark Mason


Press TV: First of all, let’s start with the issue of detentions.

The number of arrests is growing, 6,700 protesters over the past six months.

First of all, what does this number indicate? That the protests are getting out of control?

Mason: It’s an indication that the popular uprising in the United States that’s labeled Occupy movement, that it’s a successful grassroots movement to shift power away from corporate America and to shift power away from the bankers in Wall Street, back into the communities where it belongs.

It’s an indication of the effectiveness of the Occupy Movement.

Press TV: When you say then that the movement has been effective in its own way, explain to us how effective it has been.

Mason: The Occupy movement is part of the global popular uprising that was stimulated or initiated by the 2008 global economic collapse. I wouldn’t place the origin of it in Wisconsin.

The Occupy movement learned much from the failure of Wisconsin, Wisconsin was a gross failure, operated mainly by the unions; they played by the rules, the courts told them to go home and they went home.

And the Occupy movement is being criticized for not playing by party politics, and I would suggest that, that’s not the accurate or appropriate criticism, because Occupy movement has no interest in party politics, none whatsoever.

The movement is only six months old, as we recall, it only began in September.

And many of the other Occupy occupations began in November.

And here we are, basically we have commanded the public media, the corporate media is listening to the Occupy movement message.

And even the president of the United States has decided to move the IMF meeting from Chicago to a military compound in Camp David.

And so the Occupy movement is effective, it’s not interested in party politics, it’s not interested particularly in specific legislation or specific candidates for public office.

It’s a systemic change that is being driven by a popular movement that is worldwide.

Press TV: Let’s focus again on the response that the protesters have been getting.

Right now we were listening to a press conference by President Obama, and he was saying things about the housing prices, he introduced, in his words, the cheaper government-backed mortgages.

So basically, do you think the Obama administration has actually practically been addressing the exact demands that these protesters have been voicing?

Have these voices been heard or been addressed by the administration?

Mason: President Obama has no credibility and we have a country that’s run by the American oligarchs.

We are accustomed to hearing in the media, the popular press about the Russian oligarchs. Well in the United States we have the American oligarchs.

And the measures performed by President Obama are devious at best. They are another hidden bank bailout, and an opportunity for banks to get out from underneath crimes, vast crimes of fraud, perpetrated against millions of people in the United States.

So, we have a political system where the president is not credible, and nothing he says can be taken at face value, we have a popular movement that is the Occupy movement. It’s not interested in replacing, you know, one face with another face in the White House.

I’m on a committee that’s working towards setting up and convening a constitutional convention under article five of the constitution that permits the people to assemble to rewrite the constitution.

That’s what Occupy is all about, nothing to do with replacing one face with another face, or one oligarch with another oligarch.

I want to mention 1986 in the Philippines! What does this have to do with the United States?

The people went into the streets, they overthrew the dictator Marcos, and they went home, just like the people in Wisconsin, they went home!

And what happened, they replaced the dictator with basically a corporate oligarch, and nothing has changed.

If anything, we are going to learn something! I was in the streets in 1968, Cal State Northridge, state cops were chasing me, and I was young enough to avoid being arrested because I could run fast enough.

We went home!

Sixty-eight to seventy-two if we went home, if Occupy is not going home and we’re not playing this.

Press TV: Do you think that this means a lack of trust in both parties?

Mason: This system is broken!

The system is broken in Russia, it’s broken in Egypt and it’s broken in the United States.

And, the long-term goal of Occupy is a systemic change to shift power from the one-percent to the 99-percent.

That can’t be done in one election, although this is a very important election year.

I do want to say, that I appreciate the opportunity for us to discuss this today in the studio, but I like to remind, to myself even, that people are in the streets, the Occupy movements are in the streets, today, these past weeks, preventing people from being flown out of their homes.

Real people in the Occupy movement are in the real streets, walking home foreclosures, saving people from being thrown out of their homes.


Occupy Wall Street suffers from leadership crisis Dr. Webster Tarpley

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, let’s talk about the way that the police has been treating these protesters. The police are saying we have to get involved because we do not want things to become violent.

The protesters –on the other hand– are saying that, no, this is a systematic crackdown on the protests.

So basically what is your belief on this?

Tarpley: Well, naturally we are in the run of class struggle and the mass strikes. So repression is inevitable. The question is: can you win?

I think it focuses a little bit narrow in the sense that the Occupy Wall Street is really the tail end of something bigger, which is what started in Madison, Wisconsin last February; the Occupy Madison which was a general strike to shutdown the entire state, fighting a fascist governor [Scott] Walker who wanted to destroy all the unions and this is ongoing.

The people in Wisconsin were able to gather one million signatures, the biggest effort proportionally of that type in the history of the United States that has ever happened.

This is where the action is. We also have in Michigan right now; signatures have been gathered to stop the fascist governor of that state, [Rick] Snyder, from taking over the city of Detroit, essentially ending democracy and ruling it as a dictator.

We have unfortunately had a defeat in Indiana, where the union busting bill has gone through with Governor Mitch Daniels, but we have also got a victory in Ohio where the movement there was able to defeat the fascist governor [John R.] Kasich by 61 to 39 percent.

Of course when the communications workers, the transport workers, the teachers, came to Wall Street, that Zuccotti Park demonstrations, that really got going and got on the map.

So it is a mass strike. The problem we have is it is not successful in the Occupy Wall Street. The Zuccotti Park, I think you would have to say, is a failure.

Success would be: are you on your way to a hundred members of the House of Representatives? Are you on your way to ten senators? Have you forced through the Wall Street Sales Tax? Have you stopped foreclosures? Are you on your way to seizing the Federal Reserve?

In other words, what have you done to concretely smash the power of finance capital?

We would have to say the Occupy model with the facilitators and consensus and the 90 percent threshold to get anything approved. This has not been successful.

And I think anybody who wants to repeat that should have it examined.

It is time to come on to a different approach; especially you have got to put forward hard-hitting class-based demands.

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, basically when we are speaking of how can this movement be effective, is it about, as our guest in Calgary was saying, giving specific agendas, setting out outlining demands or when you mean that they have not been successful, what do you mean they should be doing to have that effect that you were speaking about?

Tarpley: The goal of revolution is to take power. It is not to change the conversation or to force the moving of a meeting from one place to another.

I think this is a pitiful, pathetic scale of expectation. You have got to dare to struggle to dare to win and winning again means getting a hundred representatives into the House of Representatives to fight for the measures that you want; getting ten Senators, forcing through some legislation, we could have had a Wall Street Sales Tax.

A one percent tax on all Wall Street turnover passed last autumn. That could have been forced to the Congress with the right kind of leadership.

Hit Wall Street where it hurts, make them pay, break their power, smash their stranglehold over all the engines of this government.

The problem of course is we have anarchists in the leadership.

Press TV: Mr. Tarpley, you are calling this a revolution then and you are saying it lacks leadership and that is the problem.

Tarpley: It had better be. If you want to take power, you have got to have demands; you have David Graeber, the mush headed anthropologist, who seems to be the guru of this movement. I think he operates from London. He went to Yale and now he is in London.

Graeber says, no, we should not have any demands; I will go with Fredrick Douglass; this is wisdom.

Fredrick Douglass said, power is nothing without a demand. If you want something, you have got to get out there and demand it.

Adbusters that was just mentioned, I really wonder who they are; what is their relation to NATO intelligence?

They come on as the situation is international. Well, that was founded by NATO intelligence to destabilize General [Charles] de Gaulle of France, back around 1960.

Who are these people?

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, basically when you say that you are criticizing this movement for not being strong enough, you are calling it a revolution, there has been a question asked very frequently now I am hearing in the media in the US and elsewhere, should this movement become violent?

Should this movement get involved in actions that could be construed as violent?

Tell us what you mean then by that?

Tarpley: No, of course not. Only an anarchist lunatic, a police agent, would recommend such a thing. You have got to build your strength with demands, once you have got Zuccotti Park, let us say.

The main role of the mass strike is spread the strike, bring in new groups, bring in labor, bring in women, blacks, Hispanics, bring in soldiers, have something to say about war and peace. They did not even have that.

There was no comprehensive anti-war demand made until very very late in the day.

Do not listen to Adbusters in Vancouver, British Columbia. Forget about David Graeber.

You have got to show… if you have got a group of students and homeless in a park, you have got to show that you are willing to fight for the other people in the society; you would better be fighting for a Wall Street Sales Tax to pay for unlimited, unemployment benefits.

99 weeks plus stop all foreclosures. We had that; the Frazier-Lemke [Farm Bankruptcy] Act of the 1930’s; Medicare for all; anybody who wants it, gets it.

Seize the Federal Reserve and start issuing one trillion dollar tranches of credit.

You have got to get out there.You cannot offer people a utopia; you cannot tell working people that they should come and enjoy the utopian thrill of being in a commune in a park. They cannot do that.

You have got to get out there and show that you are fighting for them. Then when the police come after you, they will be willing to fight for you.

The failure of Zuccotti Park is that they were not willing to fight for anybody in a serious way and when the time came, nobody was willing to fight for them.


99-percenters movement, a manifestation of Arab revolts’Joshua Blakeney


Press TV: Would you say that the Occupy movement has not been successful?

Blakeney: I’ve participated in Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Calgary, and unfortunately what we’ve seen is a kind of crackdown, of course it was Adbusters in Vancouver that was actually the instigator of Occupy Wall Street.

And I pick up the historical narrative slightly before where Webster picks it up with events in Madison; I really pick it up with the Arab Spring.

Of course the events in the Middle East of trying to oust and defenestrate those like Hosni Mubarak; we were told this was Arab Spring just for Arab people.

But increasingly it became apparent to those of us in North America and Western countries that really the Hosni Mubarak’s, I mean are they any different to the Barack Obama, the Stephen Harper’s you know, kind of puppets of various lobbies and those who are on capital.

And so I see really the Occupy movement as being a manifestation of the Arab Spring, in the West as it were.

And so I agree with Webster that there needs to be a less kind of post-modern kind of decentralized approach to formulating goals and you know, an agenda that we can bring to the politicians and demand that we have some justice in the world

And I think that personally we need to understand that our governments are occupied themselves by lobbyist. And that in a sense the Occupy movement is kind of emergency measures.

You know after the fraudulent events 9/11 we kind of were told we need the Patriot Act and we need emergency measures. But in fact, I think we’re seeing with the Occupy with people coming to their public squares, is the implementation of a kind of people’s emergency measures.

Because it’s just getting to intolerable, the kind of polarization, you know the rich getting rich getting richer the poor getting poorer, students having to get into tens of thousands of dollars of debts just to get a basic education, and so I view the Occupy movement as continuing, even though these by-laws have been used to oust those who have occupied their public squares.

Press TV: Do you think that in spite of the fact that the demands of the movement have been voiced at least to some extent, the problem would be that the Obama administration, the authorities have chosen to ignore those demands?

Blakeney: Yeah, I mean obviously we have to bear in mind that there has been a quite brutal crackdown on the Occupyists, those who are participating in the Occupy movement.

I mean in a way the crackdown have vindicated many of the allegation of the government that we have no constitution anymore. I mean, you have these kinds of lofty principles of right to assembly, freedom of speech, but invariably what you have happening is local bylaws that say you can’t put up a tent in your town square.

They’ve be trumping and superseding the supreme laws of the country! That happened here in Calgary where I am, there was a court trial, Occupy Calgary vs. the City of Calgary, and the city of Calgary was supported by the judicial decision.

And he said yes the bylaws superseding the supreme right of, you know of citizens to assemble and have freedom of speech, likewise in Vancouver, it was the same.

Although I would agree that the demands do need to be more explicit and more lucid.

When I went to Vancouver on October 15th, three days of four days after that, we had George W. Bush visiting a sorry British Colombia which is just outside Vancouver; now in Canada we have crimes against humanity and war crimes act and an immigration and refugee protection act, both of which are ambiguous to people who have confessed to having participated in authorized torture are immiscible to Canada, and many jurists and lawyers have drawn attention to that.

Now I nominated that in Occupy Vancouver as an obvious cause, I don’t think there was anyone there that would say George Bush shouldn’t be arrested.

But unfortunately there was this kind of ethoses, decentralized kind of anarchistic ethos that we shouldn’t have any leadership and anyone kind of telling people what they should think and what they should do.

And I do concur with Dr. Tarpley on that point that this has kind of led to a kind of malaise that those in power are actually not being prompted hard enough to, you know, to reckon with the masses that are seeding with rage in (sic) policies.

Press TV: I just like to point to something else here, and that’s the upcoming presidential election in the United States, when our guest in San Francisco, Professor Mason is saying, this is not about changing face.

Do you think that this movement has at least led to mistrust in the political system in the United States, the way the elections are held, the two-party system?

How is that going to translate in the elections?

Blakeney: Well I think the US one-party state with two competing factions is bereft of credibility frankly.

And I’d be, I’m going to be less pessimistic and a little more sanguine that Dr. Tarpley and a little more patient you know.

My experience is that, my friends who were occupying in their tents, they haven’t completely dissipated, nearly every weekend they’re out organizing and coming together in trying to find, formulate policies that they can promote you know, and causes that they can advocate.

And it’s not the case that this is completely over, we got the summer coming, and I’d be a little more patient than Dr. Tarpley, I think the point with the Occupy movement was, it was highly apoplectic.

My experience was that there were people who were in the green movements, people who cared about food, and people who cared about anti-war causes. And there is a kind of preliminary steps that are needed in order to come together and find out where we agree, where we disagree.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Successes & Failures of Occupy Movement

Ethnic Cleansing / Land Theft & Destruction / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid


Local official: Army uproots olive trees in Nablus village

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces uprooted olive trees in the Nablus village of Beit Dajan on Thursday, a local official said. Village council head Naser Abu Jesh told Ma’an that Israeli military jeeps accompanied by bulldozers razed 12 dunums of land in the eastern part of the village on the pretext that it is a military zone. The land is owned by Jamal Abu Kanan. Beit Dajan is located next to the illegal Israeli settlement of Hamra.
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Israel Police expel Harvard students from Palestinian village

Confrontation occurs after a bus full of Harvard students began traveling along a security route inside the village of Walaja, which is intended solely for Israeli security vehicles.
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Jerusalem Mufti calls for an end to ‘Israeli terrorism’ against religious sanctuaries

The Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, has drawn attention to Israel’s continued violation of freedom of worship in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories., Sheikh Hussein asserted that the Israeli government’s recent announcement that it would be closing the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for two days next month because of the upcoming Jewish holidays, is a gross encroachment on religious sanctuaries and the right of Muslims to worship.
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Who’s afraid of a Bedouin?, Charlotte Silver

Last June, Israel’s Supreme Court reached a ruling that some saw as a compromise to a legal battle that had lasted nearly a decade.  Beer Sheva’s Big Mosque that has been closed to prayer since 1948 would be converted into a museum of Islamic culture. The decision disappointed thousands of Muslim citizens who wished to re-open the Ottoman-built mosque as a place of worship, thereby fulfilling a gaping need: there is currently no public space for Muslims to worship in Beer Sheva.
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Palestinians prepare to lose the solar panels that provide a lifeline

Israel is planning to demolish ‘illegal’ solar panels that are the only source of electricity for Palestinians in West Bank villages. Two large solar panels jut out of the barren landscape near Imneizil in the Hebron hills. The hi-tech structures sit incongruously alongside the tents and rough stone buildings of the Palestinian village, but they are fundamental to life here: they provide electricity. Imneizil is not connected to the national electricity grid. Nor are the vast majority of Palestinian communities in Area C, the 62% of the West Bank controlled by Israel. The solar energy has replaced expensive and clunky oil-powered generators. According to the Israeli authorities, these solar panels – along with six others in nearby villages – are illegal and have been slated for demolition. Nihad Moor, 25, has three small children. The family live in a two-room tent kitted out with a fridge, TV and very old computer. She also has a small electric butter churn, which she uses to supplement her husband’s small income from sheep farming.
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War on Gaza

Airstrikes target Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel launched airstrikes on two sites in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday, less than 48 hours after agreeing to an Egypt-brokered truce. Witnesses said that Israeli missiles landed on agricultural land, causing a fire and severe damage. No injuries were reported. In a statement, the Israeli army said its warplanes targeted “a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip and a terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.”
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Death of child raises toll to 26 Palestinians

The number of Palestinian victims who were killed during the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip rose to 26 martyrs after a 7-year old boy died of serious injuries on Wednesday morning.
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Israeli artillery shelling targets central Gaza

The Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday night fired a number of artillery shells into the central Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported, according to local sources.
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IOF troops fire at funeral in violation of calm

Three Palestinian citizens were wounded on Tuesday at the hands of Israeli occupation forces while participating in a funeral of two martyrs who fell in the Israeli air raid on Monday night.
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25 killed due to Israeli attacks on Gaza

Gaza, March 13, This isn’t knew, I know but that doesn’t make it the norm and it shouldn’t be the norm in any way. Gaza survived four continuous days of Israeli attacks that left 25 dead and 80+ injured. Among those injured, some are critical, some are children and some are women. Among those dead there were elderly, women and children. If you have a heart that enables you to claim that children, women and elderly should be killed because they live in Gaza which automatically means they are terrorists, I don’t consider you a human being. Children are children; I would never celebrate the death of Israeli child, ever.
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Beit Furik, Nablus: Family unable to attend funeral for son killed in recent Gaza air strikes

“We called him Nassr, but I think his real name was Mahmoud,” says Ahmed while we were on the bus from the Beit Furik municipality building. Outside the bus window, the walls of the little town just outside of Nablus are plastered with freshly printed martyr posters. The picture shows a middle aged man photoshopped between the Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag.
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The mourning tent of a martyr

Nayif Qarmout was murdered yesterday; he was also buried yesterday, in a small cemetery in the heart of Jabalia, the refugee camp where he lived.  He was only 14 years old.  He was murdered by an Israeli missile while playing football with his friends.  He was a handsome young man, the photo on his martyr posters make that obvious. It was something that I never would have guessed at his funeral,  looking at his bloody bruised face.  Today, Nayif’s family mourned.  The reception line of men lining the entrance to the mourning tent was the most shattered group of men I have ever seen.  Their faces were blank, dead, as though Nayif was not the only murdered yesterday.  Nayif’s photo was on the wall, he looks so young, a child just turning into a man.  We sat down and ate dates as a young man brought coffee around.  Nayif’s uncle, Abdullah came over to talk to us.
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For Three Days the Fire Blazed, Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank

Since Talat Ramia’s murder tranquility had yet to be restored to the streets of Ar-Ram. For the past three days the younger residents had been going out to the streets and protesting against the murder of their friend, while the army pushes them back with a barrage of fire and gas grenades. “He was only twenty five, from a very poor family, his brother is the one who cleans cars at the checkpoint…”, said my friend A’ who added: “Even though I didn’t know him very well, I wanted to cry when they told me the soldiers had killed him for no reason, really it was for no reason…”
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Under the Rubble of Gaza, The Real Reason Israel Attacks

Joharah Baker – MIFTAH – Israel wants one thing, into which it pours all of its military, political and diplomatic efforts to achieve, which is to prevent a Palestinian state from ever coming into being. This has been the case ever since Israel’s creation in 1948 over the ashes of what was Palestine. And it is the case today; its recent invasion of Gaza is just one more piece to the quickly forming puzzle.
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Other Israeli Violence

IOF troops storm West Bank areas

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Khalil and Jenin provinces at dawn Thursday and rounded up three youths in Dhaheria village, local sources said.
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Witnesses: Israeli troops raid Tulkarem

TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided Tulkarem at dawn on Thursday, locals told Ma’an. Soldiers stationed themselves in a southern district of the city and checked locals’ ID cards, witnesses said. No detentions were reported. An Israeli military spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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Siege of Gaza

Occupied Lives: Switching off hospitals

The reality generated by Israel’s longstanding illegal closure, the international sanctions against Gaza’s authorities, and political in-fighting between the Ministries in Gaza and Ramallah, has resulted in a fuel and electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip. Consequently, water and sanitation installations, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are facing severe difficulties in providing basic services to the people of Gaza, undermining the right to health and the right to life. Such problems have been a consistent feature of life in the Gaza Strip since the current closure was imposed in 2007.
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Hana Shalabi

UN expert urges Israel to free female

A United Nations human rights expert has urged the Israeli regime to free Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian female prisoner, who has been on hunger strike since being rearrested by Tel Aviv about a month ago.
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A message from #HanaShalabi’s family 14 March 2012

“We call upon the Palestinian National Authority, all Palestinian national factions and all Palestinians to go to the streets and participate in the support action planned on Saturday March 17 in solidarity with our daughter Hana Al-Shalabi and all administrative detainees. We will continue supporting our daughter’s hunger strike and we want to let our daughter Hana know: we are with you in your hunger strike until you achieve your demand; your immediate release from the unjust Israeli jails. Your support to Hana is necessary to achieve Hana’s immediate release; it is also needed to support our daughter in her open hunger strike which she has started on February 16, 2012. Finally, we call upon all administrative detainees to join Hana’s hunger strike until you achieve your own immediate release and put an end to the unjust Israeli policy of administrative detention which violates human rights and International law.”
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Detainees / Political Prisoners

IOF soldiers round up 12 Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 12 Palestinian citizens in the West Bank provinces of Ramallah, Al-Khalil, and Qalqilia at dawn Thursday, local sources said.
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Israeli troops re-arrest Palestinian freed in Shalit deal

Israeli troops have re-arrested another of the Palestinians released in October under a swap deal with Israel, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said on Tuesday.
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Political detainees in PA jail threaten hunger strike

Political detainees in the Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho are threatening to go on hunger strike if court orders for their release were not carried out.
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Palestinian prisoners to launch open hunger strike next month

Wa’ed society for detainees and ex-detainees said the Palestinian prisoners coordinated their efforts to start the largest open hunger strike next April in all Israeli jails.
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Solidarity / Actvism / BDS

“I can’t take part in these crimes”: Israeli refusenik interviewed, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours

Eighteen-year-old Noam Gur, the first Israeli to reject mandatory military service this year, speaks out about refusing to partake in Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity even if it means jail time.
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“Diamonds Crafted in Israel Should be Banned”

The International diamond-regulatory system set up to end the trade in blood diamonds is under pressure to ban diamonds from Israel because human rights activists state they are funding the Israeli military.
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AICinema 15.3: Screening of Film Roadmap to Apartheid

Please join us at the AICinema on Thursday 15 March at 8.00 p.m. for an Israel Apartheid Week screening of Roadmap to Apartheid, together with the film’s directors.
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AIC Video: Women and Resistance

Suha Barghouti is the Chair of the Palestinian NGO network, and a long-time human rights activist.
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BEIRUT: As a Land Day march to the Israeli-Lebanese border was officially announced Wednesday, an Iranian envoy visited the Blue Line and said that “crazy” Israeli officials are not powerful enough to carry out threats against Iran. The Lebanese organizing committee for the Global March to Jerusalem said Wednesday that groups will leave for “Jerusalem or the closest possible point” from various Palestinian camps and points in Lebanon on March 30, the 26th anniversary of Land Day. “While Palestinians march from Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza and the 1948 lands toward Jerusalem, and thousands of Palestinians head to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Church of the Holy Sepulchre [in Jerusalem], hundreds of thousands of supporters of the Jerusalem cause including Palestinian refugees and Arabs and Muslims will try – alongside free people of the world – to reach the closest point to Jerusalem,” a committee statement said.

In anticipation of the Global March to Jerusalem on Palestinian Land Day (March 30), a new album called “Jerusalem for Us All” brings together tracks donated by a score of international artists working in hip hop, jazz, rock, folk, and a variety of classical cultural traditions.
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Iranian Athletes Support Global March to Jerusalem

As people from all over the world belonging to different types of religions have decided to show their support for the valiant nation of Palestine and Al-Quds, a large number of well-known Iranian athletes voiced support for the Global March to Jerusalem. Since around 65 years ago, Palestinian territories were occupied by the usurper Zionist regime and millions of innocent people were forcefully displaced from their motherland, the statement said, and added with the wave of Islamic Awakening, which has swept through the Middle East and North Africa, now it is the time for the Muslims people in the world, specially the Palestinians, to rise against the Zionist occupiers and get rid of oppression and tyranny.

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South African-Palestinian music video celebrates common struggle against racial intolerance, Ali Abunimah

In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called “The New Black.”

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Political Developments / Diplomacy / Other News

Malaysian FM: No relations with Israel

Malaysian foreign minister Hanifa Aman has affirmed that his country’s policy would not change regarding establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

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Turkey’s Erdogan: Israel must stop ‘massacre’ of Palestinians in Gaza

Turkish PM’s comments came as Egypt mediates tense ceasefire between Israel, Gaza militants, and as Israel warns its citizens against travel to Turkey over imminent terror threat.

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Turks outraged by Israel’s travel advisory

Turkish elements claim Israeli decision to warn tourists against visiting Turkey motivated by desire for revenge over Erdogan statements.

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Israel running ‘apartheid regime’ in Hebron, says man who could be next leader of Germany

Sigmar Gabriel posted on Facebook that he is depressed to see how Israel humiliates Palestinians.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas’ leadership in the Gaza Strip is unlikely to follow through on its end of the reconciliation deal with Fatah anytime soon, a senior party official said Wednesday. The party’s external leadership agreed in Qatar to implement the deal in a joint announcement by politburo chief Khalid Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, disappointing the leadership in Gaza. But a top official in Hamas’ leadership in Gaza said the movement is unconvinced by Fatah’s assurances. For example, it continues to arrest Hamas members in the West Bank. This is in contrast to Gaza, he said. Mashaal is trying to persuade Hamas in Gaza to agree to implement the deal, and that is why he requested a delay from Abbas, according to the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo said Thursday that the national unity agreement will “fade away” without public pressure. Speaking to Ramallah-based Voice of Palestine radio, Abed Rabbo blamed Hamas for the failure to implement a reconciliation agreement signed last May to end years of division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The territories have been governed by rival administrations since 2007 when Hamas ousted Fatah from the Gaza Strip
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya called on US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to visit the Gaza Strip to see the enormity of Israel’s war crimes.
Former president, currently serving 7-year jail sentence for rape, declines to provide police with DNA sample for national criminal database.
Former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit’s father Noam said Wednesday that if he was Palestinian he would try to kidnap IDF soldiers. Schalit, who is running for a Knesset seat with the Labor Party, paraphrased former Labor leader Ehud Barak, who shocked many people when he told anti-Israel activist Gideon Levy in a 1998 interview that if he were Palestinian, he would have joined a terrorist organization.
Our top story today is Fida Jiryis’s piece rebutting a Wall Street Journal article by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren bragging on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.  Well, amazingly, today’s Wall Street Journal features four letters, including one from Jiryis, taking sharp exception to Ambassador Oren’s op-ed.
Amb. Michael Oren’s article, ‘Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians,’ presents Israel as a tolerant, dove-like, and peaceful democracy. This is belied by the facts. I am one of those Palestinian Christians living inside Israel to whom Oren refers. At no time in my life have I ever felt the ‘respect and appreciation’ by the Jewish state, which Oren so glowingly references. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one or, at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans, and when we get on the bus — in the same way as Palestinian Muslims.
An Israeli news magazine report in 3D animation on Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, which produces enough plutonium every year to make another 10 nuclear weapons (Israel is thought to have 400 atom bombs, among the biggest stockpiles in the world). The report is based on the information given by nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, treated by Israel rather as Bradley Manning has been treated by the US.
Extreme anti-Palestinian group NGO Monitor is disrespecting the late US Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. and perpetrating a fraud by disseminating a fake quote in an attempt to smear people as anti-Semites.
Did the Palestinian leader killed by Israeli forces plan an attack? Without transparency, there’s no accountability to the court. The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was “the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit”, the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011 attack that took place on the Israeli-Egyptian border – even though the PRC denied involvement and it was later revealed that the militants came from Sinai, not Gaza.
Ethan Bronner may be on his way out, but the New York Times’ habitual deference to the Israeli government’s line isn’t about to leave with him. The latest example: Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram’s coverage of the recent Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip.
I recently spoke to Alternet’s Joshua Holland about law and politics in Israel. Our conversation focused on the image of Israel as a Western style democracy coping with legitimate security concerns versus the reality of Israel as an ethnocratic state managing its demographic peril through authoritarian measures approved by the Jewish majority. The discussion can be heard here. Below is a transcript via Alternet.
The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah appeared on Democracy Now this morning to discuss Israel’s extrajudicial executions and attacks in Gaza and reports of a ceasefire, Hillary Clinton’s support for armed struggle, the ongoing hunger strike of Hana al-Shalabi, now in its 27th day and the Harvard One-State Conference.
In response to the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip Hillary Clinton repeated the political mantra “Israel has the right to self-defence”. The statement is absolutely true of course, but that right does not allow Israel to commit offensive strikes on its neighbours or to get its retaliation in first. Nor does it permit attacks on civilian areas, and under no circumstances does it legitimize the use of experimental weapons in civilian areas (to which I shall return later).
On March 8, Palestinian women rallied in Gaza and Ramallah to mark International Women’s Day. Activities were held in various cities, villages and refugee camps. Women in Palestine are united by a shared struggle, untold hardship, and also a legendary ability to withstand, survive and flourish under the harshest of circumstances.
Gaza Center for Political and Development Studies (CPDS) held Tuesday, March 13 a lecture on Palestinian and Irish Women in War Literature, delivered by Dima T. Tahboub, comparative literature professor, with the presence of Palestinian activists and students. The lecture began with an opening speech by Dr. Mahmoud Alhirthani, CPDS chairman, in which he welcomed the guest and stressed the importance of the topic being discussed. The lecture quoted Chinua Achebe’s saying “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”, in reference to the history of the occupied people being defamed by their oppressors. She continued, “If we have stories, people know us. We are what we say.  We are the story we tell”.
We ask you to arm Gaza tooNews about Israel’s latest killing spree against the people of the Gaza Strip has only occupied a small amount of airtime in the news bulletins of Arab TV stations. This is a source of great anger, especially when those channels are in Arab Spring countries seeking to restore dignity and freedom for their people. It begs the question of what is going on in our region, and what is being decided for our people behind closed doors. Aren’t the Arabs supposed to be as one body? Isn’t it forbidden for anyone to shed Arab blood, especially the Israelis?
International law permits justifiable self-defense. Targeted killings are prohibited, especially premeditated ones like America and Israel repeatedly commit for reasons other than claimed. These incidents constitute cold-blooded murder. US drone killings and rampaging death squads, as well as Israel’s deplorable history and latest ritual slaughter highlight the issue. International law prohibits anticipatory self-defense. It amounts to using force to deter it.
‘Death to Christians’ and ‘death to Arabs’ was scrawled in Hebrew last week on an old monastery and properties of Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem. On February 20th a Baptist church was defiled with graffiti insulting Jesus’ mother. Earlier in the same month, an 11th century Greek Orthodox Monastery was desecrated. The work carried the hallmark signature of ‘Price Tag.’
How can one start to describe the events, emotions and encouragements experienced at the 2012 Occupy AIPAC event in Washington, D.C., timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Occupy AIPAC was organized by the fearless ladies of Code Pink and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a coalition of over 350 activist organizations around the U.S., dedicated to fighting for peace and justice for Palestinians in Israel and around the world.
Mourners at the funeral of a 22-year-old man killed by security forces were attacked shortly after they buried his body on Tuesday, activists have said. Saida Fadhel Mirza al-Obeidi died on Saturday, nine days after being hit with a canister of tear gas fired by security forces, opposition activists said. Doctors said his skull was fractured and he died later of his wounds.
Bahraini protesters have held a demonstration against the ruling Al Khalifa regime in the northwestern village of Diraz, Press TV reports.
Bahrain’s Nursing Association has begun a week of resistance against the Saudi invasion of the country on the first anniversary of the arrival of KSA troops to help Manama in its brutal crackdown on protests.
Bahrain rejected on Wednesday a new report by an international media watchdog describing the Gulf Arab state as an “enemy of the Internet” after it crushed a pro-democracy uprising last year. “Bahrain offers a perfect example of successful crackdowns, with an information blackout achieved through an impressive arsenal of repressive measures,” the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a report published this week.
Clinton reportedly told her Russian counterpart to rely message to Tehran that it must engage in talks with world powers or face a military strike within months, according to Russian daily Kommersant.
A poll conducted in the United States has revealed that only 25 per cent of the American people back US military support for Israel if the latter declares a military strike on Iran. The poll was carried out by the Anwar Al-Sadat Foundation for Peace and Development and the Programme on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. It noted that half of all Americans (approximately 49 per cent) are in favour of a neutral position by the US if Tel Aviv goes ahead with a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities; 27 per cent believe that the United States should make concerted efforts to stop a war; 22 per cent think that their country does not have to get involved at all.
Just when you thought it was safe to come out from your air raid shelter after Bibi returned from his U.S. foray to stoke up war fever, Maariv raises the temperature to a boiling point.  Ben Caspit reports (Hebrew) that the cabinet now has, for the first time, a majority (eight votes for, six votes against) favoring the measure.  This means that theoretically Bibi can begin an attack at any time.  Of course, it could mean something different: it could mean the cabinet has approved a strike at any point in future with Bibi determining the timing.  So it doesn’t necessarily mean the F-16s will fly tonight or tomorrow.
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Saudi Arabia

Saudi protests spread to different cities
Protests have spread to a number of cities in Saudi Arabia following the suppression of a demonstration held by female students at a university last Wednesday, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said on Tuesday. The Cairo-based NGO released a statement saying the anger of students has spread and “gone beyond [the city of] Abha to larger parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” where “several protests have taken place in the cities of Riyadh, al-Namas, Ar’ar, Qatif, and al-Rabeeah.”

The state media in Saudi Arabia says Crown Prince Nayef, who is heir to the aging king, has received the country’s senior officials in the United States, where he’s been undergoing medical tests.
On the one-year anniversary of protests that marked the start of the uprising in Syria, thousands gathered in the capital of Damascus Thursday to rally for the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Two prominent Syrian dissidents said Wednesday they have quit the main opposition group that emerged from the year-old uprising against the regime in Damascus in protest over what one of the men described as an “autocratic” organization.
Russia is providing Syria with weapons to fend off external threats but has no intention to use military force to protect Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Russian foreign minister said on Wednesday. Sergey Lavrov said that Russia isn’t supplying any arms that could be used against protesters, and issued a moderate criticism of Assad for being slow to conduct vital reforms. “We are selling weapons to Syria for its national defense, national security,” Lavrov told lawmakers in the lower house of Russian parliament.
The Syrian army has recaptured most of the northern rebel stronghold of Idlib near the Turkish border, pushing hundreds of military defectors out of a major base they had held for months even as pockets of resistance keep up their fight.
Roughly 1,000 Syrian refugees, including a defecting general, have crossed into Turkey in the last 24 hours, a day after government troops retook the rebel stronghold of Idlib near the Turkish border, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Thursday. “The number of Syrian refugees currently staying in Turkey boomed by 1,000 in a single day and climbed to 14,700 total,” ministry spokesperson Selçuk Unal told reporters in Ankara, on the one-year anniversary of the Syrian revolt. The latest wave of arrivals crossed the border to join rebel forces which have a base in Turkey’s Hatay province on the border with Syria, according to Unal.  “With the Syrian general who arrived yesterday, we now host seven generals on our side of the border,” he said.
Syria could send eight athletes to the 2012 Olympics, but IOC chief Jacques Rogge has warned that if those competitors are implicated in war crimes, they will be banned from entering London.
“Assad has killed so many people that he deserves a fate worse than Kadhafi’s,” spits Ammar al-Wawi, a one-time Syrian officer now second-in-command of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
In 2008, Iraqi activist and journalist Hana Ibrahim fled her home in Baghdad to Damascus, taking her two children with her. They had grown up under sanctions and war, and had as such never enjoyed the level of security they found in Syria. But even that has become a thing of the past.

Syria’s Druze Shun Jumblatt

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has repeatedly called for the Druze of Sweida in southern Syria to join the anti-Assad uprising. Jumblatt’s overtures, however, have so far fallen on deaf ears.

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Lebanese Druze Clergy to Jumblatt: Not in Our Name

Walid Jumblatt’s relationship with the spiritual authorities within the Druze community is temperamental. The sheikhs are partners when they share Jumblatt’s view on a particular decision, and when the clerics defy the lord of Mukhtara, suddenly it is all about socialism and the separation of politics and religion. Today, Jumblatt and the Druze clergy are on opposing sides of the Syrian crisis.

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Assad’s Frustrated Foreign Enemies, Ibrahim al-Amin

Various parties have been assessing the outlook for the crisis in Syria based on the evidence on the ground. The domestic scene is set to remain polarized for a long time. National understandings that can restore the country’s political unity and a cohesive national identity cannot be expected any time soon. The external scene has meanwhile become more complicated in light of the intensifying battle between the two camps over who will take hold of Syria, or who will wield the most influence in it.

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Al-Jazeera’s Identity Crisis

Nowadays, it has become commonplace to hear comments such as these: You cannot be serious asking me about a story whose source is Al Jazeera! Is it reasonable to base your case on a news item from Al Jazeera? Do you feel comfortable within yourself working for Al Jazeera? Can you speak your mind or register your objections if you work for Al Jazeera? Do you really waste hours of your time watching Al Jazeera?

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Fighting from civilian areas? Perfectly understandable– in Syria, Philip Weiss

From a story about Syrian violence on NPR Monday night: “Melissa Block speaks with Al Jazeera correspondent Anita McNaught about Syria’s governmental crackdown on Idlib. She was there over the weekend, and is now in Antakya, Turkey, on the border with Syria.”

Other Arab / World News

StratforLeaks: Google Ideas Director Involved in ‘Regime Change’

Top Google execs, including the company’s CEO and one of Barack Obama’s major presidential campaign donors Eric Schmidt, informed the intelligence agency Stratfor about Google’s activities and internal communication regarding “regime change” in the Middle East, according to Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks and obtained by Al-Akhbar. The other source was Google’s director for security and safety Marty Lev.

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Jeremy Scahill: Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison?

The Obama administration is facing scrutiny for its role in the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who exposed the U.S. role in a 2009 bombing in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children. In January 2011, a Yemeni state security court gave the journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a five-year jail sentence on terrorism-related charges following a disputed trial that was condemned by several human rights and press freedom groups. Within a month of Shaye’s sentencing, then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced he was going to pardon the journalist. But Saleh changed his mind after a phone call from President Obama. Thirteen months later, Shaye remains behind bars. We speak award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill and Mohamed Abdel Dayem of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Amnesty International to Clinton: No more aid for Egypt

The State Department is getting ready to decide if Egypt has done enough to earn its $1.5 billion in U.S. aid for this year, and one leading human rights organization is telling Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the answer is no. “Amnesty International USA is deeply concerned about the ongoing repression of the Egyptian people by the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt,” the advocacy groupwrote in a Wednesday letter to Clinton. “Given the human rights violations in Egypt, the US State Department cannot in good faith certify to the US Congress that the Egyptian government is protecting human rights.”

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Kuwait to probe torture and corruption allegations

The Kuwaiti parliament voted on Wednesday to set up probes into allegations of corruption, smuggling and torture, the state KUNA news agency reported. Members of the new opposition-dominated parliament agreed to set up two commissions of inquiry into allegations of corruption relating to members of the previous parliament, KUNA said. Former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a member of the Gulf emirate’s ruling family, is accused of having transferred hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds into private accounts he held abroad.

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Maid in Lebanon abuse video kills herself

Suicide comes days after footage emerged of Ethiopian woman being violently dragged on Beirut street by male employer.

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Outrage over rape victim suicide in Morocco

Morocco’s internet activists mobilized on Wednesday in outrage over the suicide of a 16-year-old rape victim who killed herself after she was forced to marry her rapist.

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Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Ethnic Cleansing / Land Theft & Destruction / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Apartheid / Restriction of movement / Threats to Palestinian culture and religion


The isolated corner
ISM 15 Mar by ‘Axel’ — In the outer part of Bethlehem very close to Rachel’s Tomb, Mariam (who wishes not to use her actual name) runs her small Palestinian souvenir shop … Before 2002 her husband had an auto mechanic shop in this building, perfectly located right next to the main road to Jerusalem. The business was good back then. Palestinians as well as Israelis came here to get their car fixed or buy parts, and just next door, Mariam had a shop for home accessories. All this changed radically in 2002 when the area became a ‘military zone’. Suddenly the road was closed and the family that lives on the floors above the shops became prisoners in their own home as soldiers turned their house into a military base. Sometimes they took a  room or two, but other days the whole family of seven were forced to stay in one room without being able to go out. Both shops had to close and life became hard. The next year in 2003, the Israeli government built the apartheid wall that is now surrounding the house from three sides. The land around them that is owned by her uncle was confiscated and is now on the other side of the wall, out of reach for the family that no longer can travel outside the West Bank without permission, a permission that is rarely given.

Sheds demolished in Nablus area

NABLUS (WAFA) 15 Mar — Israeli bulldozers Thursday demolished a number of Palestinian sheds in an area east of Beit Forik, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlements activities in the northern parts of the West Bank. No reason was given for the demolition.

West Bank green energy project creating tension between Israel and Germany

14 Mar Joseph Dana — Germany has long been a leader in sustainable energy projects throughout the world. Last month, a German funded green energy project in the West Bank ran into some trouble when Israeli authorities ordered its demolition. Questions about the project’s future, which supplies various Palestinian communities with green energy, have started a spirited debate in the German press leading to a political row between Israel and Germany. For Monocle 24, I interview the director of the project and some representatives of the German government.

Group demands lifting restrictions on Palestinian mobility

GENEVA (WAFA) 15 Mar — Around 300 international non-governmental organizations signed an appeal on Wednesday demanding lifting of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian mobility in the occupied West Bank, Thursday said a statement by the Euromid Observer for Human Rights (Euro-Mid). The plea was submitted in a seminar on Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian Territory hosted by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Euro-Mid regional director, Amani al-Sinwar, gave a detailed presentation of Israel’s main violations under its last escalation in the Gaza Strip, and the unjustified Israeli restrictions imposed on Palestinians in the occupied territories. Sinwar also briefed the seminar on Euro-Mid’s report on the travel bans Israel issues against Palestinians, which amounted to 4,000 in 2011.

Jerusalem Awkaf director turns down invitation by Knesset to discuss Aqsa affair

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 15 Mar — Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, the director of the Jerusalem Awkaf (Endowment), has refused to attend a special Israeli parliamentary session allocated for discussing Aqsa mosque affairs. The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage quoted Khatib as rejecting the application of any Israeli law on the holy site. He said that the Israeli Knesset’s education and sports committee had invited him to speak about the ‘demolitions of relics’ in the Aqsa mosque, adding that the invitation was made by two far right members who do not respect holy shrines of other religions.

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Occupation closes roads in Jerusalem for a marathon

AL-KHALIL (PIC) 16 Mar — IOF troops started Friday morning closing roads in the occupied city of Jerusalem for a marathon run organised by the Zionist municipality, which Palestinians view as part of the municipality’s Judaization efforts. Local sources said that IOF troops closed a number of roads and entrances to Palestinian neighbourhoods in al-Masharef mount and Tour mount and near the walls of the Aqsa Mosque. Thousands of IOF troops and occupation police were deployed on the roads.

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Israeli forces

PCHR weekly report 8-14 March: ’24 Palestinians killed, 74 wounded’

The PCHR said that, after Israel started its most recent aggression against the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army carried out 36 air strikes and fired 43 missiles into the coastal region, killing 24 Palestinians, including one child, a woman and two elderly men … The PCHR further stated that 74 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire and shells in the reported period, and that 59 of the casualties, including 16 children and 7 women, were civilians. The arbitrary Israeli bombardment in Gaza led to the destruction of at least 32 Palestinians homes, in addition to a school, a workshop and a center that belong to the Red Crescent Society … Soldiers also kidnapped 11 Palestinians, including two children, in the West Bank, and carried out 56 invasions into Palestinian cities, villages, towns, and refugee camps. Three Palestinians, including a child, were kidnapped by the army at military roadblocks in the West Bank. Full Report

Video: Israeli soldiers sic attack dog on protesters in Qufer Qaddoum

Pop. Struggle 16 Mar — Soon after the demonstration began, clashes between Israeli Border Police officers who shot tear-gas projectiles and rubber-coated bullets and local youth who threw stones at the forces developed. Roughly 15 minutes later – in a scene that seemed as if it was taking place in the American South of the 1960s – Border Police officers decided to sic an army dog at a group of the demonstrators, standing several dozens of meters away. The dog chased after the protesters, biting and locking his jaws into the arm of one of them – Ahmad Shtawi. For long minutes, the dog would not release its hold of the bleeding arm, even as its handler arrived at the scene and tried to order it to do so. The Border Police officers then arrested Shtawi, despite the fact he was in obvious need of medical attention.

Clashes between locals and IOF troops south of Al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL (PIC) 16 Mar — Clashes between Palestinian residents of the town of Dura to the south of al-Khalil and IOF troops broke out at dawn Friday after IOF troops in military jeeps raided the town.  Muhammad Jihad from Dura told PIC that two patrols crossed the Tabaqa crossroads connecting Dura and Kharsa to the south and started to fire teargas and rubber coated bullets towards local residents prompting local youth to respond with stones and empty bottles.  Meanwhile, IOF troops raided the villages of al-Majd, Deir al-Asal and Beit al-Roush to the west of al-Khalil.
IOF troops were also deployed in large numbers into the alleyways of the old city of al-Khalil and near the Ibrahimi Mosque.  Local sources told PIC correspondents that IOF troops on foot were present in large numbers from an early hour on Friday in the alleyways of the old city. They stopped and searched passersby.  The Israeli occupation usually step up measures around the Ibrahimi Mosque on Fridays at the pretext of preventing clashes between local Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

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Soldier with 188th Armored Brigade left behind – again

Ynet 15 Mar — Mere month after soldier was accidentally forgotten in Ramallah same brigade leaves another solder near Palestinian village of Rantis. IDF inquiry launched,7340,L-4203623,00.html

Givati troops beat rookie comrades with rods

Ynet 16 Mar — Court extends remand of two combat soldiers suspected of physically, verbally abusing troops new to their battalion. ‘This deep-rooted practice must be uprooted,’ judge says,7340,L-4203823,00.html


Casualties of the last attacks on Gaza: Visit to Shifa Hospital

[photos] ISM / il Blog di Oliva 15 Mar  by Rosa Schiano — This morning we went to pay a visit to the wounded at the Shifa Hospital. Most of them have fractures and burns … Moath Nofal Abo El-Eash, 20: On Monday around 1:30AM two missiles hit Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza city. The first attack was carried out by a drone. The missile hit the Hammad family home. More than 30 people have been injured, including 21 children. The house has been completely destroyed and others have been damaged. Abo El- Eash’s  house was close to the the Hammad’s family. Moath had heard the explosions, and his neighbors asked him to go out to try to save Hammad’s family.  As soon when he got out of his home an F-16 launched another missile. Moath has injuries from burns all over his body, particularly on his face and splinters in several parts of his body. I asked him if he felt like telling a message to the world after what had happened to him. Moath replied, “My image is enough to tell the world.”
Dr. Maher Sukkar, vice president of the plastic surgery department at Shifa Hospital, told us that they will ask to analyze

The splinters from the weapons used in order to determine if they are carcinogenic. Before saying goodbye, he told us that the weapons used are American.

Israeli aircraft open fire west of Gaza City

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Mar 21:51 — Israeli helicopters opened fire toward farmland in the Sheikh Ajlen area west of Gaza City late Thursday, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokeswoman said aircraft fired warning shots in response to rocket fire.

Occupation sea and air forces break ceasefire in Gaza

GAZA (PIC) 16 Mar — Israeli occupation forces on Thursday evening shelled  the city of Gaza from the air and sea without  reports of any casualties. Local sources told PIC correspondent that Israeli occupation gun boats opened machinegun fire towards Sheikh Ajleen neighbourhood of Gaza City … In the meantime, Israeli occupation helicopters opened machinegun fire at the eastern parts of Gaza City

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Two rockets hit Israel as Gaza truce firms up

AFP 16 Mar — Militants in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into southern Israel on Friday, officials said, as a fledgling truce in and around the Palestinian territory firmed up. “One rocket hit an empty field in the Eshkol region, causing no damage or injuries,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. An additional rocket hit an uninhabited area of the northwestern Negev desert early on Friday morning, according to the Israeli military.

Islamic Jihad says committed to truce

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) updated 16 Mar — Islamic Jihad remains committed to a truce with Israel but will retaliate to any attacks on the Palestinian people, leader Ahmad al-Mudallal said Thursday. The Egypt-brokered ceasefire took hold at 1 a.m. Tuesday … Within 24 hours of the truce, Israel bombed northern Gaza and on Wednesday night Israeli warplanes again shelled the northern and southern Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said the strikes were in response to rockets fired from Gaza. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma‘an that nine projectiles have landed in Israel since the truce began. No faction has claimed responsibility for firing any projectiles since the ceasefire.

Arab parliamentary convoy arrives in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Mar — An Arab parliamentary convoy arrived Thursday in Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Abdul Qader Samary, chairman of the Arab committee to lift the siege on Gaza, said, “we will continue struggling to liberate Palestine from the enemy who acts outside any laws.” … An Egyptian security source in Rafah told Ma’an that the convoy consists of 28 tons of medicines and medical equipment and seven truckloads of clothes.

1 killed, another hurt by gunfire at memorial

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 15 Mar 20:55 — A Palestinian was killed and another injured by gunfire during a memorial service for a victim of the escalation between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, a medical official said Thursday. Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma‘an that the young man was pronounced dead at Shifa Hospital and another person was determined to be seriously injured after the accidental shooting in eastern Gaza City.

Activism / Solidarity

Eight injured, one seriously, as Israeli troops attack West Bank anti-wall protests

IMEMC 16 Mar — Protests were organized in the central West Bank villages of Bil‘in, Ni‘lin and al Nabi Saleh. Eight protesters including one international supporter were injured by Israeli fire at a protest in the village of al Nabi Saleh. The international activist was seriously injured when she was hit with many rubber-coated steel bullets fired by Israeli troops. al Nabi Saleh villagers and their international and Israeli supporters marched after the midday prayers on Friday to protest Israel’s confiscation of their lands to build a settlement. Troops attacked the march before they even left the village. Soldiers invaded the villages and fired tear gas into people’s homes; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Soldiers also sprayed residents homes with chemical water. Also on Friday, soldiers used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets to suppress the anti wall protests at the villages of Bil‘in and Ni‘lin. Many there were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Image: Israeli shot in head with rubber bullets in Nabi Saleh / Noam Sheizaf

972mag 16 Mar — The Israeli army used rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas against protesters in the village of Nabi Saleh today (Friday). Naomi Laet, An Israeli protester aged 22, seen below, was hit with a rubber bullet in her head. According to reports, another Palestinian was injured from a rubber bullet. The injured protesters were taken to a hospital. Protests in Nabi Saleh have been going on for more than two years, following the confiscation of the village’s land by the nearby settlement of Halamish. One protester has been killed from a tear gas canister shot directly at his head, and dozens have been in injured.

When teargas and rubber bullets aren’t enough, Israeli soldiers release the hounds on unarmed Palestinian protesters

Ni‘lin Sons 16 Mar — In Kufur Qaddoum, clashes between Israeli Border Police officers who shot tear-gas projectiles and rubber-coated bullets and local youth who threw stones at the forces developed. Roughly 15 minutes later … Border Police officers decided to sic an army dog at a group of the demonstrators, standing several dozens of meters away. The dog chased after the protesters, biting and locking his jaws into the arm of one of them … Two other residents of the village were injured during the demonstration, after being hit by tear-gas projectiles shot directly at them. One was hit in the leg and another in the shoulder. The weekly protest in Kufer Qaddoum, west of Nablus, was dedicated to the memory of Rachel Corrie – an American protester who was killed after an Israeli D9 bulldozer drove over her in Rafah exactly nine years ago, on March 16, 2003.

In Nabi Saleh, at least three protesters were injured during the demonstration, including an Israeli woman who was hit in the head by a rubber-coated bullet. The two others hit were lightly injured, one by a rubber-coated bullet and the other by a tear-gas projectile. The woman was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital. Earlier today, large forces entered the village and sprayed a foul-smelling liquid known as the Skunk from a water cannon. During the night, the army staged yet another raid on the village, the fifth in a week’s time.

In Ni’lin, demonstration was held despite the rainy weather, the demonstration was dedicated to the American activist Tristan Anderson who was shot by high velocity tear gas projectile in his head by the Israeli soldiers in 13.03.2009 in the middle of Ni’lin village … Israeli soldiers fired massive tear gas canister at protester, rubber coated bullets and skunk water, one demonstrator was hit with a rubber bullet in his hand and was treated directly

In Photos: Bethlehem met with rain of Israeli violence

Al Ma‘sara Popular Committee –Today the weekly demo of Al-Ma‘sara, near Bethlehem, was underway as dozens of Palestinians and Israelis demonstrated in  the heavy rain against the wall in solidarity with Hana Shalabi . Israeli Occupartion Forces first attacked Mahmoud Zawahre, the coordinator Of Al-Ma‘sara Popular Committee, tearing his clothes before he managed to escape them. After that they started attacking people with their batons and  arrested four Israeli activists. They were later released. They  also broke the camera of journalist, Musa Alshaer. After that they broke the glass of one Palestinian car.

In memory of a hero: Rachel speaks truth

ISM 16 Mar — On the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s martyrdom today, the rain fell in quiet tears that watered Palestine in a confusing emotion of remorse and yet optimism — the same optimism we hear in the voice of Rachel’s diaries and actions … While Palestine is indeed special, it is obvious that it shares much with what the world has struggled for, and International Solidarity Movement threads the humanization of the world as the fabric of solidarity work with Palestinians. Today Palestine and earth, the earth that has inherited the great sacrifices of Rachel Corrie, quietly wept and yet persisted with her memory for the very ideals she died for: freedom and justice.

PSP activists plant 50 trees in south Hebron Hills

15 Mar — On Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, activists from Palestine Solidarity Project planted 50 olive and almond trees in Jabal Al-Sandab, in the south Hebron hills. The land belongs to Yusri Al-Jamal, and the planting of olive and almond trees allows him to protect his land from settlers and soldiers by laying claim to it. When land is not being cultivated, it is easier for Israeli occupation forces to confiscate it. Jabal Al-Sandab is near the Hagai settlement. Some of the people who live in this settlement moved directly there from Gaza when the settlements there were dismantled in 2005. We fully expected our farming activity to be interrupted by settlers or soldiers, but fortunately our planting continued in peace and with a lot of national and international press.

Hanaa’ al-Shalabi / Other hunger strikers

Serious deterioration in the health of Palestinian detainee

RAMALLAH (PIC) 16 Mar — Palestinian captive, Hana’ al-Shalabi  enters today her 30th day of hunger strike. She informed her lawyer that she stopped taking salt and is only taking water and that she will continue until her release.  According to her lawyer, Raed Mahameed, that Shalabi was examined by a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights and the doctor said that she suffers from law heart beat rate, law blood sugar, loss of weight, weakness in muscles, yellowing of the eyes and high levels of salt  in the blood which affected her kidneys causing her pain in her sides specially the left side as well as pain in chest bones.

link to

Shalabi’s hunger strike tests Israeli jailing policy

RAMALLAH (Reuters) 15 Mar — The deteriorating health of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for the past month is focusing international attention on Israel’s decades-old use of detention without trial … In many instances, Israeli military authorities explain detentions in terms of their security concerns, and base cases on evidence from local informants or members of its own security services whose identities are not revealed. “Evidence isn’t revealed and the way decisions against defendants are met is kept secret. Accusations and evidence are kept from the defendant and their lawyer, and the judge is made to act in the capacity of the defense,” Naama Baumgarten-Sharon of the Israeli rights group B’Tselem said of the procedure. Israel’s High Court has upheld the procedure for decades, siding with the government’s argument that detention without trial is a necessary security measure.

Rally in support of striking prisoner Shalabi suppressed

RAMALLAH (WAFA) 15 Mar — Israeli soldiers Thursday suppressed a rally near Ofer military camp and prison, west of Ramallah, held in support of Hana Shalabi, who is on hunger strike for 29 straight days. Soldiers fired tear gas at the protesters who were calling for an end to the occupation and the liberation of all prisoners. Many suffered from gas inhalation and suffocation.

Prisoner joins Shalabi’s hunger strike

JENIN (Ma‘an) 16 Mar  — A Palestinian detainee entered his sixth day on hunger strike on Friday in solidarity with prisoner Hana Shalabi, a detainees’ center said. Jafar Abu Salah, 45, was detained by Israeli forces from his home in Arraba village in the northern West Bank. Israeli courts have postponed his hearing 11 times, the center said. Abu Salah has been detained by Israel four times. The prisoner started the hunger strike, despite suffering health and stomach problems, in solidarity with Shalabi, a 29-year-old detainee who has refused food for 30 days.

Twenty-four Palestinians are on hunger strike

MEMO 16 Mar — Officials within the Israeli prison authority have expressed concern about the increasing phenomenon of Palestinian prisoners, especially administrative detainees, going on hunger strike. The numbers have risen after Khader Adnan went on hunger strike for 66 days resulting in a decision not to extend his detention and for him to be released next month. According to sources with the authority, 23 Palestinian prisoners, not including Hana Al-Shalabi who has been on a hunger strike for about a month, started a hunger strike in the past few days. Most are administrative detainees being held without charge or trial.


Administrative detention: Israel’s way of bypassing justice

Al-Akhbar 16 Mar By: Fadi Abu Saada — Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their families have suffered from the humiliation brought on by a single law, one that Israel uses to jail people without charges — British Origins — The British were not content with the calamitous Balfour Declaration which led to the Palestinian catastrophe. They went further with their injustice with a set of unfair laws in Palestine which live on today. The Israeli occupation forces found such measures to be perfectly suited for their needs, so they began to implement them immediately. One of these is “administrative detention,” which allows for the detention of Palestinians for up to 6 months without a charge. Worse yet, the period can be repeatedly renewed, completely circumventing due process.

Mother with baby arrested while crossing checkpoint in Hebron

HEBRON (WAFA) 15 Mar — Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint at Shuhada street, in the old city of Hebron, Thursday arrested a 28-year-old Palestinian woman when she tried to cross the checkpoint with her three-year-old child, claiming she tried to attack the soldiers, according to local sources. They said the mother, Inas Ghanim, had to give her baby to one of her neighbors who happened to be passing by the checkpoint at the time. She was taken to a police station in a nearby settlement.

Violent raid on Ofer jail, injuries reported

RAMALLAH (PIC) 15 Mar — Special forces from Metsada and Nahshun units violently stormed on Wednesday evening Ofer prison west of Ramallah amid intensive firing of tear gas grenades and embarked on assaulting the prisoners and damaging their belongings.

link to

Captive Abbas al-Sayyed refuses to give DNA samples

TULKAREM (PIC) 16 Mar — Abbas al-Sayyed, a detained Hamas leader, refused to give a saliva sample to the Jalbu’ prison administration which is collecting prisoner data to keep in a database, according to a letter he sent to his wife with his lawyer informing her of what happened…

link to

Palestinians ask Israeli court to halt DNA tests

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 16 Mar — The Palestinian Authority has asked Israel’s highest court to halt the taking of DNA samples from Palestinian prisoners against their will, a PA minister said on Thursday. “We petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court yesterday against the humiliating treatment of our prisoners,” prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He said that at Shita prison in northern Israel, which holds mainly Palestinian security prisoners, inmates were forcibly restrained while samples of hair were taken and their mouths swabbed.

Palestinian suspected of stabbing soldier arrested

JERUSALEM (WAFA)15 Mar – Israeli forces Thursday arrested a Palestinian at Qalandia checkpoint, halfway between Jerusalem and Ramallah, suspected of stabbing a female Israeli soldier at a train station in the colony of Pisgat Zeev, east of Jerusalem, according to Israeli reports


Syrian security forces ‘warn Palestinian camp

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Mar  — Sources in Damascus say Syrian security forces threatened to raid the Yarmuk refugee camp due to Fatah’s alleged support of demonstrations against Syrian leader Bashar Assad … Syrian security forces have detained a number of Fatah members: Ayman Juda Abu Ala, public action official in Yarmuk, Jihad Abu Yousef, Abdul Wahed Kherma, Firas Tahmaz, and Amjad Sadya. The claims could not be independently verified from outside the country, but Syrian forces have at times harshly attacked Palestinians over the course of an uprising against Assad’s regime. In August, a bloody campaign against the coastal town of Latakia killed dozens of Palestinians.

Stop humiliating Palestinian refugees

Daily Star 16 Mar by By Sari Hanafi — …While listening to Bachelet, I felt bitter about how Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have also been the victims of unjust laws, supported by the bureaucracy and politicians. At the same time, just laws that might improve the situation of those refugees have not been implemented. Let’s take two examples. On Aug. 7, 2010, after much hesitation and heated debate, Lebanon’s Parliament ratified a law to facilitate the employment of Palestinian refugees. The law represented something new in the uneasy Palestinian-Lebanese relationship. It also effectively continued to legalize discrimination, to use the term employed by the journalist Talal Salman, prohibiting Palestinians from working in more than 30 professions, while allowing other foreigners to do so.

Political, diplomatic, economic news

A year on, unity activists ponder next steps

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Mar — The anniversary of the March 15 movement to restore unity to the occupied territories passed quietly Thursday, with no major rallies in Palestinian cities. The principal demands of the masses who demonstrated in the West Bank and Gaza have yet to be met, but the leaders of Fatah and Hamas technically agreed to reconcile in May 2011. Progress has stalled ever since. The Palestinian National Council has not held elections, as promised, nor have the Fatah and Hamas factions formed a unity government. Parliament elections planned for this year seem unlikely anytime soon.

World Bank: Economic slowdown in Palestinian Authority endangers state-building efforts

Haaretz 15 Mar — Slower growth and drop in international aid, combined with Israeli restrictions, have led to a worsening economic situation in the West Bank, according to a new report by the World Bank.

Mashaal to Erdogan: Israeli aggression unjustified

Ynet 16 Mar — Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Friday and briefed the him over the latest round of violence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. During the two-hour meeting, Mashaal accused the Jewish state of “fabricating excuses” to attack the Palestinians. He also claimed that Israel has turned Gaza into a testing field for its weapons and the Iron Dome missile defense system.,7340,L-4203880,00.html

Zahhar thanks Iran for supporting Palestinians

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 16 Mar  — Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar on Thursday thanked Iran for its “unlimited” support to Palestinians. Speaking at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, Zahhar said Iran supported Palestine without expecting anything in return, reports said … Zahhar has made conflicting statements about the role Hamas would play if Israel attacked Iran.

Britain condemns Israeli settlement relocation

LONDON (WAFA) 16 Mar — British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt Friday called on the Israeli government to rescind its decision to move settlers from the illegal West Bank outpost Migron to a new nearby location … “We are deeply concerned that this agreement sets a dangerous precedent for other outposts that are illegal under both international and Israeli law. It is also directly contrary to the commitments Israel made to the international community under the Quartet Roadmap to evacuate all outposts,” said the British minister.

European Parliament calls on Israel to respect signed agreements

STRASBOURG (WAFA) 16 Mar — The European Parliament (EP) Thursday expressed deep concern about Israeli army raids on two Palestinian television stations in Ramallah late last month and called on Israel to return equipment it seized at the two stations, according to an EP resolution. It also said that Israeli raids on Palestinian-controlled areas are a breach of the Oslo accords signed in 1993.

Racism / Discrimination

UN body ‘appalled’ by Israel’s racial segregation policies

EI 16 Mar by Adri Nieuwhof and Mireille Fanon Mendès-France — Israel is criticized for violating the right to equality in a new report by theUN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). An advance version of the CERD report indicates that racial prejudice can be found in almost every facet of Israeli life (“Concluding observations of the

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” 9 March 2012 [PDF]). CERD is a body of legal specialists who monitor the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which states that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous.

Israeli budget reinforces discrimination against 1948 Palestinians

Al-Akhbar 16 Mar by Charlotte Silver — … In 2007, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office established the Authority for the Economic Development of the Minority Sector with the goal to improve minorities’ economic activity. In 2010, on the eve of Israel’s admittance into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Israeli politicians ramped up their lip service to close the gap between the Arab and Jewish sectors. Citing the negative impact a low-performing minority sector has on the overall Israeli economy,politicians promised to make economic equality a priority. Yet nearly two years later, the Palestinian community within the 1948 borders – 20 percent of the national population – is still only allotted 6.25 percent of the 2012 state budget.

In meeting with Jewish Ethiopian community, Netanyahu vows to tackle racism

Haaretz 15 Mar — Activists cite segregation at schools as an urgent problem and demanded sanctions be imposed on schools that refuse to enroll students of Ethiopian origin.

Other news

Treasure trove of rare plants found in Israel’s Hebron Hills

Haaretz 15 Mar — …A new survey shows that the agricultural practices followed for centuries around Palestinian villages in the southern Hebron Hills have managed to sustain a rich variety of rare plants. Without this agriculture it is not certain these species would have survived … In extensive parts of the area where the survey was conducted, traditional Palestinian agriculture is practiced. This is based on harvesting by hand, shallow plowing and limited use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Many of the rare species are annuals that accompany the sown fields. The life cycle of these plants is identical to the cycle of agricultural cultivation.


Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Apartheid / Restriction of movement / Threats to Palestinian culture and religion



Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: The Abunimah & Co’s declaration also  sparked a big debate within the One Democratic State (ODS) movement. It seems as if  prominent Palestinians and intellectuals grasp that the declaration is inherently undemocratic, based on empty  accusations and divisive.  Noel Ignatiev published some of the comments.

More on the Atzmon Controversy

My previous posting consisted of an exchange I had with Gilad Atzmon, plus a comment from longtime antizionist Jeff Blankfort.


There is a statement signed by Palestinian academics and activists denouncing Atzmon for racism and antisemitism. It is at


Some responses:


Dear all,

NOT IN MY NAME PLEASE. I express my deep sadness at the petition in the Electronic Intifada, a petition which is composed and signed by people whom I love and with whom I have been struggling for a vision of equality and peace in Palestine for years now. Gilad’s book, bravely, and on many levels, points at; touches; brings into language the existential complexities that link the Jewish and the Zionist questions.  It cries out for making this link into a field of inquiry. The complexities of these links reflect both the depth to which any grasping of and responding to what is now happening in Palestine must traverse. It is controversial but so what? It is causing offence to some uncritically accepted coordinates of debate but so what? It may not be palatable or expedient but so what?

There is absolutely no racism or any hatred in the book. It is written from love, from passionate truth-seeking and beyond all out of deep care for people, care for the being of people, both those who perpetrate violence and those who suffer at its hands. Indeed the book meditates on the origin of violence in Palestine, origin to which Zionism may be but a symptom.  The accusation of racist anti-Semitism is a cynical attempt to prevent a question from being asked – an act of violence against questioning, against opening the possibility of self-questioning. We need a debate not petitions like this. It is precisely the lack of debate which serves simplistic views and structures of power. This refusal to touch a painful points, points that are in existential sense earlier than memory, is itself question-worthy. Why does anybody fall into a line of feigning ‘expediency’ so strongly like that?

Touching the relationship between Zionism and Jewish being and thinking might well be needed precisely if anti-Zionism is to have any existential bite.  I sense the force that leads to this petition and am despairing at it. At no time does it call for an engaging with, to take on board, accept, contest, disagree and inflect Gilad’s insights and pointers. This petition is written out of fear and political expediency. It caricaturises and then criticises the caricature. It is certainly not written out of dwelling together in the seeking of truth and justice. Can justice ever be achieved if truth, not merely of actions but also that being that brings these actions about, is not sought and brought into language?   Ironically it is the statement that shows the urgency to canvass the insights it evades.  We are all together. Together. There is something very telling and deep in this violent silencing and oblivious to freedom of speech, this blind conditioning of respect for the political stake that ought to unite all the people who struggle for justice in Palestine. I call for adopting the seeking of truth and the overcoming of existential fetters, as the objective of this political struggle.
Therefore, if the statement about Gilad finds its way to our website than it is with the greatest sadness and regret that I have to withdraw my name from the declaration as well as from the website, as no attempt is made to disassociate the commitment to the statement from the commitment to the Palestinian statement about Gilad.

With peace and love, Oren Oren Ben-Dor, anti-Zionist former Israeli residing in the UK


Indeed I oppose the attacks on Gilad. Apart from considerations of the right of people to voice alternative views, and their right to be heard, I do not believe it is appropriate for Palestinians in particular to get involved in what is largely an intra-Jewish dispute.

Ghada Karmi prominent Palestinian writer/activist in the UK


Dear all

I agree with Oren and Ghada and will not have my name added to a statement denouncing Gil’ad Atzmon. I believe it is not up to us to censor opinions with which we do not agree, particularly on the anti-Zionist side, and I am saying this as a Jew and an Israeli citizen, albeit living and working in Ireland.

The discussions about him have taken far too much time and space, and as Lubna says, are diverting our attention from what is really important. If the group decides to publish this statement on the website, I will regrettably have to ask you to remove my name from the website and the list.

In peace and solidarity,

Ronit Lentin


I agree with Ronit, Lubna, Oren, Sami, Ghada and others. Khalas. Those who feel strongly to add their name to support Condemning Gilad Atzmon can and should do it in personal capacity.  We will not/should not post this on any group website.  Those who want to post things on their individual sites should do so.  Also those who wish to go to Munich or not go to Munich should also do it. But let us end this discussion here. It has taken far too much energy.

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dear All!

I would like to make 3 points:

1. I am in total agreement with Oren and Mazin and will not repeat their splendid responses. However, I want to add the following: a few days ago I received a call from a dear friend of mine who happens to be a professor of history, an orthodox-Jew who read most of Gilad’s work including his recent book. This person stated categorically that Gilad is not an anti-Semite nor is he a holocaust denier nor is he a self hating Jew. His conclusions are the same as mine after several discussions which I had personally with Gild. This person’s name is available for anyone to contact or if you wish, I will invite him to contribute to this discussion.

2. Being obsession with identity politics or any other subject does not make the person an anti-Semite. If we look at ourselves, each one of us is obsessed with one subject or another that can be easily labeled by the Zionists and their supporters as anti-Semitic.  What does that make us? I read the petition and I, frankly speaking, find it to be and a hatchet job, offensive and demeaning to Palestinian sense of fair play and justice!

3. Dr. Nur mentions that “one of the principal German co-organiser of the one-state Munich conference is closely associated with Atzmon.. someone who openly campaigns for Atzmon and against the “Jewish anti-Zionists”… using a typically anti-Semitic language…”. Can you please be specific as to the name of the person you are talking about and to the incidents of anti-Semitic language used? This is a serious charge and no one benefits from making such a baseless accusation.

The Munich Conference is initiated by ODS. The ODS Declaration is the basis of the One State Document which we are proud of. You were invited to be co-initiator and to have an equal input in the event out of respect and a desire to work together. In fact, the whole idea behind the Munich Conference is to bring all activists together and equally participate in the creation of the movement for ODS. What is anti-Semitic about it? Once again, I appeal to all of you to come together and work for advancing the cause of ODS and allow clear and coherent debate on related ideas to take place and to renounce the ways of the Zionists. I personally, professionally, and business wise suffered greatly from it and I certainly do not want anyone to be subjected to it!

Please forgive me if I offended anyone. It is not my intent!

Dr Samir Abed Rabo

Posted in Campaigns, EducationComments Off on NOEL IGNATIEV: MORE ON THE ATZMON CONTROVERSY

Hasan Afzal “Self Hating Muslim” Continues His “Free Speech” Crusade


by Laura Stuart

Hasan Afzal is suffering from “self hatred”. You can read about himhere and  here. Although Hasan Afzal claims to be a friend of Jews and Israel we have yet to hear his opinion on Neturei Karta the Torah Faithful Jews. Afzal is also on the team of  The Freedom Association whose rather questionable strategy to engage students i found on their website.

Free Spirits events are also held at University campuses across the country and at party conference fringes. At  Universities, as well as offering excellent speakers, we also provide a free drink to each student who attends. In  this way, students can hear top speakers and discuss freedom issues, whilst enjoying a drink.

Free Spirits: Free Thinking, Free Drinking and Freedom of Speech

Anyway, what we do know is that Hasan Afzal stands for free speech. Here he is clearly telling us that we need in order to stand up against censorship and intolerance  . . .


Yet  Hasan Afzal’s website, which is called Stand for Peace, appears to work solely for the interests of the Zionists who want to  oppress free speech whenever it goes against their total-domination agenda. Here is Afzal’s latest piece published on 16th March and picked up immediately on the rabid Zionist, Islamophobia award winning, pro-war blog Harry’s Place.  Are Patrick Mercer MP and the College of Law about to legitimise an extremist?

Afzal then writes

It then comes as a surprise to the staff of StandforPeace that Patrick Mercer MP of Newark is to share a platform with Asim Qureshi of Cageprisoners. They are to talk about ‘terrorism legislation’ at the College of Law, Moorgate on Monday 19th March. Asim Qureshi is amongst the worst extremists in Britain. The organisation he works for, Cageprisoners, is notorious for promoting extremists and apologias for terrorists, including those tried and convicted in open courts.

These words are not the words of a Muslim. Terminology as “share a platform”  and “legitimise” come directly from the  Zionist handbook on how to stifle what might not be good for the Jews/Zionists.

So, just who are the staff of Stand for Peace?

As far as we know (unsurprisingly) Afzal stands totally alone on his websites Stand for Peace and Muslims for Israel.

If, as Afzal claims, Asim Quershi is an apologist for terrorists and a promoter of extremists,then who better to talk about terrorism? Perhaps Asim might get the chance to talk about the terrorising of civilians in Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan by the rogue states of  the United States and Israel. Since Afzal says he believes in free and fair debate can we then look forward to a debate between himself and Asim Qureshi?

Last night Afzal posted a piece on Harry’s Place with no explanation or comment on the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja – a shocking massacre  of Iraqi Kurds in 1988. This articleHow Reagan armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons in Counterpunch  is essential reading on the subject. Surely Hasan Afzal, whose website is, after all, called Stand for PEACE, would be against the use of this terrible massacre as a justification of the Iraq war which killed an estimated two and a half million Iraqis? We cannot be sure, because he does not clarify his position and the blog where he is a guest poster is vehemently pro-war.

Muslim Self Hater


Posted in Campaigns, EducationComments Off on Hasan Afzal “Self Hating Muslim” Continues His “Free Speech” Crusade

Permission to examine “Jewishness”


by Rich Siegel

Free Palestine

In-fighting is characteristic of progressive movements.  On the right things are much easier.  They want a “survival-of-the-fittest” society, small government, low taxes, no safety- net, no brown-skinned people crossing our borders,  the right to unlimited profits un-hampered by any oversight or regulations, the right to claim foreign natural resources and to take advantage of cheap foreign labor, and when foreign leaders are not easily subjugated, the right to wage war in the name of “freedom” and “liberty” and “democracy” while waving the flag.   The program is quite simple and so agreement is easily found.

Problems occur when someone like Sarah Palin is put in a position of high visibility, and has to be coached on information she should have learned in high school, or when they have to decide whether Mormon candidate Mitt Romney qualifies as Christian.  But issues like these are relatively manageable, and all they need is a common adversary to embrace unity over their minute differences.   For example it’s easy for them to agree that Obama is a Socialist, even though he more closely resembles a Reagan Republican, because he’s a member of the Democratic Party and they want to beat him.

On the left, however, where activists become active because they actually care about humanity and the planet; care about universal values of peace, justice, human rights, environmental sustainability, and the like, all hell breaks loose on a regular basis.  This is because there are many varied perceptions as to what qualifies as fair, just, and balanced, and many varied opinions as to  how to achieve these things.  It often seems that shades of meaning have monumental ramifications, and degrees to the left, in increments, often translate to irreconcilable differences.

I played a concert with saxophonist/author Gilad Atzmon in Geneva, New York last night, a benefit for the Deir Yassin Remembered scholarship fund.  (Put into perspective, two Jews playing a concert, unpaid, to raised money to send Palestinian kids to college.)   This morning we happened to meet before breakfast in the hallway of our motel.  He said,  “I have to show you something.  You won’t believe this.”  We entered his room, he opened his lap-top, and set his browser on a link to a sort of a treatise, a declaration, prepared by Ali Abunimah and signed by various activists, entitled “Palestinian Writers, Activists, Disavow Racism and Anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon”.   What has Gilad Atzmon done to inspire this very extreme action?  He has examined, and written about, the issue of “Jewishness”, about HIS “Jewishness”, and about mine.

Why is this objectionable?   Some explanation is required.  Zionists have long sought to equate Zionism with Judaism.  As usual, the right wing has a simplistic ideology:  By equating these two “ism’s”, Zionists are able to justify the position that opposition to Zionism means “Anti-Semitism”.  Supporters of the liberation of Palestine strenuously object to this, and rightly so.  But it seems that many have adopted an equally simplistic view to combat it:  Since Zionism and Judaism are NOT the same thing, and since Zionism is the direct cause of the problem, Judaism and Jewish culture are placed out of bounds, taboo, don’t touch them.  We don’t want to be called “Anti-Semites”, and we need our Jewish allies in the movement.

The problem with this simplistic view is that it in this case simplicity is not elegant.   The reality is that Judaism and Zionism are indeed two different things.   But paradoxically, while Judaism specifically forbids Zionism (according to the interpretation I personally accept), Zionism is also clearly rooted in Judaism and in aspects of Jewish culture which are also clearly rooted in Judaism.

It is important to make the distinction between Judaism and Jewish culture because many Jews, and among them many Zionists, are secular and even anti-religious, and yet embrace their Jewish identity as central to who they are.   It is also important to make the observation that Jewish religion informs secular Jewish culture, even if unconsciously so.  Up until about 1780 there were no secular Jews.  There was only Orthodox Judaism, and that influence remains, this even among the significant population who are atheists identifying as Jews and embracing Zionism.   I am personally a product of that culture.  As both Zionism and Jewish identity are embraced both by large numbers of religious Jews and large numbers of anti-religious Jews, we are left with the problem of what to call their Jewish commonality.  Thus  “Jewishness”.

On the religious end of the spectrum, we find Orthodox Jewish Zionist rabbis and Orthodox Jewish Anti-Zionist rabbis, both groups spending much of their lives in study of Jewish holy books, and both groups, when they are not studying, pointing their fingers at each other and shouting “Torah Ignoramus!”  This is a debate that the uninitiated are not permitted to enter, and initiation consists of life-long dedication to study of Jewish holy texts.   There is no choice but to allow them this ongoing fight.

On the secular end of the spectrum are less religious Jews, members of Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues who may or may not be atheists, members of atheist synagogues- yes you read that right- there are “Humanist” synagogues that hold  “services” to serve their “Jewishness” rather than God, and finally many Jews who are not members of synagogues at all.   Many secular Jews are strongly Zionist and place a very high value on their Jewish identity.   So, there is a wide variety of religious belief and observance among Jews, and yet what they all have in common is the valuing of Jewish identity- of “Jewishness”.  The difference between the religious and the secular is that the religious understand the origin of the components of cultural Jewishness, and the secular most often do not.

When I was seven years old a little girl in my 2nd grade class told me, “My daddy said you killed Jesus.”  I told her I had never killed anyone.  I was upset enough about this accusation that I told my parents about it, and they were duly horrified.  For many years I attributed this to “classic Anti-Semitism”.  I had experienced the misfortune, at a very tender age, of having been victimized with this horrible accusation, which has been leveled against Jews since the dawn of Christianity.

So imagine my astonishment when, many years later, in 2006, I read about  Swedish peace-worker Tove Johansson’s experience.  She was escorting Palestinian school-children past crowds of hostile Jewish settlers in Hebron, when the settlers began chanting “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you, too.”  They smashed a bottle over her face, causing severe injuries.  There are also various other accounts of Jewish settlers proudly taking responsibility for the murder of Jesus, something that I had always assumed was a false accusation, leading me to investigate.  I found in the writing of Jewish-Israeli scholar Israel Shahak that there is actually a Talmudic mandate for this claim.    I also found that while it seems that relatively few Jews are aware of Shahak’s writing, many of those who are hate him passionately, although none have ever presented me with an actual argument confronting his claims.

I came to support the Palestinian cause after first having come to an awareness of some dramatic problems in the Jewish culture in which I was raised.   I grew up in a Reform synagogue where many atheist Jews, and some who had religious beliefs, attended to affirm their Jewish identity, to raise their children with Jewish identity, and to support Israel.    I was presented with the idea that it was a privilege to be a member of a universally despised people, who were hated for no reason at all, and who were more intelligent and moral than others.  And I was told that Israel had never harmed anyone, that the Arabs just hated Jews for no reason, just like everyone hates Jews for no reason.

Having come to believe in God as a young adult, I had to go back to re-examine the Judaism, or more accurately, the “Jewishness” I was raised with, and clearly identified idolatry: the worship of the twin idols of Jewish identity and Israel.  And I began to move away from what I identified as the Jewish identity cult.  Even with that awareness,  I was so completely indoctrinated in Zionist propaganda,  that I did not question the things that I had been told.   For example, I did not question the story  of Jews who wanted to be friendly neighbors to the Arabs, and of Arab leaders who, in 1948, made radio broadcasts of orders for their people to get out temporarily, while they intended to drive the Jews into the sea.   Why should we let them return when they wanted to annihilate us like Hitler?

I understand that Jewish activists for Palestine come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and that there are those who do not have the same needs as I do.  I know there are those who would like to support Palestine while embracing their Jewish identity and some who additionally wish to embrace Jewish religion at various levels of observance.  But that’s not me, and I will not allow Ali Abunimah and a list of bullies to tell me that I have no right to intellectual inquiry into my religion and culture.   Of course, their objections are targeted at Gilad Atzmon, not me.  But when they say it about him, they are, by extension, saying it about me, and those like me- those of us who have to struggle to come to terms with having been lied to all our lives.

When I finally came to understand the depth of the criminality of Zionism, and I came to that realization in my middle age, my response was not, “Oh my God, let’s fix this while we protect Judaism and Jewish identity from those who would like to make a connection.”  Not at all.  My response was a more natural and obvious one:  “Oh my God!  What kind of sickness do I come from?”   I have the right to ask that question, and to search for answers.   I have the right to talk to the seven year old victim of “Anti-Semitism” who still lives inside me, and help him to understand his experience.

Back in the 80’s in an interview on the American television show 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace confronted Meir Kahane, the infamous Brooklyn rabbi, now deceased, who became an Israeli Knesset member and an advocate for the expulsion of all Arabs from all of historic Palestine (both “Israeli Arabs” and Arabs living in the occupied territories), about a law he proposed.

Wallace:  “You proposed a law for the Knesset to pass against Arabs that’s really astonishingly identical to the Nuremberg laws of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.”

Kahane:  “Mr. Wallace, one of the problems of Jews is that they wouldn’t know a Jewish concept if they tripped over one.  I merely quoted from the Talmud.  Most Jews think Judaism is Thomas Jefferson.  It’s not.”

I was raised in a “Jewishness”  which presumed to be something very different from what it was.   And in that pretense it had me donating to plant trees in Israel, and receiving Israel bonds as bar mitzvah presents.  It had me joining Zionist youth groups and becoming president of one, and it had me living and working in Israel during my 20’s, all while believing a system of lies.  I have the right to examine the cult that lied to me, the cult that I have survived and left.

I think I speak for everyone who supports the Palestinian cause, including both Atzmon and his detractors alike, when I say that I believe that the first priority for all of us is to stop Zionists from killing the next Palestinian child.  How to accomplish this?  I think if any of us knew, we would lie, steal, cheat, do whatever it might take.  But we don’t know.   Does placing limits on parameters of acceptable ideology help to accomplish this goal?  Does censorship, censure, expulsion, ex-communication?  These are the things that this edict against Atzmon is attempting to accomplish.   Does it actually accomplish anything or is it just divisive?  Are the Zionists enjoying watching a split among the pro-Palestine camp?

Clearly requiring certain parameters is reasonable.  For example, there are those who sympathize with both the cause of white supremacy and with the Palestinian cause.  Those people would do the most good for Palestine by staying as far away from the cause as possible, and they should be shunned and avoided.  But that’s not who Atzmon is, or who I am.    There is no racism here.  There is simply examination of the religion and culture that produced Zionism.

Abunimah puts words in Atzmon’s mouth:

“…one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.”

I fail to see how this attitude can be attributed to Atzmon when he openly speaks of the Neturei Karta Orthodox Anti-Zionist Jews.  But again, a simplistic interpretation would be lacking.  The fact of the existence of Anti-Zionist Jews should not be taken as evidence that Zionism is not connected with Judaism, Jewish culture, or “Jewishness”.    The Neturei Karta also believe in exile from this land and return to it, just not at the present time under present circumstances.

I understand that from the Palestinian point of view, many consider inquiry into “Jewishness” superfluous.  They just want Zionism to end, and this is reasonable.  But why won’t it end?  The UN passed Resolution 194 64 years ago, and re-ratified it numerous times.  Why have the refugees not been allowed back?  There have been various “peace processes”.  Why is there no peace?  American administrations have been pressuring to end settlement expansion for decades.  Why are settlements still expanding?  What is behind the almost super-human capacity for Zionist belligerence?  for Zionist disingenuousness?   Why is it that the world governments look the other way and pretend it isn’t going on?  And how is it possible that America is fighting wars for Israel?   How is it possible that for all of my life I’ve been listening to my people whine over the holocaust while failing to admit that any crimes were committed in Palestine?   How deep is a cult that was able to hide from me, one of its children, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine for most of my life?

For those who want to insist that Zionism is some bizarre aberration that grew out of an otherwise healthy Jewish culture and religion, that’s fine for them.  Having been lied to all my life, I wanted to know what Kahane meant when he sneered at me and told me I wouldn’t know a Jewish idea if I tripped over it.   And now I know.   Certainly I have the right to free inquiry, and to the expression of ideas, and so does Gilad Atzmon.

If there are those who dislike Atzmon’s ideas, they are free to write their own and express disagreement.  They are free to state that Atzmon does not represent them.  But to organize a list of those who agree to disavow him is disgraceful, and in my opinion does not serve the cause.  There should be a retraction and an apology.

Posted in Campaigns, EducationComments Off on Permission to examine “Jewishness”




Who or what could have prompted Ali-Abuminah to write such a counter-productive diatribe against the beneficial works of Atzmon ?

Palestinians boycotting and in effect censoring a hard-hitting, courageous fellow traveler is a disgraceful act and poor strategy. It has come as a rude shock to many of us genuine campaigners for Palestine.

I’m pretty sure Mr. Abunimah didn’t read Atzmon’s book.

Does he not know that Atzmon’s book has been clearly blessed, endorsed and reviewed by illustrious authors and researchers, and alternative media stalwarts, long time ‘Friends of Palestine’ the likes of  MessrsJohn MearsheimerJames Petras,William A CookJeff GatesPaul BallesAlan HartKim Petersen , Richard Falk, and scores of others as no other book ?

Do the signatories on the anti-Atzmon condemnation paper have a problem with all of the above mentioned writers?

Do their work get space on Ali Abunimah’s Electronic intifada blog ?

Does Abunimah & Co. even realize that these respectable committed campaigners have spent a life time writing volumes to spread awareness about the Palestinian struggle through their writing and activism and many of them have wound up uterly frustrated and penniless precisely due to the lack of any  unity, organization or support from diaspora Paletinians? Shame on you!


‘Gilad Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionized patriot of humanity and passionate advocate of justice for the Palestinian people. It is a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.’

Professor Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, author of over 20 books, and UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories.

‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their ‘Jewishness.’ Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon’s own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.’

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

‘Gilad Atzmon’s book, The Wandering Who? is as witty and thought provoking as its title.  But it is also an important book, presenting conclusions about Jews, Jewishness and Judaism which some will find shocking but which are essential to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the world stage.’

Karl Sabbagh is a journalist, television producer and the author of several books including A Rum Affair, Power Into Art, Dr Riemann’s Zeros and Palestine: A Personal History. He is currently the publisher of Hesperus Press

‘Gilad Atzmon‘s The Wandering Who? is a series of brilliant illuminations and critical reflections on Jewish ethnocentrism and the hypocrisy of those who speak in the name of universal values and act tribal. Relying on autobiographical and existential experiences, as well as intimate observations of everyday life, both informed by profound psychological insights, Atzmon does what many critics of Israel fail to do; he uncovers the links between Jewish identity politics in the Diaspora with their ardent support for the oppressive policies of the Israeli state.

Atzmon provides deep insights into “neo-ghetto” politics. He has the courage – so profoundly lacking among western intellectuals – to speak truth to the power of highly placed and affluent Zionists who shape the agendas of war and peace in the English-speaking world. With wit and imagination, Atzmon’s passionate confrontation with neo-conservative power grabbers and liberal yea sayers sets this book apart for its original understanding of the dangers of closed minds with hands on the levers of power.

This book is more than a “study of Jewish identity politics” insofar as we are dealing with a matrix of power that affects all who cherish self-determination and personal freedom in the face of imperial and colonial dictates.’

Professor James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, author of more than 62 books including The Power of Israel in the United States.

‘Atzmon’s insight into the organism created by the Zionist movement is explosive. The Wandering Who? tears the veil off of Israel’s apparent civility, its apparent friendship with the United States, and its expressed solicitude for Western powers, exposing beneath the assassin ready to slay any and all that interfere with its tribal focused ends.’

Professor William A. Cook, Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California, and author of The Rape Of Palestine.

The Wandering Who? features Gilad Atzmon at his delightful and insightful best: engaging, provocative and persuasive.’

Jeff Gates, author of Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War


The Wandering Who? is a pioneering work that deserves to be read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book!’

Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, author and Professor Emeritus in the field of international law. He is director of the Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Brattleboro, Vermont and the former Dean of The Jerusalem School for Law and Diplomacy.


It is a scholarly and truly monumental work, deeply profound and, of course, controversial.

Alan Hart, British Journalist and former covert diplomat in Middle East, ITN’s News at 10, BBC’s Panorama


Kudos to the publishers ‘Zer0 Book’ for pretty much outlining the problem:

Contemporary culture has eliminated both the concept of the public and the figure of the intellectual.  Former public spaces– both physical and cultural — are now either derelict or colonized by advertising.  A cretinous anti-intellectualism presides, cheerled by expensively educated hacks in the pay of multinational corporations who reassure their bored readers that there is no need to rouse themselves from their inter-passive stupor.  The informal censorship internalized and propagated by the cultural workers of late capitalism generates a banal conformity that the propaganda chiefs of Stalinism could only ever have dreamt of imposing.

Zero Books knows that another kind of discourse — intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist — is not only possible: it is already flourishing to the regions beyond the striplit malls of so-called mass media and the neurotically bureaucratic halls of the academy. Zer0 is committed to the idea of publishing as a making public of the intellectual.  It is convinced that in the unthinking, blandly consensual culture in which we live, critical and engaged theoretical reflection is more important than ever before.


We have the potential on the Internet, for this “other kind of discourse.” intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist but onlyif we can keep it free from government interference and regulation and Zionist infiltrators! Which is not only possible but essential if we are to ever have or regain a reliable exchange of factual and honest ideas, knowledge  and information which has not been twisted to the degree that the truth is no longer evident  in order to fit  some marketing or political objectives.

That means that the lie will have equal opportunity to ride First Class as well as the Truth.  But… given any sort of government or economic controls or Zionist influences, then the Lie will supersede the Truth, and the forces of market and politics will prevail, and Truth, knowledge and real information will fade from the pages of history.

Earlaiman a frequent commentator on these pages astutely observes that most of the signatories on the anti-Atzmon condemnation paper are located in foreign (non Palestine) nations where they probably feel fat and secure in their high and lofty offices, pulpits and lectures.

These folks and those like them justify fully a former US Military strategic analyst Dr. Alan Sabrosky’scriticism of the Palestinian movement’s “leadership” in the first of a series of his articles last summer, that so upset some within the Palestinian movement.

When the ship is sinking, blame someone who criticizes the organizers of the voyage. Never, ever, blame yourselves or the people who took you onto the rocks.

But then, what else can one expect from the same people who have led Palestine and Palestinians for 60 years from one triumph to another….?

These people are either fools, or dupes of the Israelis, or simply too terrified of what the Israelis can or will do to them, or some combination thereof.

I don’t always agree with Atzmon, and many people don’t agree with me, but so what? Reasonable people can disagree.

Each and every one of us has his or her own foibles and hobby-horses, and whether we give rein to them occasionally or not, as long as the principal thrust of most of our work is directed at our main chance — which is countering that of the Zionists — we all need to exercise patience and charity, let the occasional transgression (as one or more of us may see it) pass unremarked,and continue the good fight. Internal dissension and a needlessly purist worldview just help our common enemy.

Issue with Atzmon in this instance is that he has gored accurately some exceptionally sacred (in a secular sense) Israeli/Jewish oxen, hence the response from the Palestinian variant of “Uncle Toms & Aunt Jemimas.”

Tim King  goes directly to the heart of the matter when he identifies the difference… “…knowing right from wrong and acting on it.”

It is really that simple!




Engaging Gilad Atzmon

Israeli-born Gilad Atzmon, one of Europe’s finest jazz musicians, was in Washington, DC for the first time at the end of a multi-city North American grassroots tour to discuss his recently published and highly controversial book, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics.
On March 14, Atzmon was interviewed by Prof. Norton Mezvinsky, Connecticut State University Professor of History Emeritus, at Washington’s Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church.
During the question-and-answer period following Professor Mezvinsky’s interview, noted Palestinian journalist Fouzi El-Asmar stood up to state his opposition to a letter circulated the previous day by Palestinian activists calling for “the disavowal of the racism and antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon.” El-Asmar, author of To Be an Arab in Israel, recalled that both he and his mother had been imprisoned in Israel for speaking out, and warned against treading down that same path.
The Washington Report believes that no writer or thinker should be shunned in the United States—or anywhere—and we stand by our decision to host his DC events.

The video of the entire event will be posted on the Washington Report’s Web site,, in the coming week.


I know Atzmon, we Need Public Debate

Dear all,

This hyper-sensitive and potentially explosive issue merits much more than a knee jerk reaction, which is why I have refrained until this moment from making any comments. I know Gilad Atzmon, I have read much of his writings, he gifted me his book, ‘The Wandering Who?’ which I have put aside to take with me on my forthcoming flight to Australia so I can read it uninterrupted. I like Gilad, I love his music and I am very partial to his quirky personality. All in all, in my opinion, Gilad, as a package, is a decent, well-meaning human being who should not be isolated or scorned simply because some of his writings and sayings are not always to our taste.

I too had an opportunity, albeit fleetingly, to meet Ali Abunimeh here in London and he afforded me the courtesy of enquiring about my well being when my email account was hacked into last year. I read Ali Abunimeh extensively and I was listening to his latest key-note speech at Harvard only last week. I have a lot of time and respect for Ali, another decent human being,which makes one more reason why I did not react immediately.

What made me change my mind was this very well thought out and well written, informative piece by Rich Siegel, whom I know through Facebook and, of course, his music. I, as a Palestinian, who has been working all his life to direct the spotlight on the plight of my people and my country through writings, debates and speeches, have always welcomed any meaningful debate which keeps Palestine and Palestinians on the front page. I have always maintained that if ever we are to achieve peace in Palestine we very much need the unencumbered by religious doctrines or ideologies on our side. There is no need for us Palestinians to say that we are not ‘anti-Semitic’ for the simple reason that we are Semites ourselves. There is no reason for us, the Palestinians, to say that we like or dislike Jews. What we should emphatically say, and should not be distracted from by squabbles and arguments, is that we are anti Zionist, anti occupation, anti racist and anti apartheid. All these labels point in one direction only, we are anti Israel in its current form as a Jewish state.

May I humbly suggest that Ali and his co-signatories have a private or civilised public debate with Gilad and Rich and any other like-minded Jews who want to see an end to our suffering and a clear path to lasting, durable and viable peace in Palestine.

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on I know Atzmon, we Need Public Debate

Know Your Enemy! End the Ridiculous Persecution of Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon vents about the acts of war criminalsGilad Atzmon vents about the acts of war criminals Courtesy:

Political Perspective

by Tim King


Israeli-born Gilad Atzmon works tirelessly for Palestinians, criticizing Israeli war crimes, yet members of the movement call for others to ‘Disavowal’ his ‘Racism and Antisemitism’ Who is antisemitic?

(SALEM) – Just know this: every time one of our dedicated writers falls under a public attack over criticism of Israeli military politics, those leading the charge with their same lame false claims of ‘antisemitism’ are insincere and acting out of pressure from Israel, even if they don’t know it.

Master of music and words…Every time.

No exceptions.When an activist for Palestine is killed and reports say the killers didn’t carry out the murder on behalf of Israel, they are lying.

When they say Ken O’Keefe or Gilad Atzmon are antisemitic, they are lying.

Believe me, threats are scary to people, we receive our share over these reports also.

The attackers are character assassins and they want Israel’s apartheid politics to continue uninterrupted.

Israel has separate laws for Jews and non-Jews, separate prisons for Jews and non-Jews, and separate roads for Jews and non-Jews. Holocaust survivors are allowed to live in poverty and dark-skinned Jews live with increasing racism in Israel.Anyone who supports this has the heart of a Nazi. Israel’s politics are so obscene that they’re worse than the Nazi’s because they’re doing it with U.S. money and weapons; at least the United States opposed Hitler, today it gives standing ovations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gilad Atzmon is a dedicated activist who is Israeli-born. As one of the world’s top jazz saxophonists, he has played with everyone from Ian Durry to Paul McCartney. He has a big following and a growing amount of political influence. His words take Israel to task over crimes against Palestinian people.I can tell you as a white American, I fight white racists the hardest; it seems natural that a person born of a dangerous culture that oppresses others, would want to help turn that same culture around.

The easy thing for any human to do, is simply go along with the dangerous culture, particularly if it is in control of a region the way Israel is. In all fairness, one could call it a land of opportunity for ambitious Zionist Jews who say the right things and know the correct people. Gilad said ‘no way’ and rebelled against it, after growing up, and seeing up close what was really taking place. This is the human being following the human heart, knowing right from wrong and acting on it.


Order The Wandering Who: or

On Teaching

Khalil Gibran

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.”

Special thanks to Gabi Weber

His recent book, ‘The Wandering Who?’ is the basis of the latest round of attacks. I know for a fact that the person behind Electronic Intifada, which published a recent article claiming that Palestinian activists are against Gilad, was recently under heavy public attacks also, and now they have published an anti-Gilad article?Geez, follow the trail on that, what a joke. Of course many Palestinians are sold-out long and hard to the Israeli cause, they believe their own personal advancements are more valuable than those made on behalf of the entire Palestinian Diaspora.

Responding to the attack in A Response to Ali Abunimah & Co., Gilad wrote:

Ali Abunimah & Co tend to present themselves as advocates of “One Democratic State in Palestine.” This leaves me puzzled: what kind of democracy do they have in mind, exactly? For by calling for my “disavowal,” they prove beyond a doubt that they cannot tolerate even some elementary cultural criticism—criticism that is endorsed and praised by some of the most respected thinkers within our movement and beyond.

Gilad writes and fights and pipes for Palestine, not select individuals who cut deals with the Zionists to have a cozy deal at the expense of other members of their own culture.During the Holocaust Jews worked with Nazi’s; in every war people play both sides, I saw it in the current U.S. wars in the Middle east. They are really bad for going after Gilad and I can imagine the threats that Israel issued to some of these people and the bribery others responded to.

One of the best photos of our two favorite heroes: Gilad with his sax; Ken with his camera. They’re serious about human rights and face pressure on all sides.

Attacking Gilad is like attacking a member of your own family, if you care about Palestine.

Both he and Ken O’Keefe have become leading world figures for the resistance because of their backgrounds; a former Israeli and a former U.S. Marine;

These guys have punch, they know people, they appear on major TV news programs, and they are two of Israel’s biggest threats because they expose patterns of illegal activity; murder, apartheid, genocide, child abuse, child murders, ambulance drivers shot in the line of duty…

The fact that pro-Palestinian western writers are being attacked simply proves that they are reaching people and changing opinions about Israel; the frequency of the pro-Israeli rally cries are always determined by their public successes, is a clear sign that every attack is a response to that success.

And I have to ask the question, does anyone believe that being a Palestinian makes them somehow infallible? People from Palestine are exactly like all other human beings; some are good and some are bad and it really is that simple. We care very much about their suffering but we are who we are; and we account for about one percent of journalists in the US and UK.

If this is about Palestinian resentment of an Israeli-born representative, then they should come out and say it, we might be surprised to learn who really is antisemitic.

It seems outlandish that the bond would not be tighter, people can indeed be their own worst enemies. I know how much love and support Gilad has, but I also know his life is challenging because of an orchestrated campaign against him. So what if people found something to be offended about in his book, so what? We live in a world where Israel murders human beings and calls their victims ‘terrorists’? We have much bigger problems at hand than this inner-squabble.

The Israelis are sitting back and smiling at this one, they’re clapping at the success of their subversion and reach.

The complexity of the matter is forged by the occupation, which forces otherwise good people to turn on their own, and turning on Gilad is like turning against a national hero.The resistance movement may be binding, but the cowardice is disillusioning.

None of us who stand steadfast on this matter will ever forget the incredible heat Ken O’Keefe drew when he and others battled their deadly Israeli attackers who stormed the peace ship ‘Mavi Marmara‘ in May 2010.

In cold blood, Israel attacked and killed nine of Ken’s shipmates and injured scores, even denying the injured and dying medical care. The crew was treated the way Israel treats all Palestinians, like they were animals.

So-called pro-Palestine activists and a couple who are sincere yet very confused in my opinion, waged a long running campaign against Ken because he took the weapons from Israeli soldiers and fought back. He and the others didn’t use the weapons they seized from the IDF, which they easily could have, which proved fighting and killing was never their intent or goal.

In spite of this self-defense incident, members of the pro-Palestine movement went right for Ken’s throat.

Vittorio ‘Vik’ Arrigoni is one man whose efforts to aid the captive population of Gaza will never be forgotten.

Fortunately Ken is widely supported and the matter faded away, mostly in pure respect for what Ken and the others on the ship did that night.

I see another example of that kind of strange inside attack in this event. I hope this latest round does nothing but propel Gilad’s name into the atmosphere and I suspect it will.

Those of us who know and love this man and his message will never be abated or swayed and if anyone comes up with anything that fails to meet the test, like this strange version ofPalestinian suicide, just write it off and know…Like the murders of Vittorio Arrigoni and Juliano Mehr Khamis: the public attacks against Gilad Atzmon, Ken O’Keefe and others who stand up and say ‘NO!’ to Israeli bigotry and victimhood and Genocide – also apartheid, violations of international law – the only threat lurking in the shadows of origin is Israel and its Zionist politics which are not a matter of religion, not at all. Gilad is called every name in the book, yet antisemite is usually at the center of what his critics say.

I write frequently about the recent Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in north Sri Lanka. In that case the violence was carried out by the Sri Lankan Sinhalese Buddhist government. You should read the irate comments and emails I receive over these articles. I am accused of being associated with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) almost every single day.Last week I wrote about the terrible Genocides in Bangladesh-1971, and Balochistan, which is taking place this very second. I suppose some people would deem me anti-Muslim which would be a joke. I hate what the people of Northern Ireland were forced to endure at the hands of the British for so many years but it doesn’t make me anti-protestant.It always hearkens back to the same simple point; that there is no such thing as a humane religious government, not in all of history. Some are better than others, but the notion of a religion being the government is only disaster to the unlucky ones, the ‘wrong’ religion or culture.

Whether my detractors accept it or not, the strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent truthful nature of my premises. Until now, not one of my opponents has been able to point out a single discrepancy within my argument or the facts I cite. For instance, I contend that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State—its tanks and planes decorated with Jewish symbols—it is our duty to ask: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism? And what is Jewishness all about?

The fact that some activists shy away from asking those questions doesn’t mean that the rest of us also should behave cowardly.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, another valued writer with conviction and courage in confronting the less comfortable national and world issues, wrote:

What these folks should be doing is reading Atzmon’s work carefully and holistically, and then, if they find that Atzmon is mistaken in his analysis of the way Jewish identity politics is a factor in Zionism, they should correct him.

An ardent supporter of Palestine and Human Rights, Dr. Gabi Weber in Freiburg, Germany, wrote:

I am asking myself how many of the signers of “Anti-Atzmon-petitions” (Palestinian writers, activists disavow racism, anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon) did what Kevin Barrett suggests?

I am afraid that witch-hunt arrived in the so-called ‘solidarity movement’.

As we have written time and time again, antisemitism is nothing but an excuse when it is used to combat accusations of war crimes and civil rights abuse, nobody cares what religion anyone is, however we greatly care about people who pervert religion to meet their personal and governmental needs. It is wrong, Zionism is a concept barely over a hundred years old. Israel is an infant government that has proven clearly over and over again that it is a threat to its neighbors and the entire world.The complicity of the American government with this apartheid regime is shameful and unforgivable, the bodies in Palestine stack up while people like Ali Abunimah Abunimah randomly attack the strongest fighters that the movement has.

With regard to Mr. AbunimahWikipedia states that he:”opposes Zionism, which he describes as ‘a dying project, in retreat and failing to find new recruits.’ He argues that Zionism’s promotion of Jewish self-determination in Israel and Palestine’s ‘intermixed population’ has the effect of maintaining ‘a status quo in which Israeli Jews exercise power in perpetuity.’Abunimah’s position is that Palestinians should pursue coercive measures against Israel such as the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, while also putting forward a positive vision of a single democratic state.In January 2012, Abunimah tweeted ‘Isn’t it time for a popular Palestinian revolution in the form of a third intifada?’

Anyone who reads Gilad’s writings would note a similar sound to Mr. Abunimah’s words. I fail to understand why this man chose to attack Gilad. He claims Gilad is too much of a leader, implying that Gilad is not suitable as a man for the cause, what bullshit! Is that what he thought of Vik Arrigoni? I mean for God’s sake, Vittorio was from Italy, he was outspoken… does Abunimah look at his life as one of an outsider who had no business helping ‘his people’? This, when Abunimah lives in the U.S.?

I am sickened that people can be reached this way, we will never stop rallying for the embattled population of Palestine and the movement’s real advocates, like our friend Gilad Atzmon, a man of many uncomfortable truths and talent that scares people. I understand how this type of in-fighting can again, only benefit the Zionist cause of Israeli apartheid, Abunimah and all of those with similar sentiments know this too.

Mar-14-2012:Washington Report -To Disavow or Debate Gilad Atzmon?

Dec-09-2010: Gilad Atzmon: ‘I Have a Reputation for Being a Suicidal Activist’ – Tim King

Ali Abunimah – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Editor and WriterTim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is’sExecutive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle ClubsElectronic Media Associationand The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim’s life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: Visit Tim’s Facebook page (

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